UK alumnus ‘2 Mello’ makes money out of music

Matthew “2 Mello” Hopkins has been making music for 15 years.

Akhira Umar

A UK alumnus is doing his dream job, and people can hear how well it’s going.

Matthew “2 Mello” Hopkins is a self-employed composer and sound designer who can work with just about any sound. His music is featured in video games, feature films, web series and podcasts.

Music was always something 2 Mello was attracted to. What inspired him to start making music was electronic music and hip-hop. Learning that he could make music through computer software and other hardware sealed the deal for pursuing his passion.

2 Mello launched his music career when he created a remix album called “Chrono Jigga.” One of his biggest passions is repurposing created music. “Chrono Jigga” was 2 Mello’s mix of rapper Jay Z’s lyrics and instrumental music from the video game “Chrono Trigger.” His goal was to connect video game lovers and rap fans, and that was just one goal he met.

Though 2 Mello didn’t sell this remix, it took off and opened doors for him in the game industry. Since then, 2 Mello has been constantly working his craft. For the past several years he has contributed music and sound for the fighting game “Cerebrawl.” He has contributed to games “ESC” and “Pillowfight Games.”

Lena Raine, composer for ESC, said she sought out 2 Mello for his ability to remix other artists.

“Mello’s unique approach to mashups and other remixes in the past made him a perfect consideration for B-Sides,” Raine said. “I’ve got a huge admiration for the depth of his knowledge of sampling and respect for how songs and beats are constructed. He can take apart and reconstruct just about any kind of track, and uses that ability to fuel his own creativity.”

However, 2 Mello also writes for himself. He started a podcast called “The Sample Study” which explores sample history. He talks about origins of sample music and the history of the artists behind it. He also explains to listeners how he remakes the sound. 2 Mello said this is his favorite thing to do.

UK’s WRFL recognized 2 Mello for his talents and invited him back to campus for Trevor Whatevr’s Whatevr Works show. For 2 Mellow, the opportunity was an honor. Not only did he talk about his interests in games and sample-heavy electronic music, but he was able to give listeners some advice.

“Always be making music and working on your skill,” 2 Mellow said. “Never work for free. Work for yourself, work with friends if it’s smart, work an unpaid internship if you can balance it and still pay the bills, but don’t ever give your work away to someone for free.”

All of 2 Mello’s music can be found on his Bandcamp website, including his new release, “Memories Of Tokyo-To.” Music lovers can also find him on Spotify, YouTube, Google Play and Apple Music.