1 Jul 2017

21-year-old Katikati bedroom producer taking the world by storm

From RNZ Music, 2:40 pm on 1 July 2017
Montell2099 and 21Savage

Montell2099 and 21Savage Photo: Supplied

Katikati native Montell2099, aka Montell Pinny, makes beats and puts them on Soundcloud. He recently helped produce one of only two remixes of Lorde's 'Green Light' and how has over 30,000 followers.

On Friday he releases 'Hunnid On The Drop' – a collaboration with world-famous rapper 21 Savage.

The collaboration came about after Montell got noticed by the Red Bull Sound Select programme, who teamed him up with 21 Savage.

“I still find it buzzy how far I’ve come in the past three years." says Montell, "I was making beats at my grandparents' house in [Katikati], then a couple of years later I’m in a studio in LA making a track with 21 Savage. It’s still pretty surreal."

Montell was approached by Red Bull Sound Select with the idea of a collaboration. He made a list of artists he wanted to work with, which included 21 Savage.

"When Red Bull told me he was keen, I went on a beat making spree! Within a couple days I had at least 20 ideas made for him."

"This is my first proper single as an artist so for it to be a collaboration with 21 Savage is so dope. I hope this inspires and motivates young kids from NZ to do what they love and follow their dreams.”

Between the exposure he'll receive through tapping into 21 Savage's fanbase, and Lorde tweeting that she loved his 'Green Light' remix, Montell2099 might be moving very fast from SoundCloud producer to international headliner.

Montell sat down with Music 101's Alex Behan to talk about his journey so far, working with 21Savage, and how that Lorde remix was actually totally illegal to begin with.

Red Bull Studios made this great short doco on Montell in 2016: