The stage is set for this poetic, empowered, and ‘chosen’ hip hop artist to keep her career leveling up.
For Detroit’s own Monalyse, her powerful style caught the attention of record executive and hip hop artist, Pusha T, when he was assembling his All-Star team of rising MCs for the 1800 Seconds compilation project.
Monalyse explained that Pusha T’s manager reached out to her through her Instagram account and the process quickly got rolling from there.
The talent for the 1800 Tequila project, included Monalyse, along with Ant White (Philadelphia, PA), Cartel Count Up (Hampton, VA) , Don Zio P (Middletown, CT), Hass Irv (Harlem, NY), Nita Jonez (Houston, TX), Sam Austins also from Detroit, T Got Bank (Brooklyn, NY), Trevor Lanier (Wilmington, NC) and Tyler Thomas (Los Angeles).
All of the selected unsigned artists were flown to Los Angeles, CA to hone their rhymes and musical craft at the famous Westlake Studios, where the King of Pop Michael Jackson, the ‘Princess of R&B’ Aaliyah and singer / songwriter Frank Ocean all have previously created chart-topping hits.
Monalyse pointed out that during the first half of the trip all of the artists stayed in the studio working on their music. On the sixth and seventh days, the focus was on the promotional aspect with an emphasis on photo shoots. The remaining days were spent finalizing their own tracks.
“With the other artists being from all different parts of the country, it was nice to learn about other styles of rapping, different accents and social backgrounds,” Monalyse said. “Overall, it was just really refreshing to be around other artists that are on the same hustle that I am and learn different things from them.”
One of the critical parts of the entire process was the mentorship that all of the participating hip hop artists received from Pusha T.
For Monalyse, she completed about three songs and listened closely when getting advice from him. One of these suggestions, was the choice to use her song “Me & My” on the 1800 Seconds compilation album.
“He worked with all of us and would not force anything on us,” Monalye said. “During the time, I spent with Pusha T, he really got to learn the type of artist that I am. He also provided input on my style and complimented me on being a very good lyricist. I appreciated the feedback and found him to be a good mentor.”
At the end of March, Monalyse had the opportunity to perform in her hometown with the other artists at a show at the Garden Theater. Monalyse described the show as an eye opener for her.
“Just coming out on stage, it was an amazing feeling with fans and friends recognizing the words to my song,” Monalyse said. “The feedback from the performance I received was fantastic. I felt like when I came on stage, it was like the city, just went really crazy.”
During the day of the event, Monalyse was able to showcase Detroit to the other artists as many of them had never experienced what Motown has to offer. They were able to explore some of the city, also have some studio time and complete a freestyle song and spend time together.
“It was great being able to give the other artists a glimpse of Detroit,” she says.
When reminiscing on her California experience and moving forward, the biggest lesson Monalyse learned during her time in California was to not let any distractions get in her way of success.
“Being from Detroit, I have noticed there are slow seasons, as the weather can dictate or impact the grind at times,” Monalyse pointed out. “There are times when it gets so cold during some of the winter months that you just want to stay home. I recognized that on the west coast, the mindset is different, as everyone is always out and working. I just want to use that same outlook here in Detroit. Even though, it may be cold, keep going and stay inspired to continue to work on my music.”