Steffany Moneque
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Steffany Moneque

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | SELF

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2016
Solo R&B Hip Hop

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"Meet Trailblazer Steffany Moneque"

Today we’d like to introduce you to Steffany Moneque.

Steffany, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
So, I’ve always loved music. Growing up, I was all about Etta James, Earth Wind & Fire, Mary J, etc. I was also always heavily inspired by both Beyonce and Aaliyah. I studied their work, their performances, and their mannerisms. I’ve studied all genres because I never want to be in a box where I can only do one sound and not another. I started singing in church, from sunbeam choir to youth to young adult and I was always a strong soprano. I would actually intentionally sing songs by Adele and Toni Braxton just to master my lower register. I have and have always had an intense love for writing, whether it’s blogging, songwriting, spoken word or poetry. I wrote all of my music acapella when I first started putting my pen to use in high school. It wasn’t until my sophomore year in college that I discovered YouTube had a world of beats for me to play with. That’s when I wrote my very first official single, “Medicated”, which was received well by my college campus (thank God). I followed that track up with my best running single “Discretion”, which did better than I could have ever imagined. I think once I saw the success with that track, I realized that music was truly my purpose.

Following those releases, I dropped a 6-track EP titled “Canvas” on Valentine’s Day of 2017. I received a lot of love following that project, but then somewhere along the way, I got lost and complacent. My manager and I had peacefully agreed to part ways in the business aspect, I moved back home with my parents and I felt like I’d only wasted time. “Should’ve just finished school”, “maybe this wasn’t for me”, “this is hard”, etc. In essence, I was pretty depressed and uninspired. It wasn’t until a fellow colleague of mine said “move” that I registered that falling down wasn’t the end, but a new start.

November of 2017, I left Alabama and moved to Atlanta, GA with essentially no money (maybe $20) after securing 2 jobs, and that’s when I stopped sleeping. I was doing 16 hour work days that ended with studio sessions sponsored by an independent label that was looking to sign me at the time but later abandoned their promises simply due to me being a female artist. Once again, I was lost. I was paying to sleep on couches, I had no privacy and I still wasn’t happy. Summer of 2018, I was heartbroken and nearly hopeless until I finally found my perfect apartment, I got a promotion at my job, I was included in a musical family that changed my life and gave me keys to a high-quality studio where I could have unlimited creative access. I was reading more, I became more of a business artist, I could record and engineer my own music, I built an incredible production team that doubles out as some of my very best friends, I was and have been incredibly blessed since then. And that’s where I am now.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I wanted to cave, often. There were times I would go online and see about just going back to school and doing the typical 9-5. I wouldn’t be happy, but I’d make my family happy because that’s what degrees do. I’d make my future husband happy because I would have a guaranteed salary, so we could take care of our kids and have a normal life. The problem with that was I didn’t want a normal life because I’m not normal. I’m weird really, lol and I embrace that. I thrive off being a creative. It’s therapeutic to me, it’s everything to me, and who wouldn’t want to get paid to do what you LOVE to do vs doing what you HAVE to do? We’re already preconditioned to do things by the book, by what other people have done. I feel like the right way, is your way. My advice to other women would be to keep your head on straight, make these men respect you and always be confident in yourself because people will literally try to intimidate you and make you question what you’re capable of. The reason why the independent label did not move forward with me was because as a female artist, I’m already expected to get pregnant and “ruin my career” or get married and “ruin my career.” I’ve always believed that women are superheroes. There’s not a lot we can’t accomplish so long as we’re applying ourselves. Granted, I don’t see myself having children any time soon, they stop NO show. If anything, they push it along even further. Women are then more driven to make IT for their little one. Look at Cardi! And Bey just did a whole world tour with three kids. Nothing is impossible for us, don’t let them fool you.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am a true artist. I thrive off creating, I enjoy telling my story and being transparent. I’ve always felt like my purpose here was to inspire someone else, and I actually live by the following quote: “inspire the uninspired.” I feel like so many people in our generation are afraid to be true to themselves, to live life for themselves, to embrace those quirky traits that aren’t “cool” or “IG likable.” We have but one life, and it’s moving so fast so live your best life FOR you. Sing a song a little louder, write something dope, share your work, laugh ugly, be yourself. I make music for therapy, not just for myself but others too. Not every song I write is something I lived through, sometimes it’s influenced by the people around me and the stories I’ve come across on social media. My aim here is to touch someone else. I’m like your best friend on the track.

I’m most proud of how versatile I’ve become. At this point in my career, I can say I write my music, I sing my music, I engineer my music, I spend hours handpicking my production, I handle my split sheets, I create 90% of my visual concepts, I manage and edit my own website, I actively move around and network, I pay for everything by myself and I wait for no one else to do what needs to be done. I don’t make excuses, I execute, and I don’t allow anyone to throw me in one genre.

I’m also in the process naming myself an R&B MC, which the world will soon see and hopefully come to love.

Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
I’m currently reading this book called “The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F—“, and it’s been teaching me how to handle adversity vs running away from the odds. It’s helped me realize what’s important and what’s not, and made me better in regards to where I place my energy. I also frequently watch motivational videos from both Jay-Z and Denzel Washington, literally every other day. I also find myself highly inspired by Michelle Obama just because she is the standard, no less. I have so much respect for her and everything she stands for.

In addition to that, the people I surround myself with, make me better. You’ll always hear me speak highly about my family being supportive in what I do, my best friends being my therapists through the process and my creative family for changing my life for the better.

My advice to all of you is to surround yourself with people who make you better and vice versa. - Voyage ATL


"#NAENAEONTHESCENE: STEFFANY MONEQUE"

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

Upcoming shows?

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. - Straight Official


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Who is Steffany Moneque?

Atlanta based artist, Steffany Moneque, has always had a love for music and art. Growing up, she was involved in her church choir, trained and competed with a dance academy for over 16 years, and wrote poetry as a regular pastime. In 2016, she opened for Gucci Mane at the BJCC arena in Birmingham, AL as her first official performance. By February 2017, she released her first EP, "Canvas" featuring her highest streamed single "Discretion".

In the winter of 2017, she began to take music more seriously and made a very brave move from Huntsville, AL to Atlanta, GA. Since then, she has independently funded her career, engineered her own music and performed at multiple events around the greater Atlanta area. She is heavily inspired by both Beyoncé and Aaliyah, as she actively studies their vocal ability and performances in an effort to improve her own. Her goal as an artist is to inspire other creatives to go after their goals while making true R&B sound relevant again.

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