Born and raised in Venice, Monica comes from a varied musical household where her mother was a professional Hawaiian/ Polynesian dancer and her father a vinyl enthusiast. Music was in her everyday life.
Her music career started when she was 18 years old following the advice of “industry professionals” remarking that her wholesome self just wasn’t enough and that she was somehow missing something. Contradictory comments ranged from “be more country,” “be more edgy,” “show more skin.” After a few years of tirelessly dodging derogative recommendations, Monica vowed that the release show of her second studio album “In Your Universe” would be her last show as an artist. (Village Studios in partnership with local charity, Safe Place for Youth) She was retiring at the ripe age of 26 and was going to become a writer.
Getting to know Monica
If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be?
I have thought a lot about this. It would be called “Dramatics & Dinner Parties”
What would be a good theme song for your life?
Crazy by Ben Rector
If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?
DO WE EVER GET A FARM AND OR A COW?
What’s your most expensive piece of clothing?
An Elizabeth Arden / Richilene hand painted raw silk dress that was only worn once by one of her early models, Doris! She was my neighbour when I was very small and when she passed away, she left me the dress. Here is my proof that I have been obsessed with vintage since before I could walk. I only recently learned its value after getting curious and seeing similar items across the web!
If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?
Practice more!!!! And stop quitting piano. Just stick with it!
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
I would say my music is like the songwriter pop that thrived in the mid 2000’s. Because it’s definitely more “singer songwriter,” lyrically, but I try to add more pop production because I inherently write piano ballads, and lately I want to tap my foot and groove a little!!
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I would love to write with Carol Ades or Jake Wesley Rogers! They both have such honest poetic style. I’m consistently surprised and inspired!
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
More women getting recognized & all songwriters getting paid (as well as everyone else on the project) for their time…. I also really wish social media wasn’t such a large part of it, controversial, I know.
Have you always been interested in music? Was there a particular song/performance that made you say “Woah! I want to do that!”?
I was at 2011 Coachella with my best friend, Lauren, (who you’ve seen sprinkled across my CPH music video!) and we were in the crowd waiting for Two Door Cinema Club to come out. The guitarist came out and started playing the riff of “What You Know” and we all screamed the chorus. I remember thinking “Holy sh*t. I think I want to pursue music.” And the next semester in high school, I started guitar lessons! Also, I wrote the longer version of this story as my college essay, HAHA.
What is your current music project about?
My upcoming EP, Postcards, is about EVERYTHING that has happened in my life from 2014-2020… From going through my first real breakup, going on my first European trip as an adult with my best friends, watching my hometown turn into a place that I cannot recognize, meeting my now husband/ getting married, to moving out of my childhood home and watching my friends start their lives across states and countries. The songs on Postcards are from the most transformative moments and I wanted to immortalize them aka “send” them to my present self… if that makes any sense. Each song represents a chapter that launched me further and further out of the first big chapter of my life and into the next…I think this will go down in my life as one of the most precious projects for those reasons. EP ‘Postcards,’ out on Oct. 15th.