Niagara Artist Spotlight: Mel Monaco Gets "All Brass'd Up"
BY DAVID DeROCCO
“I’ve got a new perspective,” sings Mel Monaco on her brand new single, “Hold Me Back.” And if the sound of the song is any indication of what that means to her career, it’s clear this this feisty redhead is ready to kick some brass.
At least, that’s what’s in store for fans when Mel Monaco and Company hit the stage for their “All Brass’d Up” party November 20th at Club Italia, a typically amped up Mel Monaco promotional event designed to showcase both her new 2017 Pin-Up Calendar and the video for “Hold Me Back” – the likely first single off her upcoming full-length album set for release next year. No stranger to the importance of self-promotion, this hard-working Niagara singer/songwriter has turned her playful pin-up calendar into a mutually beneficial marketing program, one that generates revenue for her recording career while also supporting the local music venues that help facilitate her dreams.
“Pin-up is kind of my niche, and who doesn’t want 12 months of me” laughed Monaco. “We already have 80 shows pre-booked for 2017, and all the dates, times and locations, whether we’re playing as a duo, trio or a band, are all listed in the calendar. All the sponsors got to list their events in the month they sponsored. And each sponsor got a performance as part of their involvement.”
While some indie artists fail to recognize there’s more to a career in music than making music, Monaco understands the importance of taking an active role in the business side of her current profession.
“I’m all about being very professional,” said Monaco, who opted out of a teaching career three years ago to pursue her passions for music. “I respect the venues I play at and they respect me, and us. It’s a business. I honour everything. We show up. I get pneumonia, I show up, although I don’t think I’ve ever cancelled a show for being sick. Through thick and thin it’s a business. It’s hard but that’s the way it is. It’s music. If it was easy everyone would be doing it.”
For her part, the hard work Monaco has been putting in this past year has included a laser-sharp focus on her music, writing, recording and constant gigging with the band, from stages in Toronto to this year's Wine Festival. Their group residency at Niagara Falls’ Spyce Lounge has paid enormous dividends as well, helping them grow individually as players and collectively as a band while organically forging a new direction to their sound according to Monaco.
“We’re getting real tight. Even just my presence on stage, I can feel a comfort level I’ve never really felt before, and I think that’s coming out in the music. It’s a natural progression. I have not forced myself to gear towards this style of music. It’s a natural progression of where I’m going as an artist. For me that’s what’s so amazing out this next album. I’ve never been more honest more true about the music.”
With “Hold Me Back,” Monaco has delivered a bright, brass-infused track that bounces between classic pop and R&B. And according to the singer, the song represents a definitive statement of where she wants to be as a performer going forward.
“I think I’ve worked my whole life to get to this album, the sound that’s coming from the band right now and the influences I’ve been taking from. I think this album best represents music that I have been wanting to write my whole life. It’s all original, I’m on keys again which is something I had put aside for a long while. I’m just so excited for the world to hear this.”
While fans will have to wait until next year to purchase the new album – entitled Falling for the Third Time – tickets to the Brass’d Up Party are available now. Purchase price includes the calendar and a glimpse of the video for “Hold Me Back,” a slick production that features a retro-70s Monaco going mobile with the Niagara Roller Girls.
For details visit http://melmonaco.com/.
(*PHOTO CREDITS: Jennifer McCready of Lady Luck Pin Ups / Hair/MakeUp- HQ SalonSpa)