BROCKTON — Isaiah Valmont grew up as a creative child in Brockton, teaching himself to play the piano after his mother paid for a few lessons to get him started, honing his musical talents as a teenager by supplying catchy beats to local rappers and always performing hymns each Sunday morning at a Haitian church in the city.
“At that point, I knew music is something I wanted to do,” Valmont said. “I didn’t know I would make a career out of it. But it’s what I spent all my time doing. I was 10 years old when I first started. I was playing sports, but my mom took me out of that because I wasn’t the athletic type. She got me a trumpet and a piano.”
Valmont, 22, is now realizing his goals as a music producer, recently getting signed by the increasingly popular music making collective and record label called Internet Money, which in August put out the chart-topping hip hop song “Lemonade” with rapper Gunna, featuring Don Toliver and Nav.
On Tuesday night, Valmont and other musicians from Internet Money are expected to appear for a performance of “Lemonade” on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Valmont will be playing keyboard for the prerecorded show.
“It’s definitely surreal, it doesn’t even feel real to me right now,” said Valmont, who graduated in 2016 from Brockton High School, where he also played guitar, trumpet and tuba. “It’s almost like it’s a dream. I’m taking it all in.”
Valmont just returned from Los Angeles where he spent a month with Internet Money, getting signed by the group and spending countless hours in the music studio, working tediously from behind the keyboard on new projects with some of the hottest names in hip-hop, including the label’s co-founders Taz Taylor and Nick Mira.
Valmont described one studio session that lasted from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., with a nonstop marathon of experimentation and music composition, aiming to create music that is both timeless and catchy.
“It’s a house full of young producers, creators and artists. I got signed literally two weeks ago,” said Valmont, keyboardist for the group. “I hardly slept for a second. I played music from when I opened my eyes to when I closed my eyes. We didn’t leave and ordered food in. That was basically our lives every day, constantly working and trying to find the next hit.”
This comes after Valmont, who also teaches piano lessons on the side, signed a management deal in January this year. Valmont made a name for himself within Boston hip-hop circles while attending UMass Amherst, where he studied political science and spent much his free time bunkered down in a dorm room developing new beats.
“I became a producer mainly because I had friends in high school that started rapping,” Valmont said. “I’ve been doing music all my life. I kind of put two and two together. I thought, maybe if I play melodies and add some drums, maybe people could start rapping to it. My first beats weren’t the best. But over the years, I’d constantly lock myself in my room downstairs or my college dorm and I got better over time.”
Valmont said he’s now spending time with family during the holidays, playing piano on Sundays for Restoration Community Church, before he plans to return to California to continue working on music with Internet Money.
For Valmont, being able to showcase his talents with a popular hip hop group that’s on the rise is a “dream come true.”
“I feel like I’m walking in my purpose now,” Valmont said. “It feels great. It’s everything I prayed for. Now I’m in the room with these huge artists and huge names that we hear on the radio. I’ve been accepted into the community like I’m one of them. I’m playing on all these huge records. I definitely owe it all to God and my mom.”
Louna Mahotiere, Valmont’s mother, a dental assistant who was born in Haiti, said she is “extremely proud” of her son. Mahotiere mentioned that an award for music and good behavior was named after him at Ashfield Middle School, and he played the piano for the Haitian Assembly of God Church on Court Street starting at age 12.
“I’m beyond proud. With God’s grace, I raised such an amazing young man,” Mahotiere said. “I give all the glory to God. I always raised him to be humble and put God first. I always tell him to be kind to people. I have to say, he is a kind and well-grounded young man.”
Mahotiere, who also has a daughter and two foster children, said she’s excited to see her son on national television performing on the Jimmy Fallon show.
“When he called me and told me he’ll be on Jimmy Fallon, I was driving on my way to church,” she said. “I started praising God. For me, I couldn’t believe that. I’m very excited. I can’t wait to see him there. When my son was in fifth grade, I went to a parent-teacher conference. The teacher told me she was going to read about him on the newspaper or see him on TV one day. And it’s happening.”
Valmont said has a passion for making hip-hop music, pop and R&B and hopes to use his talents to give back to his family and community.
“My goal with music is to take care of my mom,” he said. “I want to give her back that money she provided me, to play piano and get my first lessons, and more. I want to take care of my family and make a difference in my community.”
Valmont encouraged others artists from Brockton to follow their dreams.
“You can do anything you put your mind to,” he said “Don’t give up. Trust God. Trust yourself. And trust in your dreams. If I was to listen to everyone who says there’s only one-in-a-million chance you’ll make it, I probably would have adopted that mentality. But you just have to believe in yourself more than anyone else and just go.”
Staff writer Marc Larocque can be reached at [email protected]
Website of source