Monstercat Says EDM and Gaming Have More in Common Than You Think
After 5 years, Monstercat is more than just a music label.
The independent label from British Columbia has its sights on accomplishing big things. Aside from running a busy label with a roster that includes major names like Haywyre, Krewella, Marshmello, and Slushii, Monstercat is now conquering the event realm in a completely new way.
The imprint has already started to get involved gaming in the industry by introducing new fans to electronic music.
Which we have to admit, we're surprised that we didn't make the connection sooner.
Video games have long had an impact on music. We can all think back to the memorable theme song to Mortal Kombat that once opened us up to the possibilities that electronic music has to offer.
Today, that influence is even greater.
Increased technology has enabled gaming fans to connect with each other from around the world. This means, too, that electronic music is a vital part of the soundtrack for legions of gamers, with Monstercat tracks having been featured in games like Grabbitz, Varien, and Aero Chord. Aside from scoring soundtracks, electronic music is gaining exposure through platforms like Twitch. The web-based streaming gaming service are creating even larger social communities of gamers, and Monstercat is looking to be at the forefront of that community.
Monstercat is partnering with large gaming conventions like E3 and DreamHack, to produce their AFK events. AFK events occur alongside gaming conventions to feature performances from electronic acts like Krewella, Pegboard Nerds, Pierce Fulton, and more.
But this isn't your typical big-name EDM event. With AFK, Monstercat is bringing an online community of friends and fans into the real world. By stepping away from the basic "industry vibe" Monstercat's AFK events promotes a whole new scene that exists outside of "PLUR".
We chatted with Gavin Johnson is the Head of Gaming at Monstercat to discuss the influence that music has in gaming and Monstercat's role in shaping that environment in the past five years.
Tell us a little about Monstercat.
Monstercat at it’s core is an independent music label for aspiring artists with a heavy media structure. We supply a platform for over 60 artists to make a living through their music and build their brand through our resources.
How did Monstercat first get into gaming?
The first initiatives in gaming was a through a project called Monstercat Gaming which was a platform that was for aspiring content creators to have a platform for gamers to discover them. This was short lived and we went back to the drawing board in gaming and decided to move our focus to licensing with our Monstercat Partner Program.
This is still flourishing today and now allows hundreds of influential content creators to utilize Monstercat’s catalog in their original YouTube and Twitch content while giving major exposure to the artists being showcase.
Why do you think that there is such a powerful relationship between fans of video games and fans of electronic music?
I believe it is simply at the roots of the hardware being used to create, stream, and download both video games and electronic music, which would be computers. All are found organically through each other through the hardware. The heaviest categories of content consumed on most platforms is gaming and music. Each also encourage creativity between the other.
Music fuels many things in gaming, whether it be a 24 hours gaming session, or building a connection around the story of your favourite RPG. Games then can spark creativity in an artist for their next track. Just a few examples to how each compliment each other.
What are some things that Monstercat has done to bridge between those two realms?
We have put a lot of strategy and execution into building projects over the timeline of Monstercat’s growth that make these realms organically become cohesive in both the physical and virtual space.
First starting with our Monstercat Partner Program which allows gaming content creators to sync our music into thousands of videos, exposing Monstercat music to millions of gamers. Then shifting onto Twitch by being the very first music channel and 24/7 label radio station on the platform.
With much ground covered in the virtual world, we then moved to the physical world with our Monstercat AFK event series that allow hundreds of gamers to disconnect and let loose while experiencing their favorite Monstercat artist in the live space.
How is Monstercat using Twitch or other social gaming platforms to build an audience around it’s roster?
With Twitch through our 24/7 Monstercat FM channel, we also include our weekly Monstercat Podcast in the programming and are able to use that as a voice for our artists and showcase their music to the thousands of dedicated listeners that tune in every week.
We do creative episodes like artist takeovers, where an artist can play an assortment of their tracks (typically an EP), and commentate before each track and go over their thoughts and processes while they were creating each track. It’s projects like that which create a deep connection between the artist and listener.
Don't miss a beat!
Head over to Monstercat so you always have a steady stream of tunes for your long gaming sesh!
Cut my teeth with the Detroit techno scene before moving to Denver to see what the mountains have to offer.