RB Exclusive Interview: The Makings of MIME
January 14, 2020
January 14, 2020
Jonathan Winter, or as his fans know him Going Quantum is a legendary artist who helped blossom electronic music into what it is today. Born in Vancouver, B.C., Going Quantum is best known for his weekly podcast that highlighted a different genre and hosted guest artists each episode. He was ahead of the game when it came to giving EDM lovers an outlet for discovering new music, starting his podcasts years before Diplo & Friends. Going Quantum has released numerous tracks through the Canadian label Monstercat, and has since worked his way up to the position of A&R (Artists and Repituare) within the company.
From making music to making a weekly show to streaming and winning tons of games of Fortnite, Going Quantum should be a name in everyone’s minds. I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Going Quantum about what makes him unique, whatever happened to his weekly podcasts, and what it’s like to help run the incredible Monstercat label. He is truly a master of the craft, and getting a peek inside of his world truly helps to understand just what makes Going Quantum the artist he is today.
You are one of the veterans in the industry since your debut on Monstercat in 2011. What made you want to get into making music and who how do you feel your music changed and evolved since you first began?
For the longest time, I was an avid listener of Electronic Music. I was then introduced to DJing by one of my best friends. I soon became obsessed with the idea of making my own mixes and performing live. While doing DJing live streams I met some people who became friends IRL and got me into the production side of things. When I first began producing, my musical taste was mostly focused on dubstep, whereas now I feel like I enjoy a much wider spectrum of music. My sound has been changing over the years and I like to think my production quality is improving as well.
For years the Going Quantum Podcast was a weekly haven for EDM lovers.. until they mysteriously stopped out of nowhere. What happened to the podcast and can listeners expect a return any time soon?
YouTube was the main platform for me to push out the Podcast to the listeners and I kept running into copyright issues even after clearing the rights to use the music. It was difficult since in many cases publishers control YouTube Content ID rights instead of the labels that signed the records. This added an extra layer of stress for me each week, and with operations ramping up at Monstercat I had more than enough to keep me occupied. I felt like my time was better spent building the label. Looking back, it was definitely worth it.
Your weekly Spotify playlist has been allowing listeners to take a peek into your musical taste since the ending of the podcast. How is the playlist different from the podcast?
I actively look for music each week, in the same way I did with the podcasts, and arrange the tracks in an order that would make sense for the listener. The difference is that I can push the playlist live to the public instantly instead of having to spend a lot of time mixing and clearing the rights to use the tracks in a mix. With the playlist on Spotify, the artists also benefit from the streams and make revenue, which is great.
You’ve been busy as the Director of A & R for Monstercat. What are some of your roles in this position and how does position compare to being an artist?
As Director of A&R I am in charge of deciding what ends up getting a release on Monstercat. I go through a lot of submitted music every day, a lot of artists and managers are sending in tracks, both from our existing roster and outside. I’m always searching for new talent to bring onto the label, and I work closely with our other A&R, Sacha, who is always doing the same. As an A&R it’s not just a matter of signing something or turning it down, there is also a bit of room to work with the artists to improve the music both technically and creatively to be more successful. Understanding the goals of each artist is the key. It’s a very rewarding job, as I’m able to work so closely with many talented artists and provide my insights to guide them when making decisions with their musical career. Knowing about music production and seeing things from the Artist’s point of view definitely helps with the A&Ring process.
When I was doing research for a previous article about Monstercat I discovered that you’re a twitch streamer. What are some of your favorite games to play and stream?
I just built a new computer recently and got into Fortnite (much like everyone else) and have been pushing myself to become a much better Rocket League player as I love the game. I’m not exactly a hardcore gamer, but rather enjoy playing games for the social aspect. Most of the time I’ll play with other artists or old friends I haven’t seen in a while. It’s a nice way to keep those relationships strong.
2017 was a huge year for Monstercat when the world’s largest festival Tomorrowland featured a Monstercat stage. What was that experience like and how has it affected Monstercat as a whole?
It was my 2nd time visiting Tomorrowland. Myself and a bunch of the Monstercat staff went a few years prior just for fun to see what it’s all about. Going back last year and watching our stage come to life was surreal. It was the icing on the cake for a very successful year we had with Monstercat events. Because of the overwhelming success, Tomorrowland has invited us to come back this year so we’ll be doing it all again! We’re ramping up our events this year. To see what we’ve done in the past and what we have planned check out: monstercat.com/events
What can listeners expect from Going Quantum and Monstercat in 2018? Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. Final words from Going Quantum?
Hopefully some more music from me. I have been working on a bunch of new material, but I am my own worst critic, so fingers crossed that I can convince myself to put something out, haha! With Monstercat you can expect a lot of familiar faces to be making a return as well as a lot of unexpected releases. With Instinct & Uncaged you will get a very diverse selection of music for any occasion. Thanks for having me.