Monique Love Fraser: The Essence of a Rising Music Sensation

Readers of cocktailmolly, it is a pleasure to introduce to the world the upcoming and very talented musician and vocalist Monique Love Fraser.  She has been singing professionally for more than two years now & is hoping that the pursuit of her dream of being a singer comes to fruition with her upcoming album Monogamy.  Monique sat down with cocktailmolly for an interview … please ladies & gentlemen, Listen, Read & Njoy …

(single from Monogamy cd by Monique Love Fraser)
CM:
How long have you been making music?
MLF:
I’ve been working in music two years now
CM:
So what were you involved in professionally before you became deeply involved in music?
MLF:
I was in school going for my English degree.  I’ve been writing novels all my life since I was about ten so I always knew I wanted to stay close to words and literature… and I knew I wanted to use that talent to entertain but this whole music thing was really random actually just something me and my boyfriend began scheming up and so now it’s completely taken on a life of its own, but I just turned 23 and I’ve been in school my whole life so no I haven’t exactly stepped into the professional work field as yet.  I’m trying to now though…
CM:
Oh so u are kinda like Corinne Bailey Rae, huh? She pursued an English degree too before becoming a singer. I must say u definitely have the ability to do your thing on her level though, but tell everyone which singers/musicians would you say influenced you the most to become a singer & continuously inspires you to sing?
MLF:
Oh OMG! All the most influential people of today: Beyonce, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, especially, because her story is incredible I feel a lot like mine rejected from the school right out here in queens to becoming and international superstar its takes bravery and persistence and I believe she even started around my age because she’s not really that young anymore, but i feel like right now is my moment. Lol … since I turned 23 on this year and I feel like I want to use this year to push myself further than I’ve ever pushed myself before.  I literally want to break the chains that have held me back for so long, but … awww … Corrine … I love her.  and Alicia Keys… mainly women who have made it from my city. i look up to them the most.  Now as a literary writer, writing books is a lot different than writing songs.  I must say that I’ve fallen in love with music soooo much more since I began writing music. It’s so much fun listening to a sound and attaching emotions to it through words.
CM:
I feel where you coming from and I guess it is never too late to live out one’s dreams.  Okay so tell the readers of cocktailmolly about your recent cd. How is it different or better than your previous recording projects? How has it prepared you for your next cd in production? What inspired you throughout the production process? And what emotions and/or message are u wishing to deliver to the audience with your new set of songs?
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MLF:

Yes that’s very true.  It is never too late but with the way media is set up I definitely want to be out there before I’m in my 30’s because it’s like nice to see child stars out there but in reality a lot of parents don’t put us out there the way we need until we were ready which is usually 18+.  So now i think iI’m ready to make things happen for myself.  Ok … so this album I’m trying to put together is basically something I’ve created from listening to music and CD’s growing up, piecing together my own sound –  which I wouldn’t say is that different from anything I’ve heard before. I want to put my own style and flavor behind things that are “normal” … Lol I feel like I don’t wanna stray too far from the guidelines of music and melodies but I do want to give my audience the raw me. A raw me can range from anyyyything to reggae, soca, techno, rock, pop, r&b and soul through my music i want to pull from all types of music around the world that I also enjoy, music that the general public can enjoy and vibe to after just listening to it once.

CM:
Wow I really love how U answered that last question. Normalcy and rawness is something I think is missed in this era culturally, esp, with the music industry. The sounds are not as raw to me as they used to be. Like how U are trying to blend sounds too. So, now every musician has a process for writing and recording their music. For example, Corinne Bailey Rae, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and D’angelo were/are interested in emotional delivery and artistic integrity. Prince & R. Kelly are all about being experimental, free-flowing artists that see music as similar to breathing. Anita Baker & Phyllis Hyman focused on finding strong production and sound selection. What do you believe your musical philosophy & process is when you are producing an album?
MLF:
Ummm … inspiration has always been tricky thing for me even when i was younger.  I’ve learned that I don’t really have to look for inspiration to create. People are inspired every day, but it’s about how and when you decide to channel that energy and knowing exactly where to put it. I can say that some songs off my first album Monogamy were directed towards people and memories of my past, but I’ve never really been the memoir type of girl.  In school if a professor tells me to create anything off the top of my head I’ll give them hundreds of pages hand written … if they tell me to write anything from my past and I can’t give them two pages. Just like JK Rowling’s Harry Potter was merely a dream brought to life.  OMGGG! Wow! These are all different yet the same!!! Lolll I can’t even tell the difference I feel like I’m a little of everything!!!!! Loll IDK!!  I can say that I probably would go with the Anita Baker method first because she made GREAT music!!! Yes first things first I believe in sound selection. the way I work on like 95% of my music is I find the sound then I draw the emotions out of the sound like Corrine then i breathe life into it like R.Kelly. Lol …
CM: 
Alright tell me what are your goals, or the kinds of rewards you are expecting from your music career?

MLF:

I can’t work with any producers, but in the first few months that I’ve been working on music that was the first mission trying to find sound that is perfect for me, my tone, my style, my voice, everything. and after I found that producer everything just came after that.  I was able to go through any sound and write to it, put my voice on it, and the more i wrote … the more i sang … the more comfortable i grew with the entire process.  Goals? i have a lot of goals. Rght now my first goal is to get my music out there.  I honestly do believe that if anyyyyone big heard my first album it can potentially win many awards, but I’m trying to move one step at a time.  I’m not trying to trip on my way up and I’m not trying to get ahead of myself.  i just want people to hear it.  I want the fans to come themselves.  I want people to genuinely love me for my music, my sound, and my “all around” music integrity because that’s something no one can really fake.  I’ve put a lot of time toward making sure my music is something that everyone can enjoy so that’s the only real goal I have at the moment.  I won’t lie I would like to have lots of interviews and lots of performances and just being able to draw in a crowd with the sound of music … Lol …

CM:
That’s smart to take things one step at a time. Also, when I was asking about rewards I was thinking about how it would reward u personally and your audience and then u give me that special answer about creating great sound and drawing a crowd through your great vocals and production.  I recall us speaking previously and you said that your Monogamy cd was heavily focused on sadness and heartbreak and that your focus will be more upbeat. Has that been true so far with producing your new cd … is it more upbeat?
MLF

MLF:

Rewards, for me, personally? I don’t even know. I love to see people happy, smile and enjoy my music and that’s my reward. That’s the only reward I can really ask for by being an artist. That is something I have understood since I began writing books and allowing people to read them. I’ve had girls in my class tell me that they’re moms found my books and started reading it and they were in love like who wrote this? Other girls were literally fighting over who was going to take the original copy home first to read it?

Now with the cd Monogamy … Ummm … I wouldn’t really say it’s full of sadness.  My life isn’t full of sadness so I wouldn’t want to depress the entire world like Adele!!! … Lol … No that isn’t Monogamy.  It’s literally just as it sounds.  It’s all the emotions that really come with monogamy.

CM:
So the cd is somewhat autobiographical? It’s your take on what monogamy is and what u think it should be? Or is it about your experiences with a particular mate?
MLF:
I don’t write autobiographies. That’s not how I ever viewed creative work. I think it’s nice when people do it, but I always thought creating was to take something that wasn’t there and literally creating something out of thin air.  Although there’s always traces of truth in everything that I write whether it pertains to me or my life is something else.  I’m usually not the type of person to use the people around me as subject matter being that I want the people in my life to trust me.  I don’t want them to think that whenever they’re around me I’m gonna be using them as the next subject for my songs…Lol … The album is basically me evaluating the word monogamy and putting together a story, but there’s sexy songs, love songs, hate song, break up songs.  It’s just a CD of emotions pertaining to the roller coaster of monogamy as well as the journey it took to get there.

CM:

Amazing idea of creating art. I use to think the same thing about autobiographical cds and fiction pieces. I would say to myself, “who the hell wants to hear their story?” Lol. But I guess it depends on the delivery of some artists and their ability to get what is inside them out for all to see and/or hear. Now I would like to know what is your take on the current state of the music industry? Are u hopeful, angry, disturbed? What emotion does it emit from u?

MLF:
I’m veeery hopeful.  I mean I haven’t really had that much experience with it so it’s nothing I can really be angry about, but I do know it’s a little rocky right now, especially, with Tidal now emerging it’s like omg is the music industry really going downhill like that? I honestly do believe that what’s good will rise over what is bad. Call me a Hippie but I always believed that. Therefore, I’m just focusing on perfecting me, keeping my head up and forward and just focusing on things that are going to progress my life.
CM:
And the sound that has come from the industry, especially, in R&B, Soul music. Being a fan of some of the neo-Soul artists do u think that the Umph in R&B has been swallowed up by pop culture or that it’s leveling out with voices like yours and the reemergence of artists in recent years like D’angelo and Maxwell and Jill Scott?
MLF:
Wow… I have no idea because I would definitely call myself a pop artist. About the music, I would say that I think the idea of pop is nice being it’s nice to have popular music – you know the music that caters to a large mass of people as long as it has musical integrity.  I love Jill Scott and I can say that I have a few songs that remind me of her style as well as India Arie and I have gotten from a lot of people that that is where they feel I’m coming from, but I refused to be labeled as anyone else. Soon it’s just gonna be that’s Monique’s music… Lol …  i hope to definitely gain respect for my own artistic abilities, direction and sound
CM:
Yes u will. Your voice can enamor a listener. They won’t be able to walk away from your music. So, What is next for Monique Love Fraser? Any events you are involved in? Where can people purchase your music?
MLF:
Well my music is def on iTunes so that’s where you can find it, um there’s a link from the group sound cloud leading to iTunes, where you can purchase my first single, so far that’s the only thing out from Monogamy, I was in a rush to make sure my first single was released in the month of May, but now I’m waiting for the rest of the songs to be mixed. So I can finally put the whole thing out because as much as I’m in love with Monogamy, I am completely in love with the next 15 songs I’ve put together for my second album My Crazy Fantasy World and I’m in the middle of coming up with material for my third Dreaming in Color.  Events … there are none planned as of yet.  This is mainly because I want to have more music out before I start performing at various events. I must admit though that I am excited about setting up some events.  That is why I am so anxious to start putting my music out soon so i can start working on getting a tour schedule going from Spring into the Summer.  Hopefully by the start of my organizing tour dates I can begin releasing songs from my second album.
CM:
Alright I can’t wait and I’m sure once your fan base multiplies they will devour any creative project you drop.

MLF:

Aw … wow … thanks … I really hope so.  I honestly don’t want to disappoint.  I’m a little nervous, but I’m just hoping that as long as I stay true to myself people will accept me for who I am.  

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