Tiffany Monique: Driven and Determined Diva
Tiffany Monique has worked as a background vocalist for Yolanda Adams, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Stevie Wonder, Faith Evans, Jill Scott, Monica, Mary J. Blige, Marsha Ambrosius, Brandy, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, and many more. Who has she not worked with? As an incredible singer, song writer, and background vocalist; Monique is definitely no stranger to singing back up for the top names in the music industry.
She is best known as 1/3 of Beyonce’s background vocalists trio -The Mamas. Monique, a natural go-getter is taking her career to another exciting level as an aspiring solo recording artist that is making her mark in the music game. She set aside some time to chat with AWP about challenges she faced breaking into the music industry and as an independent artist, her 2nd single ‘Anytime’, the release of her first debut album, and candid advice for upcoming singers.
Early in her career, Monique was musically inspired by Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Earth Wind and Fire, and Donny Hathaway. But her first true inspiration was her aunt, who was a background vocalist for Chaka Khan. “Growing up I saw her sing, travel, and tour before I knew who anyone else was. She was the very first celebrity to me”, explained Monique. After receiving formal training with a traveling choir at Morgan State University, Monique knew it would take more than singing in the choir to break into the music industry. “It’s not like there are open auditions all the time. It’s about who you know. And that is definitely the hardest part about being successful and consistently working in this industry; knowing who the key people are and how to get the jobs. I think that’s both at a background vocalist and solo artist capacity. It’s all in who you know”, explained Monique. Ultimately, she did meet the right person, Melonie Daniels, who was a background singer for Mariah Carey, while singing at the Underground in New York through persistent and diligent networking. Her perseverance opened doors for opportunities with top artists, and eventually touring with mega star Beyonce. Initially, Monique was ready to launch as a solo artist early in her career, but soon realized she needed to strengthen her work ethic.
When asked has it been challenging to break through as a background vocalist into an independent recording artist, Monique replied, “Yes. When you work with such a popular artist as Beyonce…usually background vocalists’ don’t get the platform that Beyonce gives the Mamas to showcase our own talent. Her fans become my fans, but because they are at heart Beyonce fans; a lot of them don’t want to see me break away to do my own thing…. You get that friendly loving resistance sometimes from some of her supporters that have become mine”. The resistance from fans did not stop Monique from learning from the best and applying what she has learned to her own career. “When you think you’re working hard enough; go another two or three hours. When you think you’re done; go a little bit harder”, laughs Monique about what she endures in rehearsals.
Monique is going a lot harder nowadays, using her 15 plus years of singing to transition into the next top independent artist. Within the last 2 years, Monique has released her first video based on the title track of the EP, Nemesis, tackled the battle over obesity, released a single, ‘I Feel a Spark’, which is a track that commemorates Monique’s weight loss success, and release of her second single and video from her EP “Anytime”.
‘Anytime’ represents Monique’s own childhood crush; someone she adored but the feelings were not reciprocated and years later there was regret. ‘Unrequited love’ is the theme of the single. When asked what the message behind her second single, Monique replied, “You have to look at the total picture and you can’t necessarily go by what’s on the surface. Or sometimes you may need to recognize even the value that is on the surface, because what you may think is important now; when you look back later in life , it may not hold the same weight”.
Currently Monique is getting ready for her monumental project; release of her first full length debut album which is tentatively untitled right now. She will be working with a host of producers, vocalists, and song writers for the milestone album. Although Monique does not have a set release date, she mentioned it will be late summer or early fall.
When asked what advice she would give to up and coming vocalists, Monique replied, “If you have the opportunity to sing as a background vocalist or even if it’s not a background vocalist; if you’re an assistant, or personal assistant in the crew; get the experience of touring with someone or working with someone who has made, it because it will show you things to do and not to do. And it will equip you to be a better artist”. She goes on to explain, “I’ve taken away so much from my experience working with her (Beyonce) and several of the other artists I’ve worked with. It sets a blue print for my own success; so that once I am where I want to be, and once I have made it; hopefully I can avoid some mistakes and speed past other little pitfalls, because of the experience I’ve acquired”.
Monique has ‘made it’ in the eyes of many, and has not let any obstacles stop her from pursuing her destiny in life and going even farther then what she could ever imagined. The sky is the limit for Tiffany Monique and we here at AWP are excited to see her flourish and set the standard of excellence.
To support her music check out her official website at www.tiffanymonique.com where you can be placed on her mailing list, receive newsletters, exclusive information and merchandise. Also, connect with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tiffanymoniquemusic. Twitter: www.twitter.com/divatiff.