AJ Halpern

Aaron Jacob (AJ) Halpern is the CEO and founder of Monomental Music Group (MMG), LLC.

AJ’s lifelong passion for music started young and bright. At 8, he placed 3rd in the Bela Bartok International Piano Competition, competing against hundreds of pianists (some as old as 12). A string of prestigious competitions later, Aaron was prepped to enter a Masters Class program to formally study classical piano as a career.

At the last moment, he withdrew from the program, and used his Bar Mitzvah money on synthesizers and drum machines. He developed his own sound and made his own records – first breaking in local college radio at 16. He was a leader in every music class in high school, which included arranging and composing for orchestras, and playing in rock bands. By the time he went to college, he had become proficient on different music instruments and sang across the USA – and as distant as Moscow, Russia.

AJ attended California Institute of the Arts for Composition. At the same time he was in college, his productions were being shopped by a manager team to top 40 producers such as Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (Janet Jackson).

As a young adult, Aaron played in bands, mastering a wide range of styles, instruments, and performance scenarios, and thoroughly learning the crafts of production and audio engineering. He led a large funk band called All Juice throughout his 20’s, crafting social-politically funk/punk lyrics in epic dance rock songs (AJ’s band stayed together after him and became internationally famous).

In AJ’s early 30s, he explored the healing arts in chi healing. With yoga and chi classes in his personal life, AJ discovered a global voice in the music project Nimbus. CD’s were on a Vancouver, BC label SIMA and distributed through the Pan Pacific Hotel chain, retail outlets in Europe and Canada such as Open Sundaes, and spa chains like Spa Utopia.

AJ later became involved in multimedia performance art in DC galleries, making him greatly interested in visual production. At this point, he also moved to New York City.

In 2006, AJ created Monomental Music Group (MMG) to serve the increasing demand for music that is designed for visual production. MMG hit its stride – knocking back a Promax for its re-brand campaign “Club 1080” for Discovery HD Theater channel – then delivering the premiere promos, the series topicals, and later on, the main theme for TLC’s LA Ink featuring Kat Von D.

In 2009, Monomental Music Group became a record label and publishing company. In 2011 remixed Hot Chelle Rae’s smash hit “Tonight Tonight” for Jive records (#7 Billboard Hot 100 chart for 34 weeks, #4 Pop chart). In 2012, MMG produced K pop legend Baek Ji-Young’s title  single “Good Boy” (#4 K Pop Billboard Chart for 7 weeks). In 2013, MMG produced legendary NYC DJ duo Love and Logic’s track “Righteous Way” on King Street Records, and Born I Music featuring Frenchie (Waka Flocka/Bricksquad) – “Purple” for Universal/ UMG. MMG produced singles featuring Mobb Deep, Method Man, Julia Carpenter, Caligula, Thaitanium, Danny T, DJ Sneak, Stacy Kidd, Sabb & Zenbi, Lazerbitch, and Heyday Footwear.

AJ’s commitment to high value music and creative content has led him to a great life filled with interesting, talented crews and good times had by all. He likes hiking, meditating, coffee, conversation, and serious belly laughs. He adores his family and wide circle of friends, both close to him and from around the world. He has taught piano and guitar for 15 years and he considers it a great privilege.

Nicolas Laget

African by birth, European by upbringing, Asian spiritually and American at heart, Nicolas Laget has been a musician since childhood.

During the last few years he has seized every opportunity to fulfill a life-long ambition: scoring music for moving pictures.  Early successful collaborations with Monomental Music Group, writing for shows on HBO, TLC, Discovery and other networks, led to Nicolas officially joining the MMG team in 2013.  A  commission to write orchestral music for the award-winning documentary “The Bonobo Connection” earned a 2012 TIVA award for best original musical composition.

In the last decade Nicolas – aka Kolai – developed his craft by producing jazz, hip hop, and deep house music records. His first album, a collaboration with dj Taha “T” Elroubi which was released by the legendary jazz/soul/dance label Chillifunk, was nominated best jazz album of 2003 by London’s Jazz FM.   Accompanying some of the finest of dc’s indie artists, such as Deborah Bond and Yoko K, Nicolas has performed on all continents and in the finest clubs in the world: Jazz Cafe in London, Bed in Miami, Blue Note in NYC, Zouk in Singapore, the Kennedy Center in DC, etc…

In 2006 Nicolas launched the indie label Asahra Music to capitalize on his knowledge as a producer and engineer and to be able to offer his experience to emerging musicians. The artistic focus of Asahra is the exploration of the frontier between electronic and acoustic musical traditions.

In 2003 Nicolas founded the Sweet Spot Studio in response to the many engineering requests he received since releasing his first records. He has helped craft Jazz, Rock, Ska, Neo Soul, Gospel, and Dance records heard across the world.

His early years were spent singing in choirs and playing Baroque chamber music on the recorder. In his teens Nicolas expanded his musical horizons by studying the flute, the tenor saxophone and the keyboard. After obtaining a masters degree in composition from the University of Virginia with a specialization in Orchestral music, he settled in the Washington DC area and began his professional career.

As a voting member of NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences), Nicolas has served on the Remixer Craft Committee and is currently a governor of the Engineering category of the Grammies for the DC chapter.

Andrew Souter

Composer, Producer, Sound-Designer, Mastering Engineer, and Developer Andrew Souter is a prolific force both creatively and technically.

He has created epic game scores for legendary brands such as Disney’s Tron and others like Sonic Mayhem in LA. He has worked with some of the biggest names in electronic dance music, with artist releases on Paul Oakenfold’s Perfecto Records, as well as DJ Sasha on Invol2ver, Moby and David Lynch remixes.

He is the founder of the sound-design and content library company Galbanum, where he has developed thousands of highly esteemed music loops, synthesizer expansions, sound effects, and advanced sound-design resources. He has worked closely with the largest music software companies in the world such as Native Instruments and many others, where he has helped create the sound and functionality of tools that define entire genres of electronic music.

He is a co-founder, acting president, and primary algorithm designer of 2CAudio, one of the leading audio signal processing developers of this generation, and creators of the award-winning reverb products Aether, B2, and Breeze which have been heard by hundreds of millions of people globally and are used daily on the some of the biggest film, television, music, and game projects in the industry. He is an active member of the Recording Association of America, the Grammy P&E committee, ASCAP, AES, IEEE, USC Alumni Association and other professional organizations.