And he shall make music wherever he goes
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: firstname.lastname@example.org ; www.mikemonson.ca ; www.facebook.com/mike.monson.332 ; www.instagram.com/ 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 email@example.com.
Mike Monson, 28, is a producer and audio engineer.