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In Talks With Monét: Producers Are Important, They’re Literally 50% Of The Song!

Afoma Andrea

By Afoma Andrea

Afoma Andrea

18 Dec 2021

As the tumultuous 2021 nears its closing, Monét remains a name you oughta lean into this New Year. Writing poetry at the tender age of 8, her sonnets have quickly transformed into lyrics reflecting on love, life and tribulations. Describing her sound as an array of “Summer Hues”, Monét’s relationship to colour is fascinating to watch. She doesn’t listen to music like an ordinary person. Monét is what is called a Synesthete: a neurological condition in which normally separate senses are cross-wired. Not only does she hear but Monét recognises the colours in music and tastes its texture.

A shining light for the scene, Monét enjoyed recent success with her latest single “Hunnit Degrees”. Earlier this month, we sat down with the 21-year-old to discuss her journey thus far, producer credits, synesthesia and her fear of live performances.

Scroll down below to see what Monét had to say!

In regards to balancing being an independent artist and a university student, how challenging has that journey been?

Yes yeah, journalism has its challenges I’m not even gonna lie because there are times when you’ve got stuff to do, but you’ve just got an idea. You really want to put that idea down and kind of just work on that but you have priorities. It is hard at times even in 3rd year! It’s funny because I feel like I’m enjoying 3rd year the most, which is a bit weird but I think I’m doing okay.

There is a question I want to ask you. It’s inspired by the intro on your first EP – Off The Record. What do you don’t mess with no more in order for you to balance being an artist and a student?

[Laughs] I guess I don’t mess with unserious people. Don’t miss people that waste my time because time is very valuable right now. I need all the time I can get to just focus on what I’m trying to do. So yeah, I think number one is just unserious people and that’s both platonic and romantic.

How do you feel in regards to the reception Hunnit Degrees is getting?

I’m very grateful, honestly, very grateful. I feel like this is the quickest I’ve ever released a song really. Usually, I’m just always overthinking it and just take ages to release something. Yeah, this time I literally got it done in summer and then released it a few weeks ago, and it’s been really really good. I appreciate everybody. Yeah, For sure.

You made an appearance in the music videos for Jim Legaxcy and Miles From Kinshasa. How did that come about? Did they just say – “yo jump on it”.

Yes Miles just shouted me on socials and was like, we’re gonna have a video shoot soon I was wondering if you’d like to be a part of it. I was like yeah, sure, why not. It’s really funny because literally the next day, Jim had asked me the same thing and they were both on the same day. It was really stressful because I was trying to do both of them but then eventually Jim changed the date so then it worked out. I met Jim before at one of his shows and we’ve had one or two sessions but yeah, he just asked me I was like, yeah, of course. Both of them were great, I mean, I met so many lovely people at Miles and Kadiata shoot, people that I’m still in contact with now. A lovely group of people, it was a really good day and Jim’s as well was lovely. Like it was really good I had fun honestly.

Another collab you have out now is with Kwoli Black on the song Got You.

Yeah, that was cool. Last year, he had like a few days where he was just in the studio and inviting people over. Then I came through, again, there were so many like lovely people there that I’ve known for quite a while now in this music thing. It was a really good day, man, I really did enjoy that session. I’m happy for him and the success that he is getting as well.

Moving away from the collabs and focusing more on you. I saw something on your Instagram, it was in regards to Spotify’s Wrapped up. Spotify had described your music taste as warm and bold, I believe.

Was it bold and chill? Something like that?

Yes! I was like, that is unreal because those are the two words I would think of when listening to Off The Record. What words would you describe your music?

I would say warm, chill and then I would say [pause] like I’m trying to think of colour but it’s not just a one-set colour. I’m gonna say, summer hues, yeah them type of warm kind of tones.

What was the process of creating the project? Especially because I’ve now learned about your synesthesia ability.

It’s funny because I was doing that EP from the very end of 2019. It was part of my college project but I wanted to actually release it. I guess the project was just for me to see if I could actually do it. You know, it was literally just for me to see if I could actually make a body of work. Which I was able to do and also, I think I was going through a lot as well at the time. So it just made sense for me to put it all in the music. I mean it was a very interesting journey for me making that project. It just proved to me that I can actually do this, like musically. It’s funny because I don’t listen to that project anymore. I feel like that’s just in the past for me, but I appreciate what it’s done for me. I mean, as I said, just show me that I can actually do this and actually go on to develop even more types of things in music.

So you look at the EP as rather like a trial than a project?

Yeah. 100%. I really appreciate when people tell me that they listen to it and stuff but I don’t feel like it represents me anymore, It’s just part of my journey. I’ll always respect it because it’s a part of my journey but yeah, it was definitely a trial, I would say.

Would you then say, Hunnit Degrees and even your incoming EP are more accurate reflections of you?

I feel like it’s funny because even with Hunnit Degrees, that one was just a nice vibey song. I love that I can do that from time to time but definitely, my stuff to come is much more solid for me and what I’m trying to do musically. I’m generally excited to release because I’m getting all the beats and stuff made from scratch, which just makes things so much better for me. I feel like it’s really tailored to what I’m trying to do. I love being sent beats don’t get me wrong, but it’s different when you get it created from scratch and you’re there in the process. It just makes it a bit more sentimental, I would say. So yeah, I’m definitely excited to showcase those stuff, for sure.

Many hold the opinion that artists who have a special relationship with their producer create some of their best work. Would you say your thinking falls in that line as well?

I feel like the producer and artists relationship is very important. I really do because I feel like there are only so many people that will really understand what you’re trying to do. I mean, even like with [pause] I don’t know why all the songs have gone out of my head. [Laughs] Nah that is actually embarrassing but even like Pharrell and Kelis, them two together are amazing. Pharrell is one of those people where he has so many amazing relationships with artists and is able to just make some really good music. There’s like another language in music and it’s like you need people that understand it. Understand your language of music because you will meet people that don’t really do that. Even like Jaydon Clover and her producer Dylan, he produces all of her music. You can see how strong of a unit they are together, it definitely makes its impact for sure. Producers need to get more credit!

Absolutely!

Literally, the song would not exist without the producer. So it’s just like what do you mean you’re not trying to show love to the producer.

People have no decorum.

I feel like people really downplay how much producers are important, they’re literally 50% of the songs. They understand it sonically, we understand it lyrically, and together that’s what makes sense. If you think about it – I will always, always go back to the Neptunes and Pharrell. The Neptunes, Timbaland, and Missy Elliott were literally running the 2000s, I mean like that whole era is theirs and I don’t think people understand that impact you know. Even with Drill music, look how popular that is yet the first producers to do that stuff I don’t think they’re going to be getting that recognition that they deserve. I really do respect the producer and artist relationship because it is so key to find someone to understand what your trying to do otherwise it won’t work. This is why I’m hoping to try and tap into my producing side because I really feel like I have the potential to do something there and it will just help me solidify my sound even more. So hopefully, I’ll get into that soon.

Will there be examples of this on the upcoming EP?

Maybe so I would love to do that. That would be fun.

We got a little taste on the 4AM Outro, will we also be receiving more poetry on the upcoming project?

Maybe, I don’t know why I haven’t actually written that much poetry as of lately but I feel like I might actually have to tap into that again. It’s been a while because yeah, that was fun.

I feel like your poetry is tied with the music as an all in one package.

Yeah, that makes sense. I always like to do spoken word slash rap, I do like doing that a lot. I think even on Jaydon Clover, the song that she dropped this year -Whataboutnow, I have a little bit of a rap thing going on there. I do enjoy it, so I think definitely, you should have some of that. It’s fun.

Do you know the release date yet for the EP

Nahhh [laughs] because I’ve had to rework some things like in the last couple of weeks and I’m so indecisive. So I feel like if I say something I’m committing to something that I might not want to commit to [laughs]. So we’re gonna have to see init but I know start off next year, something is definitely coming very, very soon.

Are we seeing live performances next year as well?

There might be definitely, I know I haven’t been doing many performances as of recently. I always get so nervous when I do performances, I really need to work on that. It’s so jarring like I saw Wizkid yesterday right, and I’m just thinking wow everybody that I saw on the stage, the stage presence was just amazing like every single time. I definitely need to work on mine for sure. The nerves just get to me sometimes you know.

We need to increase the confidence.

Honestly, I’m putting my hands up – I don’t like performing but it’s just because I need to work on my confidence in performing. I think I need to just suck it up and do more shows next year but it is nerve-racking for me. When I went to see my friends perform – they are rappers init so it’s a bit easier than actually singing. Well, they make it look easy.

And so will you next year.

That’s right, that’s right! Soon come.

Check Out Monét’s “Hunnit Degrees” Down Below

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