It takes almost a decade of work to create an overnight success. DJ Montay, one member of Atlanta’s Southern Style DJs, is an example of this.
Joining Atlanta’s Big Oomp Records as a teenager, he spent years soaking up game from Big Oomp producers like Freddy B and MC Assault and DJs like DJ Jelly, who helped him grow his skill.
Montay grew up on Atlanta’s Southside listening to everything from NWA to Atlanta mixtape pioneer Edward J’s J Team. Out of everything he heard, Big Oomp’s DJ mixes made the biggest impression on him, inspiring him to want to become a producer as well.
Montay went on to say this about his earliest inspirations of Atlanta hiphop:
I got introduced to DJ Jelly, and that’s what really inspired me to want to be a DJ. I already was into it because I had a drum machine at 9,”
How DJ Montay Got His Start
Impressed by what he heard, Montay reached out to Big Oomp’s sister and one of Big Oomp’s artists, B-Reel of Intoxicated, asking them to get Big Oomp his production tape. DJ Jelly heard the tape and gave the teenager a chance, inviting Montay along with him to DJ at a high school party.
He didn’t know how to use a turntable, but Jelly sensed he was determined and took him under his wings. From there, Montay became a part of Big Oomp’s homegrown production team known as the Southern Style DJs.
Montay’s Early Career
Over the course of the next few years, Montay began making a name for himself in the South, crafting hits for artists like Lil Flip, P$C, Yo Gotti, Dem Franchize Boyz, Pastor Troy, Crime Mob and others. Dem Franchize Boyz’s 2005 song, “Suckas Come and Try Me” was Montay’s first record label placement.
Montay worked in the local club and radio scene as well, djing on the Eastside at Club Chocolate and Hot 107.9, where he helped promote Atlanta’s artists.
His work paid off, when in 2006, he collaborated with one of Oomp Camp’s newest signees, DJ Unk, on the hit single, “Walk it Out”.
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Montay took Unk under his wing the way Jelly did with him, and from there the two began working together. ‘Walk It Out’ became the label’s biggest single and the follow-up, “2 Step”, only added to their success.
The song became a hit in clubs like the Poole Palace and Club Crucial and Chocolate months before television and radio came knocking. Years of hard work started the chain reaction of success that followed.
Montay kept churning out hits, feeding the streets with anthems like “Foolish” by Shawty Lo before eventually producing the aforementioned track with Flo Rida, which he remembers fondly by saying:
‘When asked what his mindset was during the time, Montay calmly replies, ‘My mindset was both I can’t believe this is happening and also to keep my foot on the gas.’
Montay & T-Pain
Notoriety followed Montay’s work with T-Pain, with whom he now works with as his official DJ, but the success only fanned the flames inside of him to burn brighter. He never rested on his laurels and kept the momentum up, adding more songs to his portfolio over the years while also serving as a mentor to Big Oomp’s next generation of producers and artists.
DJ Superblue is one of the newest additions to the Southern Style DJs crew and the similarities in how he was discovered give even more credence to the love Oomp Camp gives to the south.
When he’s not producing or mentoring, he’s working with his artist and partner, Shonte Renee, whom he’s helping along the path to success.
For Montay, being able to conquer other sounds including pop, R&B, and even EDM remain his goal
“I step outside to explore and try new things, but that’s just me. I’ve never been stuck on doing just one thing. I’m always looking for the next high.”
Shonte earned her first top 100 record as a co-producer, and as of recently, it has been certified gold. As a respected producer in the game, Montay wants to help others reach their peak and most of all wants Atlanta to continue its reign as the top city for music.
When asked which side of town deserves the most attention, Montay laughs but keeps it honest.
“I just want to say Atlanta as a whole is the best. For me, Atlanta is a complete circle. As long as it’s the A and Atlanta is winning, I don’t care.