By: Will “Deshair” Foskey

      It’s amazing to think that the overwhelmingly talented R&B superstar, Monica has already clocked a little over a decade in the industry, but she has. I can still remember as if it was yesterday when the young songstress stepped onto the scene equipped with vocal control and range beyond her years, and a feisty attitude to match.

 

      In 2006, Monica has returned with her fourth U.S. album “The Makings of Me…” Her second single ‘A Dozen Roses (You Remind Me)’ was released to all major video outlets on November 16, and is already receiving positive reviews that can be the springboard Monica needs to climb the Billboard Top 200 charts.

 

      In this conversation with Monica, we talked about the makings of her new album, as well as why she feels that she have staying power in both her music and in life itself.

 

So what was it like being in the studio recording this time around?

 

Monica: I was in the studio throughout my entire pregnancy. I found out that I was having a boy, so I became really emotional and attached to him, which in return got me in touch with my own feelings. I was then able to dig into places, write and talk about things that in the past I just might have kept to myself.

 

What was the story behind your first single, ‘Everytime the Beat Drops’?

 

Monica: My first single was a representation of where I’m from. It is a real party, feel good record because that’s what we do here (Atlanta). Snap music is very relevant here, but it’s very different from what I’ve normally done. The rest of the album is more R&B soul. I really have a phenomenal array of producers who sat down with me and created amazing music from Tank, to Sean Garrett, to Brian Cox, to the Underdogs and of coarse Missy and Jermaine. We took our time to create what I wanted ‘The Makings of Me…’ to be.

 

So what exactly did you want “The Makings of Me…” to be?

 

Monica: I wanted this album to be a musical diary, where I didn’t have to talk so much about the things that have happened to me. You can hear it in the music. You can hear the storylines and the tragedies. But most importantly, you get to hear how I bounce back. I don’t become my circumstances and I don’t live in my past. So with everything that has happened in my life, I try to talk about it so that people that may have been there; maybe going there; or may have ended up there can see that there is a way out of that struggle.

 

I know that this is not exactly a question for you to answer, but I’d love to know your perspective on why you feel that your fans have remained so loyal to you over the past 10 years.

 

Monica: To me, it’s the honesty that people know me for. I think that if people thought that I was portraying an image that really wasn’t me – that if I was singing songs that really wasn’t me – that I was singing about subjects that I didn’t know about, people wouldn’t trust and believe that what I say is sincerely from my heart. I walk my listeners through some of the mistakes that I’ve made and present to them some of the things that have happened to me. I’ve never been ashamed or have been the type to pretend that I didn’t date this person – to pretend that I didn’t hang in this area – or to pretend that I didn’t get into trouble. I believe in putting myself out there and allowing for people to get to know me for who I really am. I want for those who listen to my music to take me as I am. My career is a blessing, because if the people didn’t allow for me to come back, I wouldn’t have come back. My fans expect for me to be honest with them, so that’s what I continue to do. And I love music too. I didn’t just get into this for the fame. I was eleven years old when I met Dallas Austin. I was thirteen years old when my first album dropped. I didn’t want to be a star and I didn’t want to be rich. I just wanted to sing. I think that it’s that energy that allows for people to see me differently when they hear my music. I still just want to sing.

 

“The Makings of Me…” is in stores now