[INTERVIEW] #NAENAEONTHESCENE: STEFFANY MONEQUE ‘PAINTING HER CANVAS’
What’s good, its your girl NaeNae bringing you another #NaeNaeOnTheScene interview. This week’s interview comes from the deep, sultry sounding voice of Steffany Monique. She is an indie R&B artist comes from Huntsville, AL. She started writing music and poetry when she was in high school. Steffany writes all of her music acapella until around March of 2016. This past October, Steffany released her first single ‘Medicated’, which now rests at 10K in streams. Shortly after, she released her best running single ‘Discretion’, which recently broke 90K. Steffany has since then released 4 additional tracks off her project “Canvas’, on Valentine’s Day of this year. She wrote all of her music, with the exception of the hook on Discretion, which was written by producer, Mantra.
What’s the meaning behind the project, (Canvas)?
A lot of people don’t know this, but J. Cole’s “Apparently” initially inspired me. One specific lyric stuck with me, “this is my canvas, I’ma paint how I want it baby“. I decided to take that idea and expand on it. I look at artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo, etc. I notice how their work is displayed in museums and exhibits for people to view and try to decipher. Viewers have the opportunity to feel what the artists felt when they made it. I wanted to be like those artists, I wanted to paint. So whenever I found a beat that I liked and could write to, I would name it a canvas, while my lyrics would play as paint. This made me an artist like the rest. It gave my listeners a chance to feel and appreciate what I wrote as well as the emotion I put behind the execution.
Writing process? Do you write from personal experience or from other people’s experiences?
Writing process…I’ve always loved to write. I discovered I had a real knack for it my junior year in high school. It’s incredibly therapeutic to me. As far as the perspective I write from, it varies. Sometimes, it’s my life. Sometimes, I write about experiences my friends have lived through. Sometimes, I just think of love and pain and I try to think of ways to be relatable to every listener. Whether they’re on cloud 9 in love, feeling frisky and sensual, or dealing with betrayal and trying to grow through and from a recent heartbreak.
Who are some of your biggest influencers?
Biggest influencers…there’s quite a few but each for different reasons. First and foremost, I ADORE Aaliyah. I think she had that tomboy, favorite “girl-next-door” vibe mastered. I watch her interviews often and I admire her spirit, very pure and kind. And her music still rocks to this day, even in her absence. I want to create music like that, the kind that just lives on forever. If we tap into performances, tour life and a master of visuals, Beyoncé. I am more than a singer. My mother put me in dance classes when I was about 4 or 5 years old and I would compete nationally with my studio and later joined my high school’s dance team. I am a huge Beyoncé fan and I went to my first concert of hers last November, she’s a STELLAR performer. So I decided I would add spunk and choreography to each of my performances so that I could grasp and keep my audience’s attention. Lauryn Hill, Big Sean, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar and Gucci Mane are lyrical geniuses. I don’t think that each of them always receives the credit they deserve, but they definitely inspire my word play and lyricism. A song has to be more than a catchy beat, I have to make my audience think, “run it back“, and make me an Instagram caption (haha).
Top 5 artists you would also like to collar with one day?
Top 5 artists would like to collab with one day…only 5??? That’s soooo hard. Okay…H.E.R., Gucci Mane, Daniel Caesar, DVSN and Drake. If I could pick a second 5…I’d choose SZA, Internet Syd, Kehlani, Frank Ocean and 2 Chainz. That was way too hard lol.
If you weren’t doing music, what else would be interested in doing?
If I weren’t doing music, I would dance. I have a lot of experience in the field as I mentioned previously. If that didn’t work, I would definitely write music for other artists.
Last song you listened to? Whether on your phone or in the car?
Last song I listened to…’Eternal Sunshine’ by Jhene Aiko
I’ve got a performance coming up for the Magic City Classic in Birmingham, AL. I’ve also got a performance lined up for Nashville and New Orleans. It’s all very exciting. Also, I’ll be releasing my first video mid-November. Stay tuned!
What’s your motto in life?
My motto in life…I want to inspire the uninspired. Meaning, the creatives who feel like the odds are outrageous, I want to show them that the odds conquerable. On top of, I want to help bring back good music, good R&B. I feel like it’s not appreciated enough anymore. I’d like to change that.
Make sure you go take a listen to Steffany Moneque’s EP, “Canvas” you won’t be disappointed. Its available for download and stream on iTunes/Apple Music, Spotify, TIDAL, Google Play, Amazon, YouTube, Shazam, iHeartRadio and Napster!
Until next time, its your girl NaeNae as always bringing you #NaeNaeOnTheScene with Straight Official.
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The author NaeNae
In the heart of Indianapolis, Indiana, NaeNae can be seen around town capturing footage at local events and interviewing artists. She also owns a multimedia company, Chasing My Dreamz (animation, graphic design, photography, videography). Every Monday at 10am you can hear NaeNae on the 5 Rounds podcast, where she is also the content producer of the show.