With a style heavily inspired by the classical greats, from the famous Kate Bush to David Lynch to trip-hop sampling, when it comes to the creation of music that’s the perfect mixture of Acoustic and Electronic, Monelise has it covered. Producing music that’s as catchy as it is innovative, such that you just won’t be able to get it out of your head.
To London, via USA and Europe, from Russia
A singer/songwriter and pianist, originating from St Petersburg, Russia, with links to Luxembourg, Texas and Edinburgh, Monelise is far more travelled than your average musician. This enables her to offer a unique, worldly perspective when it comes to the creation of her work. Now based in London, and completing her master’s degree in Popular Music at Goldsmiths University, Monelise has done more than many artists achieve in a lifetime.
What makes Monelise stand proud in a crowded industry is her commitment to the work she creates, and the innovative way in which she approaches the outreach and appeal of her music. Following a 20 street piano tour across many towns and cities in the promotion of her art, she then travelled to Iceland to develop an inventive, elemental and atmospheric music video for her latest single, “The Flood”.
When asked about her musical inspirations, Monelise had this to say: “I love both David Lynch and Kate Bush for similar reasons. They see and embody the beautiful found in the weird, the eerie, the uncanny….I have had a lifelong fascination with anything strange and undiscovered and see a strange sort of beauty in it.” This love for the hauntingly beautiful and other-worldly carries across in her work, and often her inspirations are plain to see. Other inspirational artists include Bjork, Michael Nyman and Yann Tiersen.
Influences and Growing into a musician
A relative newcomer to the industry, Monelise has already seen a degree of success with her work, with four performances under her belt at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and countless performances at some of London’s best kept secret venues. Her fanbase is part of why she strives further with her work and pushes the boundaries of her style.
With a creative background as both a pianist and a dancer and inspired by her Russian heritage of classical music and ballet, it seems Monelise can turn her hand to just about anything musical. She explains: “When I write a song to which I can also envision a dance, it makes a world of a difference because I can feel it on an entirely new level”. A large part of her process is ensuring the rhythm of each song is as enjoyable to the ear as it is to perform. Whether you choose to listen or get to your feet and dance.
Alongside more modern inspirations, Monelise also credits nature and the environment as important influences for her work, explaining:
“[I have a] big concern for environmental well-being and spent a good portion of the last 12 months incorporating field recordings and other nature-inspired elements into my music”. This has led to her song “Breathing Earth” being featured in the Whitstable Biennale’s 2018 programme, and further cements the singer-songwriter’s inspirations, including Yann Tiersen’s “EUSA”.
Another of the major influences cited by Monelise is the “Study of Hauntology”. This stems from the singer’s compulsion to explore, “eerie, liminal worlds and states of mind,” within her music, something which she believes many of her idols, such as Kate Bush, achieved. Her current project, heavily inspired by this mindset, is set to be her most experimental, ambitious and eclectic body of work yet.
Band performance and discovering the Theremin
So, what’s next for Monelise? For the first time, this unique performer will be taking to the stage as part of a band, with a 45 minute performance to be showcased at The Albany, Deptford, London. From the singer’s perspective, performing on-stage, professionally, is something she’s excited to do in comparison to past work: “With a piano street tour, you only have yourself to rely on, and no good piano sound or an attentive audience is ever guaranteed”. Not only does this mark a new chapter in Monelise’s career, but it also provides a captive audience to test her latest musical addition, The Theremin (a no contact electronic musical instrument).
The Theremin is due to be heavily incorporated into her next body of work, and even rearranged for the inclusion in existing pieces. Monelise admits that she’s fallen in love with the charms of this unique musical instrument. For her performance at The Albany she will be, “[incorporating] live performance technology such as Ableton Live, and [also] parts for the Theremin, both of which are entirely new elements that opened many creative doors.”
With such a unique body of work and no sign of slowing down, Monelise plans to tackle music full-time on the completion of her Masters, at Goldsmith University, providing a “hugely inspiring community” that has helped her further her work and improved her performances both on and off-stage.
Album to follow
Following Monelise’s upcoming performance at The Albany, we can expect the release of a new, highly-conceptual album of the recorded pieces, complete with what the singer-songwriter describes as: “Echoes of various ghosts of the past (old-school vinyl records, classical music samples, trip-hop inspired beats) colliding with a forward-thinking approach to song writing and production”. Incorporating ‘Found’ media into her work alongside a variety of different musical fusions, the planned recordings are not ones to miss, and represents an evolution for the singer from her Acoustic roots.
If you’re fascinated by the concept of Monelise’s fusion of Acoustic and Electronic, or you’re a fan of the haunting stylings of Kate Bush and David Lynch, then Monelise might just be for you. While we wait in anticipation for Monelise’s future experimental work, there’s plenty available online to occupy your mind and expand your musical horizons.
Find her full musical history online on: www.youtube.com search Monelise or via soundcloud.com/monelisemusic to immerse yourself in some truly unique music and experience the phenomenon that is Monelise for yourself.