Mondo Loops is a guitarist and music producer from the North West of England. Specializing in neo-soul and jazz style guitar he blends this with the mellow sound of lofi hip hop, releasing with labels such as Lofi Girl, Chill Beats and Universal Music. More recently his style as taken a cinematic turn with recent EP Forest Tales capturing the warmth and character of cinematic score music. Mondo Loops also has a YouTube channel where he shares beat breakdowns, tutorials, and live jams to his music, with around 25k subscribers and growing this is becoming a key platform for his work. Check out the exclusive Interview with guitarist/music producer ‘Mondo Loops’ below:
1. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started?
Mondo Loops: I’m from a town called Chester in the UK, it’s quite but really nicely located a short distance from Liverpool and Manchester, which are both great cities for music in the North of England. I’ve played guitar for as long as I can remember really but around 2018 I decided I’d start to try and make a little money from it online to fund a new guitar purchase [I only really had entry level gear at this point] this journey would eventually lead me to my current situation of making music online full time. I mostly write stuff for lofi hip hop labels at the minute most notably for Lofi Girl [formally chilled cow]
2. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
Mondo Loops: I had some lessons to kickstart my guitar when I was younger but other than that I’m self taught in guitar, piano and music production. Though there are so many resources out there for all of these that the process is really doable for anyone with drive to pick up an instrument / production.
3. Who were your first and strongest musical influences and why the name ‘Artist’?
Mondo Loops: The influences who really changed my sound are artists like Bonobo and floating points, they both make such magical music that combines electronic sounds with organic natural textures which Is something I am always trying to develop in my own music! Not to mention too many great artists and friends who motivate and inspire me within the lofi scene like Kanisan, L Dre, Bcalm and more!
4. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how would you personally describe your sound?
Mondo Loops: I like to think I bring a more electronica and cinematic sound to the lofi world, my goal is to take the softness and mellow nature of lofi hip hop and infuse it with other genres I love.
5. For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you? How would you describe your own development as an artist and music maker, and the transition towards your own style, which is known as INDIE?
Mondo Loops: I think for me the process of merging different influences really leads itself to originality. For me I came from really a blues / jazz background with guitar so my leads for lofi beats always had that flare embedded in, while I wanted more of a soft soulful style in my music I just couldn’t avoid some blues guitar licks meshing in. This I think lead to my unique style of guitar.
7. Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfilment as the amount of work you are putting into it, or are you expecting something more, or different in the future?
Mondo Loops: I always have new projects and ambitions in music but the fact I can wake up and create as a job is hugely fulfilling to me. I feel lucky to be doing this and fundamentally my main goal is to be able to keep on doing this for the rest of my life.
8. Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a tune, a beat, or a narrative in your head? And do you collaborate with others in this process?
Mondo Loops: I love working with others when I can, this is usually when I get the most joy out of the creative process. I try and write something new everyday, especially on the days I’m really not feeling it. I think it is a skill in itself being able to write on demand so this is something I am always working on. As a guitar player most of my ideas start noodling on the guitar, this is where I feel most comfortable.
9. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
Mondo Loops: Honestly the hardest part was getting started, I know some musicians who had rocketed into success quickly but for most my friends in the scene, it takes time to build that initial fanbase so it requires resilience and self confidence to make music that people might not necessarily listen to for some time / if ever. I’m glad I overcame this but starting a new alias soon so the process begins again!
10. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?
Mondo Loops: I recently hit 250 million streams on Spotify, while I usually try not to obsess over numbers too much, this felt like a really big milestone for me and It’s so surreal imagining all the places in the world people have listened from.