Official Biography (courtesy of Monique)
‘It’s important that I’m authentic as an artist. I have to be prepared to bare all, people want to believe you when you sing.’
MONIQUE has a voice that shakes the soul of today’s music. Her gravelly tone, which is complemented through the vulnerability portrayed in her songwriting, echoes soul music, whatever the context.
Born and raised in Birmingham, this music artist, songwriter, label head, has found herself with a run of club hits in Australia, and has recently gone full circle in her debut headline tour, visiting 6 cities across the UK.
Growing up in a Jamaican family home, music always had its heartbeat. Since a young age, Monique has been surrounded by music lovers, including her 90’s soul / r’n’b DJ uncle, whereby she was greeted daily by reggae / soul vibes.
Monique’s abilities were polished through performance opportunities, which ultimately increased her profile. Childhood friends with both persistence and hard work–she nurtured a drive that pushed her to experiment with a variety of sounds in finding her voice. Now, the distinctive nature of her rich tone has been referred to as ‘the truth’ and has been compared to the raspy textures of Mary J Blige and the depth of India Arie and Tracy Chapman.
A new found love for gospel music developed a passion for live performances, and influenced her vocal harmonies, arrangements and songwriting. Changed by the message, Monique aspired to uplift others – particularly women; subsequently her songwriting often embraces storytelling with subjects of love and hope.
In 2011, Monique celebrated the independent release of her debut album, ‘Unbroken’ produced by 5am’s Tony Bean. (Lemar, Beverley Knight, Nu Life, Usher, Kelly Rowland). The album received a warm reception from radio stations around the country. DJs instantly showed support for the soul stepping smash, ‘Daughter Shine’, which was play-listed on Smooth Radio and hit number one in several soul charts Nationwide.
In 2012, Universal Records’ dance label ‘Central Station’ signed a licensing deal for the release of ‘Colourful’, also from the album. This was remixed by Punk Ninja and Gregori Klosman, then distributed throughout Australia and Europe, attaining a top ten in the Australian club charts. This has lead to Monique writing for various artists and DJs.
'Putting together a body of work and signing my first licensing deal was an incredible experience. I was still working out my identity as an artist, but people embraced individual songs for what they were and that was amazing.'
Monique has supported various US soul acts such as Dwele and Avery Sunshine on their visits to the UK. She has performed to crowds at soul weekenders and festivals, and to audiences in intimate venues such as London’s Jazz Café, churches and coffee shops.
In summer 2013, she kicked off her debut tour ‘Full Circle’ by performing new material at the Birmingham MAMA Institute, packed with wide-eyes, two-steps and laughter. A promo release of ‘Full Circle’ is due out in autumn to commemorate the tour and to thank fans for their support.
In connection with this release, she entered an exciting new relationship with Full Circle clothing line and is now launching an exclusive range of merchandise.
Working on her second project, Monique has raised the bar by showing her versatility through an edgy soul vibe. With a style that wipes the dust off old school vinyls, her new sound retains the authenticity of classic soul, while confronting real issues and sharing personal experiences through heartfelt melodies.
‘I’ve tried and tested but now it’s about trusting myself. I trust my voice and I trust my inspiration to lead me more than I ever have before.’