Ahead of his time in every sense, Montell2099 has been building otherworldly universes with his progressive, genre-bending electronic music since emerging on Soundcloud in 2015. The visionary production powerhouse based in Auckland, New Zealand has quickly transformed from a shy, small-town Māori boy to signing with American electronic maestro RL Grime’s coveted label Sable Valley, receiving co-signs from 21 Savage, Netsky, Mura Masa, What So Not, Alison Wonderland, Charli XCX, and more, and commanding stages worldwide.
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Following Montell2099’s immersive 2020 short film, Live from Karekare, which saw sacred Māori indigenous land on the west coast of New Zealand become the visionary electronic producer’s stage as he performed a live DJ set – Montell2099 has shared a new surreal follow-up short film, Live From Lake Alta in The Remarkables mountain range in the country’s South Island.
The same way he showcases New Zealand on the world stage through his music, the mesmerizing visual finds Montell2099 leaning proudly into his heritage, revealing more of the countries inimitable scenery, breathtaking views, and nature as his extravagant arena, from one of the most stunning and serene locations the world has to offer.
“The visual element of my music is super important,” says Montell. “And in a live setting the visuals are almost as important as the musical delivery. With my DJ sets I spend an incredible amount of time curating the journey – every drop has a purpose, and every breakdown moment is there for a reason. I always want to tell a story and take the audience on a musical journey and adding the visual element to this makes it more effective and helps immerse the audience into the world that we’ve created for them.”
He adds, “Whilst showcasing New Zealand’s beautiful landscape, I also wanted to play some unreleased tunes and touch on the music we enjoy down here at the bottom of the world.”
Live From Lake Alta finds Montell2099’s exhilarating electronic frequencies set against the chilling atmosphere of icy mountain ranges (that once set the scene of some epic moments in the legendary Lord of the Rings film series), golden hour sunset scenery sloping into brooding nightfall, and isolated snowfield surroundings, captured from a bird’s eye view.
Warming up the minus-zero degree temperature with his scorching bass lines, slapping percussion, animated ad-libs, and exhilarating drops, the mix features tracks from Dimension, Sub Focus, Netsky, Glass Animals, RL Grime, Shouse, Clean Bandit, Kid Laroi, over a range of remixes, previously released singles, as well as teasing a series of brand new unreleased material. Montell2099’s goose-bump inducing set mesmerizes from a triangular lighting installation designed by world-renowned lighting and stage design wizards Human Person (Drake, Travis Scott, Billie Eilish), who previously worked on Montell2099’s Live From Karekare short film and live festival sets, alongside local Dunedin show designer Jade Fraser, Below Studios, Tom Tom Productions, and Higher Ground.
“One of the biggest takeaways from our first shoot in Karekare was how the intense environment really leant itself to Montell’s music, so as his new music evolves into a heavier place, we wanted to find a location that was even more extreme, and a mountain in the middle winter felt like the perfect fit,” says Ben Dalgleish from Human Person, the creative team behind the production design and lighting design of the shoot.
Continuing to take his music and live show to even grander heights, Live From Lake Alta is another showcase of Montell2099’s art transcending conventionality and pushing the limits of the traditional live show experience.
A nod to Montell’s vision and creativity, the breathtaking video is being hosted on Trap Nation’s Youtube channel, a global hub for the best in electronic music – sporting over 30 million subscribers and counting.
The release of the video will coincide with a drop of limited edition t-shirts, from which all profits will go towards The Kea Conversation Trust, a charity supporting the native New Zealand bird that once populated The Remarkables region but is now nationally endangered.
Ahead of his time in every sense, Montell2099 has been building otherworldly universes with his progressive, genre-bending electronic music since emerging on Soundcloud in 2015. The visionary production powerhouse based in Auckland, New Zealand has quickly transformed from a shy, small-town Māori boy to signing with American electronic maestro RL Grime’s coveted label Sable Valley and commanding stages worldwide.
After joining forces with close-collaborator Netsky on ‘Broken’ and sharing solo singles ‘Tested’ with Juelz and ‘Blicky’, this year alone, Montell2099 has played on some of the world’s biggest international stages. In July, he made history becoming the first ever New Zealand act to play Belgium’s Tomorrowland Festival, before embarking on 30+ North American show bookings with headline and festival moments, in addition to direct support for RL Grime on numerous Sable Valley Shows.
Continuing to push the limits of the traditional live show experience, this year Montell2099 also shared a surreal new live short film, Live From The Remarkables Ice Lake in New Zealand, the follow-up to the artists 2020 Live From Karekare short film, which has amassed over 250,000 Youtube views. The hypnotizing new visual created by stage production/lighting design geniuses, Human Person (Travis Scott, Drake, Billie Eilish), was shot in the South Island’s famous Queenstown mountain range, The Remarkables, finding Montell2099’s exhilarating electronic frequencies set against the chilling atmosphere of icy mountain ranges. The mesmerizing live set showcases an exhilarating range of new unreleased material taken from Montell2099’s forthcoming highly-anticipated debut album, due for release in 2023.
Co-signed by RL Grime, 21 Savage, Netsky, Mura Masa, What So Not, Alison Wonderland, Wilkinson, Charli XCX, Dimension, and many more, Montell2099 has been building a monstrous presence in the electronic realm since he was fourteen when his grandfather loaded up FL Studio on a computer as a distraction. “I spent my teens locked away making music,” Montell laughs. After high school, he took the risk of pursuing a career in music full time, moving to Auckland city where he was soon offered a radio show on George FM, New Zealand’s #1 Dance and alternative station. It didn’t take long before Montell2099’s talents caught international attention, and soon he was invited to multiple showcases with the infamous LA label Soulection, as well as scoring direct support sets for world-class producers including Kaytranada, Metro Boomin, and Sam Gellaitry – not to mention his coveted feature with Atlanta rapper 21 Savage, ‘Hunnid on the Drop’, a dark electronic/trap crossover released as his official debut single in 2017. Blending bubbling VST melodies, manipulated vocal snippets, and booming bass hits, Montell2099 is shaping the sound of the future with his genre-bending force, daring frequencies, and dizzying, club-ready dynamics. Whether it’s exhilarating hip-hop edits or mind-bending future bass beats, Montell2099’s artistry always aligns with cutting edge innovation, amassing over 22 million streams across his discography.
In late 2019, American electronic god RL Grime announced Montell2099 as the new addition to his label roster, Sable Valley. Hot on the heels of the new label signing, Montell2099 shared his debut EP FORCES in early 2020, a five-track cosmic odyssey venturing into the unknown of electronic. Led by singles ‘STARS’ and ‘BURNA’, the project also includes standout RL Grime feature, ‘RUSYNTH’, a collaboration showcasing the stellar musical chemistry between two distinct and dominant world-class beatmakers. Prior to his first official body of work with FORCES EP, the 23-year-old producer released official remixes 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 ‘IDKYA’, Charli XCX x Troye Sivan’s ‘2099’, and was blessed with a remix of his track ‘Hunnid on the Drop’ by Mr Carmack. Before the pandemic, Montell2099 spent most of his 2019 touring America in support of RL Grime, Boombox Cartel, Sam Gellaitry, Luca Lush, and more. Prior to this he performed at Red Bull’s 30 Days in LA alongside Charli XCX and SOPHIE, and in Atlanta with Cut Chemist.
Opening the portal to the next dimension of future-looking electronic music, Montell2099 is readying to give us a glimpse into the future once again as he continues to craft his highly-anticipated debut album, set to land in 2023.