Thee Zac Monson
Thee Zac Monson is an artist originally from Ottawa, Canada. Now living in Montreal, he is evolving in different areas of the music industry. He’s a musician, a songwriter, a producer, a host, a content manager. Besides his projects at Stingray Music , Zac also works on his own as a music producer. Truly passionate by what he does, Zac has always told me to do what we LOVE and to do what makes us happy. He couldn’t be more right. His talents are undeniable, and I am thrilled to share with you his story.
Introduce yourself. Where are you coming from? When/How did you get into music?
I am Thee Zac Monson. I’ve been in Montreal for 6 years now but grew up in Ottawa. I started with music when I was a kid doing musicals (yikes) and then picked up the guitar at about 13. When I was 17 I started Playing bars for a few years before discovering the art of production and electronic music at 20.
You are a content manager, a host, a producer, a songwriter, a musician… What do you like doing the most? Why?
They are all such different gigs. I love my job with Stingray Music as a content manager for the Dance Clubbin and Eclectic Electronic channels. I get the chance to give up-and-coming electronic artists a place to be heard when they might not get that chance anywhere else. Hosting Stingray Music’s Pause/Play series is also a great way to spend my days. I get to sit down with big name artists and dig into what makes them tick and why they got into music in the first place. When it comes down to it though, writing and producing is my true joy in life .I could sit in my studio for 12 hours straight and barely notice the time go by. If I could write music as my full time gig I happily would.
Tell us a little bit about your interview show. What can we expect to hear in your show?
I’m super lucky to be the host and producer of Stingray Music’s Pause/Play show. We invite musicians form around the world to come and PAUSE with me, talk about their music and their lives. Then they PLAY some of their music for our fantastic staff.
Everything is on our youtube page soon to be spread to other media globally. Keep an eye out for us in the future.
I try to dig a bit deeper than just “ tell about your new album” in our interviews. I like to know about artist’s lives as people and why they do what they do. How they write… how they produce… who they would love to work with… what they can’t live without on tour…I like to get to know the people behind the songs.
We have been growing a lot over the last year and I hope to continue our success in the future bringing our audience bigger and better names every time. I’ve had the pleasure of sitting down one – on – one with artists like LIGHTS, Judy Collins, Dillon Francis and Stromae. It’s a fun way to spend my work day!
You are also a great music producer. When did you start making beats? What’s your favorite thing about it?
Thanks for liking my music! I write for myself in mind. If other people like it, that’s a huge bonus. I went to school at Recording Arts Canada in Montreal for Sound Engineering about ten years ago. We had a class on Propellerhead’s Reason software. Since the first day of that class I have been addicted. I spent about 7 years sitting in my studio with Reason every single day. It gives me the ability to write any style of music that comes to my head, which is what I love. I try not to stick to one genre or style. Whatever happens in the studio happens. Whether you’re feeling happy or sad or lonely or sleepy… there is always music to be made to fit your mood and the world around you. It gives you the ability to express so many different things.
Is there any struggle when making music? How do you get through it?
The major struggle with writing music is trying to be new and fresh. Since everyone and their uncle has a home studio now, it’s hard to come up with something that hasn’t been done before. I just try to ignore what everyone else is doing and write the music that feels good to me in the moment. If it sounds like someone else, too bad. If it’s new and different, all the better.
How would you describe the Canadian music market?
The Canadian music market is much more powerful than I think people give it credit for. Canada has a wide range of terrific musicians. From our folky roots to our blues to our rock and now our electronic scene, we have incredible talent. Take a listen to artists like Adventure Club and James Deen, Bynon and Sultan & Shepard, these guys are on par with any electronic music out there.
What is the best advice you have been given?
Stop caring about what people say about your music. If you like the music you create, then it’s good music.
Who do you look up to?
It’s so cheesy, but I look up to my wife. I’ve never seen a harder worker in my life! She truly gives me the strength and confidence to just keep writing and producing all the time. Everyone needs someone to help push them along and encourage them and she does just that for me.
What would you say to someone who wants to pursue his dreams?
Just f*cking do it! There is nothing else to say really. If you want something just go for it, work at it, don’t stop trying to do it. Take one step at a time, tackle each obstacle as they come. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with “why am I not at the point I want to be at yet?!” The only thing stopping you from becoming exactly what you want to be, is when you stop trying to get there.
And on the opposite, what would you say to someone who wants to stop you from doing what you love?
Nothing. What’s the point. Your dreams are your dreams. There will always be haters and people who don’t like what you do.
Do it for yourself, not for anyone else.
What’s YOUR dream?
I just want to keep writing music. I would love to write with other artists and help people shine. I’m not about being an onstage presence, but I do want to be a part of it.
If I could write music and make enough money to pay my bills and take my wife out to dinner now and again, I would be the happiest guy out there.
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