As his playful pseudonym suggests, Monikkr (born to the name Anthony Fonseca), deftly defies the labels commonly used for artists today, as his diverse range of talent and experience is a true cross-section of art forms and genres. He is both DJ and producer, musician and entertainer, who creates, writes, plays, produces and performs across a myriad of sounds: from deep house, breaks and techno, to heavy metal, pop-rock and disco house.
Born in Peru, and raised in both Brooklyn, New York, and St. Petersburg, Florida, Monikkr recalls his earliest memories of music - the sounds of Motown, Disco and R&B - blasting from boomboxes and flooding out the apartment windows of his youth, in the neighborhood now known as Fort Greene. Prince’s provocative guitar riffs, the booty-shaking bassline in “I Wanna Be Your Lover,“ and RUN DMC’s funky breakbeats formed the soundtrack that would inspire him throughout his career.
But it was his introduction to the rock and heavy metal scene of the mid 80’s that sparked the start of his musical journey, where he picked up his first instrument - the electric guitar. Playing in local rock bands, composing original music, and writing songs ignited his passion for creating unique sounds, the technical aspects of production, and performing for a live audience. Curious by nature and ever-focused on expanding his knowledge and skillset, he went on to study sound engineering at Miami-Dade College.
By this time, two major forces were at work, drafting the earliest blueprints of Monikkr’s vision for his future: the burgeoning underground rave scene in Tampa and the rise of a new genre that blended rock and roll with electric elements. Citing acts like NIN, The Crystal Method, Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy, it suddenly clicked: a bridge that connected the rock sound he’d honed for years, his love of playing live instruments, and the vibe and funk of dance music. Combined with the freedom he felt through the local underground rave community, Monikkr began his foray into DJ’ing, a move that cemented his future sound. Forming an act called The Digital Pimps in Tampa, Florida in 1996, he began creating electronic-rock dance records with other musicians, releasing his first breakbeat record on Lucious Records, followed by a tech-house record on Red Ant Records.
Feeling the pull of a bigger city and a more diverse scene, he relocated to New York City in 2004 and, with a management deal in hand, began producing music with the production trio, Speakerbox, working with various artists over the years as a producer, songwriter and remixer across Pop, Indie Rock, Subpop and Multi-Genre Dance records. During this time, he held residencies at Webster Hall and The Wolf Party at LeSouk.
In the last several years, Monikkr has continued to evolve his sound, taking cues from his early love of soulful 70’s tracks, morphing it with modern house music, and weaving in the catchy characteristics of breakbeats. In 2019, he won Breakbeat Record of The Year at the BBC Awards in Spain with his single “Dime Dropper” on the legendary breaks label, Kaleidoscope Records. In that same year, after watching TTITD from afar, Monikkr made his way to Burning Man for the first time, joining the legendary sunrise disco-house camp, Bubbles & Bass as a resident DJ, while playing his upbeat tunes across the playa at Kostume Kult, Sacred Cow and more.
Currently, Monikkr is focused on the release of his latest EP, a modern disco sound with a message of strength and unity, fueled by funky bass lines, sexy saxophone riffs, violins and powerful, soulful vocals. Alongside the release, he is working on creating new, immersive, live music that stimulates all the senses, and brings the positive, inclusive message, “that music fuels the soul,” to the dance music community. Collaborating with various live musicians on a new project called STRUT, Monikkr is combining that classic, DJ-led dance music vibe with curated live vocals, saxophone, synths, bass and drums for an all-encompassing concert-meets-dance-party experience sure to make your booty shake.