If you’re inclined to believe in fortune or fate, a driving force that guides us through a chaotic world, you may find a sort of affirmation in Josh Monroy’s story. Or maybe you just happen to believe that, as the saying goes, what we call luck is the product of preparation and opportunity.
Soon after he graduated from Full Sail with a Recording Arts degree in 2002, Josh began interning in Atlanta’s Tree Sounds Studios. As an assistant he worked on records for Elton John and OutKast (specifically, Andre 3000’s portion of Speakerboxxx/The Love Below).
“Around that time,” Josh says, “the engineer I was working with happened to get a call from Ludacris late one night” to work on his upcoming record. But then that engineer quit, and Josh was promoted and began partnering with the Atlanta rapper. Eventually, Ludacris decided to build his own studio, and asked Josh to run it. And he did, for the next eight years. Over that span, with Josh taking the working name “Igloo,” he and Ludacris worked together on seven platinum records, including the Grammy-winning Release Therapy. Josh bought a house across the street from Ludacris, and sometimes he even took the rapper’s mother to the airport.
Over those eight years, Josh burnished his credentials as engineer, producer, and songwriter. He did a live recording for the Strokes, some work for Billy Corgan’s Zwan, and produced tracks for artists signed to Def Jam and other labels. But it was through his work with Ludacris that Josh took the next step in his career. In 2010, he inked a music publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing and moved out to Los Angeles.
“The main thing [about songwriting] is that it helps to know a little about everything,” says Josh. “I learned how to build sound from the ground up.”
Though Josh got his start in hip-hop, he’s written with artists in many genres, including David Archuleta, an American Idol finalist whose top-40 pop sensibilities are about as far away from the Atlanta rap scene as you can get. He’s also writing with Emma Louise Birdsall, a finalist on the Australian version of The Voice.
Now, in addition to his songwriting duties, Josh is taking a stab at his own musical project. Called Something Lovely, the project features Josh as a cowriter and producer, his girlfriend Andi Silvas, and fellow engineer Eric Denniston, who works at a studio Josh manages in L.A.. Their first music video, for an upbeat, synth-driven track called “Ethereal,” has garnered nearly 30,000 views on YouTube in less than two months.