Monty Guy

 

Drawing on rich musical roots, personal instinct and a healthy dose of pop, new pop artist Monty Guy brings a style all his own- and fans of his new single ‘What You Do To Me’ all across the world are loving it.

Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, Monty Guy has been balancing life responsibilities with his creative drive for years, but has recently found his musical interests evolving and expanding. This evolution, it turns out, has been the conduit for an exhilarating journey to the threshold of worldwide recognition. Critics of Monty Guy's award-winning work recently had this to say about the rising star: ‘Monty Guy delivers a compelling and distinct album with enchanting piano, graceful synths, and flawless arrangements tying it all together; each song richly worthy of mention.’ Added to these honors, his debut radio single ‘What You Do To Me’ is rapidly ascending the international charts. Reporter Andrew Edwards recently caught up with Monty Guy to learn more about this intriguing pop artist, his unique musical vision and plans for the future.

ANDREW: Let's just get this out in the open- What is the craziest thing that has happened to you in your music career?
MONTY GUY: Being listed on the Grammy Awards Entry List, being invited to participate as an artist in the Grammy Award Celebrations, and being an award recipient in the Akademia Music Awards.

ANDREW: Your song ’What You Do To Me’ is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
MONTY GUY: I was shocked and totally blown away. It was unbelievable that strangers heard my song and liked it so much, that they played it on the radio. Of course, as a music fan, I tried to listen to this new tune to gauge my own reaction and level of appreciation, but as the Artist, I found myself fussing about what I could have done better to please all the music fans who were listening to my debut single. Still, the prevailing thought was one of appreciation; I was grateful and delighted to be a part of a "nice" song that was being well received.

ANDREW: What was the inspiration behind your debut radio single?
MONTY GUY: While rehearsing one rainy night in preparation for the new album "Intergalactic Tour and Showtime Review", I noticed water dripping from the ceiling; obviously from a leaky roof. Roofers attempted a repair (twice) that was unsatisfactory. The leak persisted, resulting in a hole in the ceiling. Rehearsals continued. During another rainy night, I looked at the hole in the ceiling. I was exasperated, annoyed, and distressed. I had to gain control of my emotions, as I was looking to infuse the new album with Love. The lyric came to me "It started as something I was feeling, While staring into space through the ceiling". Instead of being upset and distracted, I redirected my mind and creative energies to creating a feel-good, uptempo love song. The finished product is "What You Do To Me"; my debut radio single.

ANDREW: It is often said that great art arises from difficult experience. Is there something in your life experience thus far that you would describe as the ‘catalyst’ or ‘fuel’ for your desire to create music?
MONTY GUY: I have always been a fan of music- all genres. I started my first band as a singer/guitarist in London as a teenager. While in college in Philadelphia, I played drums in various rock/jazz combos. After graduating from college, and enjoying,my first job, I went to New York on my own to seek greater opportunities. Things were not going well. I saw what I thought to be the downward spiraling of my Life. I was down to my last one hundred dollars; and no job. I figured that if this was the 'end', then I would try something I always wanted to do. I wanted to find out how they made all those records I bought during all those years. I took the hundred dollars and bought a guitar and a mini amp and started to look for a groove. The passion took over; there was not a moment to lose. The landlord was closing in. Faith took over. I went looking for a studio on Broadway in Manhattan. The owner/engineer asked me what I was trying to accomplish. I told him that I wanted to put a band together to make a record. He gave me a phone number to a trumpet and saxaphone player as I stated that I love brass. I called the men. They invited me to audition at the famous Cotton Club in Harlem, New York. I asked for a drummer and a bass player. I showed up and strummed a couple original songs like there was no tomorrow. The band joined in. I found my band. They praised my enthusiasm; if not my neophyte skills as a guitarist. They brought in an excellent guitarist for me. We made three albums together. I kept pushing (after the landlord allowed me to reside elsewhere). I met Joe Franklin, the TV Icon in New York. He inspired me, and invited me to appear on his show many times. I did not know it at the time, but a GRAMMY AWARDS invitation was 'just up the road apiece'.

ANDREW: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician? (Ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving, complicated…)
MONTY GUY: First, I'm a music fan. I love melody, variety in form, composition, and style. I love good lyrics, and exciting orchestration. I love a hot band, and a spectacular orchestra. I'm a push over for a solid, tight, clean groove. So my passion is to be a part of music creativity that includes all these elements. Of course, outstanding musicianship has to be augmented with phenomenal engineering to enhance the listening experience; while showcasing the artistry of the skillful musicians. I aspire to include all of those elements in my own music productions.

 

ANDREW: What has your experience been like working with the other people on your team?
MONTY GUY: I feel that the results speak for themselves. The musicians realized quickly that I enjoy originality and skillful playing. I enjoy showcasing their abilities. The engineers know that their contribution is critical to the experience of creating an excellent music listening experience. Graphic artists see that I am passionate about presenting a nice "show and tell' product for the fans. A remarkably satisfying visual/auditory experience in sound presentation; that's what I'm pursuing. The respective professionals in the creativity process see that purpose, that passion in our projects; at least, I hope so. Working with the other professionals has been exciting, purposeful, and rewarding. We're finding a good groove.

ANDREW: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?
MONTY GUY: My father bought me my first guitar. I heard later in Life that he was a well regarded soloist in the church choir. He always walked around the house singing lines from Nat King Cole songs. My first cousin displayed a passion for music, and sang a great baritone. He loved the golden oldies. He inspires me.

ANDREW: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging?
MONTY GUY: Creating an original music production that is well received and appreciated is a wonderful accomplishment; to my mind. The most challenging aspect of creativity in music production is to create new, fresh, original, interesting, engaging, and varied compositions that are well liked. Finding and producing fresh, palatable material is always challenging.

ANDREW: Who are your role models in music?
MONTY GUY: Everyone who has tried to create a tune. Of course, I cannot say that I love everything and everybody; but I admire their passionate attempts. I enjoy orchestrated music, Doo-Wop classics, pop, rock reggae, classical, secular, Big Band Swing, R&B, indigenous tribal musical expressions. Count Basie, Duke Ellington, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Tito Puente, Sam Cooke, Nelson Riddle, Quincy Jones, music from Jamaica's Blue Beat era with Prince Buster, Tommy McCook and the Supersonics, I could go on. Music is all over.

ANDREW: Describe your best or most memorable performance.
MONTY GUY: Every performance has its own magic. I enjoyed the concerts that my band (The Cosmos) produced in London when we were kids. We invited other bands to play. We provided music for solo singers. Our first band open contest was a performance disaster; still, the wonderful audience gave us an enthusiastic and spirited round of applause as we completed our 'shot' despite obvious on stage equipment malfunctioning. The 'Night Of The All Stars' concert in Brooklyn, New York during the early days went well with the song "Pain Of Love". The impromptu performance with Czerena Ali in Georgetown, as we sang "Your Precious Love" was a fabulous moment. The "live" studio recordings in New York while creating the first album are unequaled experiences.

ANDREW: What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance?
MONTY GUY: First, I would say "welcome to the club". From my vantage point, we are all unsure, and despite our relative accomplishments, we all need guidance. We have to listen...a lot. There are so many talented people out there. We can learn from everyone. Some have great stage presence. Some are in great bands. Some are great performers with orchestras; some with trios. Find out and understand what pleases you: as a fan, and as an artist. In what style are you most comfortable...AKA What is your thing? Practice. Dream. Enjoy your journey; most of it is away from observers, but always in plain sight to you. Fuel your passion. Like Michael Jackson suggested "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough". I think that most creators would say "Don't Stop"!

ANDREW: What's next for you as an artist? Is there a new single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
MONTY GUY: The current single "What You Do To Me" is from the new CD entitled "Intergalactic Tour and Showtime Review". The album has been accepted as a participant in the 59th Grammy Awards Celebration. We are hopeful that the songs "Hot Love Tonight" and the ballad "Love For You Is All My Fault" will win listener appreciation. Fans are now asking us about videos. Our main focus up to now has been to develop our style, and create a broad and varied catalog of original music. Our style is being called 'Easy Listening Orchestral Pop/Alternative Rock'. It has been a long time in development. We hope to keep it fresh while expanding our repertoire...our catalog. We will start on a new album production after the 59th Grammys. In the meantime, we want to thank our current and future fans, friends, and supporters, as we pledge to continue to create "Music That's Worth The Listening" experience.

ANDREW: Wow, that all sounds very exciting! Thank you so much for letting us get to know you a little better. I look forward to hearing and seeing more great things from you in the future.
MONTY GUY: Thank you for your interest and support, Andrew. I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me. Thanks for your enthusiastic and optimistic encouragement.

http://www.montyguy.com

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