We had a chat with Monro about his forthcoming EP, making music with Rico Nasty and playing the didgeridoo with Hit Boy. Spanning a wide range of genres, Monro's music has seen him collaborating with the likes of Flohio and Doja Cat. If this wasn't enough, you can watch him whip up a sonic storm in his Cabin Cook ups series, which JD. Reid and Sacari have both been apart of. Using cheap instruments to produce beats, the show is a quirky concept that endeavours to give fans and budding producers an insight to the music making process. Have a read up and see what's next for the producer below.
R: TELL US ABOUT YOUR CABIN COOK UP SERIES
M: I just wanted to have a bit of fun with producing and show the process. The way we do it, is we use a specific and cheap instrument to create the foundations of the beat. I wanted to bring that in to make it more entertaining - watching a 50 minute video of someone making a beat can be boring.
R: IT’S INTERESTING TO SEE, FROM THE VIEW POINT OF SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T MAKE MUSIC, HOW MUCH GOES INTO IT - EVEN IF IT IS BEING MADE WITH A XYLOPHONE OR A UKELELE.
M: I also wanted to show that you can make anything sound cool if you know how to work the programme and be creative. You can make a cheap, shitty instrument sound cool if you know the tricks.
R: WAS THIS A SPIRT OF CREATIVITY THAT CAME OUT OF LOCKDOWN?
M: It was actually just before lockdown, I filmed the ones with Jordan (JD. Reid) and Sacari just before. I have filmed another one since, which is gonna be sick. It’s with one of my favourite producers from the U.K.
R: OH SICK, WELL OUR NEXT QUESTION WAS, IF YOU COULD GET ANY PRODUCER ON THE SERIES, WHO WOULD THAT PERSON BE? WOULD IT BE THEM?
M: That person would be up there, but it would probably be an American producer. My favourite at the moment, right now, is Hit Boy, it would obviously be crazy to get someone like that on there.
R: HIT BOY WOULD BE NUTS, WHAT INSTRUMENT WOULD YOU HAVE FOR HIM?
M: Hmmm, I really don’t know. I want to get some really weird instruments on there… like a digaredoo, just really strange instruments that you never know what could be made on them. We need to make this happen haha.
R: SO, YOUR NEW EP (DEAD SWEET) HOW DO YOU THINK THIS PROJECT COMPARES TO YOUR PREVIOUS SINGLES AND EPS?
M: I think this really shows me growing as a producer, and being able to link producing for other people and being an artist. I feel the producer scene is a lot more open now and we can put out music that they love to make. I’m a lot more proud and sure of this music.
R: IT’S REASSURING NOW THAT, IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, THERE ARE EQUAL CREDITS BETWEEN THE PRODUCER AND VOCALIST.
M: Yeah definitely, but I think it is important to not have an ego with it. Some people are just superstars, like Rihanna - you cannot be fighting with that.
R: YEAH YOU DON’T WANT TO BE A DJ KHALID, GOOD POINT. THE PEOPLE YOU’VE WORKED WITH ON HERE ARE SICK. WHO DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A COLLABORATOR?
M: When it’s for my own stuff, it has always just come organically. The thing that I really look for is good chemistry in the room.
R: YOUR MUSIC SPANS A WIDE VARIETY OF GENRES, BUT WAS THERE ANY SOUNDS, FROM A YOUNG AGE, THAT PRICKED YOUR EARS UP EARLY ON?
M: The first thing that really put me on to music was watching people like Eric Clapton play the guitar. In terms of production, someone like Kanye really inspired me. The first time I heard The College Drop Out, I had no idea how it was made.
R: YEAH I BET LOADS OF PRODUCERS TAKE A LOT OF INSPIRATION FROM THAT ALBUM
M: Yeah, with albums like The Chronic by Dr Dre too. After hearing his first albums I just really wanted to know how they were made.
R: WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON KANYE BEING KANYE NOW
M: I’m just trying to separate myself from person and music. There are a lot of times when Kanye talks sense but he chats a lot of shit too. I don’t know how mentally stable he is, it’s difficult commenting on celebrity culture when you don’t know what is happening behind closed doors.
R: CAN YOU REMEMBER ANY MEMORABLE SESSIONS WITH ARTISTS YOU HAVE WORKED WITH?
M: I had a crazy session with Rico [Nasty] one night. Her manager called me up and got me to the studio, it was an hour and a half drive. She was there rapping with a U.K. artist I really rate. Once they had finished, Rico’s stylist, was like, I want to make a Voguing song. He was playing me all these videos of the scene, and we ended up making this tune until around 8 AM. It’s the most outrageous song I’ve probably ever made.
R: THAT SOUNDS MAD, RICO NASTY IS SICK. I DON’T KNOW IF THAT U.K. RAPPER IN THE STUDIO WAS FLOHIO, BUT I’D LOVE TO SEE HER DO A TRACK WITH RICO. WHAT IS THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL SESSION? DO YOU EAT, DRINK, SMOKE ANYTHING, IS THERE EVEN A BIT OF YOGA GOING ON BEFORE? OR DO YOU TURN UP ON A WIM?
M: I think it is good to be calm and not having a million things going on in your head. You really need to be in that room, you can’t be sorting out a bunch of other stuff when you are in there. Some sessions are just me and the artist., and I love that vibe because we can really connect. When I had a session with Ari Pensmith, it was incredible. We did 4 songs that day, and he laid down that hook on Selfish. P-Lo was down straight away, there was no thought behind it. He just did it, and that’s sick.
R: WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE TRYING TO GET INTO PRODUCTION?
M: I feel like, if it is something you want to get into for fun, then experiment as much as you want. If you really want to pursue it as a career and stuff, the most important thing is dedication and hard work. You really have to make a lot of sacrifices, a lot of nights on your own learning how to make something sound good.
R: WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU AND YOUR CABIN COOKUPS?
M: I have the third single from Dead Sweet coming out very soon. Then I have a bunch of production cuts for artists,. One that I have been a massive fan of for a while. There should be another cabin cook ups coming out next month too.