R&B singer Monica is back, but this time she’s letting you into her world with a new reality TV special called, “The Single.” The songstress, mother of two and soon-to-be wife gives me an update on what she’s been up to.
Check out our Q&A:
BGG: What can viewers expect from your new reality TV special, “The Single?”
Monica: The show is basically focused on us trying to find the first single for my forthcoming fifth album, Still Standing. Trying to select a single can be a very hard process because you’re looking for a song that best represents you as an artist and also be a good representation of the entire body of work, the album itself; so it is quite a process. I actually saw the show for the first time today!
BGG: What made you decide to do a reality TV show?
Monica: Well, I was approached with the idea from a producer who I had known for over a decade and had met through Noontime (record label). He knew that finding a single would be a hard process, so he thought that it would make a good show. At first I was hesitant, but I ended up being very comfortable with the group of people that were put around me for the show.
BGG: Will it show aspects of your personal life or simply just display your professional music side?
Monica: It will absolutely show sides of my personal life. For one, my kids travel with me; I don’t necessarily put them in front of the television person, but they’re always there. My mother and my fiancé…everybody that’s around me will be on there. Before I go to the studio and after I come back from the studio, my family is my number one priority so I have to make sure that home is straight.
Check out this clip from the upcoming show:
BGG: How do you balance being a mother of two and being a hot R&B star?
Monica: It can be very challenging, but you just have to prioritize. I know that my children come first so I just keep things in that order. So, it can be something as simple as making travel arrangements, things are different when you’re traveling with a 3-year-old and a 6-month old; or it could just be me working certain hours, all those things automatically change. So I just keep prioritizing and keep things in a certain order and that has definitely made it a lot less difficult.
BGG: You’ve been in the public’s eye for nearly 15 years now, what do think contributed to your longevity and popularity, especially when so many artists come and go?
Monica: I think just being honest with the people. I’m not perfect, I make mistakes...I think that just being me with all my imperfections has helped me. So I’d rather just be me than someone that I’m not.
BGG: You’ve always seemed so down-to-earth, what keeps you so grounded?
Monica: Your family is always going to be real with you as much as possible when you get out of line or your head gets a little big. You can get checked very easily when your mom or aunts and uncles are always there. Like when I see people now, they have one record and people think you’re only relevant or financially stable at that time. I see people who come out with one record and go gold the first week and then, BOOM!, they hit the red carpet one time and the next thing you know they have 10 bodyguards! (laughing) People have this big misconception that if you haven’t had hits in a while that your celebrity isn’t the same or that financially things aren’t the same, but that couldn’t be the furthest from the truth. I mean if you have 13 or 14 singles, versus one, you would think that common sense would come in to play, but it doesn’t. I stick to my own way and treat people the way that I’d want to be treated – ALWAYS.
BGG: I remember you did some acting in the past; do you plan to revisit that?
Monica: Absolutely! I’ve been home by choice taking care of my children especially with them being in their early stages so I haven’t done as much, but I think this time around I definitely will.
BGG: Speaking of children, I recently saw photos of you and you look FANTASTIC, are you just genetically blessed or do you work out? How did you get your body back so fast?
Monica: You know what? My whole family is really, really slim, so I’m fortunate in that area. But at a couple points in my life, I actually wanted to be thicker. I like the size that I am when I first get pregnant, but once I have my children everything disappears again! (laughing) But I think genetically you’re going to get what you’re going to get. I am learning to eat a little bit better because my mother has high-blood pressure and my father is a diabetic so I’m more conscious from that end; I’m not so much into working out or anything.
Monica with her two sons.
BGG: Having had nearly half a dozen #1 hits, what is your favorite Monica song? Why?
Monica: That’s a hard one! I’d still have to say that there’s something about “Angel of Mine.” It’s just a pleasant record. No matter when I perform it, I never get tired of it. It’s easy to sing and totally different types of people can relate to it. It’s definitely one of my favorites.
BGG: On the upcoming album, are you planning on writing any of the songs or producing?
Monica: I’ve never tried the producing thing, but I do like to stay involved in the writing part. Sometimes we have songwriters that are just so good, that oftentimes I’ll just give them the concept and say, “Here, this is what happened to me. What’s your take on that? What’s a way to bring that song and those lyrics to life that will be relatable no matter what race, color or creed and we’ll do it that way. Sometimes I’ll get records that are just unbelievable and I don’t even have to touch them. For instance, there’s a record I got that’s called, “Believing in Me,” and it’s talking about how when you’ve been in a relationship and you’ve been through a lot that sometimes you lose yourself, it's great! Basically, the process is different with each record.
BGG: What would you like to tell BGG readers that they probably don't already know?
Monica: I just want to say thank you to anybody who has ever supported me whether it was in the 1990s or now, I’m just appreciative that I can still do what I love, which is making music. And you can’t make the music if no one wants to hear it, so I’m just appreciative of that. Hopefully, they’ll like Still Standing!
"The Single: Monica" will air tomorrow (Aug. 5th) on Peachtree TV at 10pm EST. Right now, it can only be viewed in Atlanta, but stay tuned to see if it gets pickd up nationally.