Victoria Monét has lengthy been thought of an underdog. Way back to 2009, when she first chased her desires of turning into a musician from Sacramento to Los Angeles, she’s spent a lot of her trip of the highlight and confined to album liner notes as a songwriter, lending her pen to Ariana Grande and Chloe x Halle. All of the whereas, she by no means overpassed her objectives as a solo artist, releasing a collection of EPs that hinted at R&B greatness however by no means actually resonated with listeners.
“I really feel like I used to be generally solely related to folks in response to my proximity to a different artist, and that may be disheartening once you see a lot extra for your self,” explains the 34-year-old. “I wished to be doing what I really like fortunately and have the ability to maintain it and alter the narrative in folks’s minds that I’m beneath the place I needs to be. However it’s positively good to degree that out and be proper the place I’m presupposed to be.”
That may be on the forefront of R&B, a mountain she’s steadily climbed for properly over a decade. With the discharge of her debut full-length “Jaguar II” in August, Monét was instantly catapulted into solo stardom on the again of the cooly assured single “On My Mama,” a rattling head-nodder that grew to become her first single as a headliner to hit primary on a Billboard chart, with quotables for days (i.e. “I’m so deep in my bag like a grandma with a peppermint”). It set the stage for her first headlining tour, which yielded viral efficiency clips, and what she considers as considered one of her biggest accomplishments to this point: incomes seven Grammy nominations for the 2024 awards, together with album of the 12 months and greatest new artist.
“It appeared like the top of my underdog story and period,” she says. “All the things I’ve been working in the direction of simply got here to such an affirming level, and I used to be actually in shock for the week.” Monét had been nominated earlier than, for her work on Grande’s “Thank U, Subsequent” and Chloe x Halle’s “Do It,” although by no means for her personal music. The cherry on high: Her two-year-old daughter Hazel, who’s featured on single “Hollywood” alongside Earth, Wind & Hearth, grew to become the youngest Grammy nominee in historical past when the track was introduced in the very best conventional R&B efficiency class. “We thought of all of these issues, after which when it occurred, it was like oh my god, it labored!’
Monét isn’t precisely positive what to credit score for her sudden ascent — was it the singing, dancing, songwriting, or the entire above? — however it’s clearly rooted within the music. “Jaguar II” places a recent spin on basic ’70s R&B signifiers, from the gliding funk groove of “Smoke” that includes Fortunate Daye to the shag carpet brass on “How Does It Make You Really feel.” It solely helps that Monét, whose dance roots return to her days finding out underneath Jabawockeez, is a hats-wearing multihyphenate — type of like Janet Jackson, she says, who she idolized rising up.
Nonetheless, she sees this as solely the start, although she put out her first undertaking in 2014. She initially envisioned her “Jaguar” collection as a trilogy, however as an alternative scrapped the third installment in favor of a deluxe model of the second, hoping to gather extra followers alongside the way in which. “I’m hoping that individuals who do discover me now are alongside for the journey for the long term, or keep round till I do a Vegas residency once I’m 70 or one thing,” she says. “I’m simply excited for the journey. I really feel prefer it’s positively uphill proper now.”