BY NICKY BALDRIAN
Welcome to the wonderful world of Los Angeles solo singer Monica Marie.A beautiful lady with a remarkably classy self titled debut album,that is filled with lushious melodies and superb songs. As you will read, Monica's music is really starting to turn some heads Stateside.So I hooked up with her to find out about her new found booming career and fame.
Nicky:-What was it like working with Diane Warren?
Monica:- David Foster took me to her office and everything was very professional. Listen to five songs - pick two. Then David and I decided which of the two he would produce. Diane checked in with David not me on the progress. She is a very hard worker, and works most of the day and week in her office called the cave. I heard it's really messy with original dust from when she first moved in! So in short I don't really "know" Diane as a person - only of her. I also hear that she tells raunchy jokes and has three shrinks! But then - that's all heresay.
Nicky:- How did
you get involved with Diane?
Monica:- I'd call her office and speak to a guy named Jason. He was very helpful during the licensing process, etc. Diane will
not let me put her sound bytes on the web. A royalty issue I guess!
Nicky:- When did
all this start for you?
Monica:- I've been singing me entire life. My family usually had me sing for them as a small child and encouraged me. It wasn't until the 4th grade that I realized I had a gift - and that was when I moved to a new town. Feeling nervous in music class about fitting in with the new kids my teacher asked me to sing "Morning Has Broken" in front of the class. The kids loved it, and I remember feeling so great about that, and realizing the power of music, and moreover my talent.
Over the years I was called upon to "represent" our choir in high school by being the soloist at many regional competitions. I
had to "try out" against the other soprano singers for that spot - but it almost seemed too easy! Singing just always seemed to
be my calling. I used to make up songs as I walked down the country roads of where I grew up in Ohio. It was just something that came naturally.
Nicky:-So how did
you pursue your dream
Monica:-I moved to L.A. chasing my dreams and often got side tracked for the sake of love! Over the past few years I
organized a lot of showcases and presentations for my music and worked for free on countless occassions to become
recognized. Finally last year - I was recognized as having the kind of talent that should be shared, and went into the studio full
you get involved with David Foster?
Monica:-I met David Foster after I intereviewed dozens of music programmers. I finally met the right one - Glen Woodward.
Glen was a sort of understudy for David Foster. As Glen and I started on my album he would tell David about me. Finally the
record company president asked how we could have David produce a song? So Glen spoke to David and gave him a tape of my music to consider. David liked my voice, and agreed to take me on! I was elated especially since I know David turns down work from known stars! From there, the record company presiden (Keith Hylton) again asked how we could get a Diane Warren song. David replied you go to her house get on your hands and knees and beg! And so, David introduced me to Diane Warren! After I selected the songs with David in Dianes office, and we started to work on "To Get Me To You" I was told that that song was in the movie "Hope Floats" (with Sandra Bullock) in a country version! I tried very hard not to listen to that version so that it wouldn't influence me!
Nicky:- So what
have you been doing to help promote the album?
Monica:-! I've spent a lot of time promoting at races where my image was on a Formula Atlantic car this past year, attended
many promotional events such as street fairs, vintage auto races, and I opened for Cheap Trick in September in Cleveland,
Ohio. Ohio was good to me as I was interviewed, and printed in many major newspapers - appeared on major network
television on several stations, and radio interviews! Right now I'm working with the owner of the San Diego Grand Prix to
make an appearance there, RADD for kids to start a charity event, and Group Dynamics to start writing music for a movie.
Nicky:- Tell me
about this movie that you are writing for who's in it and how did
you get involved in that?
Monica:- It's in the beginning stages right now,and my frist meeting is tomorrow (11th December 1999),so I can't really reveal much as of yet! It's likened to "Days Of Thunder",and "Top Gun". I think they are still in the beginning stages of recruiting talent etc....
The movie is called "Winner's Circle" right now,and I became involved through a referral by an industry marketing
representative.My association with the racing world seemed a perfect fit for them since I can relate to what they are trying to
accomplish on many levels!
directed the video for "To Get Me To You" and how has
MTV reacted to it?
Monica:- Robert Cassard and Chen Rohwer put the project together from Edge Films.They've done a lot of videos
internationally,and domestically.MTV has a copy,but as far as I know they only put it on MTV after you've sold a million
copies. I'm not quite there yet!
Nicky:- I really advise your record company to release your single in the UK and Europe,it would do exceptionally well I think,are there any plans for this?
Monica:- So far they are focusing only on the United States! There is some interest in Japan - so that remains to be seen. I've
actually been played in Germany right after the Midem show in France this past year! I'm sure i'll make it over to the UK &
Nicky:- What was it like playing with Cheap Trick and did you get to meet them?
Monica:- I was one of two acts that played that day before Cheap Trick,and it was one of the best experiences of my life! I
didn't have any time to meet with the band because I had to immediatley go to a signing session across the river,and sing for
Nicky:- Are there any plans to tour off this album?
Monica:- No plans to tour anywhere but locally.There is a pot stirring up full of future events - but no road trips across America yet!Again,Japan has come up - but some other things need to fall into place before that happens!
Nicky:- What are
your future plans?Have you though of becoming a songwriter like
Diane Warren yourself?
Monica:- My future plans are actually happening right now! That is to write for films.So the answer is yes - I'd love to have the status of Diane Warren some day.Over the years i've been approached by a lot of other artist's or their representatives to "Help them out",with vocal coaching,writing,and the like.Maybe that's my true calling?!! I love being in the studio and creating!
Nicky:- If you
could share the stage or record with one artist who would it be?
Monica:- MARIAH CAREY
who are your influences?
Monica:- BARBARA STREISAND, PAT BENETAR, ANN WILSON, WHITNEY HOUSTON, MARIAH CAREY,
SHEENA EASTON, AND GLORIA ESTAFAN to name a few!
Nicky:- How will
you be spending the millennium?
Monica:- Writing like crazy,working on a new album,and hopefully creating next years christmas album,I ran out of time this
year - but I absolutely love that music - and if I hear another rusty organ x-mas album,I'm going to scream!(Laughs)So i'd like
to put one out that you can "SING TO!" (goes into full singing mode - "Jingle Bell Jingle Bell Jingle Bell Rock!!"),
Nicky:- And finally is there anything that you would like to say to the music fans in Europe and the UK who haven't heard your music yet?
Monica:- Yes,I'm hoping that my music has a universal appeal.Overall I think that most people will be pleasantly surprised that in fact the songs on the album are unique,familiar,and infectious! I always get a kick out of how people interpret my songs! Especially after seeing the video of "To Get Me To You". The producers really put a twist on the meaning! I'm sure it was quite different than what Diane Warren had in mind when she wrote it!
Watch out for Monica Marie.She'll soon be making waves over here.A star in the making,and remember where you read about her first.
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