And he shall make mu­sic wher­ever he goes

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS -

Name: Mike Mon­son Age: 28 Po­si­tion: Free­lance pro­ducer/ au­dio en­gi­neer/mu­si­cian

Job de­scrip­tion: What I do is al­ways evolv­ing — never the same from day to day. Some days it’s strictly ad­min­is­tra­tive tasks. Other days I’m en­gi­neer­ing a ses­sion in the stu­dio or pro­duc­ing on a set. Throw in a pile of edit­ing, com­pos­ing and mix­ing, and that would be an ac­cu­rate de­scrip­tion of an av­er­age month for me.

How did you come to be in this job?

To be hon­est, a lot of it was fos­tered in me grow­ing up in a fam­ily of mu­sic lovers. I de­cided af­ter high school that I wanted to be a part of some­thing cre­ative and ex­cit­ing, as op­posed to en­joy­ing it from the side­lines. A pas­sion for mu­sic and film bul­lied my log­i­cal and aca­demic mind into sub­mis­sion, and I opted for an ed­u­ca­tion in mu­sic and tech­nol­ogy, as op­posed to some­thing more safe and se­cure. This ca­reer has kept my work life in­ter­est­ing (for bet­ter or for worse).

What gets you up in the morn­ing? A per­co­la­tor and two shots of espresso. Also the fact that every day is dif­fer­ent, even when it’s the same project or client — the con­stant va­ri­ety is what drives me for­ward. I love meet­ing new peo­ple, forg­ing new con­nec­tions and am ad­dicted to learn­ing, both new meth­ods and old.

Les­sons learned? The value of a well-built net­work and the abil­ity to adapt to wear­ing mul­ti­ple hats when the sit­u­a­tion calls for it. I wouldn’t be able to make a liv­ing if it wasn’t for loyal clients, and I wouldn’t have met or ac­quired those loyal clients if I didn’t value any and every re­la­tion­ship this ca­reer path has di­rected my way. In the mu­sic in­dus­try, now more than ever, ev­ery­one is es­sen­tially an en­tre­pre­neur and the suc­cess­ful ones can do (and learn to do) mul­ti­ple things very well.

Roots: I was born and raised in Hamil­ton (cen­tral and west Moun­tain), at­tended the Mo­hawk Col­lege mu­sic pro­gram and then moved to Lon­don to at­tend the Mu­sic In­dus­try Arts pro­gram at Fan­shawe be­fore re­turn­ing to Hamil­ton. I lived in West­dale af­ter my post-sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion and am now set­tled in the Du­rand neigh­bour­hood.

Con­tacts: mike@mike­mon­ ; www.mike­mon­ ; www.face­­son.332 ;­sta­ mike­mons.

Groups and as­so­ci­a­tions: SOCAN (So­ci­ety of Com­posers, Au­thors and Mu­sic Pub­lish­ers of Canada), PRS (Per­form­ing Right So­ci­ety) — U.K., MIA Alumni (Mu­sic In­dus­try Arts — Fan­shawe), Small Busi­ness En­ter­prise Cen­tre.

Favourite place in the down­town: Greg Mal­lia’s loft on James Street North, fol­lowed by The Brain and a slice of “The Saltlick” pizza from Knead.

What would make Hamil­ton a bet­ter city:

Aside from every live mu­sic venue in­sti­tut­ing a manda­tory Par­lia­ment Funkadelic night, I be­lieve that the city needs to ad­just its fo­cus and en­ergy from at­tract­ing new peo­ple, to ad­e­quately tak­ing care of those who al­ready call Hamil­ton their home. The num­bers of peo­ple liv­ing in poverty and/or af­flicted by men­tal ill­ness are stag­ger­ing, and many have lived and even at one point worked here for longer than we have. I re­ally be­lieve that a city’s strength can truly be mea­sured in how it ad­dresses and ef­fec­tively reme­dies th­ese types of weak­nesses. What’s next for you? I hope to con­tinue to do what I love, in the city that I love. New ex­pe­ri­ences and new chal­lenges are the most at­trac­tive prospects for me, and the con­tin­ual healthy growth of my busi­ness within Hamil­ton is my ul­ti­mate goal. That, and a va­ca­tion home in Mal­lorca (go big or stay home!).

If you know a Hamil­ton Pro­fes­sional who would make a good can­di­date for this pro­file se­ries, send an email to shen­der­son@thes­


Mike Mon­son, 28, is a pro­ducer and au­dio en­gi­neer.

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