If all that you needed to know about producer Mohkom Singh Bhangal – a.k.a. Money Musik – could be compressed into one stat, it’s this one: Bhangal estimates that in 2020 alone, he composed more than 1,000 beats.
“I’m up to around 460 this year,” the human beat machine explains from the Los Angeles abode of Navraj Singh Goraya – better known as Nav – where Bhangal is currently living. “It takes me 30 minutes to make a beat.”
Currently, the artist who hears most of his creations first is Nav, who’s factored in 15.3 million records sold as an artist, and another 3.7 million as a producer. He scored his first two Billboard chart-topping albums with Money Musik working the boards: 2019’s Bad Habits and 2020’s Good Intentions.
“Bad Habits was a great moment,” Bhangal recalls. “This was the first album I’d ever been on that’s a major album. I worked on 14 songs on that, and it went to No. 1 – it was definitely a confidence booster.”
It’s also something of a Cinderella story, because when Bhangal was a 15-year-old teenager, and his interest in producing and making beats was in its infancy, who did he text for advice? Nav.
“Back then he had 500 followers, and he posted videos of his beats,” Bhangal recalls. “And I thought, ‘I want to learn how to do that.’” So he messaged Nav and inquired about what he would need to do in order to establish himself as a producer. “Nav told me, “FL Studio, Logic Pro, get some speakers. Just the basic stuff.
“After that conversation, I went the next day with my mom to Long & McQuade and – because I was already working a day job – I bought $2,000 worth of equipment: a computer, some speakers, a MIDI keyboard, stuff like that. And I’ve been grinding ever since.”
That was the only contact he had with Nav, and over the next three years, Money Musik worked with local Toronto artists K. Money, Pressa, WhyG, Casper TNG, and LB Spiffy, growing his street cred. Sometime before he worked on the 88Glam track “I’m Fresh” featuring Nav, the two proudly Brown musicians re-connected, and Bhangal ended up secretly working on Bad Habits. “I didn’t post anything about it, so no one knew,” he admits.
Today, the two are fast friends – and Money Musik insists that that’s as strong a reason as any why their partnership works so well. “I’m living at his house right now,” says Bhangal, who’s also worked with KILLY, and recently produced the entire AP Dhillon and Gurinder Gill album Not By Chance. “Over the years, we’ve been building the connection, staying in the studio,” he says. “We just built up the team, making it more like a family, and not just strictly work.”
Breaking down the essence of the collaborative relationship, Money Musik is currently filling Nav’s home with the sounds of beats. “I’m always making beats at the house,” he says. “I make beats every single day, so I have beats stacked up. So either I’ll go to the studio and play some beats, and if he likes them, he might tell the engineer to ‘load this one up,’ and he’ll freestyle, punching-in [his vocals] line-by-line.
“But he makes beats as well – so sometimes he’ll play some melodies, and I’ll do the drums. Usually, when we’re in the studio, we’ll start from scratch. But there’s been times when I’ve played a beat and he’ll just go on it straight from then, depending on the vibe.” If Nav rejects them, Bhangal exports them to other artists.
Still employing FL Studio 11, Bhangal says the biggest challenge for him is arranging the beat: “You don’t want too much going on in the beat, where the artist can’t rap on it; you still need space where the artist can go,” he says. “You don’t want it to be cluttered.”
Bhangal is also focused on expanding his palate. “I’d like to go more dark, more epic,” he explains. “For me, I’d love to make dark, classical [music], some strings, pianos, flutes – using real instruments, for sure. You feel the emotion in it as well. At the end of the day, it’s about the emotion and how it makes you feel. If it brings emotion to me and I feel it, then for sure I like it.”
At the moment, Money Musik is working on his own Spotify playlist, and says he’s looking forward to the day he finally lands a Top 10 song on the Billboard Hot 100. And he’s willing to wait. “It all comes with time, and whenever it comes, it’ll be a blessing,” he says. “I’m just taking it step-by-step.”