Where it all began
It was in the recording studio which belonged to a family friend, when the charming voice of a 16 month old baby sang “Baby, I love you”, that was when the destiny was sealed for little Monica Michael to give herself to music. Now 26 years old, this fiery and passionate singer/lyricist is on the rise to the global musical scene with a fiery, passionate and real EP
“If I could have just one person from every country touched by one of my songs, that would be so fulfilling,” says Monica about her aspirations.
To her, music is more than a profession; it’s therapy for her soul, which she longs to share with her audience. Her sound is very cool and militant. Monica sings power and boldness and is all about bringing realness back into music.
“Performers want to sing about parties, drugs and being messed up for the sake of a moment, when there is actually real pain in the world. Real issues people are trapped. People suffer. People need a powerful role model – they need hope,” Monica declares adamantly, as she explains her radical style.
Born in North London, Palmers Green to a Greek family, Monica had an early taste of music, performing and gaining stage experiences. After the recording session she had as a 16 month old baby, she was invited to Croydon to sing at Michael Barrymore’s program “My Kind of People” at the age of 5, singing a track by Celine Dion. That was when Monica had the first taste of the crowd and knew that is where she wanted to be.
Influenced by classic female singers such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Aaliyah and Mary J Blige, now 12 year old Monica wrote her first love song. “I need strong emotions to drive me to write,” she explains, “I mostly rely on deep and dark emotional experiences in my song writing, but back then just having a crush was good enough.”
When at the age of 17 Monica was placed for an audition along with hundreds of other girls to open the stage for artists with global names in Cyprus, she didn’t think much of it until she actually won, that was when the opportunity came to perform on stage along with Akon, Alicia Dixon, Mutya, 50 Cent and others. “The audience was huge and so diverse,” Monica admits, “That was when it hit me that it was not just about the UK. The world was my audience and that was great. That’s how I wanted it ever since. No target culture, no separation.” When she returned home, she met a producer and started working on her album straight away.
However, as the wrong kind of people were introduced to her life, Monica abandoned music, ‘went off the rails’ and delved head first into the mad lifestyle. “I was stuck in a destructive relationship, and wrong friendships, partying, and drugs, and ultimately – the agony from all of that,” Monica says. “I even abandoned my music for that time. But thanks to those experiences, my music actually matured. I have been through pain, downturns, and emotional hell. And still I rise and keep going.”
With the storms in her life, Monica left the UK and went to South Africa to get herself straight. That trip gave her the awareness, sensitivity and realness that she needed to find. Her inspiration for music was reawakened. When challenged with a new style, Monica is fearless.
“I see myself as an Amazonian, a sensitive yet powerful womanly figure, whose music can empower you and get you through the dark experiences in life,” the singer reflects. “I know I can reach the world. For better for worse, the world will listen.”