Interview: John Monkman

London-based artist John Monkman is the founder of Beesemyer Music. His unparalleled musical productions are signed to global tastemakers such as Kompakt, Ellum, Crosstown Rebels, and Anjunadeep. He is an exhilarating live performer, bringing his vast array of captivating tracks to life in a thrilling presentation of sound and emotion. With a recent single “The Foundation” out on his label Beesemyer, we caught up with him to find out how his year has been, and what inspired the new release…

Hey John, how are you, how has the year been?

Hey, thanks for having me. Coming out of the restraints of Covid, I’d say its been a year of growth… a kind of rebirth.

How different is the music you make and play and listen to in summer vs winter?

My music isn’t seasonal 🙂 My intentions are always positive and that emotion isn’t limited to a certain month.

What’s the aim with your label Beesemyer – what music do you look to put out?

From the outset it was never about being constrained to one genre or style – The quest is to find unique sounding, electronic music – I am open to everything – originality is key.

How do you judge success, is it by sales, high profile support, or do you only care about you liking the music?

Good question – this is something that needs constant work – I’m at my happiest when working on music that I truly connect with and has me buzzing. Then, playing that music on a big sound-system, seeing how the sound interacts with people is fascinating. If a song does well in the charts, obviously it’s a nice feeling, but that is short lived – as I continue the journey deeper, I’ve learned to not get disheartened if a song doesn’t sell or chart well, as these aren’t metrics of what I consider a good song or success. High profile support is an interesting one…again, like the chart, it’s nice to see someone playing your music – regardless of their stature – what’s great is the network effect – by playing my music to their fanbase, it gives my music more reach.

How important is artwork, format, merch, that sort of thing, or is it just about the music?

I studied design at University and continue to work on visual projects , therefore the visual element is high priority – It’s always integral to the releases to add that extra layer, to help tell a story.

What inspired your new tune The Fountain on the label?

It started with sampling old operatic vocal performances that I then mangled. The results of this provided me with interesting textures and emotions to play with.

What gear do you use in the studio and does that matter? Are you a software or hardware sort of guy?

I’d say I’m 80% in the box  – this year has been about moving to ibiza-  I’ve therefore been mostly on my laptop. You can do pretty much everything in the box, however  I do miss/enjoy  the tactile interaction with a physical piece of kit. I’m always on the hunt for standout bits of outboard – I’m about to get the UNO synth which I’m pretty excited about.

What else have you got coming up/are you working on?

I’m currently deep in the studio working on a larger body of music for next year that will make up my new audio visual live show. I have a new remix of Duran Duran I made with Pete Tong coming out soon. Gig wise, I’ll be in Morocco for New Years and then heading  back to Australia early January for Rainbow Serpent.

John Monkman’s “The Fountain” is out now on his label Beesemyer
Grab it here.