Hit-Monkey Composer Daniel Rojas on Musical Themes, Industry Trends and La La Land [Interview]
So what’s next on your plate? Is there anything you can share?
The following weeks weren’t that crazy because “Kipo”, “MODOK”, “Hit-Monkey” and a few other things I did were all back-to-back. So I haven’t had a big break for a while. So I take a little time to update my studio, update my computer, all those things that need to be done every now and then.
I’m starting a feature film that’s live shot, but I can’t share what it is yet, because you know what it is, but it’s a live shot feature. It’s kind of a dramatic comedy. So it’s very different from the things I do and it’s for one of those streaming platforms. So it’ll be there, I’m probably thinking about summer or fall next year, but we’re going to mark it until around April, I think.
And then after that I’m going to start a show, on … again, I can’t say much about it, but it’s going to be on Nickelodeon and Paramount Plus. I think I can share this, this is my first time working with them. So I’m excited about it, but it’s with people I’ve worked with before.
So yeah that’s what’s on my plate for next year from now on and the rest, yeah I probably would … Like I said I try to be a little selective , just choosing projects that speak to me and things that I feel my career is going in the direction I want. So I have a little bit of time if something like this comes up and I’m trying to demo some things, but at the moment I don’t have a lot on my schedule, but it’s also the end of the year. So things really generally heat up when we go back in January.
OK. So my last question for you. It’s going to be completely out of left field, but “La La Land” … with your expertise in jazz, the central issue of this film, there’s a sort of “modern jazz versus traditional jazz” debate going on. .. What do you personally take away from the film?
This is a very interesting question. [laughs] Actually, I don’t know if you may have seen it on my bio, but I have a background in jazz myself. I went to school for jazz studies in North Texas. I think I’m more, in that sense I’m a bit more of the John Legend team personally.
I feel like jazz is an extremely rich art form and that’s why I studied it and still admire it so much, but I’m part of the team I’m thinking of, this music happened for a reason and our work, more than just replicating and being extremely puristic about it, I feel like our generation can just take this and move it somewhere else. So I would say that I am more of this team, although I think it is necessary to keep the tradition. So I admire the musicians so meticulous in keeping the art of Coltrane and Charlie Parker alive. And I think there is great value in that, just like there is value in museums showing Monnet’s art and all of that stuff. I think there is value in tradition and safeguarding that.
But in general, and for me, I’m more of the John Legend team in the sense that I want to modernize things and make them more accessible to people. And I think as a musician I’m in the state of mind, I don’t just write music for myself. I know there is a school of people who say, you should just do it all for yourself. I also like to do things for people. It’s gratifying to see people enjoying the projects I’m working on, whether it’s a movie, a TV show, or just a music album. I like this. I like to share it. I like to see people enjoy music. So part of what I do I try to always keep in mind. I do this for others too. So that’s kind of my state of mind.
“Hit-Monkey” is now available on Hulu.