Sunday, December 6, 2020

Exclusive Interview with Nat Monday!


If you have been following "Pefecto Records", the label owned and operated by none other than legendary "Paul Oakenfold", you are certainly aware of the artists that have been invited to showcase their sound on the label throughout the years. One of its most defining artists that has remained firmly in the label family throughout the years is the talented UK DJ/Producer "Nat Monday". Nat started his journey into the dance music world early on and has certainly loads of mental souvenirs and accolades to prove it. As a DJ this globe trotter's passion for dance music has zipped him literally all over the world. Boasting world tours under such brands as "Ministry Of Sound", "Gatecrasher", "GodsKitchen" and "Perfecto Records" he has certainly spread his sound and love of dance music, educating the populous throughout his unique DJ sets. 

As a producer he has churned out a trunk load of releases which were instantly snatched up by the who's who of clubland and spun to their heart's content. Many of his creations have gone on to be dubbed ultra classics and have continued on carrying the title to this day. "Waiting" is a prime example. Living life in the fast lane lead him to greatness and instant recognition by his peers and fans alike. 

A few years later he slowed things down easing the pace and sought out other ventures.The years may have passed blissfully but music was never absent from his mind and soul. The craving to produce stirred deep within his being and it was only a matter of time till he took up his craft once more. People blessed with the gift of music, such as Nat, know very well that there is no escaping the need to express themselves via music thus unleashing the melodies confound in the depths of their soul onto the world. His recent productions "Inside/ Outside", "Slider" and "Lights On" has brought Nat back into the public eye, his hardcore fans rejoicing to see him back in the game. 

It was an honor to have had the opportunity to conduct this exclusive interview with Nat for "MusicTalk15" where we discuss his origins, tales from the past and his exciting plans for the future!


Question 1:

What was the key factor that ushered you to fall headfirst into the wondrous world of dance music?

One of the key factors I remember was hearing “The Last Rhythm-Vocal Battle Mix” at University while studying Optometry. It was at a student night and this was the first time I had heard music like it. I kept asking for it to be replayed. One of my good friends, Ian McClay was into dance music and taught me how to mix after taking me to the infamous "Hacienda" in Manchester for a night out.


Question 2:

Every artist draws on inspiration from artists before him which ultimately guide him into finding his own sound in the world. How did you come up with that unique sound that defines your productionsand which artists have inspired you along the way?

Growing up I loved listening to pop like "The Pet Shop Boys" and "Blondie". I remember my sister Celeste playing me the Oakenfold mix of "Deacon Blue- Your Town" and thinking this is amazing!

Later I was inspired hearing an "Essential mix" by "Snap" on "Radio 1" and also "The Goa mix" by "Oakenfold" which were truly groundbreaking at the time. My sound has organically evolved over the years from making music I want to hear, not necessarily by following the sound of the moment. At the start of the scene when I first started producing there was limited sounds and equipment, you had to make it up out of your imagination 


Question 3:

It’s no secret that one of the first artists to discover you and believe in your potential was the one and only dance music legend himself, Paul Oakenfold. Could you please share the story behind being discovered by him and becoming a part of the Perfecto Records family?

I ran a label called "Flammable Records" together with previous "Perfecto" artists, "Angeles". We used to send "Paul Oakenfold" all our vinyl tracks exclusively in the post before anyone else. He always supported our sound and often played more than one track in his mixes on Radio 1 and out at club nights. He has always been gracious with his support over the years and has been a mentor helping me develop as an artist. Becoming part of the Perfecto family started in a big part the night I met Paul’s tour manager, Tariq Ahmed and Paul in person at "GodsKitchen" in Birmingham 15 years ago. We had gone down to see Paul play and I met Tariq at the edge of the DJ box. We chatted most of Paul’s set and became good friends from there. Regularly talking on the phone and sharing music.


Question 4:

It is a solid fact that you have been widely recognized in the scene for your expert remix work, becoming the “go to” artist when needing a fresh and unique perspective on a track. Which remix out of the many you have worked on was your favorite to create and still resonates within you?

Faster Kill Pussycat” was my first big remix that I was really proud of. This was the start of many remixes to come. 

Question 5:

You had gone silent for quite some time. Many Perfecto fans had noted your absence and have been eagerly awaiting your return to the scene and Perfecto family in general. 2020 is what it is but we are all thrilled to see you back in action production wise. Will we see many more productions from you and do you have any special surprises in store for us?

Yes, I took a long break from music, almost retiring, I thought my music career had come to an end. Somehow, I just couldn’t seem to let music go and out of the blue Paul asked me to remix “Junk Project" and "Waterfall". Finally I felt everything was falling into place with timing and my sound and production. I have several big surprises in store for you all next year. I cannot talk about them yet, but I love them and hope you all will too! 


Question 6:

The first lockdown was devastating for the scene in more ways than one. One thing that really has helped artists push their sound and skills while connecting with their fans was performing live on Facebook, Youtube or Twitch. Many of us were overjoyed to see you perform again after all these years and I daresay your sets were flawless and packed with hidden gems. Any plans to make this a regular thing and perhaps we might get to see you performing at events again once all clears up, wowing the crowd as usual?

Thank you, I did a few Facebook live steams and Radio through Lockdown. I played mostly my own productions and enjoyed it. I would like to do more when I have the time and would consider DJing again if the time is right. I would also like to do more producer sets.


Question 7:

Many may not know this but you have a back catalog of unreleased material. Originals, remixes, bootlegs. Seeing as we have witnessed a number of forgotten tracks revived and released at last, is there any hope for any of those gems seeing the light of day?

I hope so, but many of my back catalogue is out of my control. I would like to see my mix of “Waterfall” released as I am asked about it all the time. Only "Oakenfold" and "Armin Van Burren" have a copy of it. I have been thinking about updating and also releasing some of my unheard original music on my new website


Question 8:

Years ago you launched your very own label “Flammable Records”. Are there any plans on reopening those doors once more?

No, "Flammable Records" will not be reopened as I sold that Label years ago. It was a great chapter in my life and lead to where I am now. I even met my wife on one of the Flammable Records “Built to Burn Tour” of America. For now I want to concentrate on the Nat Monday productions and website. 

Question 9:

Aside from music do you have any other interests or hobbies that you are passionate about?

We recently got a Tennis Table for keeping fit in Lockdown. When I was younger, I was ranked number one, in the under twenty-ones age group for Northern Ireland and spent many months in China and Spain training before I got into dance music. 


Question 10:

What software do you use when forging your eclectic tunes and which are your favorite vsts

at the moment?

Currently my main DAW is "Bitwig Studio", but in the past I’ve used "Acid", "Cubase", and "Ableton" to name a few. As regards to VSTs, there are too many to mention but some of my favorites are: "FabFilter Saturn", "FabFilter Pro-Q3", "ValhallaRoom reverb", "Waves plugins", "Spire synth", "Sylenth", and "Xfer plugins".

Question 11:

On many of your vocal productions you play the part of the vocalist as well as the producer. Do you also write your own lyrics and if so are any of them based on real life experiences? Timeless favorite for me is of course “Waiting”.

Thanks, unfortunately I am not a singer. I wish I could take credit for the singing and song writing skills on "Waiting" but they belong to my Flammable partner "Jay Welsh". He wrote and sang the lyrics. "Waiting" started out as the "B" side to my track "Nucleus" with a female vocal before we got Jay to re-sing it. We then released it through "Distinctive Records". Jay wrote all the Flammable lyrics and has a real God given talent for song writing. He is a true poet at heart. 


Question 12:

What would you say was your most special moment throughout your music career and for what reason?

The first time I heard Paul play one of my tracks on his "Radio 1" "Essential Mix World Tour" is a great memory. It was always a dream of mine to be signed to Perfecto. When this finally happened, it was a real-life dream come true. Being asked to remix 6 tracks on Oakenfolds "Lively Mind Album" was amazing. 


Question 13: Do you enjoy traveling and if so which are some of your favorite destinations and where would you like to visit once the world resumes normality?

Yes, I enjoy traveling. I have traveled all over the world with DJing and for pleasure. Luckily right before Lockdown my wife and I snuck in a week in the warm sun of Lanzarote and had a fantastic time visiting volcano, cactus gardens and caves. The world has a lot to offer and I hope to see more of it. 








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