When Montell Pinny starts a beat making session, he has a routine: he turns the key in the door to his bedroom, and locks out the world.
"You can ask my flatmates," says the shy 21-year-old from Katikati. "I always close the door and lock the room." Why? "I find it hard to show people (my music)."
That's going to have to change. Today, the producer unleashes his first official collaboration to the world - and he's scored a big name American rapper to go with it.
It's the start of what's expected to be an illustrious producing career. Pinny's been making beats since the age of 12, when he was living on Te Rereatukahia Pa in KatiKati. It's an obsession, one which takes up most of his time. "I'd be making something, my mum would go to work. Eight hours later she'd come home, I'd still be making beats."
Over that time, he's moved up to Auckland but kept firmly to himself, stashing a stockpile of deep, spacey, trap-influenced instrumentals crafted on his laptop, a tool he carries with him everywhere he goes in case inspiration strikes.
"I make beats anywhere I can," he says. "I've made beats in a park ... McDonald's." He's even made them in a paddock. "I was staying in a tent. I put it all the way over next to a tree. All you could see was the beach."
He's occasionally uploaded music to streaming service Soundcloud under the name 'Montell2099' - but, despite plenty of accolades, he doesn't check his Soundcloud inbox, hasn't given his beats to anyone else, and refused all offers of collaborations.
His first single is something of a coup, with Hunnid On the Drop featuring the menacing grind of hyped Atlanta rapper 21 Savage, whose album Savage Mode was widely considered one of the best rap records of 2016.
The pair hooked up through a Red Bull initiative that saw Pinny fly to Los Angeles for the recording session. He was nervous, having spent the previous week making as many fresh beats as he could. He didn't think it was going to happen, until Savage arrived in the studio.
"The whole time leading up to it I was like, 'Is this really going to happen?' The next thing, ... he came in," he says. The session only lasted around 90 minutes. "I had 20 ideas. He liked the third one. I didn't even need the other ones. I was pretty impressed how fast he did it. It was so crazy."
The pair hooked up to play the song live for the first time during a recent Los Angeles show, when Savage made a surprise appearance.
Pinny says he's happy with the track, but he's always looking to make something better. "At the time, I'm like, 'This is the best thing I've ever made. But then you make another track (that's better). It's always like that."
The collab has lit a fuse. Now, Pinny wants to unlock his bedroom door and let more people into his secret world. "That was the first rapper I've ever worked with. Sessions were a foreign thing for me. I'm a bit of an introvert. I'm a bedroom producer," he says.
"But it was pretty easy. It's opened my mind up completely."
Who: Montell Pinny, aka producer Montell2099
What: New single Hunnid on the Drop, featuring 21 Savage
Also: Performing at Northern Bass, December 29-31, Mangawhai