Mixtaped Monk

We spoke to 'Mixtaped Monk' aka Arka Sengupta about his inspirations, songwriting process and influences.

Till date, Mixtaped Monk has released 4 full-length albums, an EP and 5 singles. His albums have received rave reviews by the likes of Merchants Of Air (Belgium) and Ottawa Experimental Music, Echoes And Dust (US), ArtNoir Magazine (Germany), Drifting, Almost Falling (US), The Score Magazine (India) and a few other publications around the world. Mr Sengupta has also collaborated with British ambient music legend, Cousin Silas, a number of times; the most notable one being their collaborative album, Soundtrack To Your Own Fantasy.

Mixtaped Monk is currently signed to New York-based record label, Studio 4632. (https://www.studio4632.com/


You describe your music as Ambient, Electronic, Downtempo and Experimental. Tell us about that.

The music that I create can mostly be categorised under the genres ambient, post-rock, and experimental. That is because, when I am creating music, I tend to subconsciously take elements of these three genres to create a sound of my own. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t experiment with other genres. I am a huge fan of progressive rock (both 70s prog rock and neo-prog rock) and I have experimented with that as well. A good example of this would be “Inside Insanity,” a song from my album Tales From A Distant Galaxy, in which I collaborated with British ambient music legend, Cousin Silas. 


You also are a Do-It-Yourself project. Do you prefer it that way?


Yes, I do prefer to do everything for the project myself unless I am collaborating with someone. This is because I like being self-sufficient and don’t like depending on others for anything. You can call it a personality trait. I’m quite stubborn that way.


How do you balance the dual nature of working and making music?

It is quite simple actually. I work my ass off for five days a week and, during the weekends, I spend my time with music, be it composing something or just noodling with my guitar or keyboard. Moreover, the fact that I do not perform live that often also helps me balance the two priorities of my life. 


How would you describe your songwriting process?

My songwriting process totally depends on my mood. Sometimes, if I have a particular theme in mind while composing for an album, I try to compose as close to the theme as possible. And then there are times when I compose a track and it ends up fitting perfectly into a particular theme. What I do love doing is experimenting with sounds. Everything else just falls into place miraculously, and I have no idea how that happens.


Do you work with concepts for particular albums or tracks? If so please explain.

Yes, I do like to work with concepts while working on an album. And that is because I like the flow in which an entire album conveys the various parts of one particular theme; such as the music of Porcupine Tree or Steven Wilson’s solo albums or Pink Floyd’s albums or even the albums of post-rock bands such as Sigur Ros, God Is An Astronaut, Explosions In The Sky, Mogwai, etc. But I must say that, through my music, I like to convey a particular mood or experience rather than a general theme per say. 


Listen to the album 'Urban Lonesome' below

What are your current favourite Indian artists? Is there anyone you would like to work or collaborate with?
I love the music of Parvaaz, Dualist Inquiry, Maati Baani and Donn Bhat. And, if we are talking about collaborations, I would love to collaborate with Kashif Iqbal and Khalid Ahmed of Parvaaz. I think they are phenomenal musicians.
Album links:
Soundtrack To Your Own Fantasy( With Cousin Silas): https://studio4632.bandcamp.com/album/soundtrack-to-your-own-fantasy
You can follow him on the following channels:


Thanks for reading!