Today 88 Rising artist/songwriter 1996 Montana delivers his new single “The Reason.” Finding a balance between Pop Rock and Rap, 1996 Montana has a sound that appeals to the masses with a commercial appeal while also drawing on the underground elements of Trap music.
The song will be on his album Parabellum which in Latin means to “prepare for war,” but 1996 Montana had other ideas in mind, drawing inspiration from the gaming series, Resident Evil.
“It’s French for this bullet from a 9mm, I got the name of Parabellum from this game I’m really into called Resident Evil. Like I love that whole franchise so like saying I’m obsessed with it, would be putting it lightly, like I love Resident Evil. So I wanted to incorporate that into it as well. And plus this is my first EP on the 88 Rising label, it’s like my firing shots, like my first thing out. Even the cover art looked like infected tree roots and stuff like that. So it was kind of themed behind that game a lot. That’s definitely the reasoning behind the name,” 1996 Montana explained.
“The Reason is more like Pop Rock. I’ve heard a bunch of people say that it’s Pop Rock, but it’s definitely that Post Malone type vibe. He does the Hip-Hop and he does like the full blown country sound. Really, that’s the same kind of pattern and that’s what I am doing to a degree.”
Centering his life around making music and being part of the creation of music, 1996 Montana lives and breathes the sounds of music. Brought up in Indiana and venturing out to California at an early age to chase his dreams, 1996 Montana dedicated his life to the craft of producing.
“I don’t think there’s a moment that I don’t think about music or don’t basically center my whole days around music. I like finding new music or working on music, like basically my whole life jumps around just music in general,” 1996 Montana said. “I started listening to Hip-Hop when I played Kanye West’s 808 and the Heartbreak. That’s what really just opened it up, like opened me up to even more music because I was all like, heavy into the rock shit. I didn’t get to listen to rap or any of that stuff. And then when I found that out shit like that, it was really dope. So I started on that. Just getting really deep into Rap and Hip-Hop. Then I got an iPod nano and my friend loaded it up with music – old Raider Klan and other stuff – it was over from there.”
After moving to California from Indiana, hanging around studios and working with various artists, 1996 Montana got a big break songwriting on Rich Brian’s album The Sailor where 1996 Montana wrote the lead single “Hundred Degrees.”
Eventually signing to 88 Rising a division of 12 Tone and with publishing through Kobalt, 1996 Montana expanded from there working on the 88 Rising premiere album Head in the Clouds 2 where Montana wrote over 5 songs on this project including the fan favorite “Walking” Ft Swae Lee, Diplo and Joji.
“Slow Down Turbo” was on the album and Shawn was like come by the office before you take off on your flight, Would you be interested in signing with us as a writer or an artist? From there we just worked on the pub and artists deal. And then I worked on Head in the Clouds and we had like 5 songs on there. During that time when we signed a deal and did the Head in the Clouds things were going crazy. Then we got a track with Diplo and Sway Lee and from there I’ve just been writing songs for 88, it’s been really dope.” 1996 Montana said.
1996 Montana also wrote “Bad Back” Ft GoldLink off of Jackson Wang’s album Mirrors, where Mirrors earned 1996 Montana an award for the most streamed album in China. It also went #1 on the US Independent Billboards Charts.
“Its been crazy… its definitely not heard of from Indiana. Getting plaques in Asia is not common for artists in Indiana.”
While COVID still runs rampant across the world, touring abroad has been put on hold for the time being as 1996 Montana focuses on songwriting and making music with his band MAYBSOMEDAY.
“As of right now I don’t have any plans for touring with COVID going on, but I would say my fans are all over the world and I can’t wait to see them. I have almost a cult following and after I took all my stuff down after I signed with 88 Rising, the fans have tapped in even more. I kinda took a hiatus to focus on songwriting, but I would say my fanbase is big in US, Australia. I get a lot of traffic from Japan and Russia, with 88 Rising we have fans all over the world.”
“I have a post hardcore band that called Maybe Sunday and we covered a Justin Beiber song and that’s really got some traction and we’ve gotten some publicity on there. So the band I’m working on that and I”m just trying to keep both of those things going. We got a lot of fire in vault!”