Amber Monique Talks Save RnB: "I Really Feel Like R&B Is Becoming Extinct"
Photo by ArtCrazyPhotography
Lounging inside a coffee shop, singer Amber Monique smiles with a hint of embarrassment as she remembers an awkward childhood moment.
"I was young, dumb. And I went around the wrong side of the pole I was supposed to move to, because I thought I was a rebel, and I ended up falling face-first in the fountain," she recalls. "So I was just laying there, and I didn't want to get out. And some guy finally helped me out while laughing at me."
Over the last year, this shy and self-proclaimed geek has found her way into Miami's local cool crowd with the release of her debut project, Elevate, working with Prez P and fellow female artist E. Banga.
Now, following her latest release, Save RnB, Ms. Monique chatted with Crossfade about early memories, beating anxiety and stage fright, being biracial, and the current state of R&B.
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Crossfade: What's your first memory of singing?
Amber Monique: I would say the very first seriously memorable experience would be singing the national anthem at a boxing match at Hard Rock. That was my scariest one. You can't really forget the words to the national anthem. And they booked me the day of the event. There were thousands of people there. I was scared as hell.
How did you get that gig?
I was actually working at the pool at Hard Rock. I was a pool attendant, and somebody had seen my YouTube videos, and so they asked me if I could do it. I was kind of second choice. Somebody that was booked before canceled on them, so they took me last minute.
Why were you scared?
I don't know. I'm just a shy person. Even now I'm a little nervous. I've always been a really shy person. I feel like I have anxiety. I used to bite my nails, and that's why I have acrylic nails on right now.
I had to do a lot of open mics just to get past my voice being shaky and getting over that nervousness. And even talking to the crowd, when they would introduce me, I would just start singing. I wouldn't interact with the crowd at all.
Was singing something you kept from everybody?
I sang around the house. I would sing songs that I liked. But I really didn't tell people -- I don't even think my parents.
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