S: I looked at your Instagram and saw performance flicks from 2015 so let’s talk the ‘come-up’?
ML: A lot of people don’t know I put out my independent EP ‘‘On’ in 2015. For the most part, people in the U.K said it sounded too American. If they didn’t appreciate it here, I’d go elsewhere. I built more connections in the states and grew more confident in my sound, up until – after dropping a clip with Roddy Ricch in the studio – signing my first deal, last year, with Warner Chappell.
S: What are some early memories that have helped develop Monique Lawz?
ML: I wouldn’t even be able to explain it in it’s entirety. If I’m honest, my growth is so different and, unfortunately, the fans haven’t caught up with all sides of Monique Lawz yet – they just know ‘Worth It’.
S: Do you ever feel that your sound is being stifled?
ML: Not at all. My sound is completely different and it’s one of those things that must be heard to be understood. I don’t think it should be a ‘boxing’ thing, it’s just my voice. I’ll master my craft and I can go anywhere.
S: How has signing to a major label benefited you?
ML: I didn’t feel like there was a blueprint for my type of artist in the U.K and it can be difficult to understand my package. They’ve had more reach than me and have really played their marketing role. I’ve had the support of radio too – shoutout 1Xtra (DJ Ace and Nadia Jae)!
S: You’ve really kept your buzz alive during quarantine – what has your lockdown experience been like?
ML: Sophie Jackson (PR) has gone so hard for me. Things started so well, with a release party on March 9th. It was great energy. We had so much planned and still ran our challenges but then lockdown!!
S: You’ve probably seen the GRM nominations, how much do you value these things?
ML: I love what Posty is doing with the platform. I really don’t play too much into it and don’t feel offended. I don’t feel like there’s a platform for me and the ‘Ling Hussles’, which we’re hoping changes. At the end of the day, the people have to demand your music. However, I do think that songwriters should be celebrated more.
S: How have you adapted as you grow more popular?
ML: I’m okay! Of course, there’s the DMs and it’s a little bit risky. For the most part, I’m cool and get shown a lot of love. I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I’m making my music for people who like my music – it took a while for me to get there.
S: What acts as a muse to keep you creative?
ML: I’m a very old soul — from Chaka to Whitney to Aretha to 702 and Aaliyah. My grandma’s music. That’s where my inspiration comes from. It’s very rare I listen to current music. My writer friends are responsible for a lot of music out right now, so I’m listening and supporting too.
S: Talk about shooting ‘Worth It’ in Jamaica!!
ML: I shot a previous video and felt like ‘Worth It’ was supposed to be a summer song. I wanted it to represent where I’m from too, so Jamaica made the most sense.
We’re rooting for Monique Lawz and all U.K. R&B artists. Click here to stay in tune with the singer!