Monea's first mixtape is 'Big Dreams'
Photo Credit: Design: Kevon Richardson
Monea Richardson performed at the Top 7@7 Awards Show earlier this year, proving that she can compete on stage with the best of the best and with one chapter in her educational journey closed, she is poised to pursue big dreams in the music industry.
Her industry name is Monea and her passion is simply music, which you instantly hear in her voice if you were to strike up a conversation with her.
At 19, Monea graduated from the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) with an Associates Degree in General Studies this year. The former Salutatorian at St. Georges School Secondary Division was one of two students from the HLSCC graduating class of 2012 to finish with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
With free time on her hands, Monea has found time to focus on her music career and just released her first mixtape that is perhaps appropriately titled 'Big Dreams'.
"Over the years I've been caught up with school, thus only allowing me time to write and record singles. Now that I've graduated and have more time on my hands, I decided that doing a mixtape would be the best way to show my true potential as an artist and songwriter. I chose the title 'Big Dreams' because I believe it sums up the kind of person I am right now; a big dreamer. I have a lot of plans and goals for my future as well as for my family and friends and this mixtape is a representation of the hard work I'm willing to put in to make my big dreams big realities," Monea told BVI Platinum News in an interview.
There are 20 tracks on the mixtape, which is hosted by DJ Bertrum, including an intro, outro and interlude. She said she included popular songs from this year's Top 7@7 Awards Show, such as 'I should be your girl' and 'V.I.P Room' which features Travie Rozae.
Also included in the mixtape are some rap verses to popular international songs.
"Above all, I believe that there is a track on there for everybody since this mixtape is very diverse. I included pop, rap, R & B and some island flavour with features such as B'more, Marisa, Epik & Neekz and Killa Tooma. I wrote every song except 'Who Dat?', which was written by B'more and everything was recorded at Beatlinks Studio," Monea revealed.
Monea added that she has definitely learned to be patient with herself and others, and to be appreciative of the people around her who've helped during the entire production. She said another lesson was learning how to trust her abilities.
"I've also learned about the business side of things from my sound engineer, Lincoln Ward and many other life lessons in terms of the power of one's mind and how far a positive attitude towards any challenge can easily get you through," Monea stated.
Part of the business requires capital, which Monea is certainly aware of. She is currenly finalizing plans with Top 7@7 producers to travel to Atlanta to pursue training.
"I chose to do a mixtape because it's a simplified, unofficial version to an album. I get to include remixes from popular international artists. I'm far away from an album. Albums are expensive to produce and I don't have a label or an official team to cover the costs of beats, marketing and recording sessions," Monea admits.
Her dream is to become an entertainer in the music industry, but if she doesn't make it in the industry then she plans to pursue a career in the science field, focusing on biology and physics.
"Right now I'm postponing my studies to undergo the program in Atlanta, but after that I'll be back to balancing school and music. I don't think I'll ever have to choose, but if I had to I'd choose an education because longevity in the music industry is not certain," Monea stated.
Keeping It Clean
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Monea shared that her music is inspired by what she likes to hear, which might not be a specific person, but when there is a beat that she likes, a melody just comes easily most times.
She revealed that she looks at what's relevant and hot in the industry now and tries to produce similar tracks, adding her perspective, thoughts and feelings.
Not surprising, her favorite artist is Rihanna, but she also admires Beyonce', Chris Brown, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, Jessie J, Cher Lloyd and many others.
Despite the negative connotations that rap music attracts, Monea believes that rap isn't bad and can be used to inspire generations like Tupac Shakur did. She believes that the way it might be delivered sometimes may just not be everyone's preference.
"I find myself to be more than a rapper because I do a lot of different things to appeal to different crowds. I dance and sing too; anything to reach out to a wider market. When I rap, sometimes I might rap about money, but it's only to appeal to a particular crowd. Other times I rap about real issues like domestic violence, like I did in my song 'Pretty Girl'. Other times about issues that I go through like in 'Take a Seat' or just about having fun like in my pop song 'Question'. I don't curse; I try to keep my music as clean as possible because I know my biggest fan base is among young children. Plus, I'm not an explicit person," Monea stated.
She thanked everyone who has been supporting her thus far. Persons can follow Monea on twitter @DaRichGirl_1 and like her fanpage at www.facebook.com/Monea.L.Richardson. Her youtube channel is www.youtube.com/DaRichGirl1. Monea's mixtape can be downloaded from http://www.mediafire.com/?o159qnhc1kt807q