Fresh from showcasing his new live show at Coachella and shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco, renowned London–based artist John Monkman returns to the spotlight with a signature warehouse weapon in ‘Ketosis’. Due for release June 8, on his very own Beesemyer imprint, the track is already seeing love from titans like Kolsch, Noir and Guy J. Taking a break from a heavy studio schedule, he took us through the process behind the track, his on-going work with Pete Tong and the development of his Beesemyer label.
We had the chance to talk with John about his new release.
Electronic Groove: Welcome John! What’s your schedule been like this week?
John Monkman: Hello hello, lovely to be here. It’s been a real studio rollercoaster – Monday was tweaking a new track I managed to test out over the weekend, tuesday was working on the new collab with Pete Tong, wednesday working on Flip-Flop. Thursday spent some time with a creative visual coder exploring ideas for an upcoming project and friday I’m back in the studio finishing off that track from monday which I hope to re-test over the weekend!
EG: You’ve recently returned to the UK after shows at Coachella and in LA and San Francisco. In your eyes, how does the US scene compare to that of the UK right now?
John Monkman: Thankfully both these scenes have their own unique character. The west coast right now is one of my favorite spots, it feels a little smaller than the UK but this just makes for more intimate events, which I prefer. Music wise – people are really digging the In-between vibes i.e music that sits somewhere between house, techno and progressive, which is where I like to explore.
EG: The next release from you ‘Ketosis’ is dropping June 8th on your own label Beesemyer Music. Can you share the inspiration behind the composition?
John Monkman: Laughs… I did a fast for the first time a few months ago, the goal at the beginning was to get the body in a state of ketosis. I wouldn’t say it was my inspiration but it seemed to be the dominating theme and quest for those couple days in the studio.
EG: It’s already seeing love from a range of heavyweights like Pete Tong and Kolsch. As a label owner, what role does strong artist support play in the success of releasing a track or EP?
John Monkman: Support from artists with big followings really expands the reach of the music and helps gain traction, which really reinforces the song’s story.
“I liked the idea of having some kind of old trance-like hook to evoke a tribal moment on the dance floor”
EG: Can you talk us through your mindset when you were producing the track?
John Monkman: I try not to over think the early stages i.e the creation part. I knew I had some festivals ahead so wanted something I would want to play out. I liked the idea of having some kind of old trance-like hook to evoke a tribal moment on the dance floor.
EG: How do you intend to develop the Beesemyer label over the coming months?
John Monkman: I’m working with Anaphase at the moment to get their next couple of singles ready. I’ll be releasing a single over the coming months and we’re finally getting the Beesemyer store up and running where you’ll be able to get prints and various garments that feature recent artwork from the label. Looking so good. Very excited about it.
EG: What is the biggest challenge about running your own imprint?
John Monkman: Time management is essential.
EG: What are the key characteristics that you look for when signing demos right now?
John Monkman: Without a doubt, it’s originality in composition and production.
“Support from artists with big followings really expands the reach of the music and helps gain traction”
EG: We caught a taste of the new collaboration in the works with Pete Tong on your Instagram. What can you tell us about ‘Doheney Drive’?
John Monkman: We started the track in Pete’s Los Angeles studio the week before Coachella. The main melodic hook is there which is always reassuring… We’re just testing it out in our shows at the moment, you can get a larger teaser from Pete’s recent back-to-back with Bedouin at IMS. It’s a long process, though; we’re making sure the structure is right before we sign it off.
EG: What else can we expect from you this summer?
John Monkman: In July I’m traveling to Beirut for HNGR, which I can’t wait for – I’ve always wanted to travel Lebanon so this will be a real adventure. Then back to headline a secret London show which I will announce closer to the time. August will see my return to Anjunadeep, where I’ll be releasing a new single track – Looking forward to being back on the label. I’ll also be heading back to the UK’s best outdoor festival Noisily. I’ll be playing a few times there, one of them will be curating the music for a special Breathe-work and sound experience with the talented Stuart Sandeman from BreathPod.
John Monkman’s ‘Ketosis’ is available. Grab your copy here.
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