Sound Gallery is a Fuss feature where we interview a DJ or producer and invite them to curate a mix which exhibits their style, skill and talents. In this edition of the Sound Gallery we feature producer and DJ, Sean Munnick (pronounced Seen Munich). We discuss his various projects, his fallen brother, releasing on Dirtybird records and what else to expect from him this year.
Who is Sean Munnick and how is he involved in Nigurr and Munnibrotherz?
I’m a DJ/beatsmith in the industry for about 10 years now. I started of as DJ Sean in 2006 and I’ve been producing since 2002. Munnibrotherz kicked off in 2010 when me and my DJ partner Robin Muniz (Rob Deep) decided we were going to try and put our town on the map by releasing a string of EP’s, not knowing that we would hit it big within the first few months of the new joint alias by signing our first EP to Dirtybird Records in the U.S .
My other alias, Nigurr, actually came about in 2012 due to frustrations with all my submissions to Dirtybird being rejected. This made me feel very disappointed constantly. I decided to delete my personal Soundcloud account and start afresh with a new name just from the top of my head. I also wanted it to be a secret alias, but as soon as I started dropping the Nigurr tracks in clubs people eventually caught on to it.
Talk us through your early relationship with music as a listener. What was the first genre of music you really enjoyed and what was the first piece of music you can recall paying for?
Growing up in the 90s I was surrounded with my aunt’s House cassette tapes including Mr Fingers, Outthere Brothers, and more like them. I guess house was my first genre I enjoyed. The first time I bought music was in form of vinyl. I actually bought the Bart B More – So It Goes EP on vinyl.
Eventually your relationship with music evolved from listening into creating. What was it that made you want to create music?
This probably evolved from chopping on desks at school and seeing who could ‘kap the best beat’. I was never the best at this but I always listened to how the other guys chopped and tried to tweak their ways of doing it. At high school, when technology evolved in South Africa, I managed to get my hands on Fruityloops version 1 and I’ve been teaching myself ever since.
Your departed brothers track, “J’Adore” was nominated for record of the year at the recent SAMAs. Tell us a bit about your relationship with your brother and how he influenced you?
My brother was actually there all the time since I started fiddling on Fruityloops. Even though he was the younger sibling I always asked for his take on what ever I came up with. Later in life after building from my unfinished projects I learnt a lot from him including little shortcuts and different ways to make some things work. We became each others critics for every track we made approving the tracks before allowing other ears to hear the creations.
The music you make can be placed under the large umbrella of house music. Tell us a bit about the influences and characteristics of the your specific brand of house music?
The music I make has wide influences. Like there could be something that sounds like a Kaytra bassline with a Justin Martin beat, or even a Mowgli kinda bassline with a Black Coffee beat. I’m not saying that I’m biting off them but that’s kinda what it sounds like in my mind’s ear.
When it comes to Nigurr, I always add heavy bass and all the elements I’d like to hear at an underground vibe.
You have released some music through Dirtybird records. How did that relationship come about?
It’s actually a surprising story of how it came about. Robin mailed Justin Martin [Dirtybird co-founder] one of our tracks on Facebook and then Justin replied with how it went off at an event he was playing at. Of course not long after Justin handed it to Claude VonStroke [Dirtybird co-founder] who also played it out and then mailed us to get the tracked signed with an additional track for the EP.
Briefly tell us about your production setup. What hardware and software do you use for producing?
I have old school club speakers in a room with 2 bass bins for my sound output. It’s a regular bedroom producer setup and I’m still using Fruityloop 11 on my Windows laptop with an M-Audio Keyrig49 midi keyboard.
How do you go about producing a song? It seems sampling plays a big role in your production style.
I always start with my beat. In the end the beat would probably have been changed like 10 times. Sampling I don’t always do but I lay sampled vocals over a track sometimes. I basically just do what I feel in the moment. No real formula to it.
Producing or DJing? Which do you prefer more and why?
Producing over DJing for me. That same amount of time I spend in the club could’ve been spent on making a big track. But DJing is also one of my favourite things to do.
Describe your favourite DJ gig you’ve had and name some of the venues or parties you’d still like to perform at?
I think my favourite gig was at Rocking the Daisies last year. Just stepping out the car and entering the party area already brought joy. A major party I’d like to do is definitely Ultra even though I don’t exactly have that EDM thing going on. One of my big dreams is for a Boiler Room or Mix Mag slot.
What have been your favourite releases so far this year? Both local and international.
Locally, Black Coffee’s entire album [Pieces Of Me]. Internationally, hands down it’s Kaytranada’s 99.9%.
“Dance to my beat” was featured on The Fuss list last year. Which of your tracks do you enjoy listening to the most?
I enjoy listening to “Dance to my Beat” as well. I also released a mixtape/beat-tape in December 2015 with the launch of my website.
Which of your tracks are you the most proud of production-wise?
Tough question to answer, but I always feel most proud of the latest track I put out. I never intend for it to sound like one of my previous tracks.
What else can we expect from Sean Munnick for the remainder of 2016? Any plans to release an EP?
There have been talks of an EP release with Stay True Sounds and more labels as well. I am working on new material currently so I’ll have to decide what goes where. I’m also planning to release a new mixtape/beat-tape towards the end of the year, SPT_sound 2, and it will also be available for free download on my website.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/268255169″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]