As a singer-composer, Brooklyn based Sonia Montez echoes her fascination with humanity and myriad of experiences. She is easily influenced by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and The Beatles, but does not shy away from comparisons to her more contemporary counterparts, incorporating her adept musical phrasing and personal wit.
Sonia began her musical career at age 6, joining El Coro de Ninos de San Juan, the world renowned children's choir. Studying voice and violin, she eventually tired of rote classical training and set out to teach herself the guitar. Following her love of jazz, pop, alternative rock, and folk, she emerged as a songwriting force, dazzling audiences and critics.
At the age of fourteen, Sonia began playing the New York City open-mic scene with veterans Kimya Dawson and Regina Spektor. She went on to share the stage with legendary songwriter Chip Taylor, and has opened sold out shows for Matt Nathanson, Jessie Bailyn, Kaki King, and The Mountain Goats. Sonia is currently in pre-production for a 2nd release with producer Andrew Felluss at Radian Records.
Sonia Montez - Vocals/Guitar
Mireya Ines - Violin/Back-up Vocals
Dan Asher - Bass
Gabe Cummins - Guitar
David Andrew Moore - Drums
(2007) LIFEbeat Holiday Compilation - Through Love's Spell (demo)
(2008)Chelsea Morning Demos EP (digital download only)
(2008) The Graduates Movie Original Soundtrack - Learning To Sing
(2009) Of Tears And Honey EP
Sonia Montez - Of Tears And Honey
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We discovered this beautiful Brooklyn (and vegan) songstress, Sonia Montez, thanks to our friends at...We discovered this beautiful Brooklyn (and vegan) songstress, Sonia Montez, thanks to our friends at Girlie Girl Army. Her new album, Of Tears and Honey, is organic and acoustic, part jazz and part folk-pop, a complete effort of love and passion, and undoubtedly a album expressing a collage of experiences.
“Little Jealousy” expresses a need to not let life pass you by, instead of misery dominating your life for years to come as you get over someone. “Red Moon” is heavy and sweet as red wine and could easily be done with a strong country influence (for instance, we love the strength of violins) or straight out pop-filled jazz.
“Secret” featuring Kiernan McMullan is a sweet love song, and a even more gorgeous duet between the two. They could easily do a entire record together and it wouldn’t be overkill. “No Regrets” showcases Montez’s strength as a natural jazz artist, with the smooth poetry of her lyrics.
“I Miss You,” a song that I connect to the deepest, is a fiery declaration of distance between two becoming a reality and what it will all mean to the relationship. “Heart Symphony” is the last track on Of Tears and Honey, a acoustic-pop, peaceful, reflection-based atmospheric track that is a audio painting of beauty, love, stars and emotion.
We have nothing but love for this socially-conscious, talented artist, and we believe she’s one of the best undiscovered, real talents we’ve heard this year!
SONIA MONTEZ... LOOK! LISTEN! LOVE... LOVE!!!
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Wayyyy back when I was a kid, my parents had an album called "Quiet Fire" by Roberta Flack. It's a t...Wayyyy back when I was a kid, my parents had an album called "Quiet Fire" by Roberta Flack. It's a title I always remembered because I thought (for some odd reason that escapes me now) that it sounded sexy and grown up. I haven't had reason to recall that album title for some time, but as I heard Sonia's voice, those were the words that came to me.
She is a singer, guitarist and songwriter who's sound really is like a slow burn. It's simultaneously seductive and world weary and flawlessly jumbles a number of genres without missing a beat, literally.
I was lucky enough, tonight, to see her play and I ran home to write about it.
No, that's not typical behavior for me.
Typically, I see a bunch of live upstart singer/songwriters a month and they're mostly interchangable.
Sonia, however, is the opposite of that.
She came to the stage dressed casually in jeans and a cotton top and approached the mic in the most unassuming and unpretentious fashion. There was something almost bashful about her that you'd be hard pressed to not find endearing.
No "ironic" hipster uniform, no stereotypical skinny jeans, Buddy Holly glasses, white belt etc.
None of that at all. She was simply, shockingly, herself.
I can't tell you how old Sonia is- she looks young but her voice is so rich, so steeped in introspection, loss and longing that she could be any age. She picked up her guitar and looked around and began to play... her hands admirably fingerpicking their way through a number of beautifully arranged songs that cleverly blended the best elements of Folk, Spanish, Jazz and Blues.
Her voice you ask? It is just... so damn pretty.
The timbre of Sonia's voice is delicious. Warm and soothing like a blanket you can sleep without but wouldn't want to.
I came home with her CD "Of Tears and Honey" and it's fantastic. Go get it!
This is her MySpace page...check her out ASAP http://www.myspace.com/soniamontez
Of course, if you happen to be a local, GO SEE HER LIVE.
None of the video I could find of her on YouTube does her justice. She's even BETTER live.
Artist Spotlight- Sonia Montez
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At LIFEbeat we're always talking about the amazing transformation that music can give people- how so...At LIFEbeat we're always talking about the amazing transformation that music can give people- how something as simple as hearing a song you love, beautifully sung, can make your troubles vanish and bring you back to loving life. Sonia Montez, with her smart, heartfelt songs, smooth-as-butter voice and spot-on fingerpicking, makes that happen every time she gets up to play for Hearts & Voices. "I'm always at my top musical game when I play for Hearts and Voices," she says. "The audiences are the greatest and most positive people I've ever played for."
Program assistant Ben Godwin met Sonia while he was working behind the soundboard at the Sidewalk Cafe in the East Village, and was blown away by her ability to captivate the room- not to mention her repertoire, which includes songs by artists as diverse as Jamiroquai and Kermit the Frog along with those choice original tunes. He immediately invited her to join Hearts & Voices- and when she heard about the program, says Sonia, "it never even occurred to me to say no."
Newly signed to Radian Records, Sonia is working on her debut album and relishing every moment of music making; "Music allows me to feel truly alive.There were always two constants when I was growing up: family and music. Being able to play and share music that I've written, I find, is the way I'm best able to show who I really am with the outside world. I'm grateful for every moment of every day. I'm at a place in my life where I can take the time to enjoy the beautiful and often over-looked simplicities. That's why LIFEbeat is so important to me. Sharing that time with people when I play, it's the greatest thing in the world."
Sonia Montez Is a Soulful Singer-Songwriter
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I’m completely biased; Sonia Montez won me over with her cool, flowing music the moment I visited he...I’m completely biased; Sonia Montez won me over with her cool, flowing music the moment I visited her MySpace page and listened to her song “Willow Road.”
Speaking with her about her musical influences, band, family, and self proclaimed “dorkiness” only increased my admiration for her. So be forewarned: you too may want to become her best friend after reading this.
Montez is a quirky girl from Brooklyn. Well, she actually grew up in California, then lived in Puerto Rico, and in 1998 settled in Brooklyn. As a result, her musical influences stretch far and wide.
From the Beatles and classical music, to the love songs her mother and aunt used to perform in their restaurant in Puerto Rico, a wide variety of musical genres inspires her.
“On the very top I guess are the first people I was exposed to, Mercedes Sosa, Beatles, Paul Simon, and classical music as well,” says Montez. “I think everything influences me, either in a positive or negative way. I’ll listen to a song and say ‘oh, it would be awesome to do something like that’ or ‘I don’t want to sound like that at all,’ but folk/pop classics are a constant positive.”
Judging from her vast array of influences, it’s easy to see why Montez prefers not to label her sound as any one type of music. Instead she goes “genre-less,” refusing to conform to executives in the music industry that are quick to name an artist as one thing or another.
“I feel if she can reach out to fans that enjoy her eclecticism, they will also encourage her further musical exploration. In a past life, Sonia had the difficult artistic experience of undergoing a ‘molding process, by a production company that was more interested in selling her songs to Madonna, than fostering her unique creativity,” says Andrew Felluss, founder of Radian Records. “That she emerged from that experience still interested in making music, is a testament to her spirit.”
Not knowing what she does seems to be working out just fine for Montez. Says Montez, “The first question people ask me when they find out I make music is, what kind? It’s a question I struggle with because I honestly don’t know what to label it. It’s pop and folk and soul and jazz and top 40. I have no idea what I do.”
She has assembled a band of six musicians that can often turn into more depending on where the music flows. Every member of her band is extremely important to her. She names each person, along with the instrument they play, and isn’t shy about gushing over their talents.
Her band includes her cousin Mireya Ramos on violin, along with bassist Mark Kelly and guitarist Gabe Cummins. Kelly and Cummins have played with well-known musical artist like Will Calhoun and Aaron Neville. Says Montez, “My band members are a lot more famous then me!”
Despite this, Montez’s band works together seamlessly. While it is clear that she is the leader of the band, Montez listens intently to the sounds and suggestions each member of her team makes.
“I like the Woody Allen approach,” she says. “Unless they’re doing something I don’t like, I let them got at it.”
The results of the teamwork are flowing melodies, some tranquil and calm, others upbeat and danceable, some could even be referred to as “put you in the mood” songs. No matter what the sound, each song is like a quilt woven together piece by piece by Montez and her band members, that all begins when she gathers her thoughts and experiences and puts them on paper.
“ I just have a need to write,” she urges. “I’m not good at personal relationships or intimacy, writing is how I get all that out.”
Montez takes stories about her friends’ lives, or makes up situations to create a mix of personal and fictional lyrics. However, when actually listening to her music it’s hard to pick out which is which. Each and every lyric she sings is filled with such extreme emotion that it is hard to believe that all the experiences she describes are not her own.
“I’ve been shut off, shaken and stirred before, but never so bad that I couldn’t pick myself off the floor. And in between spaces of my ever changing heart there are thorny pieces that stab and stick to every other thought,” she belts out in a smooth voice in her song “Learning to Sing”.
Lyrics like this that elude to a bright future for Montez, especially since she is on the brink of releasing her first album, a project she shares small pieces of but ultimately hopes to keep a surprise. She does let me in slightly, saying that the album promises more than just music and will feature a major art concept.
Despite her blossoming success and a promising first album, Montez remains extraordinarily humble. She prefers to think of her self as “a fan girl playing for other fans”, and displays this role when she performs live. She becomes one with the crowd, and arrives on stage with no set list, instead choosing to let her audience dictate where the show goes. Those who attend her shows become what she refers to as “frans”, friends and fans all in one.
“I get what it’s like, being a fan,” she says. “I’m usually the first one on the line to see Tenacious D or Weezer. So that’s how I treat my status.”
Montez isn’t sure if she’ll ever get used to being recognized by fans, but each person who listens to the music she makes constantly humbles her.
“How do you thank someone who spent time and energy paying attention to what comes from your deepest creative self?” she asks, as if baffled by the thought. “It’s impossible, so I give lots of hugs. It freaks people out sometimes.”
A Bicycle Ride In The Park by John Sebastian
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A few weeks back I was out for my nightly bicycle ride through the parks and winding paths that su...A few weeks back I was out for my nightly bicycle ride
through the parks and winding paths that
surround the Narrows area of Bay Ridge Brooklyn. Its a
scenic wonderland with the ocean so close and the
monumental presence of the Verrazano bridge towering and
stretching 4,260 feet to join Brooklyn and Staten Island.
The summer is over at this point and the weather was perfect
for the most part.
As I rode to the Pier located on 69th street off Shore Road to
see the perfect view of Manhattan
and the Statue of Liberty there was calm in the air that
created a peaceful feeling for the people who walked by with
their children in strollers
and the fisherman anticipating the ringing bell and a tug on the
line of their fishing poles indicating a bluefish dinner or
possibly a striped bass but more likely would be a sand shark
or a skate the bigger tastier fish are much to smart to be
caught on a regular basis.
As I rode away from the pier towards the parks that line
Shore Road I had a feeling like the day may have some
unexpected and pleasant surprises in store for me.
The first park I came upon had a black steel gate with some
decorative iron work and the doors were wide open inviting
me in, I could smell the flowers and trees and came upon a
grass field. It was around 5:30 PM and soon the sunset
would mesmerize all the lovers and family's
that come down to the Parks and paths that overlook the
I came across a beautiful girl as I was about to ride through
this first park she was getting ready to perform for all the
people who lived in the area and a large group of her fans
who probably follow her to every show she does. She
introduced herself, hello I am Sonia Montez and I will be
performing here tonight for the good people of Bay Ridge and
that I should join the fun and was welcome. Her voice was
sweet and her energy was beautiful so I told her that I would
for sure to see her show. I am so happy I came across this
opportunity because the show was so much more than I
expected. With original songs like Willow Leaves, a dreamy
folksy acoustic masterpiece that makes me disappear
completely as I listen to it while writing this article.
Her music is diverse soulful and clever weaving rich and
textured chords and base lines with profound and poetic
lyrics that touch the heart and lift the spirit.
Sonia's music makes one feel like anything is possible and
that the world is full of Optimism.
I highly recommend Sonia Montez as part of your music
collection so visit her my space page with the link here in the
feature and enjoy, thank you Sonia and Radian records for
giving the world such a unique and beautiful musical gift.
Questions about Sonia Montez please contact the publisher:
All The Way Down
Learning To Sing
Hate Is Easier
Cover [examples: 13 (Big Star), (Frou Frou), Brand New Key (Melanie), The Chain (Fleetwood Mac)]
Greatest Deed Ever Done
Stand Up For Love
There are no upcoming dates at this time.