I specialize on Instrumental Hip-Hop, Boom-Bap, Lo-Fi Hip-Hop and have experience in electronic-leaning music, with more than 6 years of experience making music. +15 million streams on Spotify as Cheap Monk and 40+ independent releases under different aliases. Working at my own home studio in Málaga, Spain.
Just like a rock fan would pick a guitar, I picked a DAW at 2010 and started learning how to make electronic music. I was very into the EDM at that time and was really curious to see how these artists made their music. At first it was just a hobby, but after years of messing around with FL Studio I started to hone my skills and develop my sound.
Fast forward to 2018, I had been listening to a lot of 90s Hip-Hop, I decided to change my alias to 'Cheap Monk' and start putting out music more seriously. After two years, I ammounted more than 15 million streams on Spotify, most of those coming from 100% independently produced and released songs.
Today I want to put my experience in mixing and mastering Electronic and Instrumental Hip-Hop music at your disposal. I'm lucky enough to have been able to fund my own home studio, and have it equipped with high-end gear. I believe music-making is a collaborative effort, so I'll do my best to be communicative and take your song where you want it to be.
Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.
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Interview with Cheap Monk
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Whatever is available! I firmly believe in the phrase "it's the ear, not the gear".
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'll do my best to deliver a great-sounding product and I'll try to be as communicative as I can.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I'd love to know the influences in the record and where they'd like to take it, reference tracks are always welcome!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I really love the sound of Nujabes, Emancipator and Flying Lotus. I think these people succeded while also being themselves and pouring their soul into their music.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love the process. On top of that, I find really rewarding if I can help other artists sound better (no pun intended). I believe music is a collaborative effort from start to finish.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure the engineer you're hiring fits your style: if you like 90% of what they do, you'll most likely love the final result they'll provide.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Difficul choice! I'd say I would take my Adams, my Audiofuse, my PC ofcourse, Octatrack and Keystep.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Just like a rock fan would pick a guitar, around 2010 I picked a DAW and started making electronic music. At first it was just a hobby, I was curious about how the artists I loved made their music. After some years and a lot of practice, I saw that I was starting to develop my skills and sound. I had been releasing music just for fun and changed my alias a couple of times, around 2018 I decided to start releasing music seriously and changed my alias once again to Cheap Monk. I loved, and still do, learning about the process and different approaches to making music, so I experimented a lot when developing my skills, allowing me to have an eclectic mix of tools and approaches.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I'd say it's a mix of the rawness of 90s Boom-Bap and the layered and progressive composition of Electronic music. I've been heavily influenced by artists like Nujabes, J Dilla, MF DOOM and Madlib on the Hip-Hop side, as well as Porter Robinson, Emancipator and Deadmau5 on the Electronic side.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Definitely Emancipator and Flying Lotus, they make different styles but both come from Instrumental Hip-Hop influences. I really love what they're bringing to the table and are two of my main influences when making music.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: When mixing Hip-Hop (specially Boom-Bap and Lo-Fi) ALWAYS check the level of your snare and see how it sits in the mix. One of the most common mistakes I see beginners make is to have their snares too loud and piercing, tame it a bit or it will ruin your whole song!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Most of the time I focus on Hip-Hop-oriented music, in the style of 90s Boom-Bap with an electronic touch. Usually music thats sits more on the laid back side.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I like to make sure that the song is loud enough while keeping it dynamic, not overcompressed. I pay a lot of attention to the drums and how they sit in the mix, having them punchy enough but not taking too much space, letting the rest of the instrumental shine through too.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For mixing I believe is key to always have the bigger picture in mind, so I usually don't process the stems listening to them individually, I prefer to make each change with all the stems on and see how they affect the overall sound. Each song is different, but I usually start by checking the levels, then EQ if necessary and finally compression and FX. For mastering I usually start by listening to the overall sound of the mix and comparing it to my reference tracks. As always, each song is different, but I like to start with EQing, them compression and finally a bit of saturation, then check the loudness and see if I need a limiter.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I'm currently working at my home studio, here in Málaga, Spain. Through the years I've managed to build it up thanks to my music income. I'm currently working with a pair of Adam Audio A7X, an Audiofuse from Arturia and a pair of Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro for my mixing and mastering process. I also frequently use a Maschine MK3 and Electron Octatrack for production purposes.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: As of the time I'm writing this, I haven't had any clients, but I'm involved in the creative process from start to finish when I make my music.