£MONZO TALKS ‘S.I.T’ AND MORE [@3MONZ0]

£MONZO TALKS ‘S.I.T’ AND MORE [@3MONZ0]

£MONZO’s slick bars and alluring cadence in ‘S.I.T’ is only the start of the noise she’s about to make in the music scene, and we got the chance to talk about it and more with her.

Nicole: Tell us who you are and what you do?

£MONZO: My name is £MONZO, and I’m a rapper from South-West London.

Nicole: How did you first get into music?

£MONZO: SoI was brought up around music. My whole family listened to music. My dad was a DJ, so naturally I was DJing as well at a young age. And because I was around so much music, I used to write rhymes and stuff like that, and then after DJing, I said, “Right, I’m gonna get into songwriting,” and I was helping a few artists. Then I fell into rapping—officially. It all just kind of happened, like, back-to-back pretty much.

Nicole: That’s so sick! How did you find it, going from DJing to doing music? Was it a smooth transition?

£MONZO: Yeah, I kind of was like, alright, cool! I was at one of my old jobs and I was just writing music, and I said, okay, well, I’m writing music and I’m always on the side DJing, so let’s see what I can do. Let me see if I can. And yeah, I did that, and it just felt easy. It didn’t feel like it was this big jump. It just felt like, okay, how am I going to go from writing in my bedroom to people hearing it outside? That’s literally all it was!

Nicole: So, how did you find DJing? Did you enjoy it?

£MONZO: Yeah, I love DJing, you know! DJing is about how you make people feel, so you’re in control at that point. If you play the worst song, you’re going to feel the energy in the room. If you play the best song, you’re going to feel the energy in the room. And I think when it comes to making music as well, you are kind of in control of how you can make people feel. So, yeah, it doesn’t really feel like a ‘crazy’ change or anything like that, but yeah, I love DJing.

Nicole: What has your musical journey been like in terms of discovering your artistry and becoming confident in your sound? Or have you always had that confidence instilled in you?

£MONZO: I think I’ve always had confidence in my sound. I just needed people to see it and understand where I’m coming from, because I’ve never felt the need to change how I sound or what I do to please other people. I’ve always been like, “Okay, this is how I rap; this is what the music is,” and now I’ve just got to make sure that everyone understands my world. That’s just how I see it.

Nicole: Okay, so we have to talk about your latest single, ‘S.I.T’ which was produced by Amsterdam-based producer Lamsi. How did that collaboration come about?

£MONZO: So, I made a freestyle called ‘PGG Freestyle,’ which I produced myself, and it’s like a grime beat. It’s got a lot of grime elements from the early grime stages, and Lamsi heard it, and he was like, “You know what? Let’s collaborate; let’s do something; let’s work.” So, he sent me some beats, and in that pack was the beat for ‘S.I.T,’ so I was like, alright, cool, let’s do this. And then from there, we were up in Amsterdam, working on some other songs as well, and then we were able to go back and do the video. So, it was actually quite easy, because me and Lamsi just gelled.

Nicole: The visuals for that song are so hard and just so clean. Talk to me about the creative process for the song. What was the creative process like when making the song, and what was it like doing the visuals?

£MONZO: So, with ‘S.I.T’, like I said, Lamsi sent me the beat, and it was so funny because I was just listening to the beat and I was like, alright, cool, I’m going to come back to this beat after I go for a nap, cause I’m tired. So, I’m lying down, and I just instantly thought of the chorus, “They just tryna know what I’m on, double-double.” So, I was like, alright, cool, I’m gonna record this, because I record my own vocals as well. So, I just said, alright, I’m going to quickly bang it out because I’m tired. I sent it to Lamsi, and he was like, “You know what? We need to put this song out.” Luckily, it didn’t take that long. I think it was about six months between the song being made and the video being made as well. Lamsi was like, I’ve got a videographer; come to Amsterdam, and we’ll do it. Then they just shared the ideas of what they had for the video, and I was like, this looks dope; let’s make something happen, and they did. They were really hands-on with everything and just really made it look lit. Like, I don’t know how else to describe it, but that’s what happened!

Nicole: You’ve been getting so much love on the song and visuals! You’ve received praise from some incredible talents, like Ms Banks and the one and only JME! How do you feel? What did it feel like seeing JME tweet about your video?

£MONZO: JME’s one… when I saw it, I didn’t think it was real at first. I was like, excuse me?! I had to double-check and go look again because, for me, I’ve grown up on Grime. I grew up on like JME, Skepta, and all of those artists within that scene. So, I was like, omg, no way, like, oh my gosh?! That was like, really, really crazy. Shout out to Ms Banks as well; she’s always showing love and was like, yeah, nah, this is hard. I’ve seen like a load of people, and it’s just been crazy to me; it’s just like, wow. I feel like I’m getting there.

Nicole: Now the people are loving the collaboration with Amsterdam-based producer Lamsi and wanna hear more. So, will we be hearing more stuff from you guys in the future?

£MONZO: Yeah, for sure. Me and Lamsi, we’ve got different types of tracks, like, everything just sounds different. I call it the ‘Lamsi Vault,’ and he’s got a whole bunch of stuff. So, you’ll definitely hear some more!

Nicole: Do you have any dream collaborations that you would love to do in the future?

£MONZO: See, so mine is genre-based because I can do different genres. So, for grime, definitely a Skepta collab; that would be crazy. For hip-hop, I’d definitely say Lil’ Kim; I love Lil’ Kim. And then for Afrobeats, I’d say Burna Boy. And then, also in the pop lane, I love PinkPantheress. She’s, my favourite; I like, love her. I bang out like nearly every song of hers.

Nicole: Okay, so this next question is for the ones who wanna know who you’re listening to. What artists or songs have you been banging out recently?

£MONZO: Oooh, I’ve been listening to music all over the world! I really love music from Amsterdam. There’s an artist called Jandro and another Amsterdam artist called Frenna, and they’ve got a song called ‘IDGAF.’ I’ve been banging out that song so much. Another song that I’ve been banging out is ‘Agora Hills’ by Doja Cat. See, I love making rap music, but sometimes I don’t always listen to like your typical rap music all the time. I like to be inspired by different artists from all over the world. But yeah, that’s the two songs that I’m banging out, and of course ‘S.I.T.’ I’m listening to that in the gym; I’m listening to that everywhere!

Nicole: And lastly, what are you most looking forward to doing next year? What can we expect to see from you?

£MONZO: I’m looking forward to performing a lot more; I love performing. Bigger stages, and also just being able to create more visuals. I really, really love doing that. Oh, and also… look out for a project! I can’t give a timeframe of when it’s going to come out, cause you know, I can’t talk too much. But look out for it.

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Nicole Lewis