A Chat With Monife – Love Language
Drake And Morgan Kings Cross
Sophie (Music in Motion PR) held a press day and I got to meet the lovely Monife for a chat over a cocktail and a cuppa!
Monifé , meaning ‘ I h a v e lo v e ’ in Y o ru b a , is a british-born Vincentian/Nigerian, raised in East London. The 24 year old R&B singer-songwriter released her debut track ‘U n re a c h a b le ’ in October 2019. With smooth and seductive ambience, the ‘old-school-Esque’ single has been re-released on her 6 track project ‘Love Language’
With the likes of S Z A , H .E .R , India Arie and Brent Faiyaz as influences, Monifé has since been working on creating her own sound . Growing up, monifé was always surrounded by singers, more so after becoming a member of Young N Gifted choir for several years.
Upon meeting Monife I instantly felt really calm and was intrigued to find out more about the ‘Love Language’ project and how it came together.
Sam: Tell me a bit about you, how did you get started in music?
Monife: I grew up in Newham originally but later moved out to Dagenham. I started singing in the Young and Gifted choir in Newham whenIi was about ten, that’s where I found a lot of my confidence and learnt a lot more, before that I used to sing in the playground and put on little shows and stuff. Since I was a kid I’ve been singing, my mum used to sing around me a lot. At school I would sing around my friends but I was really shy! One of my mums friends told her about the choir so I joined there, it was a massive choir we did a lot of shows around Newham and we’d travel to other places to perform as a choir, that’s where I really learnt how to sing and perform I guess. When your singing in a choir obviously its not the same as singing by yourself, by yourself you can do what you want but in a choir it’s a unity isn’t it? Sticking to your harmonies and being a community. We performed at shows and a few weddings, which was really nice, singing people down the aisle!
Sam: Did you know from young that singing was what you wanted to do and would be a huge part of your life?
Monife: Yeah I did, I was just really shy, even now I will say I am still quite shy but I try to overcome it, I try and put myself in situations that scare me, I feel like thats the way you grow.
Sam: Is this your first body of work?
Monife: Yeah, it was scary! ‘Love Language’ is a 6 track project and before this I had only released 2 tracks, ‘Unreachable’ which is on the project and ‘Can’t fall back’ which is a separate single. I was so nervous to release them, Im lucky I have quite a good group of friends around me and they’re all creatives so they get how I was feeling about it and knew when to push me and when to be like ok take your time. The first single I released I wasn’t trying to release it I was so nervous but my boyfriend and friends were pushing me to put it out.
Sam: I guess it can be quite daunting, when you write something personal, you can tend to overthink how others are going to perceive it so well done you for pushing past it!
Monife: Definitely, thank you so much! Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and push the button and not think about it. I remember when ‘Grow’ the last track on the project came out, I’m an early bird but it was being released at midnight so I stayed up and my heart was racing so much, when it was released I was pre-anticipating every word I said, I was singing it faster in my head than it was playing, criticising everything but I think closing your eyes and letting it be is the way forward!
Sam: Is ‘Grow’ a single that you’re pushing right now?
Monife: Yeah that’s a single off the project, it has an amazing rapper on it, Brilla he’s from East London as well, it’s on the topic of boundaries and I guess growth. In life, everyone grows, the same friends we had in primary school are not the same friends we have now, it’s not a malicious thing or any hard feelings its just about growing to a different place and being at a different stage in life.
Sam: What was the creative process like when putting this together, did lockdown play a part?
Monife: The project was pretty much written in lockdown, besides ‘Unreachable’, that was released in 2019 but I felt like it fit perfectly with the ensemble of the tracks.for a long time in lockdown I did have a bit of a block, I work in a hospital so I was going to work everyday and it was intense, I was so exhausted so I didn’t really create. it wasn’t until an amazing producer from South Africa found my single I released a couple years ago and he really loved it and he sent me some beats. before that I just used to find beats on Youtube and nothing was inspiring me, I feel like I have to find a beat and something has to be pulled out of me, so he sent me over a beat and I fell in love with it, thats what I wrote ‘Grow’ too. Also I met another producer during lockdown – Nickel Beats and he sent me a couple beats and if it wasn’t for them two I feel like I’d be in a completely different creative space, I kind of needed that push, in terms of what they created it really inspired me. Then we had ‘Love Language’ I literally write a lot of the songs when I’m walking on my way to work. Lockdown 2020 a lot of them were created and then once things started opening up again I started recording them and then I released it last year in October. I’ve created visualisers for each one and they all have their own themes. I had never done a visualiser before or any filming but I was like yeah I’m going to do one for each song. It was tough and it was difficult but I really loved it, I love what we got at the end of it.
Sam: Amazing! Are all the visualisers out now?
Monife: Yes they are, they’re all on my Youtube and I use them for my Spotify canvas, they’re all so different, one of them has highlights from my listening party.
Sam: The first song i listened to was ‘Helpless’ I was kind of drawn to it so I started listening to that and I listened to it 3 times over, can you tell me a bit about that track?
Monife: That makes me so happy! That’s definitely one that is close to my heart and I think it made a bit harder and I was more nervous to share that. When people like that track and resonate with it, it makes me so happy because I thought people wouldn’t get it, but the people that do honestly I love them, it’s so close to my heart. that visualiser is all about me and my boyfriend essentially, just us being cute.
Sam: What are the main themes throughout ‘Love Language’?
Monife: Love, growth, its not based on typical love languages such as quality time, affection and physical touch, I feel like love languages can go further than that, in terms of friendship like respect and boundaries, people respecting your boundaries and understanding you as a person, understanding whats good and whats ok, I feel like thats a love language as well and that shows that they care about you. I’ve definitely written about a wider variety of love languages, all types of relationships, friends and family. ‘Illusions’ is my ‘I can do it’ song and I love opening performances with that song, and that one is love, it’s about self love.
Sam: So what’s next, what are your future plans?
Monife: For now I’m pushing my project, I want to start performing again, obviously we’ve been in and out of lockdown for a long time but I love performing, I just love the energy you get from it, interacting with people and seeing how your music makes people feel. Definitely more performing and being more creative. This year I want to grow in terms of my songwriting and performing and start exploring different sounds. taking myself out of my comfort zone is the goal, that’s how you learn and grow and I definitely felt that I grew with this project, I felt so uncomfortable but now I feel relieved and I can see the progress, and that’s really exciting for me. eventually these things come together and happen, I just want to get out more and go up and down the UK. Collaborations and things that challenge me to write differently.
Sam: Who would you like to collaborate with?
Monife: I really love Tiana Major 9! She’s from East London as well so thats extra inspiring and her pen is amazing! One day I would love to collaborate with Brent Faiyaz he’s such a super chilled singer songwriter!
‘Love Language’ is out now! Stream here.
Watch the brand new visuals above: Monifé – Grow ft Brilla – Visualiser – Youtube
Follow Monife – @itsmonife
For press inquiries contact: SRJMusicOfficial@gmail.com
Blog support & Collaborations: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay safe, stream Love Language and take care,
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