There comes a time in every young women's life where they break free and step into a life of their own. They're not afraid to express themselves, to be different, or hold things back. Shanavea Brown aka "Monay" of Tacoma, Washington D.C, currently in ATL has broken the shackles and is letting her beauty, unique style, rap and writing skills soar high. Growing up Monay was deeply inspired by hip-hop legend Afrika Bambaataa. Monay participated in numerous rap battles which caught the attention of producers that invited her into the studio. Monay has modeled, danced, and opened up for Ginuwine, Mystikal, H-Town and many more.Her attention-grabbing style is very bold and creative similar to her lyrics. She released her mixtape "Shackles Off" featuring her hot new single "Off Them Bandz". The song is super catchy and it will definitely get you turned up.
Her mixtape hosted by Dj Kurupt is definitely dope and fresh. Here's my exclusive interview with "Monay".
1.) What song made you fall in love with music?
A song in particular is not what made me fall in love with music, I was introduced to hip hop by a man named Mr. T in middle school .He taught me the culture of hip hop and where it came from .Ever since then I wanted to be apart of the movement and tell my story so one day kids and adults will look up to me and I can inspire others.
2.) So Shanavea when did your alter ego “Monay” show up?
Monay came about a little later after I started my music. It represents my middle name Monisha. I kind of switched it up an came up with Monay.
3.) What was your first rap battle experience like?
After middle school I started high school. I went to a big school in California where I didn’t know too many female rappers like me which didn’t make me want to stop. It made me want to go harder, so some guys invited me to the cafeteria to be apart of their cypher/battle. I joined them and I remember it being a lot of people around me standing in a circle and it was my turn to go. I just went in with something I wrote .After that kids always asked me to rap for them and I would battle everywhere from the bus to school to anywhere after school.
4.) If you could remix any old-school hip hop track which would it be and why?
I’ve always wanted to do an old school mixtape and remix all the old school popular songs that were out back in the day. I started writing to a couple artist songs like Lil Kiim, Tupac, Jay Z , Slick Rick , and Notorious B.I.G. So maybe one day I’ll throw a mixtape like that out. I think it would be different because most rappers in the industry only know about current artist, I would be able to show that I know who my roots .
5.) You are very stylish! If you could describe your style as a food which would it be?
I think my style is like a dragon fruit, it’s exotic and different!
6.)What do you want the world to know about you?
The main thing I want the world to know is my story. I try not to hide what's going on in my life. I like to be open about everything and show my character.
7.) You shot a video for your single “Off The Bands.” What was it like on set?
When I shot the video for “Off Them Bandz” it was my first time being on a real set. I had props , a black wall behind me, and smoke, so that was cool. A lot of my friends came out to support. I’m happy with how the video turned out. My camera guy Ed Keels did a great job. I like working with him because he gets the job done. I’m looking forward to the next video because I know it’s going to be bigger and better than the last one.
8.) Where would your dream performance be?
My dream performance would be for the president. I know once I do that I know I’ve made it.
9.) Your mixtape is titled “Shackles Off”, What made you break free?
The mixtape is called "Shackles Off" because I was young when I got into the industry. I was sixteen, so most of things I wanted to talk about I couldn’t say . I couldn't dress or act the way I wanted. I was trapped into a certain image, as an artist and that bothered me. So when I finally turned eighteen, I started to evolve into another artist and I was free and my mind was too. I got to be more creative and there's no limit to what I talk about or how I act.
10.) What’s your favorite Monay song?
My favorite song is the song I first wrote when I was Shanavea it was called "Perfect Picture". I remember I was feeling angry at the time and I sat down and wrote for like an hour letting out every image I had in my head. It was also my first time writing to a beat .That song was on some Wale/Tupac lyrics. That was when I was adolescent to music so it was pure. I wrote it about 4 years ago.
11.) Girls growing up these days face a lot of challenges due to the harassment on social media. Do you have any advice for them?
Girls who get harassed on social media the only advice I could give is to stay away from all the stuff . Most people only know how to copy and be like everybody else, they don’t know what being different is. Everyone is different in every way so if they don’t understand it, then that’s on them. But I live everyday thinking positive . I don’t let negativity in my life that’s why I always walk around with a smile. Never let anything get to you unless it makes you stronger.