If you're going to lots of music festivals, there's a good chance you've seen Monica Karina singing live. If not, you must've remember the lyrics of her songs with Dipha Barus, Skin to Skin and Money Honey. They're so good that they're being played literally everywhere (Skin to Skin hits 1 million streams on Spotify). There's something about her voice that sets the vibe.
A while ago, we caught up with her. We chatted about music, style, and life. Here's how it went:
What's on your playlist right now?
Songs from Men I Trust, Mild High Club, Teyana Taylor, and Amber Mark; I try to explore artists more than songs in particular these days! But one song that’s stuck with me right now, especially when I’m driving is Nao - Adore You (ft. Abhi Dijon). Gets me all nostalgic!
What's the best song to sing on shower?
Gwen Stefani - Rich Girl! And everything from Westlife to be honest... I try to sing different songs every now and then just to get to different moods in the morning.
The best music festival/ concert you've ever been to....
I’ve been quite a long-time Honne fan, and one of the most memorable concerts I’ve been to is definitely one of theirs. It was my second time catching them live and it was held in Singapore back in 2017. The concert wasn’t like a big festival or anything, for me it felt more like a very intimate concert. The vibe was really chill, and we could have drinks and there were standing tables on the back of the venue. There were probably only about 100 people in there and so we were all just really close to them as they performed, which really brought out their energy to us! And their setlist that time was just perfect, I love love love their older songs!
When was the first time you realize your song is a hit?
I think I’d rather say I realize people love it, more than calling it a hit—but I do remember the moment it kinda struck me! It’s always an amazing feeling to watch people sing the words to your songs, and the first time I saw that was such a humbling moment for me.
What are the things that inspire you?
As someone who studied film, I get really inspired watching movies! I think I’m a very visual person, and sometimes when I face some writer’s block, I’d browse through music videos, art videos and random clips to get me back in the mood. I’d get certain keywords by watching those so that really helps me!
Any advice for the girls who are afraid to take chances?
Always remember that everything starts with the first step.
So here’s the thing, I’d like to say that I’m a perfectionist. I don’t see that as a weakness—for me that just means I’ll stress over more details a couple more times than usual. But this is what I always try to remember too, overthinking things won’t get me anywhere.
It’s good to be cautious, but always remind yourself that there’s a thin but very visible line between being cautious and scared. The only way to know really is by trying, the only way to learn is by doing.
If you have all the resources in the world, what project would you create? Who would you want to collaborate with?
This is such a hard question! Because I feel like I literally discover new music and artists on a daily basis. But if I had to choose, I’d want to collaborate with my forever biases; Kehlani, Kali Uchis, Sza, Jorja Smith. And the list goes on with Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, and all of these amazing musicians I can never get enough of!
What are you doing when you're not making music? Is there another project that is not related to singing and making music?
I used to work as a photographer (worked some concerts, events and fashion & commercial brands as well), and I spent some good years working in film and videography. So I’m actually thinking about making some stuff up with my old colleagues on this! I’m excited about directing my own music videos too. Can’t wait!
Can you share us a little sneak peek of your upcoming project? ;)
So this next project I’m working on is actually a collaboration with a rapper! And that’s probably all I can share about it for now. It’s coming sooner than you think though ;)
Take a look at our collection at www.wearstatuquo.com, which ones would you love to wear for your upcoming shows or your daily-wears?
I’d love to wear the Prescott Vest on stage! It’s such an edgy statement piece and I think it would look so good paired with turtle necks & color-blocking long sleeves.
And for daily-wear I’d go with the Welkin Pants. I prioritize comfort for my everyday outfits so you’ll see me in t-shirts & trousers a lot. But in order to stick with that I need to keep it fresh with unique silhouettes and/or fabrics. So it’s definitely a go.
The Alexandria Top is also one of my top-picks. I think I can really dress it up or down accordingly, wear it as a top or a blazer. So versatile!
Written by Helena Natasha.