He goes by the artist alias Konrad OldMoney and his music company is entitled Vintage Currency, but there’s nothing retro or old-school about the creative process of Konrad Abramowicz.
From his current Vancouver base, the Polish-born producer/composer/songwriter tells Words & Music, “I’m all about staying on top of new technology and new movements we have in music. Nowadays, I’ve been really diving into AI-guided music. I’ll probably end up putting myself out of a job,” he laughs. “I just need a way as a businessman to own a piece of it, and then I’ll be fine – ‘OK computer, you think it up and I’ll take the credit!’”
Over the past decade, OldMoney has made a serious splash, placing his music in internationally renowned video games (including many EA Sports titles), films, TV series, and commercials. He also produces other artists and releases his own music in various forms, resulting in a well-balanced current career that’s both prolific and highly successful.
A recent coup has been contributing music to the highly-anticipated video game Cyberpunk 2077 (regardless of the its ultimate reception by gamers). ”I have 27 placements on the game, and I believe that makes me the highest-placed producer on the project,” says OldMoney. “Getting that gig was interesting. I had just signed on with my Vancouver agency, Core Agency, and at an L.A. meeting we had, they said, ‘There’s a Cyberpunk thing happening.’ The way I pitched was to take the one game trailer online and remove all the sound. I redid all the foley and sound effects myself, so it’d have a nice bed, then re-composed the music in two different ways, and submitted it.”
To boost his chances, OldMoney seriously researched the music of the game’s three core composers, Marcin Przybyłowicz, Paul Leonard Morgan, and P.T Adamczyk. “I noticed there are a lot of edgy, harsher sounds in their work, so I wanted to ensure my mixing style and choice of sounds complemented that. You’re doing that out of respect for what they do, but also because you’re competitive. That extra five percent of energy exponentially increases your chances.”
“The Cyberpunk project was fun, but very labour-intensive,” he says. “I made sure to document the process, so when the game dropped, I released behind-the-scenes videos for every song I contributed, and used that to launch my YouTube channel. There are 27 high-quality videos, of six to nine minutes each, on there.”
“I see myself as a Swiss army knife, genre-wise”
A potent weapon in OldMoney’s arsenal is his proficiency in a wide number of genres. Old-school ‘90s hip-hop was his first passion, but he quickly expanded his range.
“After moving to Canada in 1993, I became a voracious consumer of cultural influences,” he recalls. I wanted to learn all kinds of music from all over the world. At the beginning of my career, people doubted my acumen. They think if you do four different genres you can’t be that great at any of them, but then they’d listen to the music and give me a chance.”
“One of my biggest assets in the studio is that I can go in there with punk, dancehall, Korean, or Latin artists. I see myself as a Swiss army knife, genre-wise.”
That versatility helped him score spots in last year’s Justin Bieber YouTube documentary series Seasons. “I have 10 songs placed on that. I’ve done lots of both pop music and tropical crossover, so that was perfect for me.”
OldMoney continues to collaborate with other artists, including fellow British Columbians Johnny4Graves and Cerbeus. As well as working together on Cyberpunk 2077, OldMoney and Graves recently recorded “We Got The Spin,” selected as the opening theme for Beyblade, a famed Japanese animated TV series with a large global following.
Since 2018, OldMoney has carved out time from his busy schedule for a solo project, Single Friend. He describes its focus as “lo-fi underground hip-hop, music to chill out or study to,” and the material he’s placed on Spotify has generated millions of plays per month.
“Single Friend is basically a passion project for me, so I make a very concentrated effort on it – so I’m not neglecting my other focuses,” he says. “My multi-media music for videogames, movies, TV, and commercials is still the majority of my work. Still, Single Friend is on my mind constantly, as it’s a rather weird reflection of who I am. I do it on my downtime, so instead of riding my motorbike I’ll spend an hour on it.”
Over his two-decade-long career, OldMoney has worked on projects with such notables as Future, The Roots, Run The Jewels, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Illmind (in the acclaimed band Smokey Robotic). He singles out his interaction with RZA, of Wu-Tang Clan, as a life-changer.
“I programmed Wu-Tang-inspired music for RZA’s line of Boombotix speakers,” he says. “I told him I’d spent my formative years idolizing what he’d done. He advised me, ‘Get out there more, travel more, keep re-defining things, and push forward.’ That was super-inspirational.”