If you want to know a part of Victoria Monét’s secret to success, look at her viral hit “On My Mama.” She credits “getting it from her mama,” but Monét has been trailblazing her own path in the music industry.
The Atlanta-born, Sacramento-raised entertainer may have had her breakout moment due to the viral success of her “Jaguar II” album, but the mother to young Hazel is not new to the industry.
In a profile by The Guardian, Victoria Monét had an early start as an entertainer performing with a dance camp as a pre-teen. During this time, she began writing music, prompting her to move to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams.
To make the move possible, the 34-year-old was encouraged by her mother to put away at least $4,000 to survive in the big city. However, her big break would come before saving the total amount.
Monét met with mega-producer Rodney Jerkins in 2008 to be a part of a group he was forming called Purple Reign. Originally meant to be on the Motown label, things took a negative turn during a change at the executive level, leaving Monét and her former group mates with nothing.
“There were times I was singing in front of In-N-Out [Burger] with the girl group and a cup, getting people to put dollars in,” Monét recalled to The Guardian. “I was still doing music for myself, but I couldn’t dedicate as much time. It was the way to make ends meet; I was just doing what I had to do.”
Monét did not give up on her dreams when the group did not materialize. Instead, she pivoted and directed her creative expertise toward songwriting.
However, her most successful collaboration would come when she partnered with Ariana Grande. The pair have been working together since Grande’s 2013 debut album “Yours Truly,” but was cemented in her craft after she co-wrote the massive 2018 hit “Thank U, Next.”
In a 2023 interview with Vulture, Monét credited her writing skills to life experience, jumping into the field, and leveraging her personal experiences.
“I was a person who didn’t go to college. I just jumped into the field. I think that’s how I learned the best: just going into it and navigating it in real-time,” Monét said to Vulture. “I learned the most from my own mistakes, not to take certain things personally or learning what’s actually owed or what the right thing is to do.”
This persistence and dedication to her craft have paid off, releasing several projects while simultaneously penning chart-topping hits. Despite these strides, Monét noted to Vulture that she is personally investing in her art, primarily due to her desire to give her fans a robust experience.
“I’m not at the place where I earn money from touring yet. It’s something that I have to invest in myself, but I happily do it because it’s something that I love to do, and I know that I believe in myself enough to know that there’s going to be a return eventually,” Monét said at the time.
“I feel like I potentially could be minimally profitable if I didn’t like to tour the way I like to tour, but I want to bring the band, I want to bring dancers, just making sure I give people the show that I envision,” Monét continued. “Maybe if it were just a microphone and a DJ, then yes, but I have to cover a lot of costs for staff and travel and equipment. I just want my fans to get the best experience and not give them any less than they deserve. So I’m spending money on them.”
Her career would reach unchartered territory once “Jaguar II” was released, led by the viral song “On My Mama,” sampling Chalie Boy’s cultural classic “I Look Good.”
During the 2024 Grammy Awards, Monét won three awards for Best New Artist, Best R&B Album, and Best Engineered Album, Non-classical.
Fans can only hope that Monét’s recent wins are only the beginning of the heights of her career. Based on her past work ethic, it does not seem she is done with taking her career to higher levels anytime soon.