MONSTA have been described as having the melodic synth thrumof Flux Pavilion, the tech-soul vocal drops of Moby and the reverberant snaresof trip-hop act U.N.K.L.E. -but their sound is instrument-based and largelysample-free and it was Skrillex who found them. The trio (producers Rocky and Rufio andvocalist Skaar) will release their first EP on the electronic dance music (EDM)star's indie imprint OWSLA this summer.
"I was at South by Southwest with my manager Tim [Smith] and a fewfriends," says Skrillex. "Tim says, 'I got something,' and pulls up[MONSTA's ‘Holdin' On’]. I said, 'That's a sick track and a cool vocal sample.Where'd they get that from? Is that Aretha Franklin?'’ But it wasn't a sample.It was Skaar's powerfully androgynous performance of an original song writtenand recorded by the group.
‘Holdin' On’ has all themakings of a radio hit-not only an irresistible vocal hook, but a completeverse-chorus-verse song structure. The EP boasts remixes from electronicmusic’s finest; Dillon Francis, Alvin Risk and even though he has turned downrequests from the world’s biggest stars, Skrillex has cleared his schedule toput his mark on the EP with an exclusive remix too (his last one won him aGrammy Award). "This is not your typical dubstep. A lot of that hasalready become cliché," he says. "This is next-level."
Signed to the same management stable as Chase & Status, Knife Party and SubFocus and remixing for artists such as Zedd, Labrinth and Skylar Grey; MONSTAhave been played by Zane Lowe on Radio 1 as his ‘Next Hype’ and featured by thelikes of NME, 1883, Disorder and included in Billboard magazine’s albums forSummer 2012, ‘40 Hottest Releases’. MONSTA are becoming a regular feature onthe club and festival circuit, having already wowed crowds at Camden Crawl,Wireless and Isle of Wight Festival and have been personally invited by Xfm’sEddy Temple Morris to play a coveted slot at this year’s sold out Secret GardenParty.
“As heavy in bass as it is high on life.” Zane Lowe
“His vocals are so raw and so pristine he can just walk up to any mic…. he justsounds like fucking angels are singing." Skrillex
“A unique and brilliant new sound: heavy and soulful.” NME