Co-signed for by 21 Savage, Mura Masa, What So Not, Alison Wonderland, Mr Carmack, Sango and Soulection co-founder Joe Kay, Auckland-based beatmaker/DJ Montell2099 is one of the most exciting new electronic music talents to emerge from New Zealand in recent years. Mixing bubbling VST melodies, manipulated vocal snippets and booming bass hits, his idiosyncratic productions ripple and thud with club-ready swing and funk.
His most recent single featuring 21 Savage titled ‘Hunnid on the Drop’ received millions of plays online, and support from Pigeons and Planes, XXL, Genius, Complex, Hypebeast, Hot New Hip Hop and more. With a taste for genre bending releases, Montell2099’s mantra is simple – surprise his listener on every corner.
Following this, the 21-yr old producer released an official remix for Lorde’s ‘Green Light,’ Diplo x Trippie Red’s ‘Wish,’ RL Grime x Jeremih x Tory Lanez ‘Undo,’ Netsky ft. Bazzi and Lil Wayne ‘IDKUA’ was blessed with a remix of his track ‘Hunnid on the Drop’ by Mr Carmack, and spent the majority of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 on foreign soil, touring in support of Boombox Cartel, Sam Gellaitry, Luca Lushand more. Prior to this he dipped his toes in the water performing at Red Bull’s 30 Days in L.A alongside Charlie XCX and Sophie, and in Atlanta with Cut Chemist.
To date he has also featured at notorious Brownies and Lemonade shows where many of todays biggest acts have cut their teeth.
Montell2099 has been around music production equipment since childhood. When he was fourteen, his grandfather loaded up FL Studio on a computer and dropped him in front of it. He never looked back. “I spent my teens locked away making music,” Montell2099 laughs. After high school, he had three choices. Stay in Katikati and work as a fruit picker, move to the nearby town of Hamilton and live with his mother, or head to Auckland, attend an audio engineering course at MAINZ (Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand) and pursue music. With some encouragement from his grandparents, music won out.
Within months of moving to Auckland Montell2099 was offered a radio show on George FM, New Zealand’s #1 Dance and Alternative station, playing songs that have inspired his own music. Very soon after he found himself performing shows alongside some of his musical influences, including multiple showcases with infamous LA label Soulection, and direct supports for Kaytranada, Metro Boomin, and more. Alongside this he also shared the same bill at major festivals, Rhythm & Vines, and Northern Bass with the likes of Chance the Rapper, Zhu, and Hudson Mohawke.
In an era where musicians often lean on gimmicks to market their work, his focus is quality. With tens of millions of plays online, Montell2099 is connecting on the strength of his music alone; and he’s only just getting started.