Q-Tip, Rakim, Madlib, and even Ghostface Killah are names in hip-hop that I have grown to know and love, regardless of how peculiar it may sound trying to explain it to my grandma. The day you check the net and see the name “Cookie Monster Galaxy” appear on your sound cloud is the day that the other names sound like Mike and Steve on paper. Admittedly, that name caught my attention and led me to my 3rd crusade through the rocky fixtures settled on the Milky Way. The first track I was introduced to was a dedication to the late Nujabes which meant that this kid had a lot to live up too. And how did he measure up? Pretty fuckin good if I had to make the effort to reach out and see what this guy’s deal was. Cookie Monster has a new age intergalactic feel with a hint of an old school vibe as you listen and make out some of the choice samples like David Ruffin. I think the only thing more exciting than falling back and letting myself go on that trip is just how exciting the French Native is. Luckily for us at rocbottom he let us speak with him about his latest Martian journey, “Name On A Cloud,” and gave us the inside scoop on the day in the life of another unfamous explorer who deserves a little more recognition in our book.
Professor Lunchbag: So first off, tell us where you’re from? Do you get a chance to be home often?
Cookie Monster Galaxy: I’m Cookie Monster or Cookie Monster Galaxy, I’m a composer and beat-maker from Paris (France) . I am 20 years old, and I’m in a management and business school and during my free time I compose « Instrumental music ». I am often at home because my recording studio is in my apartment … in my room! *Laughs* All the work I do is going into a recording studio. I create my covers for mixtapes in my studio, I made my instrumental in the studio, I look after the publication of my mixtapes on different sites and social networks in my studio, and I create my video clips in my studio. I like working alone.
PL: The first track I ever heard from you was a dedication to Nujabes who is a producer that holds a special place in my heart for various reasons. As an artist, how did his music help to influence and encourage you?
CMG: Nujabes for me is the greatest artist of all time… I mean it! I am a long time fan of the Modal Soul and Metaphorical Music album! This is one of the few artists who makes me fly into the sky with a soft melody, but mostly superb collaboration (Cise Starr/FunkyDl/Shing02/Uyama Hiroto / Lady Brown / Substantial). When I started music in 2009, my dream was working with him … I had a lot of grief when Nujabes was gone … I actually cried … I found it to be very nice from production hideout for giving the opportunity for a fan to write a letter to family and friends of Nujabes. Thank you to hydeout production!
PL: Who are some other notable figures in music that you look to for inspiration when making your own?
CMG: The artists who influence me enormously are :
Nujabes, Funky DL, A Tribe Called Quest, Shing02, De la soul , Patrice Rushen, Nobuo Uematsu, Uyama Hiroto, Jay Dee, Big L, The Pharcyde, Common, Mos Def, DJ Premier, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong , John Coltrane, …
PL: Looking at your name and the cover of Good Galaxy, what is your connection to space? Does it often come into play when you think of making music?
CMG: I am very pleased with the final cover of “Good Galaxy.” I am very attached to this mixtape since it was my first mixtape. I remember that I had spent time on creating this cover … about 10 hours *Laughs* … Seriously … 10 hours of work for the cover, but I am so pleased with the end result!
My connection to space is that I’m a dreamer. Since I was little, I watched the moon systematically saying “Who Does the top?” Yes, because on my first mixtape I wanted to make instrumentals that people traveling in space listen to. Primarily on the planet Orange, on the cover. A good galaxy is what? This is just the story of someone who was sick of the earth, builds a rocket, and flies into space to meet people living on these different planets. Then he accidentally crashes on an orange planet, of which the name is “Good Galaxy.”
PL: The thing that brought you to my attention was your name!! How did you manage to come up with Cookie Monster Galaxy? Was that your first choice for a name?
CMG: I found my name Cookie Monster Galaxy with my girlfriend. I like Sesame Street . At first, my artist name was « Crouakmusic » and after few months, I saw an artist with the same name and the more. I was not too comfortable wearing this artist name anymore. Then one day I was watching TV and I saw an episode of Sesame Street with cookie monster. Here is where the name comes from … I like cookies too.
PL: What is the hardest part about producing music? Do you think only a certain type a person can produce music?
CMG: The hardest part is to have the inspiration … Anyway for me it’s the hardest part … I think everyone can learn to play the piano and compose something that is dealing with his piano and his akai. The Akai-akai MPC or MPD, is not a simple machine with buttons … These machines are very technical. I remember that it took about 5 months to acquire the techniques of beat-making … I have also learned to play the piano in my room alone in 8 months. I am not Mozart *laughs*. I can not read partition so I had to learn by myself, thanks to the sound of the keys. That’s a lot of work, all day every day… I think everyone can learn to compose an instrumental, it just takes the perseverance, motivation and inspiration. “The instruments have a soul, if you can communicate and get along with them, you can share your feelings in the world.”
PL: Making beats seems like a rather time-consuming process. On average, how long does it take for you to make a beat?
CMG: Usually, I produce an instrumental in 2 hours but it may vary … An instrumental can take me 2 hours, 5 hours, or 1 hour …Depending on where it’s made in. If I have a certain facility for this instrumental, it will take me too much time (1 hour and 30 minutes) but if I have composed the instrumental complex it may take up to three hours …What I like most is being in my studio, and taking all my time to make a quality track! I just love being in my studio that I never see the time spent! *Laughs* Yesterday for example, I had gotten up at 7 am because I had an idea for an instrumental … It took me 3 hours but I do not regret the end result! The track was: “Beautiful Cloud” from “Name on a Cloud” mix tape.
PL: Sometimes the best things happen to us when we’re not even trying. How often have you completed a really good beat and it had been something you did almost on accident?
CMG: *Laughs* Very good question! Hummmmmm…. yes, it is a good question… It reminds me of an instrumental that I made by accident, it was the track “That Girl” from “Galaxy Good” mix tape.
PL: Do you go back and listen to your own music often? Does it ever help you with up and coming work?
CMG: When I do an instrumental in the studio, I listen to it about 10 times to see if there’s not a trick to add, or there’s not a mistake somewhere. Then when I post on SoundCloud and YouTube, and I let people listen.
PL: Although somewhat spacey and abstract, Good Galaxy had a very soulful, almost familiar feel to it. What can listeners expect from “Name on a Cloud”? Would you say this is a new direction for you?
CMG: Good galaxy for me is my little baby …*laughs*
With my new mix tape “Name On a Cloud,” I wanted offer the public instrumentals including Jazz and also Hip-hop, with a twist of soul. I think my second mix tape “Name on a Cloud” offers more instrumental work. But I can not forget that “Good Galaxy” was my first mix tape, it was my start in the music world. So for those who have followed “Good Galaxy” don’t worry, this second mix tape will make you travel … But this time in the clouds! “Good Galaxy” happens in space … “Name on a Cloud” in cloud , and I’ll let you guess for my future mixtape …
PL: What kind of feeling do you get when you finish putting together a really nice project such as the one you just finished?
CMG: The first thing I think of is … my bed! I joke! You know when I put my first mix tape online I had no pressure, because it was made by chance, that I posted my mixtape “Good Galaxy” … My best friend Seyl told me:
Seyl – “Dude, your instrumentals are great, you have to do a mix tape to show your work to the public”
Cookie – “Are you serious dude? But who would pay attention to a mixtape of instrumentals … and especially a
guy came out of nowhere that they don’t know at all …”
He insisted, and I posted my mix tape on SoundCloud. It was crazy. Five days after, on December 13, 2011, I was elected SoundClouder of the Day by Jane Shin, a girl who works in the offices of SoundCloud, and the number of readings just exploded! I got more access on my account in one day … It was incredible! When I post a mixtape I say “Thank God, the public will enjoy my work,” because even if I spend over 100 hours in the studio to finish a mix tape, the public can enjoy it. But even as I do so for them, I do it for me because I like it!
PL: Go through your iTunes. In order from last to first, what are the top 25 most played tracks in your playlist? Does this say something about you?
CMG: Top Itunes :
- Miles Davis « Blue in Green »
- Ahmad Jamal « The world is a guetto »
- Nujabes « Feather »
- Nujabes « AI-NO-KAWA »
- Shing02 « Big city light »
- Uyama Hiroto « Ribbon in the Sea »
- Nujabes ft. Funky DL « Dont even try it »
- A Tribe Called Quest « Bonita Applebum »
- A Tribe Called Quest « Electric Relaxation »
- Curren$y « Elevator music » and « Address »
- J-Dilla « Anti – American Graffiti»
- J-Dilla « Dont Cry »
- Kid Cudi «Pillow Talk»
- Kid Cudi «Man on The Moon (The Anthem)»
- Pogo « Wishery (Disney Remix)»
« I have just 15 favorite tracks »
PL: Any last words for us?
You can follow me on any social networks “Cookie Monster Galaxy”.
This is my first interview and I want to thank rocbottomreport.wordpress.com! If you have time, you can access the site’s articles about great artists! Hope you all liked “Name on a Cloud” Mixtape! Peace.
It’s truly a blessing when you have a chance to connect with a dope artist. It helps to remind us all that they come from all places and that their real people just like you. Be sure to show love back to Cookie Monster and download his newest work, “Name On A Cloud” . As always, I’m heading back to the shadows to see what else is being bumped before it gets to old. Stay classy. – Prof. Lunchbag