Ivan Monteiro carries the same genetics as his fellow Brazilians that makes them phenomenal skateboarders. With flawless tricks in the streets that carry over into the contest circuit, Ivan can hang with the best of them. We recently spoke with Ivan to figure out what he plays in his headphones when stomping tech moves in the streets of Los Angeles and learn more about his music taste.

So, to kick it off, what kind of music do you like listening to?
Mostly hip hop and rap music, but lately, like two weeks ago, I downloaded so much old rock and roll songs. I have been listening to that non-stop for some reason.

What kind of rock and roll?
Van Halen, Motley Crue, Queen, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, and I just been listening to that on repeat.

Is that something new for you? Or did you listen to that type of music back in the day before hip hop?
It’s funny. So, my dad is a musician. He plays guitar and sings for a living, and so does my grandfather. They’re both guitar players. So I grew up watching my dad and them playing all day at home. They’d play a lot of rock and roll, but I was never into it. It’s funny when I started learning these songs, like Jump by Van Halen, and I thought, damn, this song is sick. And when he gets to the guitar solo, I was like, dude, I used to listen to this every day because my dad was practicing this all the time. It’s just so funny. It reminds me of when I lived in Brazil and when I was really young with my father.

That’s sick. So you never noticed until later that what your dad was practicing was a Van Halen song until you heard it.
Yeah, I never knew it, and he was just playing, and I was doing my thing. I was listening to hip hop all the time, that’s what I liked. Now I listen to [rock and roll] and realized that’s what he was playing. He was playing sick music and I had no idea.

So your dad and grandfather were in a band back in Brazil?
Yeah, so they’re not in the band together, but my grandfather was known as a jazz producer, and he’s been a guitar player his whole life. He played in many different bands and would do weddings or play at the mall or restaurants and a bunch of different types of stuff. My dad, he did the same thing. He followed what my grandfather was doing. My dad was actually in a band with my stepmom for a long time. She plays piano and my dad plays the guitar and sings.

Ivan Monteiro
Photo Credit: Strand

Do you have any musical talents yourself? Do you play anything?
No, I never got into it. I wanted to play the piano when I was younger, but I was so focused on skateboarding. It would take all my time, and I couldn’t think of anything else

Do you remember the first hip hop artists you heard? Was it back in Brazil? Or was it when you came here to the states?
Yeah, it was back in Brazil. There’s this group Racionais MCs they’re like the hip hop group that everyone in Brazil would listen to back in the day. Like you got to know the lyrics to those songs you know, for the people to be like, okay you’re cool. They were basically the hometown heroes. They were the biggest rap group in Brazil for a long time.

Who are some of your favorite hip hop artists that you listen to today?
I’m listening to a lot of Gunna, Robby Rich, Young Thug, this artist from Brazil, L7nnob he’s also a really good skater, and he got into music. He’s really big right now. I’ve been listening to him a lot.

Let’s switch gears. Do you ever rock headphones when you’re skating?
I do. I do a lot.

Ivan Monteiro 3_mens street semi final_STRAND
Photo Credit: Strand
What do you usually play when you’re skating?
I play the same thing I just told you about, mostly hip hop. There’s some house music and some rock now, but it’s 90% hip hop and a bunch of different artists.

Do you throw on the headphones when you compete as well?
When I compete for some reason, I can’t do it. I use headphones when I’m practicing, but I never have headphones when the contest goes down. I block everything when I’m skating a contest like I don’t even hear what people are saying around me, even if people are screaming by the edge of the park.

Do you have a set playlist that you listen to during practice? Or do you listen to the same one song on repeat?
Normally what I do when I get to whatever trip I’m going to, I make a playlist of the songs that I’m listening to most at that time and I play those on repeat.

So your playlist names are of places that you traveled to?
I don’t have all of them, but I have some. I have one from China here and two or three here that I have saved.

Do you remember any skate videos that you watched growing up that influenced what you listen to?
Not really because I didn’t speak English back in the day, so I would think a song would sound sick, but I never knew what they were saying. So I wasn’t listening to the song much, but there are some parts for sure that music plays a big role in it.

Now that you know a bit more English, do you go back to rewatch old video parts and recognize the songs?
Yeah, dude. I downloaded a bunch of songs from video parts. My favorite video part and the song is Dylan Rieder’s Gravis part with Better Days by Graham Nash. That song is just super sick.

How do you go about picking a song for a video edit?
I pick the songs that I’m listening to the most at that time. Sometimes you got to try two or three different songs because it depends on the tricks you’re doing, and sometimes they don’t match. I love making edits, and most of my videos and if the song doesn’t match the tricks like they don’t land on the beat, then I got to change it.

What would be your dream song for a video part?
If I could have a Meek Mill song to my video part, that would be sick. It’s probably really expensive to have it, but that would be the dream.

You ever get down at karaoke you like singing on the mic?
No, not really, but what’s funny, I went to China for an Olympic qualifier contest, and it was in the middle of nowhere. I remember all the skaters, Jamie Foy, TJ Rogers, everyone who was in the contest were in this tiny city, and it has a couple of food spots and they had this karaoke place and everyone would be singing there. They would plug in their aux and do karaoke all day. That was the only time I ever did karaoke.

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