Influences: MONOGEM talks us through her new single ‘Shade’ and five tracks that have influenced her

“I wrote “Shade” on a day when I felt particularly bleak and dreary.  Dark thoughts ran through my head about anything and everything: my artistry, my life, my body, my family, I was having one of those moments where nothing was right.  As an artist, those days are more frequent than I’d like to admit.  As a woman, I’ve felt pressure to cover up this little dark corner, put my face on and show up for the party.  “Shade” is a personal anthem that reminds me to stop hiding my truths, even if they aren’t pretty.”  

“The first time I saw Jessie Ware’s video for “Running” I was floored.  I think it was the video that stuck with me at first – that high bun, her powerful presence, the driving beat of the song with her falsetto, staccato vocal delivery was everything.  The song and video greatly inspired me while writing my first EP as MONOGEM.”  

“Little Bit” by Lykke Li was kind of my intro to indie music.  I had just graduated Berklee School of Music and was deeply immersed in Jazz, and I distinctly remember loving Li’s vocals, they are emotional and imperfect, which is my favourite part.”

“Twice” by Little Dragon also was released around that time.  I stumbled across their animation video on YouTube and had never heard anything like it.  It was a strong reference song “I Am” off my 100% EP. “

“Retrograde” by James Blake is a masterpiece.  That vocal ad lib hook never gets old, it’s complex and simple all at the same time.”

“Lastly, “I Can’t Help It” by Michael Jackson, the King, embodies everything I love about music.  It is the perfect R&B song.”


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