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Conversations with Franky Montano

Today we’d like to introduce you to Franky Montano. 

Hi Franky, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I owe the start of my music career to my guitar teacher freshman year of college. I would credit him by name but I don’t remember it; I only spent 10 minutes in his class before he told me to drop out. 

Best. Advice. Ever. 

Let me rewind a bit *spinback turntable sound effect*. 

I began my music production journey in high school, 5 yrs. before I actually got my hands on any music software or DAW. I started producing music in my sleep with a term I coined “Lucid Composition” or the act of consciously composing music while sleeping. 

One night while sleeping in the Spanish room (as I happened to be homeless at the time), I had my first lucid composition breakthrough. I successfully tuned my guitar in my lap (yes like that one movie: “August Rush”) to play acoustic melodies with my left hand and dubstep percussion with my right hand. For those of you tuining enthusiasts, my setup was: C-G-D-G-B-e, with capo 8 leaving the C string open. I spent the next 5 years honing my skills and perfecting my newfound craft. 

Fast forward to college. 

I’m registering for my first classes as a performing arts major in the wee town of Walla Walla, Washington. You can imagine the chuckles I got from my advisors when they asked if I read music and my response was: “Like notes?”. Truth be told to this day I can only read tablature, and to that, I apologize to all my piano teachers that have tried to teach me. Finally, after “learning” where middle C is, I got to take my first guitar class. 

I walked in, introduced myself, and the instructor asked me to play something so he can assess where to begin my lessons. After performing my dubstep slap-style guitar, the instructor just giggled. He sat me down and asked me that dreaded question: 

“What do you want to do with your life?” 

I told him playing music was my passion, my purpose, it’s what I was meant to do. He then proceeded to tell me that the only thing he could teach me was how to read “this stuff” (tossing a “Sheet Music for Beginners” book away). He ended by saying that if I want to play music, get out of here and go do just that – Go play your music. 

That was the spark that set the flame to what is now my music career. The motivation I needed to go from literally playing in my dreams to playing in sold-out tour shows. Lastly, it’s the one thing I want to leave with you the reader. 

Whatever your purpose is: 

Get out there and just do it. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
As with any career, if the road was smooth the whole way, you probably ended up at the wrong place. 

The hardest thing about being a full-time musician for me was the finances. 

I quit my job as a carpenter 2 weeks before covid shut down the US. I got hired at 3 DJ companies just to be let go at all 3 within 24 hrs. 

I had lost all chances of making any sort of means for cash flow in an economy that was impossible to find a job. 

The biggest thing that helped me was to think of finances as just numbers. Numbers are less intimidating. Numbers are workable. 

Always remember where there’s a will, there’s a way. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I love what I do. 

I produce, compose, perform, DJ, and play a few instruments. 

I definitely specialize in guitar, specifically the lap-style percussion guitar; that is what I’d say I’m most known for and what sets me apart from all the other artists. On top of guitar, I play a handful of instruments including piano, cello, djembe, ocarina, and a few others. 

I’m not sure I have one definite that thing I am most proud of, but I will say I am most thankful for the friends and family I made in the music industry. Surrounding myself with positive, like-minded individuals will always be the best musical decision I will ever make. 

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
I wish I had a sole mentor, a Mr. Miyagi of music to my Daniel-san. Truth is I learned most of music producing and DJ-ing from reading and YouTube. The learning curve has been slow and frustrating at times but 100% worth it. As with any art form, the thing that helped me the most was just keep creating. Constantly. My greatest moments of progression happened when I was constantly working towards something. 

As far as networking, the biggest thing you can do is move to a place where the scene you want to thrive in is thriving. Lucky for me, I was born and raised in arguably “the bass capital of the world”. Regardless of titles, the EDM scene in Denver is plentiful in events, people, and opportunities. Social media can only go so far. 

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Image Credits

Corrie Curry

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