top of page

Incoming! - Montell Fish

Incoming! Acclaimed new-wave artist Montell Fish is bringing his ‘Intercession Before Charlotte Tour’ to Aotearoa for the very first time on May 27th! With a quickly growing following, his uniquely haunting blend of soulful vocals, evocative lyrics, and eclectic, cinematic soundscapes are sure to take over the Powerstation for a night not to be missed.

Written by Oli Spencer

You surely know the song ‘Fall in Love with You.’ which took over TikTok, as well as ‘Talk 2 Me’ which helped cement Montell on the map. However, the young artist started out as early as 2017 with a passion for poetry and a desire to express himself - this passion soon translated into music, where he found a perfect platform for his storytelling, weaving narratives of heartache, spirituality, and introspection alongside his religious faith, and garnering a dedicated following along the way.  

When you put on a Montell Fish song on, you know almost instantly that it’s Montell Fish. Always avoiding categorisation, he masterfully manipulates R&B and hip-hop, to gospel and indie pop - a mix that can sound very otherworldly at times, especially with his oh so distinct soulful, high octave vocals. It feels almost as if they are echoing through an eerie layer of fog. It’s refreshing and exciting to see an artist nail so many different musical directions, while not even coming close to losing the spark and authenticity that made us fall in love with the music in the first place

Not only is he taking his sounds to the world in the form of Montell Fish, but also experiments though his alias dj gummy bear, an extension of the worlds Montell is creating, and one of our favourite elements of the enigmatic artist. With gummy bear, you can find more of the alternative and indie leaning side of his musicality, as well as his ongoing venture leap into the electronic world   

Montell Fish will be a name that is thriving in the future, clearly poised to leave a lasting impact on the musical landscape. In preparation for his epic debut show in Aotearoa, we spoke with Montell Fish to find out what his favourite song to play live is, the significance of his alter-egos, and what the movie-poster-style tagline would be for his tour. Hit the link in our bio to read the full interview!   

It's really special that you're heading down to Aotearoa. Have you ever been before?

No, I've never been to New Zealand! I've been to Australia once in 2018 for a few weeks, I went up the East Coast. But I haven't been to New Zealand and it's been on my list for like a minute, so I'm excited. I'm pumped to go.

What is your favourite song to play live, and why?

Favourite song live... For this past run I would either say like ‘I know I failed you’ or like ‘rocking my world’ cause I get on the keys for ‘I know I failed you’ and there’re so many harmonies that I can slip in that song and it feels very maximalist compared to some of my stripped back stuff.

I love the DJ Gummy Bear moniker and it seems like a really cool and exciting outlet for your music!

Oh thank you. Yeah, his little shitty self. Haha! I love having a place where I can be more free and think a little bit… not less, but it just requires a different part of your brain, you know? Like it's kind of just turning off the Montell Fish part sometimes and then tapping in a different character.

Have there been times where DJ Gummy Bear inspires Montell Fish?

DJ Gummy Bear was kind of meant to be like the prophet on the way to Charlotte… talking about my past with religion and the tension of psychology and theology and trying to make sense of things that don't make sense. And that's kind of how gummy helped me process my religious trauma and helped me process things that I went through. That's how he like, influences the Montell music as well. With each character like gummy and the ones I'll probably create in the future, they kind of like address something that's hard for me to address. Then, I'm able to move past it.. hopefully.

Many of your fans will find solace in your music, especially during difficult times. Can you remember a moment when you realised the impact your music was having on someone’s life?

Every time still feels crazy, like anytime a kid says that my music has done anything, or has been with them and they say things like “they've lived with it” and “it got them through a breakup”. Each time I'm like that's still so insane. I'm so grateful each time. I've had, you know… the darker ones. Especially at some of the shows that I do, and you get to talk to fans for a little bit and they've just been through a lot. Yeah, those ones definitely mean the most. For me it was Kid Cudi, Man On The Moon one and two. It brought me through my teenage years and a bunch of other stuff too. I'm glad that I can be that voice for other kids. It lets me know I'm doing something right. You just gotta do your thing, at the end of the day art is expression and you gotta express it the way you want to express it.

I really enjoyed that conversation piece you put out with Lil Yachty. How did you two first connect?

Yachty was just like bumpin’ my music. One of his friends was playing it a ton, this song called ‘Destroy Myself Just For You’. It was weird because like, I swear that was a prophecy. I was telling my friends “I'm gonna do something with Yachty. It's gonna be soon, I don't know what it is, I just know”. And I swear it was probably only weeks later that I looked at Caleb who's my creative director and I was like, bro this this is the prophecy, it's supposed to happen. We just met through a friend named Zach, and I told him about the shit I was doing and I was like bro I think it'd be really cool to do this. He's just a creative dude, so he fucked with the vision and he was just down to do it.

What do you value most about artists like him? And what have you learned from being in that sort of circle?

I mean him specifically. I loved his last album because it was psychedelic, and I just love when artists just trust themselves and have second evolutions. I'm big into psychology as well and I think if people kind of take a step back, I think they see that I kind of went through a similar second evolution. I don't talk about it much in the interview, but with my Christian faith and making a switch in 2022 and getting a lot of backlash, making less religious based music. But, I was like talking to some people that Yachty worked with and I was talking to even him about it - they would say they were tapping in and really making real music. So I just respect the dedication and the craft.

For you what is the most rewarding part about making music as a whole?

I love a lot of things about it. I love the chase of trying to find an idea or trying to find a new sound. I love not knowing what a project is about to sound like and then finding something to build upon. Then you're like, okay I know what kind of cake I want to bake. It's also cool to meet people and other artists too, but I think probably the chase. I like feeling like I'm almost about to make it and I haven't got there yet. I don't ever want to feel like I got there… I want to always have a hunger and a chase for something, the next thing and I think that will keep me happy. Hopefully!

If this tour had a movie poster, what would the tagline be?

Ohh, the tagline. Hmm… I would say “she is coming” because I think it would allude to Charlotte. She is coming but she's not here yet and we're kind of like in this purgatory waiting spot. I think that's even what some of the music feels like. It kind of feels like you're in an in-between.

Explore the world of Montell Fish below, and get prepped to sing along at his Auckland show:


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page