UK R&B has been back and scorching the charts with so many dynamic, new and appealing artists. Meet Moniah, that's (Mo-nye-ah ) y'all haha. The latest voice to be heard in the scene with her charming rise so far with debut single The Exchange followed by Human and now the British singer and songwriter change tones with her deep emotive and exploration into the topic of love and unavailable men and she does it in such a clean-cut and custom manner. SPACEMAN. Written by the artist herself and working with Rob Walks whose credits include Lianne La Havas and also features a guest appearance by musician and trumpeter Jay Phelps.
The record is described as one where "words and personifies the ‘space’ and emotional distance in a relationship. Classy, moody and with jazzy undertones, the listener is transported to her world of grey and displacement" The Mid-tempo soundtrack inspired by her own journey of gaining confidence to finally pursue music, Moniah’s lyrics are self-reflective and emotionally stimulating.
From her days from a young 8 to developing her talent. Inspired by the likes of James Blake, Anna Wise and Moses Sumney it's time to get ready for her official EP project which arrives later this year. The marvellous artist takes you through her latest song, working with Rob Walks, Jay Phelps and more.
1. Moniah it’s a cherishment to have you join us. Your new single Spaceman is finally out. How did it feel to have the song released and what was the process like making it? Moniah: I was a bit nervous to release Spaceman! There’s this thing about release day, you hope as many people like your song as possible. I’m so happy it’s finally out there now. I collaborated with producer Rob Wilks who has previously worked closely with Lianne La Havas, he understood my vision for the song. I can’t play any instruments well, so I only had a few notes, a verse and a chorus when I took the song to him. During the process, I felt like there was something missing. That’s when I got in contact with Jay Phelps, a fantastic trumpet player, who played on top of the track.
2. It’s very emotional and deep motion based on love and unavailable and about relationships. Could you share more on what it like writing the song and more about its themes?
Moniah: It was written as if it were a conversation, ‘you need too much space man’. I’m from London so it felt fitting and hopefully relatable to my demographic! Throughout the song Rob Wilks and I incorporated many motifs in the instrumentation to reiterate the rotation of space and the endless notion of being ‘over’ it all. It’s really hard being with someone who doesn’t fully trust you or can’t open up – I believe to have any depth in a relationship you need vulnerability. Without it is just superficial. An Instagram relationship.
3. Now you teamed up with Record producer and engineer Rob Walks and you also built a lot of it in your bedroom as well as featuring musician (trumpet player) Jay Phelps. How were the sessions and vibes like in the studio and working with these two talents? Moniah: Rob Wilks is incredibly talented and so patient with me. I wouldn’t call myself a perfectionist but I’m very particular on what I want. I own a keyboard at home which I use to write songs, so I took those to him with my references. Rob played the keys, drums, bass and guitar. I managed to play the synths! If there is anything he is not sure about he will always vocalise that but he never pushes his ideas on me. I love that he allows me to be creative and expressive in all our sessions. I found Jay Phelps on Instagram actually, I was searching for a trumpet player and I had loved the work he had done. I contacted him back in December 2021 just before he was going on holiday to the Maldives! He sent me multiple samples virtually on what could work for the track and so I was able to take these sounds into the studio with Rob without ever physically meeting him!
4. Now before this tune you’ve had a nice start with previous songs Human and The Exchange. How would you describe your growth as a singer, writer and artist per song that you’ve released? Moniah: My friends always tell me in this industry you have to have thick skin and not everyone is going to like your music and you shouldn’t take it personally. I’d say with every song I’ve released it’s definitely given me the courage to take more risks and be more authentic with myself and my music. I try and write all of my songs from an honest place and hope it finds the people who it resonates most with. I will be exploring more themes and styles in music as I don’t believe music has to be so restrictive. It’s how all the greatest musicians grow.
5. It’s very overwhelming seeing some many fresh faces, names and booming tunes in the UK R&B lane. If you could work on an album featuring one singer, producer and rap artist in the world who would you choose and why? Moniah: This is easily the hardest question! If I had to feature one singer, I think I would choose James Blake. In my opinion he is one of the greatest to come out of the UK as a singer, writer and composer. He’s collaborated with many artists too. Producer – I’d work with Inflo – he is insanely talented having worked with Little Simz, Cleo Soul and so many. That would be a dream. Rap artist – This one was hard too but I think I’d go with Wretch 32. I love his music and the messages in them.
6. With so much coming up this year. As an artist what can new listeners and supporters stay ready for from you ? Moniah: I’m working towards releasing an EP this year for sure! It’ll get pretty deep from hereon – you’re going to get all my emotions in these next few releases.