By Tracy Dietlin
Monica Morones is one fierce woman who walks to the beat of her own drum. Always honest and outspoken, she doesn’t apologize for who she is or what her opinions are about anything. That is why she was one of CV Weekly’s Top 12 Most Interesting and Influential Women of 2017.
And of course there’s her talent, which knows no boundaries. She is an artist of many mediums including painting, jewelry making (sunglasses and wallets, too), photography, singer-songwriter, dancer, producer, to name a few.
Morones won last year’s Best Frontwoman Award at the CV Music Awards and has been nominated in the same category again this year, as well as for Best R&B Artist.
We asked Morones to answer a few questions for us.
CVW: Are you working on new material?
MM: “I released my first album March 31, 2017 and have yet to release my 2nd album. I am anticipating a fall release.”
CVW: You are beyond a quadruple threat as an artist. You sing, dance, paint, create sunglasses and all types of art and are a photographer. Tell us a little bit about what each one of those mediums means to you and if you could only choose one what would it be?
MM: “I love to create. I would never be able to pick just one! Life is about learning and doing things that feed the soul, and that is why I dabble in so many different arts. I started off as an art major where I learned how to paint, then started taking music classes and learned how to play guitar and produce, while I played around with vocals. In that whole process I took up sewing, photography, learned how to push my brain creatively and now depending on how I feel day to day, I do whatever organically comes to me as an artist.”
CVW: Do you feel that it’s harder being a female performer/artist here in the valley than it is for a man?
MM: “To be completely honest, it doesn’t matter what gender you are out here, it’s all about what connects you have. Musically, I am not a cover band, so that obviously limits my gigs. Artistically, I don’t get along with the people that hand out opportunities out here so there’s that. The Coachella Valley is a small fish bowl and when there are opportunities present, those opportunities go to the friends of the people in charge of shit. Straight up! To quote the homie 2 pac, ‘First off, fuck your bitch and the click you claim.’”
CVW: Tell us about some of your recent shows that are standouts for you?
MM: “I recently had a solo art show at Flat Black Gallery in Palm Desert and it was everything I could of hoped it to be! I painted, curated a whole show on my own and to have my own show is an accomplishment in itself. I was super proud and grateful of the support and love I received and that really stood out for me.”
CVW: What is your songwriting process like?
MM: “I usually get a beat from one of my beat geniuses like Luthergates, Karmic Basis or DJ Ba5e and as soon as I hear it and vibe with it I’ll write to it almost instantly, get a cadence down, then I get extremely high and write the lyrics.”
CVW: Which song are you most proud to say you wrote?
MM: “All my songs have a special place in my heart, they all tell a story of a time and place that is memorable to only me. If I had to choose one song that I thought was clever as a songwriter, I would have to say my song “Dear Dads.” I wrote it abstractly and every time I hear it, it still makes me cry. It’s basically in abstract code that only I can understand and I’m talking about my real father, my stepfather and basically from that song if you figure it out, you can see why I hate men.”
CVW: Which song do you most enjoy performing?
MM: “I love performing “Bitch, Please.” I love saying the lyrics. “Why’s it got to be Bitches cook and clean, do you spit or swallow, do follow the direction of what I mean. What’s with all the hate? Drink too much get raped, better stay in shape or he’ll leave you with them kids……and then no dates.”
CVW: What are your favorite venues to play?
MM: “I don’t have a favorite venue. I’m always disappointed in the lack of sound in most venues. And if it’s not the sound it’s the stage. Call me picky, but as a performer I expect for places who say they are a music venue, to actually invest in good equipment and a sound person. Not the case in most places out here.”
CVW: What has been the most important moment of your career so far?
MM: “I would have to say, dropping my first album, unsigned, researching how to do it, and actually making a CD with 12 songs on it. Releasing an album on ITUNEs and all the music platforms as well as pressing a CD, getting my merch made, without setting up a go fund me or selling my ass, was memorable.”
CVW: How do you define success in the music business?
MM: “Who the fuck knows now days. The music business is kind of a joke. I’d say if you make music and you like it and it makes you happy, that’s successful, but that’s kind of bullshit right? When we all know it’s fame and money that define success.”
CVW: Who are your influences?
MM: “Mostly all female artists, bad bitches, they’re too many to list.”
CVW: What music/bands are you listening to right now?
MM: “Shannon and the Clams, Lion Babe, Nitty Scott, Spooky Black, Blimes Brixton, Groundation.”
CVW: Who would you most like to work with that you have not?
MM: “Any drummer that’s not a dick and would actually want to be in my band… HAHAHAHA”
CVW: Who would you most like to open for?
MM: “Tash Sultana.”
CVW: Who do you most respect in the music business?
MM: “Anyone who isn’t an arrogant prick, and who is actually a genuine person instead of a fake ass opportunistic shit.”
CVW: What are your future music goals?
MM: “I will be picking up the guitar again soon and doing some more self-produced songs. I plan on dropping one more album and that’s as far as I can see.”
Monica Morones will perform at the CV Music Awards on Sunday, June 3 at the Hard Rock Hotel PS.