Monifah is one of those R&B Divas that still can hold a note.
In the 90’s she was signed to Uptown Records , the label founded by Andre Harrell. She had hits such as, ” I Miss You” (Come Back Home) , and “Touch It ” which not only hit the U.S. Charts but oversea’s in the UK as well. Monfiah worked with many big names in the industry from Heavy D to Faith Evans. Today Monifah is staying busy , still recording music , starring in TV One’s R&B Divas , and being a voice in the Lesbian community. I spoke with Monifah recently to the the scoop on everything she has going on.
Q-You’ve been so relatable and honest on R&B Divas, sharing so much of your private life with the world. Does that openness effect the way you approach your music and how it will be received by fans?
A- Im having fun with the new music Im recording. I’m doing more writing so I believe it’s a given that who I am and what I’m experiencing at any given moment will come through in my music. Music is personal, o if it’s from the heart it will reach the heart.
Q-All of the drama on R&B Divas seems to be overwhelming, how do you take it all in and remain the “voice of reason”?
A- The drama stems from the clashes of personalities in perceived “high stakes” situations. I did not set out to be the voice of reason, but I’m at an age and place in my life where I’m clear on who and what gets my energy. I also don’t like to see people in unnecessary conflict and if I have a helpful word or point of view I’ll impart it.
Q-Looking back on the season of Divas, would you change anything if you could?
A- I wouldn’t change anything about any of the seasons. I believe the show is what each individual made it for themselves, and collectively is pretty damn good. Everything happened and unfolded as it was supposed to. I learned a lot about myself and other people during the process. Some great, some disappointing, but all necessary and appreciated.
Q-Fans finally got a taste of new music with “She’s Me” and “The Other Side” in 2014. How has Monifah the artist changed since “Home”?
A- I don’t believe I’ve changed as much as I’ve evolved into who I’ve always been. Accepting responsibility and being accountable for the way my life is going are what I focus on most.
Q-Congratulations on being the recipient of the 2015 Vanguard Award at the OUTmusic awards. With sharing your beautiful wedding to girlfriend Terez last year on the show, do you now consider yourself an advocate on behalf of the LGBT community?
A- Thank you. I considered myself an advocate for the LGBTQ community well before receiving the Vanguard award, but I’m now rolling my sleeves up and getting dirty, so to speak. I’ve come to understand that this life I live is mostly NOT about me, but the legacy of open doors and sacrifice I leave behind when I move on from here. It’s who comes after us that we truly live for.
Q-“Moods…Moments” was released in 1996, and “Home” in 2000, both classic R&B albums. , What kind of music can we expect in 2015 with “Invincible”?
A- You can expect great music from my heart for all to enjoy. I’m not thinking too hard, nor am I putting boundaries on it.
Q-Fans are already anticipating new music from you in 2015, so what other projects are slated for this year?
A- I’m currently writing my one woman show. A project that has been gestating in my spirit for the last 10 years and is finally ready to be birthed. It’s a cathartic, transparent, vulnerable piece. I will be starring in “Baby Hold On To Me” a musical based on the music and life of Gerald LeVert. Touring the UK, which I’m so looking forward to. I didn’t do a lot of overseas shows in the first half of my career. I have other exciting things I can’t talk about yet.
Q-You’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the business, is there a talent you’d love to collaborate with?
A- I’d love to work with Boy George, Elton John, Jill Scott, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Ne-yo, Kendrick Lamar to name a few. Others have already transitioned from this earth.
Q-You have so many years of industry experience under your belt, who/what inspires your music now?
A- What inspires my music now is the love of what I deem as the primary gift that God has loaned to me, the gift of song and melodiousness. I’m simply not ready to not sing. (Smile)
Monifah is staying busy and doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon , One Woman Show’s , music , and acting are all current things she is working on. You can say Monifah is like wine because, she is only getting better with time.