Chats with Victoria Monet about Her EP & Music’s Need for Something New!

23 Oct


Atlantic Records, PYNK magazine and ASCAP hosted new recording artist Victoria Monét’s pre-listening event Tuesday night for her upcoming EP, Nightmares & Lullabies: Act 1, set to drop October 30th. The EP includes five tracks with features from Ty Dolla $ign and B.o.B. You may recognize Victoria from Nas’ “You Wouldn’t Understand” or T.I’s “Stay.” She also penned “Drunk Texting” for Chris Brown’s X album, multiple hits for superstar Ariana Grande, and quite a few other tunes you’ve probably blasted in your car.

Monét and her producer Tommy Brown, who also happens to be her beau [insert kissy face emojis here!], are much-needed refreshers. While their sounds are different, Victoria reminds me of Brandy in the sense that her music really can’t be categorized. As the buzz picks up, mainstream critics and award shows will classify it as “R&B,” but that’s only because she’s a black artist. Everything from the vocals to instrumentation, though, is so eclectic and can mingle just as comfortably with alternative and Top 40 as it can on urban platforms.

I chatted with Victoria after the event, and much like her effortless, sweet vocals, so is her disposition—though The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee, who emceed the event, did warn us of the new artist’s turn up side! Monét credits her family and life experiences to her broad sound. She was born in Atlanta, but primarily raised in the very diverse Sacramento. “My grandpa plays the saxophone and he sings as well. My mom sings, and my grandma sings opera,” says the singer/songwriter. Reared by a single mom, she spent many days with her grandmother who played a lot of musicals. “Sounds of Music and old black and white films, along with some Sade tapes too,” she fondly remembers. “I just really had to make my own recipe of a sound, and that’s what I did for Nightmares & Lullabies. It’s just a whole plethora of everything and you can’t keep it in a box in my opinion.”


If you had to wrap up Nightmares & Lullabies in one word what would it be?

Awesoooome! I just feel like from a creative standpoint it’s awesome… I hope it makes people feel awesome. I just want it to be a good vibe; a good, refreshing vibe.

What’s your favorite song off the EP?

Geeeez, that’s really hard! Being that everything is like a personal experience or something that I’ve expanded on in my own head, it’s really hard to pinpoint one. But I feel like I have different moods. Right now I’m in a slow and sexy mood since winter is coming up, so I’d probably say “Goodtime x Trouble.” It just is a softer side of me, and it gives more of a Sade essence and more sensual stuff.

What do you want people to get from your first project?

I just want them to get something new. You know? I feel like, no offense, but there have been a lot of icons that’ve been around for a while. Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Kanye, and even Rihanna at this point, so I just feel like it’s time for our generation to step up and make better music, make better moves, and just have something new for people to listen to because they’re reigning right now. It’s just unreal.

I get you. They’re great artists, but it’s the same ones over and over.

Yea, which I’m okay with to a certain point. I just want to be in the mix and let people have more of an option for a black artist. Black people aren’t just urban, black people are not just R&B. I feel like I represent the suburban middle-class America that doesn’t just have one taste. Similar to Jhené Aiko, but she’s not fully African American. I feel like I represent a new, refreshing way to look at urban music.

What does living mean to you?

Living is smiling, enjoying yourself. You just have to make sure you’re happy in whatever it is you’re doing. If you’re working a 9 to 5, you smile at the job and you go home to your family. You just make sure you do something that you love, and I’m blessed enough to do something that I love for a living.

So I’m going to throw you two random words and you have to say the one most reflective of you.

Ohhhhhh, I’m so nervouuuus (laughs)!

It’s not anything crazy! I promise.

Okay, okay (laughs)!

Sneakers or pumps? Sneakers.

Feathers or crystals? FEATHERRRS!

Early mornings or late nights? Late nights.

90s pop or 90s R&B? 90s R&B. For sure, for sure! Aaliyah, Brandy, TLC!

Take a listen at “Made in China” ft. Ty Dolla $ign off Victoria Monet’s Nightmares & Lullabies and pre-order the EP on iTunes now!

And check these two out too! They’re not on the EP but I LOOOOVE them!


2 Responses to “Chats with Victoria Monet about Her EP & Music’s Need for Something New!”

  1. Courtney Connley November 4, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    Great interview Essence!!

    Liked by 1 person

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