I had the chance to speak to the young, new, and upcoming rapper and songwriter MonaeTheArtist about her first rapping experience, inspiration, upcoming projects and more! Read the interview here about this inspirational young woman.
So what was your first experience with rapping?
At the age of 13, at my middle school lunch wave, a classmate of mine began making beats on the table at lunch, and I started rapping. I received positive feedback from my classmates, and from there on we continued to make this a daily routine of me rapping at the lunch waves.
Who do you like to listen to?
I like to listen Missy Elliott, J.Cole, Nas, Jay-Z, A Tribe Called Quest, Teyana Taylor, Eric
Bellinger, T.I., 2Pac, Notorious B. I. G., Remy Ma, Keyshia Cole, Nicki Minaj, Lil Kim, Tank,
anybody with creative sounds I can go on and on lol. I also listen to gospel; it’s very soothing and
spiritually guides me.
Who inspires you the most musically?
Who inspires me the most musically, would be Missy Elliott, J.Cole, Eve, Nas, Jay-Z,
2Pac, Notorious B.I.G. It’s so many I could name but everyone from the 90’s era, lol, but Missy
Elliott because I love her style and creativity. She is not afraid to step out of the box. J.Cole,
because to me, he’s a visionary when it comes to music. It’s almost like a movie that should be in
theatres when I listen to him. Eve, I love her flow when rapping. She was dominate in Philadelphia
when she first came out, and she took rapping by far when she was with the Ruff Ryders. Nas and
Jay-Z , I look at how they are storytellers and moguls, how their music is about where they came
from and they turned their lives from negatives to positives. 2Pac and Biggie, they too were storytellers
from urban communities a lot of their messages were positive, funny, and violent, but
their music gave an insight into their worlds where they came from.
What motivated you to take your rapping from just a hobby to something you want to pursue
as a career?
I enjoy writing and telling stories that people can relate too. Also when I received so much positivity on rapping, I looked at this as a gift of talent that God has blessed me with, and I must continue to move forward with creating music that will draw listeners to me but as well as making sure there is a message behind my sound.
Besides rapping, what other hobbies do you have? Also, what other career goals might you
have for yourself?
I love to travel and being able to see different cities and countries, tasting different foods, understanding the cultures of people. Creating a clothing line, product, motivational speaking to the youth, writing and producing for other artists are other career goals I have myself. I love to help others in need who have less and speaking to the youth is big for me because we have a lot of teens who are lost and need encouragement and support.
I attended the University of Connecticut and my major is Human Development and Family Studies and I would like to focus working with childhood and adolescence. I am currently interning for my local board of education in the special education department as a support staff.
What is the message and inspiration for your new single “Tailor Made?”
“Tailor Made” is basically a song that empowers each and every person
who wants something in life to go towards their goal. That very moment you have been waiting for
is finally here because of how dedicated you are to your craft whether it’s in the arts, musically, or
education, your constant grind got you here. You have a team that stands behind you 100 percent.
It’s not about royalty all the time, but the individuals who are with you if they are loyal.
The inspiration behind Tailor Made is based on my life and how I was doubted by many before
given an opportunity and how I was able to still be dedicated to my music, while staying prayerful and
waiting for my moment. No matter how many doubters I had, I knew that there would be a greater
What is one future accomplishment you wish to achieve?
One future accomplishment I wish to achieve I would like to give back to my mother, because
she has been my number one supporter and she has done a lot for me. I cannot thank her enough.
She has been amazing, so my biggest accomplishment is giving back to her what she has given
me and much more.
Any advice for young ladies like yourself wishing to pursue a career in the music business?
To any other young ladies pursuing a career in the business, my advice would be to
stay dedicated, empower other female singers or rappers, let’s not be in competition with each
other. Never be intimidated thinking that this business is a male dominant business and that us females cannot do the same thing. Lastly prove your haters wrong. You will be successful. Never let doubters
stop you from going where your path is destined to go.
What is the best way for fans of your music to stay in touch with you? And, any upcoming
projects they have to look forward to?
The best way for fans to stay in touch with me and hold conversations they can follow me on
both Twitter and Instagram @MonaeTheArtist. They may also follow my Sound Cloud music
page @MonaeTheArtist or add me on Facebook at Keshara Mason. Upcoming projects: I will be
releasing my upcoming album soon, possibly March or April.
I would like to add that I am super excited and thankful that SwagHer Magazine gave me the
opportunity to be featured in the magazine. I would like to give a shout out to my mother, Rhonda
Hurst thank you for supporting me. My makeup artist “Sweet Dreams Makeup” founder Mandisa
Duperval. Chloe Grant for doing my hair and being available for me. Tyler Johnson my photographer
founder of UrbanRoom photography and stylist Idolli Visions for bringing urban and different styles
my way. I thank you all very much. I’m a Sagittarius so I would like to give a nice shout out to all the
Sags and I look forward to working with the magazine company again in the future. God Bless.