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ThaWilsonBlock Magazine Issue54

WilsonBlock100 Radio

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mistah Wilson caught up with singer Moniquea as they talked about Music, Performances, & Collaborations

Mistah Wilson caught up with singer Moniquea as they talked about Music, Performances, & Collaborations

Mistah Wilson: Moniquea How are you glad to have you here with us for this exclusive interview with ThaWilsonBlock. What's poppin! Before we go ahead and proceed with more questions go ahead and give us a little background on yourself?
Moniquea: Doing great! Thank you so much!! I appreciate ThaWilsonBlock's interest in interviewing me. I was born in Gary, Indiana and raised in Pasadena, California. Music and entertainment has been a part of my life from the day I was born; and the book is still being written!

Mistah Wilson: We've heard your music & seen your performances. You voice is stronger than most men lol and you're clearly a natural. How did you ease into singing? I mean, is it a challenge at all?
Moniquea: Lol. Thank you. I started singing because of my mother. I watched her and her group rehearse every chance I got when I was little girl, starting at the age of seven years old. I believe I inherited the strength of my voice from my mother. She was a lead singer of the Pasadena branded group, "The Roses." My mom also helped me to find the strength in my voice when I competed in the "Miss Black Pasadena/Altadena Pageant" back in my teenage years. I sang "I'll Always Love You" by the late-great Whitney Houston. My mom had me rehearse that song more than any song I've ever rehearsed in my life! (Lol) I'm glad she did, because I snagged the "Best Talent Award" in the pageant, and it helped me to know what my voice could do. I mostly don't find singing a challenge at all... and I'm grateful that it feels like second nature for me.

Mistah Wilson: You've done a lot of gigs in South Central LA's Leimert Park area. Why has that place attracted you so much?
Moniquea: My attraction for South LA's Leimert Park area developed from event organizers attraction to me. I'd been singing all over Los Angeles County and the Hollywood area; my name started buzzing and I began to be suggested and requested to perform at the many different events that are held there. I'm very grateful.

Mistah Wilson: You have recent collaborations with Pasadena artist XL Middleton. You released a song called "You Can't Train Me" with a music video that we really enjoyed. How did you guys come together for that piece of work?
Moniquea: I began working with XL Middleton over a year ago. "You Can't Train" me came about a little ways down the line. We were at a studio session one night and he asked me to listen to a new track that he wanted me to get on for his "The Hedonistic Album.” I loved the track. He told me the concept he had in mind in terms of what he wanted the song to be about; and after listening to the track a couple of times, I heard the melody in my head for the hook and started writing. We (Jon Matix, from Slackerpad), XL and I were throwing out ideas and really vibing that evening. He liked what I came up with and it was a wrap from there. I recorded it that night. Once I heard the verses he wrote and recorded some days later, I knew it was a wrap for real! Some time after, XL decided that he wanted to release a video for the song... I was all to excited to be featured on both the song and the video. I'm really glad the song made it on his album.

Mistah Wilson: Your song "Can't Let You Go" is a hit!!! You've appeared on a few artist's albums as well as Yardnic 2011 mixtape. It's been close to a year since you released your debut solo album "Moniquea". What does that album mean to you?
Moniquea: Thank you so much! "Can't Let You Go" quickly became a lot of peoples favorite song on the album. The "Moniquea" album is everything to me. It's my first album... The first time I dedicated solo time to myself as opposed to singing hooks for others or having one of my songs appear here and there on other peoples projects. I've always been and will always be grateful for being requested to sing or rap on other peoples projects; but it was time for me to go for it! I was ready... So I told my folks Ted D. Bear what I wanted to do, he agreed that it was about time, and I went for it. Ted D. produced the entire album. I am the Executive Producer of the album... I studied really hard on the business side of the music for a very long time before putting it out. Once I learned everything there was to know about putting out my album (the way a record label would), I paid for all things associated with the album and put it out with confidence. This is why the album is everything to me and always will be... I will push this album for the rest of my life.

Mistah Wilson: Earlier this year you also released a new single "Not Enough" on iTunes. Is that the single for the upcoming album?
Moniquea: Yes! "Not Enough" was produced by XL Middleton for Crown City Entertainment. XL and I wrote it together; and it is the first single from my upcoming album, on which I am working with XL Middleton. I’m very excited!

Mistah Wilson: Who are some of the artists both in the city and beyond that you've worked with?
Moniquea: From Dena, to name a few, I have worked with: Ted D. Bear, Broadway, Quaz, Ekim, Kloudnyne, Dulo, SD, Mike Towns, XL Middleton, Reality Jonez, Philthy Phactor, Priceless, Paco Swartz, Faith, Evri, Rebecca J, The Hundred, Noy, etc. Beyond Dena, to name a few: Ric hard, A.J. from tha K, Dis Most, Hunnid Roundz, Tax Free, Bogie Corleone, Ms. Shannon, HomieHomie, Burris Ave., Young Loon, Big Doty, etc. Not to leave any others out... These are just the names that I can come up with off top.

Mistah Wilson: Though you've done a lot of performances in Los Angeles. What all Pasadena venues have you performed at?
Moniquea: Menage' (from back in the day when it was on the corner of Arroyo and Colorado Blvd.) Pasadena City College, Jackie Robinson Park, Altadena Country Club, Q's (now Barney's Beanery) The Terrace, McMurphy's and 72 North, which is the former McMurphy's,

Mistah Wilson: What level as an artist would you say you're on?
Moniquea: That's not really a question I can answer. I feel I'm on my own level. I'll leave that for the people to decide; but I'll always feel the same.

Mistah Wilson: What would you say separates you from other singers?
Moniquea: I don't know if I can separate myself, per se; but I'm comfortable with stating and knowing that I have a style and delivery of my own.

Mistah Wilson: What is your favorite genre(s) of music? You're pretty involved with a lot on the Pasadena music scene. Who are your top 5 DENA artists?
Moniquea: I love R&B, Funk, Classic-Rock, New Wave, Chillwave and Hip-hop. I am not a liberty to select a personal top 5 DENA artists... The town is on fire with a lot of talented artists!

Mistah Wilson: When I see you perform I can tell that you're a seasoned singer. Who are some artists that inspired you?
Moniquea: There's a wide-range and there are many: Erykah Badu, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, Deniece Williams, Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates, Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac), Robert Smith (The Cure), Mary J. Blige, Etta James, Billie Holiday, Bobby Womack, Bobby Blue Bland, Tyrone Davis, Johnny Taylor, (I grew up listening to a lot of Blues in my household - very much influenced by many male Blues artists), Sam Cooke and Otis Redding.

Mistah Wilson: On ThaWilsonBlock, we believe in ENCOURAGEMENT. It can be vital to our success. What would you say has encouraged and motivated to be the artist that you are?
Moniquea: Knowing that there are people out there who believe in me; and are interested in what I have to offer the world of music... That alone gives me the greatest encouragement and motivation. It's comforting, and it’s a blessing to know that I have genuine supporters out there.

Mistah Wilson: What kind words would you give to a young aspiring singer?
Moniquea: Pray and believe that you will make it to where you want to be, learn the business, stay who you are, don't give up, don't stop pursuing, always give it all you can, be appreciative of those who love, support and believe in you; and pray to stay humble no matter what happens.

Mistah Wilson: If you got any shout outs, lets hear em.Thanx for taking the time out of your busy busy schedule for this exclusive interview with ThaWilsonBlock, Moniquea! It's been great!
Moniquea: Indeed... First off, shout out to ThaWilsonBlock! Thank you so much for interviewing me and allowing me to share a part of me with your readers. Shout out to my Crown City Entertainment family, Rehab Muzik family, all my family members, friends/fans, fellow artists; the cities of Pasadena, Altadena and the whole wide world!
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