Where did the name Munnycat come from?
We just thought it was super cool. We feel so fortunate that we get to create new music -together – on our own terms – from our own studio – anytime day or night – that we wanted to pass some of that good luck on. The Money Cat is a symbol of good fortune, so it made sense.
And how did you and Katie meet?
6 years-or-so ago, Katianne booked my band for a music festival she was performing at and helping organize. I said yes before knowing any of the specifics because I thought she was the cutest thing ever. We started dating about 6 months later and collaborating on each other projects. Eventually, we decided we wanted to reach back to the kinds of music that initially lit the fires in our hearts and made us want to be musicians – golden-age hip-hop & sugar-sweet 90’s pop.
How did you get started in music?
Khaledzou: I come from a musical fam. My dad played the accordion. My brother always made hiphop beats and had samplers, turntables and keyboards around. My grandfather played banjo / organ and stuff. I did musical theater when I was a kid because it kept me out of trouble. I started writing more and more and my brother and I made a record in our basement for fun and then we had to play it live – so I started a band.
K808: I dressed up like Baby Spice for career day in 3rd grade. My entire life has been me reverse engineering how to become a Spice Girl, basically.
Who were some of your influences when you first got started into music and who might you listen to now?
Khaledzou: I grew up listening to producers like Rick Rubin, Prince Paul, and the Bomb Squad. Artists like Beck, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, En Vogue, The Kinks, BeachBoys, NIN, Ice Cube, Public Enemy, Prince and my man Stephen Sondheim. Lately I’ve been into Santigold, Kendrick Lamar, Selena Gomez, Kanye, Spoon.
K808: The Spice Girls (first CD / first concert), Mariah Carey (first cassette), Alanis Morissette, Selena, No Doubt, NSYNC (2nd, 3rd, and 4th concert), Aaliyah, Barbie and the Rockers. I’ve gotten into a lot more genres with time. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Kanye’s new stuff. The Beastie Boys, and some alt-country stuff like Shovels and Rope and Hayes Carll.
Talk a little about going from Youngstown and the music there and how that helped you grow into what you guys are now and even where you guys are at now in your career.
Youngstown has been an amazing place for us to hone our craft. Nobody is really around to help you find your sound or your style, so we were able to find it for ourselves. We were able to play out and get better in front of an audience without the added pressure of a bad early performance ruining our careers. We taught ourselves to produce our own music because we didn’t know any pop/hip hop music producers, and at the time it felt tough but in hindsight, it was such a great thing and I wish it for everybody. We know who we are as artists 1000000% and we’re able to make every single creative decision in every single one of our songs. It’s a creative playground in a lot of ways.
What’s your song writing process like?
When left to our own devices, Kate is super concept/lyric/melody driven and Khaled is always thinking about the chords and musicality of the track first. But with MUNNYCAT, we dive in 50/50 to each and every song. We work together on the vibe, the beat, the lyrics – all of it gets signed off on by both of us. It’s like a brain baby.
What do you guys have going on for the last half of 2017? Any Bigg plans for 2018 yet?
We’re working on our second EP which will be released probably real soon in the last half of 2017 or early 2018. We’re excited to keep up our momentum from this past year.
What’s your favorite album of 2017? How about Katie’s favorite?
Khaled’s favorites of 2017 are every single that Selena Gomez releases and Kate’s favorite record of 2017 is DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar.