Montshodaw is an artist we came across in 2018 that really left his mark on us. His project “The Realms…Realm 1: Ima Rise” was a journey that featured strong storytelling and a combination of soundscapes unique to the artist. For someone newer to the scene it was a well polished idea that earned some fanship from us. He has now returned with a new single for the season titled “Da Summer”.
On the new release he links with singer Kearial Carter for a spirit-lifting tune that is replay worthy. With his skill still improving after all of this time we sought out to catch up with Montshodaw to discuss the single, what’s been going on in his life over the course of the past year and more. Check out the full Q&A below:
So the last time we spoke one on one was April of 2018. How has life been since then?
Its been good. I have had the opportunity to complete some projects, one of them being this release. I have also started a couple new ventures outside of music (book and dramatic series). Although they are only in their embryonic stages I’m optimistic that they will be born.
How have you progressed musically since that time?
I would say that since that time my person has seen the benefit that can come from working with others to bring a project to life. Being able to work together with someone harmoniously and work through moments of disagreement without resorting to elements of negativity like anger, sly remarks, etc. is one of the most musically progressive things to experience.
Do you feel your project "Realm 1" was a success in your eyes? Did it connect with listeners in a way you would have hoped prior to its release?
I do think it was successful. I say that because the feedback my person received was one that indicated those that listened to it really appreciated the project. For instance, one person that bought the album, to my surprise said that one of his favorite songs was “Super Hero”. He said it made him think about his role as a father and taking care of his children and family. That was uplifting to him. So yeah, I think it was a success.
What do you think you were able to learn from the release?
I learned that it is more about the relationship you have with people or they have with you or your art (be it through listening to previous music or real life encounters) that motivate others to consider giving one’s project a listen. I further learned that there has to be a balance between the logistics of delivering a completed project (promos and all) to the world and taking care of family/personal needs. It’s easy to go too hard for too long because you want to meet a deadline and place undue stress on the mind and body and potentially neglect other things that need one’s attention.
You’re back again with your latest single, appropriately titled “Da Summer”. What was your vision for the single sonically?
With this single I wanted to create a song that encapsulated the excitement, fun, and warmth of summer. The song is supposed to give one an sense of freedom from whatever may be considered a burden. It is designed to be able to move the listener into a more relaxed, confident, place of enjoyment… Wait wait! More accurately, it’s suppose to convey that “I’’m out of school for the summer freedom and its on! Can’t nothing bring me down cause I’m good” feeling that most of us experienced in high school at the end of the school year, you know? To me that was the epitome of the feeling of summer.
Of course you linked with the talented Kearial Carter for the track. What was it like working with her and what made you seek her skill for the single?
First off I have known Kearial for a while. I wanted to work with her partially because I heard at one point she wanted to be a singer and really enjoyed it but somewhere in life she lost the fire or her confidence in her ability to be an artist. So I wanted to try to help maybe spark her interest again…. Working with her was interesting and I think a moment of growth for us both. I mean you know I wrote the song a certain way and she was like, “ummm.. some parts I don’t know. Can I change it up a bit?” I was like “change it?”. She say’s, “yeah, sing it differently.” Sometimes one’s ego can get in the way and be like “I wrote the song to sound like this.” However, I was like, “Alright let’s see what it sounds like.” And…. Well, it was one hundred times better the way she worked it… So it was a good experience.
I love the happy vibes around the track, which is something you actually have a good knack for. Would you say you create based on your mood at the time?
Mood at the time definitely plays a part in the process. However, in many cases I think it may be more of inspiration than mood. I say that because my person can be feeling upbeat, which I usually do and create a song like “Wut day say”, which has a slightly dark production, slightly. So. Mood is a factor but inspiration plays a heavy part. I’m willing that answer wasn’t too muddy.
What is special about the summer season to you?
Man.. the summer is just the most energetic time of the year. It’s the time to do things, be active and link up with others. If there is a family reunion its likely in the summer. On another note it’s a time when you can take stock on how far you have cone along in regard to projects and changes you wanted to or are working to make happen within the year.
Is this track the sign of a new project to come or just a one-off release? If it is a part of a project what more can you tell us about it?
You know, I initially thought of it as a nice one time release. However, my person and Kearial have been considering some follow up material.
As someone who is no stranger to collaborations are there any artists, either major or indie, that you have on your wish list of features?
I would say Stick.man of Ded Prez.
Outside of what has already been mentioned what do you have planned for the remainder of 2019?
I do have another single due to be released toward the end of December. It’s a collaboration with Deshawn Findley, a producer at Wordizbon Productions out of Jacksonville, Florida. I think it was a nice synergy and it’s different for me to not be the only producer on songs I do.
If you could listen to only 3 albums for the rest of your life what would they be and why?
I would choose OutKast “ATLiens”, my album “The Realms: Realm 1”, and “Learn to Meditate” by Ra Un Nefer Amen… and this is why.
I choose ATLiens because that album helped me see that it is ok to do what others are not doing, be “different” and it is ok to not follow the crowd. I choose my own album The Realms not for self aggrandizement but for the fact that it allows me to take note in part of my progress in life and in more of its entirety my progress and development in music creation. It would be used as a reminder of my maturation process. Lastly, I would chose, although technically speaking its not a music album in the since of entertainment, Learn to Meditate by Ra Un Nefer Amen. The learn to meditate music and instruction will help assist me to cultivate the ability to remain centered with inner calm and peace in life’s challenges.
Do you have any last words you would like to share before we conclude?
I appreciate the time you took to talk to me. Further, I would like for everyone reading this to check out the single and the video, follow and/or like Montshodaw on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. and “be Peace.”