The art of Beatmaking | Interview with Mononome

  • Describe your sound in 3 words.

Nostalgic, soulful, dirty.

  • In which city are you located? How do you relate to the Greek music scene?

I was born and raised in Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece. There has been an active Hip-Hop scene here for nearly 30 years now which kind of paved the way for Instrumental Hip-Hop producers and beat-makers. There has been a bloom regarding the latest in the past 9 years resulting in Greece being a tour destination for a lot of people who are making and are into this kind of music.

  • Your music is heavily based around sampling. The art of sampling changed dramatically in recent years. Today there are platforms offering sound recordings in a netflix style subscription-for-access model. How do you think having such an easy access to samples affects the quality of produced music?

Easy access is always a good thing. In my opinion, though, tools don’t make the craftsman. One can make good quality music using limited equipment and the other way around. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how you did it, what you used, and how many hours you spent on a project. The only thing that matters is coming up with good music while enjoying the process.

  • Do you like the idea of collaborating? Is songwriting a lonely process?

I love the idea of collaborating although it’s not always the easiest thing in my opinion. You have to be in the same “spot”  as well as communicating effortlessly with given collaborator. Songwriting can be both lonely and collective of course. Although when it comes to a solo project, I personally believe that it’s a deeply lonesome process.

  • When it comes to live perfomance, is realistically instrumental hip hop a genre that can be performed live? What someone, who has not seen you performing live yet, should expect?

I would say yes. There are numerous examples of instrumental Hip-Hop producers performing their music live. A sampler as a stand-alone unit or even a midi controller hooked to any digital interface/sampler can act as an instrument. The essence is in how every other performer chooses to use that sampler/midi controller. You can either use it as a triggering machine and just press the play button or you can use it as an actual instrument and play with it changing through themes, scales, patterns, tempo e.t.c on the spot as you would with a guitar or a set of drums for example. 

  • What is your favorite album of the past year?

Sampa The Great – The Return

  • If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?

It would be the laws regarding sampling. I really can’t (or maybe don’t want to) understand how complex, outdated and unrighteous the whole system evolving around sampling is in our times. Sampling has been an art form for many years now, there should be more flexible and openminded laws without restrictions nowadays. After all, western music and all western music compositions evolve around 12 semitones. Everything around those 12 notes has been played and used numerous times by now so to me, it doesn’t really matter if you play it or sample it.

  • Which is the best hidden gem Greek Island?

Anafi island, Cyclades.

  • One last thing we should know about you?

Love cooking good food and taking long walks by the sea.

  • Thank you Mononome!

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