Hey Reddit, I’m Mike Darlington speaking on behalf of everyone here at Monstercat. We’re an independent electronic record label based out of Vancouver, Canada. We employ over 40 team members to manage the organization, and will be actively growing in 2018!

We just made the largest change to our organization to date by launching two unique brands, while essentially splitting our main YouTube channel in half.

These brands allow us to create seamless ecosystems that include music, events and clothing.

Curious? Confused? Interested? Let's go! AMA

Proof: https://i.redd.it/omxjalfie5901.jpg

Update: Will answer all questions that I've missed in the morning! Keep submitting!

Comments: 704 • Responses: 99  • Date: 

Aaron445173 karma

Do you have a genre you'd like to see more of in 2018?

mikedarlington160 karma

More traditional prog house and further crossover between indie and electronic music

Beasting12372 karma

Does anyone ever recognize you in public? Do you ever hear anyone go, "Hey, that's the guy that founded Monstercat!"?

mikedarlington99 karma

Happens occasionally at conferences/festivals. Some kids were following me around Pax last year and I could hear all of their conversations. Was funny

TheMinecraftOverlord71 karma

Do you foresee Braken returning?

mikedarlington123 karma


Pennis_Broke68 karma

How would you hide a giraffe?

mikedarlington86 karma

On a boat.

Pennis_Broke31 karma

It wouldn't be hidden though, people could see it

mikedarlington128 karma

Gotta find the boat first, ocean is big

Supernova668 karma

Hi Mr. Darlington! I have been a huge fan of Monstercat ever since you hosted the Monstercat Podcast Ep. 136, juuuuust over one year ago :D

Can you share any other artists that might appear on Monstercat Instinct? Or, for that matter, any artists releasing an original on Uncaged? Seven Lions x Kill the Noise and Dirtyphonics x Sullivan King was incredible, who will we be surprised by with an original or collaboration next I wonder? GETTER maybe?

Do you plan on hosting another podcast soon?

How will albums work with this change?

Love you and everything you do, and I am even loving the surprise direction you got going with Monstercat. Thank you so much for this AMA, it means so so much! <3

Words of Wisdom "No matter who you are, life is just a bunch of awkward moments.” - Mike Darlington

mikedarlington89 karma

Hey! We shared a teaser image that outlined a bunch of artists who will appear on the Instinct brand. There's a few more lined up, one that is a Monstercat fan favourite and another project that is going to blow some minds. Really excited about the future here! It's almost like starting over.

Going to host another episode of COTW real soo!

Albums will be Instinct/Uncaged albums going forward. Uncaged Vol. 4, and Instinct Vol. 1 will be the next.

Life is definitely super awkward! Love you!

patrickdaitya20 karma

also, best monstercat collaboration that i didn't expect to see on the label was last year, Bassnectar and Dirtyphonics with Ragga Twinz. Blew me away. What a wow to get it on the label.

mikedarlington13 karma

Anything is possible!

Dorito-san62 karma

What was the decision behind the brand split? Wouldn't that split the fanbase and possibly see a cut in profits?

What genres can see see with each brand?

mikedarlington102 karma

I found that there were disconnects occurring between the type of music we were inspired by, the clothes we wore and the shows we went to. It just didn't seem cohesive enough and I knew our artists would feel the same way. This change allows everyone to have more flexibility and a home that aligns best with their visions.

Yes we could see short term profit loss but long term potential. Both projects should grow simultaneously and offer new values for different people who we may not have reached before.

It's not so much about genres but feelings and vibes.

Pongramon58 karma

Hi. The past year has been nuts.

1.Could there be an EP released in both on Instinct and Uncaged? For example Sight of your Soul to be on Instinct and the rest of the Vantablack EP on Uncaged? Same for remix EPs.

2.Do we still get remixes and free releases on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday?

  1. Any chance to visit Eastern Europe this year?

  2. Any Pegboard Nerds EP in the near future? And does Troll get released soon?

mikedarlington72 karma

  1. Yep, it's just a home to post the music. The label is still Monstercat
  2. Still deciding what we want to do with free releases/remixes. 2.1 Potentially. I'd love to do more touring in europe but it's been a bit more challenging than NA/Asia etc 2.2 There will ALWAYS be more Pegboard Nerds. They produce a crazy good amount of music

SpiderFamm54 karma

How did the name "Monstercat" came about?

mikedarlington139 karma

A friends old Video game alias was Monstercatx. It was either Monstercat or Velocilobster at one point

ssteri49 karma

What are the most important do's and dont's when sending a demo? What is the best way to stand out/get recognised by a label (besides ofc producing quality tunes)

mikedarlington96 karma

  • Do have your project ready to go, visual brand in place, a vision for your own music etc. Have all your social accounts up and running, clean and a social voice. Do use common sense, is your music ready?
  • Don't send an unmastered demo or an unfinished demo. Don't start every line "Supported by x" we don't care.

Produce quality tunes, network with other producers/blog owners etc. People share their favourite tunes/artists in group chats etc all the time

alsotri39 karma

Hey Mike, fan since 012 here.

These are my questions:

  • Are there any changes / decisions that you (referring to the entire team) have regretted later?

  • Are you planning to release more content with another labels (example: most of Astronaut releases)? Idk, a Monstercat x OWSLA seems dope, at least for me hehe.

  • How many time have you been working on Uncaged + Instinct until they've been ready?

  • What type of unexpected merch would you like to add to the shop (would die for a mcat bed tbh)?

  • Which underground artists do you think are going to explode on 2018?

  • Now that we're talking about exploding, do you like to be touched?

  • And last but not least: iirc you said some time ago that you wanted to bring tech house to the label. Is there any other genre (preferably outside the electronic range) you would like to see here more often?

Thanks for 2017, Monstercat's best since 2014 imo. Let's hope for a better 2018! ♥

mikedarlington59 karma

  • Short term regrets that we were always able to fix.
  • Co-label releases can be really complicated and frustrating. I'm open to them with the right partners and the right commitments from each side. I've known a bunch of the OWLSA team for years, good people, amazing vision for the brand
  • The last year was dedicated to putting together a plan, brand, clothing etc for the launch of Instinct/Uncaged -I'd love to do some random pieces each month. Things that no one would expect, low revenue generators but still something fun to talk about -I'm pretty disconnected now from the absolute underground. I know that Kayzo is going to be top tier headliner status over the next year. Love him!
  • ;)
  • Instinct will allow us to venture into a lot of different music that we wouldn't have otherwise worked with. Alternative, indie pop, indie electronic, post electronic etc

darealdsisaac39 karma

What happened to artist merch? It isn’t on the store anymore. Is it coming back? I really wanted that Tokyo Machine hat.

mikedarlington59 karma

Gone for now. We need to re-think our artist merch strategy. Our Monstercat Uncaged line out-performs the artist merch 10x. We have a small merch team and need to pick where our time is spent.

gothamtommy39 karma

Why is Tommy West from SiriusXM your favorite radio personality of all time?

mikedarlington43 karma

HI TOMMY! Because there is no better guy get a beer with and talk about literally anything with! Hoping to see you soon man :)

twistingtheaces38 karma

I absolutely love Monstercat! As a producer myself, I love just streaming your stuff in the background while I'm going about my life to get inspiration for new stuff.

That being said, I have a few questions that might benefit artists who want to submit to your label:

  • What are some mistakes that you believe producers on the come-up are making that would prevent them from getting accepted onto your label?

  • Do you take an artist's social media presence into account for being on your label?

  • And lastly, are there any artists that you have signed in the past that you now regret signing or have parted ways with on not-so-great terms? If so, what did they do to bring you to that decision, and what can new producers learn from that so as not to make the same mistakes?

Thanks so much for doing this AMA!

mikedarlington61 karma

  • Biggest mistake is giving up after we've passed a few times and not submitting again. Sacha listens to so many demos that he doesn't build grudges, keep trying!
  • I take more into account their presence of what type of person they are than the size itself. If you portray yourself as an asshole or memelord on social media I probably don't want to work with you.
  • A few but not many. At the end of the day, our success is a symbiotic relationship. If you start to treat us like we're disposable then we probably aren't going to want to invest the time/money/energy that you are expecting.

AliaSMusic35 karma


mikedarlington60 karma

Man they keep fucking up his face/hands everytime we get the mockup. Either his beard isn't clean enough or his hands are too small everytime. At this point I don't know if they will ever get it right.

DisconnectedEDM33 karma

First off, thanks for doing this AMA. Now,

  • How long has the Uncaged/Instinct split been planned?

  • Who are your favorite up and coming artists?

  • Thoughts on Riddim?

  • Where do you see the label & yourself 5 years from now?

  • Favorite kind of pizza?

  • Out of the years Monstercat has been around, which one was your favorite?


  • Ass, tits, or thighs?

I want to say thanks to you, and the rest of the team and artists for being an inspiration, and huge part of my life for the past 5 years. Here's to many more.

mikedarlington62 karma

  • Uncaged/Instinct has been in the works for the past year.
  • A lot of my personal listening is more in the ambient or tech house world. On Monstercat, I'm really excited about Bad Computer/Zac Waters, Stephen's upcoming release
  • Not a huge fan of Riddim for personal listening but I can appreciate the energy at the shows. Went to a 12th Planet show last miami and it was pretty insane
  • We're diversifying into a lot more Gaming and media projects. I don't think people will even refer to us as a label in 5 years. It will be a division of many. Hopefully I'll still be guiding this ship!
  • Hawaiian, haters can deal with it
  • The first year was the scariest, this year has been the most intimidating though as we're making such major changes to our core model.
  • ;)

UltimaTheHawke29 karma

Just want to say I absolutely love Monstercat; it's basically the only thing I listen to nowadays. Anyway,

  • What's your favourite artist you've signed on the label (excluding Marshmello)?

  • How exactly do you look for cover artists? I've been drawing a lot of cover arts in my art class and I was just curious how you'd find such talented people.

  • How'd you come up with the name "Monstercat" anyway?

  • What's your favourite genre of EDM?

  • And finally, has your favourite song changed from Inertia?

Once again, love this label and I can't wait to see it grow some more!

mikedarlington29 karma

  • Really don't have one favourite although I've been really enjoying Zac Waters new music.
  • Friends of friends usually. There's no "demo platform" to submit art so it's pretty organic. I know our design team is currently building out a roster of talented designers off-site to expand.
  • Friends video game alias
  • I listen to most genres but lately a lot of tech house and ambient.

Erdl_28 karma

Have you ever picked any artists up in an inconventional way? If so, what's your favourite "recruitment" you've done?

mikedarlington70 karma

Puppet wrote a really powerful/real Facebook direct message which I normally would have ignored so much text. Something caught my eye and we started talking.

I don't select the music anymore so please don't hit my inbox haha

TheLordOfSmug26 karma

Can you give me a job working for Monstercat from home? : ^ )

No but really:

  1. You (as a label/channel) went from promoting music from other labels, to removing all promotion, to including outside music in the podcasts. Are you all rethinking how to handle the whole promotion thing or is it just restricted to the B2B stuff on Spotify/COTW?

  2. What will happen to the compilation albums? Will they stay Uncaged, or will we see Monstercat Instinct Vol. 1 in a few weeks/months?

  3. The label has releases from Hixxy, Gammer, Darren Styles, and Dougal and is one of the most popular sources of happy hardcore nowadays. Are there plans to I guess steal the thunder from any other single-genre labels?

and 4. Reinhard asks: "do u no da wey"

mikedarlington30 karma

  1. Always open to evolution and we've definitely started to involve other label's content in our radio show and Spotify playlists. I'd be open to one day launching a promo channel purely to support other label's music. Everyone is working together these days, there isn't a crazy competitive nature amongst the top electronic labels. All friends
  2. Uncaged Vol. 4, Instinct Vol. 1. The art for these are Crazy!
  3. Meh, we work with the genres and music that we enjoy. I don't even know the labels who are releasing that type of music

Prizyms25 karma

Hey Mike, I've been following the label for the best part of half a decade now. As you know (and obviously had a part in doing) the scene has changed drastically for artists and labels alike.

My question is; what do you personally see for both Monstercat and the industry as a whole in the next five years?

mikedarlington28 karma

One of the great things about the music industry is that the only constant is change. The way we approach and view things now is vastly different of that even 5 years ago. I believe keeping our sights forward rather than clinging onto the status quo of 'now' has been a major difference maker for getting Monstercat to where it is today. For Monstercat, I am excited about the immense growth in our licensing and gaming departments on top of course our music and merch. I truly believe that our versatile company structure will allow as not not only adapt to whatever the future brings, but thrive in more sectors that simply in traditional music industry standards

justinedharni25 karma

You're an entrepreneur - tell me if there were moments you thought you should quit? what were those moments. why did you persist?

mikedarlington62 karma

We've been very fortunate to be cash positive and without investors since day 1. However, theres been some personal struggles and relationship struggles that definitely took a toll on my mental health. I don't think there's ever been days where I wanted to quit but I've definitely had the "if I sold the company I could move on" thoughts. Fortunately those are few and far between and I'm now more inspired than ever.

Persist because it's as much a part of me as my own life is. Monstercat drives me to be better

Dubstahp_durana20 karma

Hi Mike, I have been a huge supporter since 007 and I have always wondered how the process of getting a song on Monstercat worked.

I knew it was somewhat complicated but now that the family is huge as ever, my question(s) is this:

How do you pick a song to publish? E.I. What makes you choose to upload a Wrld song on a Monday then a Muzzy ep on Friday? Is there some sorting that helps picks this process or is there just a huge collab with the MC crew working with the artists to get them to publish a song on a specific day? Lastly, I can guess how many submissions you get to publish a song but if one were to get through, how long on average would it take to be published?

Thank you for everything you’ve done and here’s to more successes in the future.

mikedarlington30 karma

  • Jon "Going Quantum" schedules all releases. Artists, managers and our team schedule releases based on marketing plans and rollout strategies. Some artists prefer certain days over others especially if Spotify playlisting is a major goal for their release.

Usually a few months at least from acceptance to release. There are deviations to that of course

mikedarlington18 karma


WRD11616 karma

Been a fan of Monstercat for 3 years now!! I listen every day.

What’s the biggest mistake you think you or your label have made and what did you learn from it?

mikedarlington41 karma

Biggest mistake was taking so long to realize that we don't have to do absolutely everything on our own. I didn't trust people early enough and it definitely slowed our growth

Fadent15 karma

Hey Mike! Always wanted to know, what is the number 1 thing you look for when accepting submissions? Is it more towards a perfect mix or a unique composition?

mikedarlington25 karma

  1. Composition, then mix, then master but in all honesty if the composition/mix are weak it probably won't make it past the first round of listens

_marisadonnelly14 karma

Hi Mike, Marisa here! Wrote the behind-the-scenes interview on Monstercat's big changes: (http://tcat.tc/2DffMjE)

I love the re-branding! I'm curious - how will you handle artists that want to be a big part of both brands? Will they be cross-promoted? Featured at both Instinct and Uncaged events?

mikedarlington15 karma

Hey!! Stoked to have artists be on both as it really does showcase the flexibility we have as a label. At the end of the day, it's all Monstercat. If these artists want to play a mellow day party, Instinct is the home or if they want to turn up, Uncaged. They can now do both!

StefaNOPE14 karma

Hello, Mike! Been a huge fan and follower of Monstercat since Everything Black. So my questions are:

•How do EDM artists get their tracks onto Monstercat? How long does it take?

•Any intense headbangers coming soon to the label? If so, who are the artists releasing them?

•When is Muzzy’s new EP coming out?

•What advice could you give to an aspiring EDM artist, like myself?

•Is Infected Mushroom releasing another track soon on Monstercat?

•And finally, what is your favorite track out of the Vantablack EP??

mikedarlington21 karma

  • Demo submissions, industry friends recommending artists, meeting at shows + conferences, collabing with current artists, remix contests, remixes. There are endless ways
  • Always. The next Uncaged album goes hard
  • Not sure on the date, he will probably announce
  • Keep working at it, this shit is hard to break into and people are more critical than ever. Be real
  • Likely! We had a great experience working together and they are long time friends. I first reached out about music in 2012-2013. It's been a longtime coming
  • Sight of your soul

livewire1714 karma

if you had a task to break a femur which employee would you send?

mikedarlington12 karma

Cody 100%

frankugakimochiii12 karma

Good... morning? Or evening? It doesn't matter now - welcome, Mr. (Magic) Mike Darlington. :D

Monstercat has been a big part of my life since 2013 ("Flight" has ignited it) and I really look up to label, artists and community as a whole. I would like to ask you some questions about the future of the Monster Kitty:

  1. Will LPs come back to Monstercat? Some of classic releases from the label are the longplay ones and... it was really great to hear and see some new possible directions, coming with this type of releases (Haywyre's albums, "New Age | Dark Age" - especially Deluxe Edition, such a fantastic piece of not so human art, "The Ancient & Arcane").
  2. Could you tell us something more about your education, Mr. Darlington? In fact, I'm really impressed by your way of managing Monstercat and it would be really great to know if it's (partly, of course) because of your degree - your management strategy is one of a kind and hard to reproduce/recreate, but easy to take inspiration from. Are you going to host the AMA about label management in the (near) future?
  3. Is Karma Fields going to return (hopefully, with an LP) to Monstercat? We haven't heard from that creation for a while - "New Age | Dark Age" is my favourite album of all time and inspired me to learn music production, graphic design and programming, a new album-masterpiece in 2018 would be a fantastic gift for the community.

Thanks a lot for things that you've done, shoutouts to Monstercat and... keep it up! Bad Kitty is still "taking me on a journey", Instinct and Uncaged are great. Thanks again! :3

mikedarlington29 karma

  1. We're always open to LPs, EPs singles, any form of music as long as it's creative, unique and quality.

  2. I have a degree in Biology, so obviously that was necessary when starting a business in music /s. I'm actually a pretty terrible "label manager" but understand brand, marketing and ideation. Fortunately I have an incredible team, business partner etc that have made us so effective.

  3. I know he's working on a new album!

x_raw_jp10 karma

2 questions, what is/was the hardest part of starting the label and making it successful? And have you overcome it or is it a struggle each day? Also have you thought of making a split channel for artists to do tutorials for music production or audio mastering?

mikedarlington34 karma

  • Hardest part but also most fun part was we knew nothing about running a label or even starting a YouTube channel. We overcame with ignorance and work ethic. We learned and its still a struggle.

  • We've toyed around with the idea of a Monstercat: Academy to provide tutorials, samples etc. Would be a crazy big project that we just can't take on right now

osachar10 karma

Who would win in a fight, you or Oliver Heldens?

mikedarlington21 karma

100000% myself. He knows he wouldn't stand a chance 1 on 1 m8O8

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mikedarlington93 karma


robogo9 karma

How come you guys released Saving Light by Gareth Emery, Standerwick and Haliene, and not a more trance-oriented label?

I mean, the track is awesone, but not quite what I'd expect from Monstercat to be honest.

EDIT: EMERY. Sorry, Gaz :)

mikedarlington17 karma

We loved the record, knew we could market it as well if not better than others and believed in the campaign + vision around it. Plus, Gaz is one of my favourite musicians to date. I'd say we made the right decision

AddiVF9 karma

Hello mike <3 You did a poll on twitter a while back asking wether people preferred the hard hitting, melodic or experimental music on Monstercat, then this year you unveiled the beginning of the two Uncaged and Instinct channels, respectively for hard hitting and melodic music. Many people believed you were doing a third channel as well for experimental music, to follow the pattern from the twitter poll. Did or do you you have any plans or thoughts about doing a third channel for experimental music? Why or why not?

Also, when the fuck are you gonna get your ass to Scandinavia?

mikedarlington18 karma

Considered it, decided that experimental music can exist on Uncaged and Instinct. Doesn't need its own brand. I want to vacation in Scandinavia! Especially Norway, Denmark

benny_lepps8 karma

How did you come up with the names "Uncaged" and "Instinct"? Really loving the change, by the way.

mikedarlington14 karma

Uncaged was born out of a desire to show the raw power of Monstercat. We wanted a change, and everything from the branding to the name itself fell into place perfectly. It was really the perfect move as we discovered it was something that could encompass everything we did from music to merch to events. Uncaged was actually used as a tour name years ago that a good friend of mine, Jake Udell dubbed.

Having established Uncaged, I wanted to show another side of Monstercat. It was a side that we’ve also had all along, one that was thoughtful and contemplative, and sound-wise something that celebrated the vibrant melodic tunes we release. Instinct was just the perfect word for it, and as you see more releases throughout the year, I think you’ll agree.

P3rcivL7 karma

Mr. Darlington, how do I get girls? Also, when did the idea of splitting into two Youtube channels first come to you? Can’t wait to see what Monstercat has in store for us fans in the future :)

mikedarlington16 karma

First, stop using the term “get girls”. Second, be yourself and try to add some humour and happiness to people's lives. The idea of Uncaged and Instinct came early in 2017. Instinct was originally intended to be the follow up to Uncaged, but then the idea to make it a separate brand evolved. From that point on, it was a rush of excitement and planning to get everything ready for 2018.

itsmindfully6 karma

Hello, Mike!

-Do you have a favorite Monstercat release? If so, what is it and why?

-How would you describe the fans of Monstercat?

-If you weren't the founder of Monstercat, what would you be doing?

mikedarlington14 karma

  • Fans are family. They're crazy and hold us in a very high regard. We don't want to let people down but also have to sometimes make difficult decisions that we know the fanbase won't like at first. I've got a pretty good grasp of the communities voice/opinion at this point.
  • Probably some sort of other business/project. I've always had some creative outlet for work

TheOnlyPixel196 karma

Any clues or sneak peaks to what is next for Monstercat after the rebranding with Instinct and Uncaged?

mikedarlington10 karma

More evolution! We've only just begun rolling everything out

tlfxe6 karma

Hey Gnarlington, long time fan. First, any artists you want on the label?

Second, do you favorite a specific genre or do you like all genres?

Favorite song(s)?

Lastly, why are you not on the Discord server?

It’s been a journey for the label and I know it won’t be over anytime soon, can’t wait for what’s to come :)

mikedarlington11 karma

I'll be back on the Discord soon enough! Answered the other questions above

Agenco6 karma

If you were to make music and release music, what kind of style and/or genre would you see yourself making?

mikedarlington37 karma

Ambient, chill etc

Although I can't forget about my Bigroom Side project. Michiel Von Gnarlington makes Big Room and Big Room only.

vidyagameking5 karma

Hi Mr. Darlington,

First congrats on making the BEST label in all music. I absolutely love the way y’all are involved with the community and of course put out amazing music.

Do you guys have any plans for an MMW event this year?

I look forward to seeing all the amazing music y’all have for us this year!

Thank you!!!!

mikedarlington15 karma

Our biggest (non-festival) show to date will be in MMW this year! AWWWW YEAHHH

HateMC5 karma

Hey Mike, been a fan for a few years now

One question I have is: Will Monstercat in motion ever make a comeback?

mikedarlington13 karma

Potentially. It was a lot of work and unfortunately didn't perform as well as we wanted.

Hawksey1285 karma

Can you tell Jon and Dillon to not get carried on Tristam's streams if they play Fortnite?

mikedarlington10 karma

Tristam is better than everyone at Video games

minecraft15aw50m35 karma

Is there going to be one album for the two brands together or two separate albums?

mikedarlington10 karma


Greebo-Ogg5 karma

What is one change you wanted to make to the label but ultimately scrapped or decided against?

mikedarlington17 karma

Monstercat Black/White was a concept in early 2011/2012. In some ways it evolved to become Instinct/Uncaged but didn't incorporate clothing + events. Happy we didn't go that route as I feel those brands wouldn't work these days

Oh! also Interestingly, Monstercat: Instinct was originally slated to be the follow up to Monstercat: Uncaged. But we saw the tremendous potential for a new brand, and although the risk was big, we decided to take it. And thus both Uncaged and Instinct now exist at the same time.

IHitRestart5 karma

Is there also a line up poster for the uncaged artists? (like the one u made for instinct)

mikedarlington20 karma

Not currently. If our designers have time I'll likely make one.

DakavesKaves4 karma

What were some scrapped names before you came up with Instinct and Uncaged?

mikedarlington12 karma

There were wayyyy too many.

Some Uncaged names before Uncaged that come to mind

Night Vision




Beegykins4 karma

in the spirit of monstercat only signing singles, what are your favorite song(s) you have released completely disregarding the artists attached, play count and popularity etc.? what songs were you most proud to put out?

mikedarlington18 karma

Bad Computer - New Dawn

Horntailflames4 karma

Hey mike, been a fan since 014, love the label and everything it’s done over the last couple years.

Serious question first, what’s the music/EDM landscape like right now, especially when it comes to quality? Monstercat has been a huge part of my life and has inspired me to produce music as well but sometimes I feel like the competition is more intense now more than ever, so I’ve been conflicted over whether it’s worth the effort. How difficult do you think it is to ‘make it’ now?

Besides that, some lighter stuff I wanted to ask was

• after being around this much music we’re you ever tempted to get into music production yourself? •what’s the story behind Stephen Walking? Out of all the artists I’ve ever listened to, he’s got the most unique sound by far imo, but I have no idea about how he came to be.

Thanks for doing this ama!

mikedarlington7 karma

  1. It's incredibly difficult to break an act right now. You need to have incredible music, a great team behind you, strong marketing, drive and willing to get kicked when you're down. You have to keep going. It's definitely not easy.
  2. I try to keep my focus on the brand/business side but have always been curious. Stephen Walking is a very old friend, he thinks differently than most people. He's incredibly creative!

Onaterdem4 karma

Hey Mike! Super stoked to see all Monstercat has in store for 2018. I support this idea because I'm sure you guys are ready and prepared for this big change.

My question is about the Uncaged/Instinct diversion. Do you think 2018's Monstercat comments trend will be "This belongs in the other one"? What about vocal bangers? How are you planning to decide where to release a mixed type of song? Thanks in advance, love you!

mikedarlington11 karma

This will definitely happen. Internally we already categorized our entire catalogue and had disagreements on many. This is a new project and there will be bumps in the road.

It's more about the feel of the record, how it flows in a "playlist" sense than hard rules by genre or vocals vs no vocals etc.

TheMeowtasticDJ3 karma

Hello Mike, I’ve been a fan of Monstercat since 2014 and I wanted to ask you some questions.

•How did you came up with the name Monstercat when you created the label?

•What college did you go to?

•What’s your favorite song?

•What’s your favorite movie?

•What’s your favorite artist that you will love to join Monstercat?

•Any pets?

mikedarlington15 karma

  • Friends video game name
  • University of Waterloo in Canada
  • Saving Light was my favourite song last year, not sure I have a current yet
  • Favourite movie? Battle Royale
  • Would love to work with Knife Party (Rob + Gareth) or Madeon. Both inspirations since day 1
  • Had fish, none currently

juicetra3 karma

Hi Mike! Can you tell us a little more about your Linkies strategy? Will they in-fact go to the moon?!

mikedarlington11 karma


QuantumLTU3 karma

Did you ever think that Monstercat will become so well known when you created it?

mikedarlington16 karma

I still don't know how known we actually are.

To say that I knew this was all going to happen the way it happened when I started would be a lie. Monstercat was started as a place for friends to share music. Of course we were hopeful of where it could go and had incremental goals to be a label that we were truly proud of, but even to this day I am constantly surprised and am overwhelmingly proud of our team and what we've been able to build.

chrisalcazar73 karma

Hi Mike, can we expect another Monstercat art car at EDC or any other festival? It was the most fun art cart at EDC! Also popup shops/shows are pretty cool too. Can we expect any other popups like the one Delta Heavy had at a skate park? Thanks!

mikedarlington9 karma

Definitely more pop-ups to come. Hopefully EDC will have us back as that show was so much fun!

AlphaCentauri63 karma

This decision is kind of backwards in my opinion. In 2016 you decided to stop producing Best of [genre] compilations, because the fans shouldn't be judging music by genre. (as far as I remember)

Then isn't it kind of weird to be spliting them in two? What's your view on this?

mikedarlington8 karma

You aren't getting that this isn't about genres. It's not even really just about music.

ShashyC3 karma

How long ago was the Instinct launch planned?

mikedarlington7 karma

The entire last year

jkernan75533 karma

Could you take a few seconds to talk about the beginnings of the label and how it got bigger and bigger? For example, what were a couple of the major milestones where Monstercat exploded? Or was it more of steady growth over time?

I'm thinking back to the days of when Krewella got huge - did that have an impact on MC? I'm also guessing some of it has to do with the success of artists like Rogue in the early days.

mikedarlington10 karma

Growth has always been pretty steady as we had small hits here and there that supported us however it wasn't until Marshmello - Alone did we really have a global Hit Record on our hands. That changed everything.

Early days were a lot of constant small victories, new campaigns + partnerships daily that led to us breaking through. The first Krewella release helped legitimize ourselves which led to doors opening for us.

SnapGorgon3 karma

Was the reception to Uncaged/Instinct better or worse that you and the team anticipated? (This also includes the reception to the Uncaged compilations from last year)

mikedarlington8 karma

The team and I know we have an incredible network of fans that don't just take whatever we give them. We love how passionate they are and constantly challenge us to create the best and most innovative campaigns for them. So far the recepton of Instinct/Uncaged has been fantastic. People are starting to really see the benefit in the split

Statistically it's blowing away all our expectations. We hoped to have 25k subs on the new channel in the first week, we're going on 50

SteamcraftCorbin3 karma

Hello Mr. Darlington, I have a question that I’m sure all the ravers and festival goers would love to hear about!

• Are you planning on making any more appearances at major festivals? The only one i’m aware you have had a stage at is Tomorrowland, but a stage at another music festival would be amazing! (Specifcally but not limited to Imagine 2017 in Georgia because I will be attending this year ;)

Thank you for your response and for doing this for us!

mikedarlington5 karma

Absolutely. We have a couple partnerships lined up for 2018 already but actively looking to add more if it makes sense

PC-98Reimu3 karma

Hello Mike. These are my questions. -There' something I found on the Monstercat logo. I mean, it's a fantastic design, but I noticed something about it. So Monstercat, the cat himself, has his headphones on the sides of his head, while his ears are on the top of his head. Are headphones just resting on his head or is there, um, something wrong? It's probably not the latter, but I have no clue. -Is there ever going to be another one of those collaborations like the one with Rocket League again? I'd be hyped to see one this year. -What do you guys do for fun over at the Monstercat HQ? Thanks for everything, and I hope 2018 will be great!

mikedarlington6 karma

The logo isnt perfect but thats exactly why we love it and why its so memorable. Hopefully another RL comp.

For fun? We did Archery Tag as a team last month w/ Snails.

SilentFangH3 karma

What was the hardest thing in your opinion you've had to face so far leading up to Uncaged & Instinct?

mikedarlington7 karma

My own team was definitely pretty anxious about the changes early on. Took a lot of explaining, showing stats, and doing experiments to get them all behind it. I try not to ever lead with an iron fist but sometimes felt like I was going to have to

mrdominoe3 karma


I've been a musician for the past 15 years. I used to gig out a lot, and have quite a few recording sessions under my belt. For the past 6, I have only done very small things. As in playing bass and guitar in my bedroom. I worked for a huge single-location mail-order music retailer (not telling), and that pretty much sucked my willingness to ever play music, since it was no longer about the love. I've since moved on, but the bad taste is still in my mouth, and it's tough for me to want to set time aside these days.

Did you ever go through times like this in your career? How did you get over it? What would you say to someone who wants to love music, but is finding it hard to put in the work again?

mikedarlington5 karma

Man I hear where you are coming from. The business side can definitely be soul draining. I try to make time to listen to music/go to shows as a "fan" as often as possible so as not to become too jaded. I've recently started working in the video gaming industry as well and there are times I don't want to game anymore for the same reasons. We all go through it but can usually come back from any negativity stronger than before. Push through brother!

HellDiGWC2 karma

Hi, Mr. Darlington, I’m wanna ask just a few questions.

1) Is it possible for newcomer producer to release his track on your label? What’s the points he need to do for this?

2) Mb u know, when we will see Tokyo Machine’s face and more info about him?:)

Big thanks for AMA, I’m really wanna see your shows(tour) in East Europe/CIS, it’s will be awesome:)

P.S. sry for my english knowledge, think it’s so bad..

Have a nice day:)

mikedarlington3 karma

We frequently work with newer producers, if you have what it takes we'll see that. Just keep working on perfecting your craft. 2) You can see his face in any of his promo shots! Your english is great! understood everything

Gyrospeed2 karma

Q: Does the company need more staff?

Q2: Do you like sushi?

Q3: Why are you so beautiful?

Q4: Will you ever release music?

mikedarlington8 karma

  1. Yes, we're actively hiring especially in more senior roles.
  2. Too much
  3. Genetics?
  4. Who says I haven't?

louisly2 karma

Hi Mike ! Thank you for doing an AMA ! Been a fan for a year and a half now so I'm not a veteran, but I'm enjoying the ride. Here are a few ones from me :

  • How was it to work with Psyonix ? I assume it was something new for the team, you don't see this kind of collaboration everyday
  • Instinct seems to be taking off quite quickly, 50K subscribers in 10 days isn't half bad. Were/are you worried it would lag behing the Uncaged channel or were you guys 100% of what you were doing ?
  • Can I touch you ?

mikedarlington11 karma

We absolutely LOVED working with the Psyonix team. They have such an incredible company filled with some really great people.

  1. There is always going to be risk in change, especially one of this magnitude. Although worried would not be the right word; cognizant perhaps would be more fitting. It was certainly important to us to get eyes on the launch and we were very confident that our team behind the scenes would get that done which has certainly been the case thus far.

    1. For a price.... maybe.

joakoAV2 karma

Hi mike iven a monstercat fan since 2015 So my questions are:

Are you thinking realese something like monstercat vinyls? I know is weird but i bet some fans would like the idea

Is there a posibility that a monstercat show could come to south america? (Chile in my case)

Is there going to be a LP this year?

Thanks for your time ;)

mikedarlington7 karma

We've always wanted to do vinyls but it wouldn't work for our compilation albums since you can only fit a few songs per side. We would have to do large multi-vinyl bundles which isn't affordable for fans. We will find a unique way to do it!

South America is on our radar!

burningjoker2 karma

Hey there Mike! Thank you for doing this, I have been a fan for several years now and I absolutely love everything you guys are doing. I support all of the decisions you all make and I definitely look forward to everything you have to offer to us in the upcoming years.

I was wondering if you guys have any ideas on the expansion for Monstercat Gold subscription? I remember taking a survey about what I would like to see from it in the future, but I haven't heard any mention of it since then.

You have mentioned trying to spread some of the big events to large cities all over, do you think this will be the year that this will be more possible? I live in Georgia in the States and would love to go to one.

Are there any new artists that are coming out soon that you would be able to tell us about?

And lastly.....

What is your favorite food and why is/isn't it macaroni and cheese?

P.S. if you ever need a web developer that you want to help move out to Vancouver, I am your man :D

mikedarlington5 karma

Gold - Big plans for Gold! Need more time to focus on it and to get it done!

I absolutely believe that this will be more possible in 2018 as we certainly have already proven the success of our AFK and Uncaged shows; and now with the potential of Instinct events in various cities, we can truly have unique live experience for every single Monstercat fan.

There's a new supergroup that we are working with and developing. More info to come.

Are you Canadian? Real tough to hire people outside of Canada to move to Van

FlamingFox9112 karma

Hey, Mike. I have a few questions for you.

  • The last time you tried to split Monstercat was way back with Hardstyle. Are you at all worried about another occurrence with Instinct? Do you believe that splitting the demographic will have a negative consequence?

  • With the unveiling of Instinct, can we expect a longer time between album releases (ie Uncaged Vol.4 -> Instinct Vol.1 -> Uncaged Vol.5)? Most of us are eagerly anticipating Uncaged Vol.4 with all its amazing releases so far.

  • Out of curiosity, how far in advance do you plan releases, podcasts and the like?

Been with the Monstercat family since Launch Week. Big thanks to you and the crew. Cheers :beer:

mikedarlington6 karma

  • Very different situations, that Hardstyle project was a mini side project. This encompasses the entire organization. It's a better decision in the long run even if we see negative effects in the short term
  • It actually means there will be more compilation albums since we increased weekly releases by 33%
  • Depends, we're pretty flexible. Sometimes really far in advance

Protatomonster2 karma

Firstly I'd like to start by saying thank you so much for everything you've done in the YouTube community. We love you guys and are so thankful to have such an awesome Label in the industry.

Now for my question, I've always been shocked by how amazing some of the artists you guys work with are, how do you guys tend to go about finding such amazing talent in the EDM industry?

mikedarlington8 karma

People are very eager to share their favourite artists. It becomes really organic once you become a destination label.

payur2 karma

Do you know if soulji is going to release again with you guys soon? Because he is my favorite artist featured on monstercat, so I would love to see another remix or release.

mikedarlington6 karma

I hope so!

Rapierre2 karma

Hi Mike Darlington!

So what of the fate of PredictBot? Is he/it just gone?

Any plans on hosting a Monstercat-only Festival event/tour or something?

And will you try to put Monstercat songs on more mainstream radio?

mikedarlington10 karma

  • I'm sure he'll be back, gotta make it better
  • Tours already happening but yeah, there will be a Monstercat festival one day. Uncaged stage, Instinct stage etc
  • It's happening every year more and more. It's good for our artists!

Jayceey2 karma

Hey Gnarlington, ahem... Darlington. I would like to say I am looking forward to the future of Monstercat as it splits off in two directions, but is still united and brought even closer by one whole family, staff, and the love of music.

Anyways, I'd like to ask two things.

First: With the albums being separated, will UCV4 include all of the end of 2017 singles/EP releases?

Second: How long has this been in the works? from the first time this was spoken to the team, or even devised on a note pad?

Anyways, here's to the future of Monstercat!

mikedarlington6 karma

  1. Majority, yes!
  2. This has been a year in the making. All the pieces really came together back in March/April

jwatford982 karma

Will there be separate compilation albums for both Uncaged and Instinct?

Will there be any plans for UK live shows in the future?

mikedarlington6 karma

We’re very excited about how Uncaged and Instinct will impact our schedule, both on individual release days, and for compilations. Point blank: yes, there will be separate compilations for each brand, Uncaged and Instinct!

As for events, we’ve been trying (and succeeding) at bringing our shows to as many places across the globe as possible. The UK is definitely on our radar. Love the UK fans!

rrandomCraft2 karma

Are there any plans on having Monstercat tour in the UK? Specifically, Wales?

mikedarlington11 karma

I can’t tell you how much I love the UK. And this question seems to be popping up quite a bit, but I’m more than happy to say again that we are working our ass off to bring the Live Monstercat experience to as many places as possible. I promise you the UK is on our radar.

PhantomDarknessDashy2 karma

Hey Mike! Hope you're well! :D

  • Looking back 6 years ago, did you ever envision Monstercat mustering the large fanbase it has today?

  • What were your thoughts on the future at the time?

  • Where do you see the label heading 10 years from now?

  • Finally, what can we hope to see from the shop this year?

mikedarlington8 karma

  • Always hoped it could, had no idea we would be here.
  • Back then, I just wanted to improve and have fun, go to shows etc. Really was pretty clueless
  • A lot more work in gaming/media. Festival/conference etc
  • The upcoming Uncaged/Instinct lines are so good. We will work to further improve the quality, cut and sew nature of the clothing this year.

MillerNews1 karma

Yo Mike! I've been apart of the community since early 2014 and I've gotta ask you. Was there a strategy you followed to have such a successful music label or was it just based on pure chance? I work on staff on my own label and wanted a bit of advice from someone with lots of experience. Thanks so much Mike! I'm a mega fan! :D

mikedarlington4 karma

Based off intuition and research. There's no guide to follow as a modern label. Try different approaches, many will fail some will succeed

Aqluse1 karma

Any plans for any kinds of branded applications for better user experience on platforms? Or Monstercat will distribute only through website and stores?

And second question, if I able to ask so many.

Are Monstercat will always abandon previous trends like it happen recently (not sooo recently though) to Complextro Electro House (lets scale it to the whole Electro House, nevermind) after Future Bass expansion, or it was for sudden and next time it will be a lot smoother transition? Because for me it was like a lot of it and then label almost stopped releasing such music.

mikedarlington5 karma

I could see our website being fully developed into a web app that works effectively as a "mobile" app as well.

We didn't choose to stop releasing the music, our artists stopped producing it and submitting it. Also, the sound stopped evolving, we got bored. Send me some unique electro that doesn't sound like poop and I'll give it a shot!

KingDzx1 karma

Hey! I'm a huge fan of this label! It's brought so much great music into my life and was the introduction to EDM for me, so thank you for helping to create and shape monstercat. My question is, what other changes should we look out for in the coming weeks and months? And what should we look forward to this year?

mikedarlington5 karma

More music! More shows! More clothing lines! More partnerships!

ananasjakookos1 karma

Hey Mike ! You have always been my favorite channel for work music. You know something electronic while doing programming jobs and such. Is it true the podcasts ended? Like thats all i listened always. Also who is the biggest newcomer on the scene right now?

mikedarlington6 karma

Podcasts are now Call of the Wild radio shows and can be found on Soundcloud, Spotify etc just not on YouTube.

Biggest newcomer who's now taking over is Rezz (headline status), she's incredibly talented and her following is cult-like. Love it!

AlexIllustration1 karma

Hi Darlington! Now that the label splitted into two sublabels, will be more opportunities for graphic artists to join the family?

mikedarlington3 karma

Yep! Our design team is actually creating an out-sourced circle of artists we can work with

h1ghly1 karma

Hi Mike,

In terms of artist merchandise (since the store recently took it down), should we expecting a large wave of merch to come or will they appear gradually?

mikedarlington5 karma

Not anytime soon

woakies1 karma

What do you look for in a demo at monstercat? Also Can we expect more psy trance like infected mushroom on monstercat?

mikedarlington4 karma

Creativity, authenticity and quality. There's always room for more psytrance.

thegaytwig1 karma

Do you think Monstercat knows da wae?

mikedarlington13 karma

We know da wae

D-GRACE171 karma

Hey Mike, Just wanted to say I'm such a huge fan of monstercat and what you guys put out and most of all what you guys stand for and do with and for other artists. Best of all you're right here in Van! love it. what do you do that you think sets you apart from other labels? My ultimate goal would be to work with your team on some releases, is there someone I can get in contact with that takes care of that department? excited for tons of new music from you guys this year! Cheers :)

mikedarlington2 karma

  • Ignorance and willingness to fail sets us a part. We're definitely still hiring and should have job postings available online

Edit: Since you’re in Vancouver, drop a line to [email protected] and arrange to drop by sometime, and you can chat with me or a member of the team.

Llaird1231 karma

It should come as no surprise that I'm really loving this change in the label and really exemplifying the term of "family" in the world of Monstercat. I love all the unique genres of EDM so I had to subscribe to Instinct. But speaking on this change, here's my question.

Monstercat has been seen as an indie EDM musical label; discovered by a lot but not known by absolutely everyone. So with this change being promoted on Twitter and ads being shown in places like Times Square, I'm curious to know this.

Is Monstercat trying to be "mainstream"? Is that your goal, Darlington? Not saying this as a bad thing. I'm just wondering. For already one of the Monstercat artists, Marshmello, has been expressed as such due to "Alone" being a platinum record and him working with artists like Khalid (Silence), Selena Gomez (Wolves) , and even Migos (Danger).

mikedarlington5 karma

We want to push our artists further. There is no such thing as trying to be "mainstream" when your artists goals are to break worldwide. Things like our ads are fun ways to further expose our artists to the world.

The billboard ad featured a bunch of our relatively unknown artists, far from mainstream. Proud of Marshmello for breaking through!

casperslakes1 karma

Hello mister Darlington! I've been a fan of Monstercat since the release of Top of the World 2, and I'm incredibly hyped to see how far Instinct and Uncaged will go in the future! My question is, what are your guilty pleasures when it comes to Food, Music and Movies?

mikedarlington3 karma

Food: Too much pizza Music: Lil Peep RIP and 2000s Punk Rock Movies: All Marvel films

Unoitsrong1 karma

We have seen the label delve into UK Hardcore (Happy Hardcore) with the likes of Darren Styles, Stonebank & Gammer releasing. Why do you think it took such a long time for this genre to get exposure not just with yourselves but with the larger festivals etc? Big ups for representing tho! 💪🏻

mikedarlington4 karma

It's been around a lot longer than we have and has a very dedicated following! It's a sound we found that we loved and wanted to get behind! Also, all of the artists are so kind, grateful and deserve to be where they are at

BradCubed1 karma

Hey Mike, have you ever considered bringing an Mcat show to the UK? I live in Scotland and adore everything about Monstercat, I'd love to go to a show but since I am still in school, I've have never had the chance to.

mikedarlington2 karma

We have definitely considered it! I have had an amazing time in the UK everytime I'm there. As I mentioned somewhere else, it is just a bit more challenging to book in Europe than it is in North America/ Asia. Nonetheless it is something we'd love to do!

carelesscreation1 karma

Hey man! Huge fan!

Been listening to Monstercat releases for 5 years now, you guys are a huge part of my life and a massive inspiration for creating.

As a team, do you all have a primary videographer or someone in charge of your music video productions? Or is it different project-to-project?

Also, what’s it like hearing the evolution of sound since starting Monstercat (ex: Ephixa’s “Some Wobbles”) to the most recent releases and newest dubstep songs being put out?

Thank you for all the beautiful tunes!

mikedarlington5 karma

Different project-to-project although Timelapse in Vancouver does most of our video work here. They are the best! The evolution has been pretty natural, our tastes change, artists change and the industry has changed

Echax20001 karma

What now Mike? Where do you take us on this wondrous journey of Monstercat after this split in releases?

Loving the new release schedule, thanks for all the face-melting over the years <3

mikedarlington5 karma

Always melt faces

Pygowsky1 karma

Hey Mike! When will Monstercat be taking submissions again and have you heard of Sekai? :)

mikedarlington7 karma

Soon and yes, think we're friends on FB