The Untold Truth Of Victoria Monét

Victoria Monét is a singer, songwriter, and dancer on the rise whose work should immediately be added to your summer playlist. With her sexy, nostalgic music and impeccable lyricism, the multi-talented artist excels among her peers. Monét spent several years writing Grammy-nominated hits for big name musicians before her debut, and is now finally getting her "Moment" in the spotlight. In 2020, she released "Jaguar," a collection of songs that includes jams such as "A** Like That" and "Dive." The EP is the first of three separate projects that together will form Monet's debut album. The highly anticipated followup to "Jaguar," aptly called "Jaguar II," is rumored to be Monét's most vulnerable project yet.

The queer woman of color has worked with everyone from Chloe x Halle to Brandy to Ariana Grande to Kehlani, and she is sure to be the next "it girl" in R&B. Want to know more about this mega talented star? Let's get into the untold truth of Victoria Monét.

Music has always been part of her story

Victoria Monét McCants was drawn to music at an early age. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Monét grew up in Sacramento, California, with her mother and grandmother. There, she took dance and music lessons, and according to local affiliate Fox40, her family fudged their address so she could go to a nearby performing arts high school. As she recalled to the New York Post, she ended up on a competitive dance team, and the piano classes she took as a child unlocked her natural gift for songwriting. Per Nylon, she posted songs she'd penned on MySpace, and that move proved to be fruitful: writer/producer superstar Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins saw her profile, picked up on her star power, and invited her to join a girl group called Purple Reign. 

By 2009, Purple Reign signed with Universal/Motown Records, and the group recorded 21 songs for their debut album in a matter of weeks. However, that debut never saw the light of day; like Lady Gaga before them, Purple Reign was dropped by the first label to scoop them up. "I was heartbroken, and I was struggling," Monét told Vice. "Leaving your family to do this big venture, everyone's so proud. It's like, 'Oh, you're going to sign to Motown. It has to work. With such a great producer who has so much experience, there's no reason why it shouldn't.'" Monét soldiered on, and it wouldn't be long before her career would take off in a big way.

She's an accomplished vocal producer

Given her musical talents, her strong ear, and her knack for creating undeniable hooks, it should come as no surprise that Victoria Monét is also a vocal producer. When asked about this side of her career by High Snobiety, she said, "My job is to make sure that every artist that I work with and vocal produce, feels so comfortable and so confident and every line that they sing sounds perfect." In addition acting as a coach to the artist during a session, she makes adjustments to the recording to enhance the product. "After they leave, I'm there changing volumes and mixing things a little to sound better," Monét explained. 

historically male-dominated field, Monét has sensed skepticism when she hops on over to the production side of things. "It's like, I know what you're doing and I can do this, too, fine," she told Byrdie in 2020. "But it's unfortunate that it's a surprise, because I guess just means that it's not normal."

Getting into production has proven to be a good move. Take, for example, "Thank U, Next," the Ariana Grande album nominated for Album of the Year at the 2020 Grammys. Monét was one of the producers up for the award — her first Grammy nom. She told the AP at the time, "It's interesting that it would happen as a producer as well as a vocal producer, because it's not something that I even knew that I would even find interest in."

Victoria Monét's work draws from the '70s

Victoria Monét's sound is fresh and unique, with tinges of funk comparable to Donna Summer and Janet Jackson. Her music and the accompanying visuals, like the video for "Jaguar," are consistently beautiful, with lots of browns, oranges, greens, and golds. The music is sexy with clever lyrics that are so authentically Victoria Monét. Her 2021 single "Coastin'," for example, is the perfect track for the sweltering heat, with smooth, chocolatey vocals and a psychedelic beat that can only be described as groovy.

Monét's debuted this captivating aesthetic with her 2019 single "A** Like That." The video is rich with earth tones and a dreamy glow that brings the viewer straight into a fabulously kitschy 1970s foyer. As she works out in a cheeky thong and leg warmers, Monét watches an aerobics video, and sings about her body in the way that she would like to. The infectious and empowering lyrics of the track produce the perfect gym song, but one that is slowed down, sexy, and tinged with a nostalgia only Monét can convey. The singer herself seems to identify with the far-out vibes of the '70s, telling NME, "It seems like people are starting to consider ['A** Like That'] as a work-out anthem, but this is like a chilled version, and it reflects upon my personality because I'm really chill and, in my head, some sort of hippie, just going with the wind."

Victoria Monét found love in the Moment

In early 2020, Victoria Monét released the artistic visual for "Moment" that would feature an eye-catchingly handsome lead. The sensual video was shot in December 2019 in South Africa, where the singer would meet fitness trainer and model John Gaines for the first time. The two quickly became infatuated after playing lovers on set and would begin a serious relationship.

In December 2020, Monét announced her pregnancy with a beautiful message to her future daughter. "​​I'm so happy to share that I've been promoted to the title just above Queen...Mom," she announced to her 1.1 million Instagram followers. "To my baby, I thank you for choosing me as your mommy!... Hold my pinky with the grip of your little fingers until we can hold hands and walk through this world together rain or shine. You're forever mine. I got you." Hazel Monét Gaines was born in February 2021. Since welcoming her daughter, Monét has matured to be even more captivating and confident than before. The adorable two year old has also inspired her mother musically: "Nothing Feels Better" is an ode to Hazel with a video that features the new parents living in postnatal bliss.

The followup to Jaguar will be 'more vulnerable'

Victoria Monét's "Jaguar" EP dropped in mid-2020, and has been on repeat for R&B lovers ever since. With her '70s vibe, plus passion and sensuality reminiscent of the '90s, Monét's singles like "Moment," "Dive," and "Experience" put her in her own lane — in front of the spotlight for the first time. In a sit-down with Vice, Monét explained how this feeling translated to the title of her EP. "Jaguars are always there, but sometimes you just don't see them," she began. "I've been in the music industry for a long time, but behind-the-scenes. Now feels like my moment to be the aggressor and get what I want."

Nearly two years later, Monét's fans are begging for more music. The singer has teased the drop of "Jaguar II" a few times, including in her music video for "Coastin'," but as of this writing, hasn't given a definitive release date. Thankfully, she spilled details to Elle: "The through line will still be similar to 'Jaguar' part one, where it's more about self-love and I'll get a bit more vulnerable about things like how, even when you're confident, things still don't always turn out amazing and one-hundred percent, but we heal and we grow from these things too." In June 2022, the singer assured her Twitter followers "Jaguar II" is indeed coming and will be beyond worth the wait.

She's Ariana Grande's bestie

Victoria Monét has a long list of writing credits, with some of her most successful tracks being for one of her best buds, Ariana Grande. As Monét recalled to Interview, the two first connected in 2013 while they were working on Grande's debut album. "There was chemistry, and as the years went on, we continued working together and hanging out," she said. It was a match made in friendship heaven and songwriting heaven. As Monét told NME in 2019, "[Writing together is] so easy and it just feels really fun, but also therapeutic. It's not like when you go to a writing session and you have to ask the writer or the artist: 'What's going on with your life?' We talk all the time, and we both already know what's going on in each other's lives." 

In 2019, the bombshell duo dropped "MONOPOLY," a fun track about their friendship, and the first track in which they share top billing. Grande and Monét's undeniable chemistry is a musical force to be reckoned with, producing magic in Grammy-nominated hits like "Thank U, Next" and "7 Rings."

Grande has also sung her dear pal's praises. "Victoria is a brilliant collaborator, musician, writer and just as brilliant of a friend," she told Billboard in 2019. "She is a very pure person and I think that's why we connect the way we do." 

She's co-written your favorite songs

As previously noted, Victoria Monét has written for some of the biggest names in music. She started with Diddy, eventually going on to write "Do It" by Chloe x Halle, "Double Tap" by Jordin Sparks, and of course, a good chunk of Ariana Grande's discography. Monét also wrote "Work From Home" for Fifth Harmony, and a track here and there for Jhené Aiko and Ty Dolla $ign. Monét also pens all her own music. What can't this beautiful artist do? Vice describes her as R&B's "best kept secret" after years of being on the sidelines but Monét doesn't quite feel like she's "made it," despite her huge success. 

"I feel like work is now just starting to begin," she told Harper's Bazaar in 2020. "I have a lot of things I want to accomplish and experience and share with people so, this has definitely peeled off another layer. And I don't know if I'll ever feel like I've made it. I feel like as long as I'm alive, there's gonna be one more thing that I want to do." Made it or not, Monét says that she's happy with how her career is going. Some of her future goals include collaborating with Beyoncé and expanding her empire with a family in tow. From our perspective, it seems like she's well on her way.

Victoria Monét is bisexual

Victoria Monét is openly bisexual, but she came out on accident to the Twittervese while posting about a woman she had a crush on. She recalled to Gay Times, "But this woman ended up getting pregnant because she had a boyfriend in a polyamorous relationship." (Monét was rumored to be dating Kehlani, though this was never confirmed.) "Someone tweeted me back saying 'Did you just come out?' and I was like 'I think so,' but it wasn't planned, it was a defiant moment," she continued. In a separate interview with E! News, Monét shared that coming out provided her a sense of relief as a queer Black woman in the music world. "I felt more pressure not seeing myself represented in a certain industry and light to kind of fold and conform," she said.

In "MONOPOLY," Monét proudly sings "I like women and men," acknowledging her bisexuality for the first time in her music. Though she was met with some resistance from her father for including the playful line, Monét ultimately doesn't regret being loud about who she is. "I'm just glad that now there's this song where there's no confusion because I said it clearly, I'm not trying to hide it all," she told Gay Times.

She prioritizes happiness in her life and career

Above all, Victoria Monét wants to be happy. The ambitious artist is always trying to one up herself, but ultimately prioritizes her family and her happiness. The pandemic caused a shift in mindset: she suddenly realized the delicacy of life and the gravity of every moment. "The most important thing in life is to maintain happiness and to do what it is that you want to do today. We always have a schedule for tomorrow, and some people don't make it to that," she told Who What Wear in 2021. With this perspective, Monét radiates positivity, adding, "I always look at everyone in the room and think, 'We're all supposed to be here—there's a reason why we're here.'" As she tweeted in 2021, "Happiness is such a delicate dance. When you have it, HAVE it and spread it as much as you can."

Though she's never struggled with expressing herself through song, it was much harder for Monét to seek help. "It was harder for me to justify making the time for therapy," she said in Who What Wear. "So I found other things instead of it." Eventually, Monét's manager told her to start prioritizing her mental health. She has been taking care of her mind through therapy and songwriting ever since.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Her music is about authenticity and freedom

Victoria Monét's music contains multitudes. Per Ones To Watch, at an Apple Music listening party in 2020, she described her personal sound as "that feel good music [but] mix it with some nasty." It's mature, funky and unapologetically sexual. As a Black, bisexual young mother, Monét understands the importance of freedom and encourages others to live in their truth. At the aforementioned Apple Music event, she said she "women to feel empowered, to get used to us talking about our bodies, our sexuality, our desires." With her recent coming out, Monét has a newfound freedom that is dying to connect with her audience.

In a 2021 Who What Wear interview, Monét shared that she's writing what feels right. Her music and public persona is authentic to who she is, and she isn't scared of showing a more vulnerable side to the world. "It's just all about living in my identity and not shying away from the thoughts that I have to be politically correct or to appease a certain audience," she said. "I'm just trying to create a reflection of how I'm feeling at that moment with my music."

She doesn't care about mainstream success

Victoria Monét has steadily built a loyal fandom since her solo debut in 2014. Her online following in particular is very dedicated, and are constantly promoting her music to help their fave gain sales. These fans deem Monét and her music "underrated," and after her BET Awards performance, there was a rush of tweets questioning why she's not more popular. It's difficult to understand how someone with such an impressive track record can be seen as "overlooked," but let's digress. "​​[Monét's] written too many of the top hits from your faves and makes such quality music on her own for this to be her first award show performance," one user tweeted. A viral video of her daughter bopping to the performance only upped the adoration. Everyone wanted to know: Why isn't Victoria Monét one of the biggest names in music?

Monét has seen the tweets, and is grateful for the love she receives online. "​​I appreciate the people who are visionaries for me and they see beyond where I am, which is amazing. And they do their due diligence in trying to, like, market [me]," she told Elle. "I think I'd rather be underrated than overrated, so I'm still thankful." To Monét, happiness and family are more important than mainstream success, but still, she continues to work hard.

Victoria Monét is all about using her voice

Victoria Monét has made it her goal to lift up women through her music and authenticity. When asked about what she wants for her legacy, the singer said in Byrdie she wants to be remembered for being a positive example. "I feel like I have so much to achieve but really my focus right now is getting to a place of representation where people who are Black women in the LGBTQ+ community can see someone who looks like them and feels like them in a really successful place. And happy," she said. 

Monét surrounds herself with as many women as possible and credits her team for her success. As she told E! News, she feels inspired by working with empowered women of color. "It's really important to see more representation of Black people and especially Black women," Monét continued. "Whenever you're able to see yourself in art or see yourself in someone, it can really change your life and have such a huge impact on how you navigate everything."

The "Coastin'" singer touched on this subject in a 2020 interview with Wonderland. Looking back on the racism Fifth Harmony's Normani faced as the only Black member of the group, Monét noted how crucial representation is in the pop music world. "I'm totally 100% in support of her being the superstar she is," she said. An empowered woman lifting up another empowered woman? You love to see it.