His original track “Jump” currently has 21.2 thousand listens on Soundcloud. That’s almost a thousand listens for every year he’s been alive, and he’s only been producing for a year and a half.
Disconnect is an up and coming bass music artist has found his way into a promising place in the EDM industry.
Disconnect, better known by friends and family as Michael Montaperto, is 23 and comes from Santa Clarita, Calif. He may spend his days working as an Account Associate at State Farm, but in his spare time, you can find him producing heavy dubstep, riddim and drum and bass tracks that’d turn your mind inside out.
I interviewed Montaperto to get a better understanding of how he found himself where he is now this quickly and successfully.
How he started:
Montaperto first introduced himself to working with music in the ninth grade (2007) when he took up drumming. He and some friends started a few bands but essentially all that ever came out of them were some jam sessions. His taste in music was mostly heavier, like metal.
It wasn’t until 2010 when he was introduced to electronic music, dubstep specifically, by some friends on their sound systems.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with dubstep, think heavy bass lines, deep wubs, and occasionally some weird noises thrown in to the beat. But really, emphasis on the heavy and deep.
“It was kinda like the metal version of electronic music,” said Montaperto describing dubstep. “So it was just kinda an easy transition and ever since then I’ve just been hooked on it and just finding as much as I possibly can.”
He began to envelop his life into the scene/ industry. He started researching as much as he could and eventually picked up the hobby of DJing.
Another side note here – DJing refers to the live aspect of electronic music, were tracks are mixed together and configured into a set.
Picking up on DJing rather quickly, he soon decided he wanted to learn the production process behind the tracks he loved. A very involved and time consuming decision.
He began to self-teach himself with some mentoring from a close friend who had years of experience and, although also self-taught, was very advanced technically, according to Montaperto. This mentor really lead the way to where Montaperto needed to be for his next step.
After about a year and a half of research and practice, Montaperto felt ready to move forward and attended Matrix Sessions, an L.A. based school that offers 2-hour, one-on-one time with professional producers and audio engineers. These sessions ended in August 2016.
During the sessions, Montaperto was working at an incredible rate and producing some great stuff. After the sessions? He’s been making quick progress and his workflow has improved.
“A lot of people pride themselves in not having gone to school, but there’s just a lot of things it can do for you in this industry and I’m very glad I did,” he said.
Research, knowledge and skill aren’t the only things necessary for a producer to crank out songs. A fast, capable computer is necessary as well. So, he bought an iMac.
On top of that, you need to have lots and lots of time.
“They say you need about 10,000 hours behind a computer, in the studio, actively producing to be able to get to the ‘professional level’,” said Montaperto. “I don’t even know how long I’ve been doing it. Maybe 1,000, maybe. That’s how I feel in comparison to the pros.”
Currently, Montaperto spends about 32 hours a week at his day job and then comes home to his music, sometimes sacrificing sleep and staying up until 1 or 2 a.m. His rule is at least 4 hours a day, Monday-Thursday and Sunday. Sometimes, when his creativeness is flowing, he can go for 6 to 8 hours at a time.
Montaperto is influenced by many different genres of drum styles: for example, 70s rock like Rush and heavier music such as death metal. He tries to emulate this in his electronic music production. Of course, he is inspired by current EDM bass artists like Excision, Bassnectar and Datsik as well.
“We all use the same tools and everyone does it so uniquely and so differently and everyone has their own tricks and it’s just really interesting to see kind of what people can do. It’s like a blank canvas and we’re all given the same things and people just are able to do crazy, different things using very similar gear and techniques. It’s just mind-blowing in my perspective.” — Michael Montaperto
What he’s working on right now:
Wondering what Disconnect’s music sounds like yet?
You can listen to his single Jump (21.2k listens) or The Riddim is Near (16.2k listens), along with all his other productions here: https://soundcloud.com/disconnect_bass.
On his Soundcloud, you can also see his Discovery Project submissions to Insomniac, in which he creates a set and enters it into a contest where he could be discovered by one of top EDM promotors.
Upon graduating from Matrix Sessions, Montaperto began mixing and mastering other people’s music as a side job. He continues to reach out and make connections to others in the industry in this way.
He also is part of a small group of underground bass music artists that have secured a following in L.A. and their names have been growing.
He began playing shows in July 2015. What started out as opening slots in which people weren’t even allowed into the club until halfway through the set turned into him opening for Bare Noize at Union Nightclub on December 7, 2016 in front of almost 1,000 people.
Where he wants to end up:
“The shows in the L.A. scene are key right now to building an L.A. following but really the main goal is to get noticed by Bassrush, Insomniac’s brand of bass music promotions,” said Montaperto. “If you get sucked into Bassrush, you are sucked into the festival cycle and just going all over.”
This would be a crazy good opportunity for Montaperto since a part of him does feel like being a touring DJ would be fun. It would be an endless possibilities of shows.
Touring isn’t the only goal for Disconnect though. Eventually, Montaperto hopes to work for or own a studio and ideally, gain enough of a following to have other producers seek him out in order to have it be a full-time income.
Listen below to find out how his success makes him feel and why he loves doing what he does, straight from the man himself: