Long Beach, California’s very own Monica Parales is a multi-faceted artist, who is infusing a nostalgic vibe to her brand of R&B. The singer-songwriter, despite her young age, already has over a decade’s worth of experience in the entertainment industry.
Making her music video debut as “the little Asian girl” dancing in the popular Missy Elliott video “Gossip Folks” back in 2003, it was clear that the “little” girl was big on talent and personality. She grew her career from there, doing print jobs, landing commercials, and guest starring in various TV shows. Monica appeared on Everybody Hates Chris, Jamm X Kids, and became a member of the girl group, “The School Gyrls”. The singing group was managed by Nick Cannon and were featured in two movies on Nickelodeon.
Currently, Monica is focused on her independent solo career and new EP, “In Retrospect”. The smooth collection of jams are reminiscent of the sweet, yet edgy sounds of 90’s and early 2000’s R&B. The self-written songs are musically inﬂuenced by what she has learned in the industry.
We were able to catch up with the artist, and got to learn a little more about her.
For those not familiar with you or your music, describe yourself in 3 words.
– Honest, funny, passionate
Where are you from and how would you say your community has responded to your music?
– I am from Long Beach, California. They have appreciated the throwback vibe and increased my following so I think that shows that it has been going in the right direction.
How long have you been singing and when was the point in your life when you realized you wanted to fully pursue music?
– I have been singing for about my whole life. The moment I did a talent show and got good feedback, and the moment I stepped into a recording studio was when I realized that I could really pursue music.
Who are your R&B inﬂuences and how do you think you’ve incorporated their inﬂuence in your music?
– The list goes on and on, but Brandy, Aaliyah, Tamia, Brian Mcknight, TLC, basically the whole 90’s era. My music is deﬁnitely inﬂuenced by the way their melodies were back in that time. Today in music we hear a lot of monotone and repetative melodies, whereas back then changes and bridges took the song somewhere, and that’s what I cherish most.
What’s your comment on the state of R&B today?
– I feel it’s making a come back now with a few artists, and there are also artists that are putting a different feel or ﬂavor to it which is cool too.
If you had the power to change the world in 1 way, how would you do it?
– If I had the power to change the world in 1 way I would do it through music because it brings people together and expresses emotions in a unique way.
What advice would you tell young people trying to pursue their passion in music?
– Don’t give up. There will be times where you won’t feel good enough. Stop caring what people think, and do it for your love of music. Appreciate the act of creating something no matter what it is, and believe in yourself. Stay grounded and surround yourself with genuine people.
What’s your favorite R&B song of all time?
– “Through the Fire” – Chaka Khan
What artists would you love to collaborate with if you had the opportunity?
-Babyface -Bruno Mars – Aaliyah -Lauryn Hill
Follow the lovely and talented Monica Parales at the links below, and treat yourself to the sweet sounds of “In Retrospect” here!
Q&A by Hazzle Joy, article by Lindsey Linayao