Who is Monexus?
Hip Hop Soul Experimental Producer Extraordinaire.
How did the name come about?
From High School. Me and a couple of friends formed a rap group. After playing with a bunch of different concepts, we settled on the name ‘Nexus’. I was doing a lot of the production for the group. A well known rapper in the city from the same school bought a beat from me and when he performed on it, he called my name out, including the name of my group “Mo-Nexus on the beat!”. It stuck and I rolled with it.
What made you choose the career that you are doing now?
I’ve enjoyed creating and playing music since I was a kid. From being in an orchestra to a marimba band, then to using a computer create. I tried the safe route, studied law and even worked in a firm for a bit. But when I wasn’t creating everyday, all the time, I wasn’t happy. I decided to dedicate myself entirely to the music. The more I got into it, the more I understood that just like any other business, you can make a livelihood from it.
Tell us more about your typical day.
I usually wake up around 7 am, the first thing I do is give thanks, hit the shower, have breakfast, spend the entire day in studio (until around 2 am) taking 20 minute breaks every hour. Time in studio is spent creating, listening, learning, practicing and having some serious fun.
Tell us about the best part of your work.
For me the entire process is exhilarating. There’s so much to do, so much to learn as an independent artist that most of the time I find that the biggest enemy is fatigue. As long as you’re open to it, there’s something new everyday. From putting together ideas from scratch in studio to editing press releases.
How would you describe your sound?
Neo-eclectic-pseudo-soul-electronica! It’s hard for me to place it. I create what I feel. It changes but I feel strongly based in soul music.
What do you use to make beats?
Most of the time just a laptop with Ableton on it, but I got a bunch of hardware I incorporate at times; Access Virus Synth, MPC 2500 and Korg Mini.
How/where do you see yourself/your work in the next 3 / 5 years from now?
Exactly what I’m doing now with just a greater reach. Location is not important, for me as long as I have the capability to put new ideas on ‘wax’, and improve and learn everyday, that’s all I want to do for the rest of my life. In the longer term, I will as well take up a mentorship role and sign upcoming artists with a similar mindset and work ethic, namely, to create not for radio or for so called commercial appeal, but rather based on what simply feels and sounds right.
Tell us a bit about your beat tape/album 7 of Cups.
It’s a journey. It really is more a showcase of 3 years in my life, with my bedroom studio packed up into my car, spending months on couches at fellow musos houses and growing immensely throughout it all.
Which producer/s inspires you locally and abroad?
Locally, I really dig Sketchy Bongo’s direction and sound. Mananz has been a favorite of mine for a minute now as well. He’s crazy dope. Internationally, Knxledge and Kaytranada.
Do you think producers get the recognition they deserve?
Nope. But that goes for a lot of the people ‘behind the curtain’. There’s a lot which goes into making a timeless record and some important role-players don’t get mentioned in the history scripts.
Where can people listen to more of you material?
On Bandcamp as well as on Soundcloud. Bandcamp: monexus.bandcamp.com
Are you open for any collaborations locally, if so which artist would you like to work with?
Yes most definitely. I’d love to work with Hlasko locally and Sango internationally.
If you were 80 years old, what would you tell your children?
Society has a way of making you do what it wants you to do because of its insecurities. Don’t listen to Society. Do what you love.
What song best describes your work ethic?
ASAP Ferg – Work!
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
In my car, I reversed into a pole last night. I blame the load shedding in Randburg, but heck in hindsight it was quite funny.
Where would you go in a time machine?
Back to 1994 - 1996. Across sprectrum (indie, altnerative, hip hop, soul, kwaito) I love what was happening back then.
What has been the highlight of your music career?
My DbS beat series was a big thing for me. I learnt a lot through getting it done.
Are you messy or a neat freak?
I’m a messy neat freak!
Are you a night owl or morning person?
Most of the time I’m a night owl but I kick ass as a morning person when I’m in the mood. I prefer finding a balance; some days spent till late, some from early morning.
If you were having a dinner party and could invite three famous people, who would they be?
Flying Lotus, Kanye West, Pharrell.
What is your favorite holiday spot/food/gadget?
I love cashew nuts.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
The artwork for DbS 7 The Crown ; I wanted it to look hood, but in hindsight maybe it’s a little too hood.
Last gift you gave someone?
It was an all-in-one 2 weeks ago; 6 Caramel Swiss rolls, 100% Strawberry juice and Cali cheese.
If this is our last ever conversation, what words of wisdom would you leave me with?
Stay Up (Viagra)