How do you break free of the label of being Ariana Grande’s songwriter? For 34-year-old Victoria Monet, all it took was releasing a dynamic R&B album that made the year-end Top Ten list from both Billboard and Rolling Stone. Well, that, and spending close to two decades learning every aspect of the recording craft, from writing to producing to performing, and overcoming early failure.
Monet is a classic overnight sensation two decades in the making. After stumbling as a recording artist with Motown when she was still in her teens, she became an in-demand songwriter, writing for many top acts. Her collaboration with Grande yielded the most fruit, including a couple of major Grammy nominations.
She opened for Grande’s tour back in 2017, and last year, on the heels of her debut album. Jaguar II, headlined her own highly successful tour. Monet, who I make the co-favorite along with Ice Spice for the Grammy, is nominated for six other Grammys this year, in many of the R&B categories.
BTW – for the seven artists who do not take home the Best New Artist award, here’s a list for you: Green Day, the Pretenders, Elvis Costello, Cream, SZA, HER, Phoebe Bridgers, Doja Cat, Greta Van Fleet and Anderson .Paak. That’s ten performers who were nominated for Best New Artist but did not win. They all went on to have pretty good careers. Just two years ago, Anderson .Paak, as part of Silk Sonic, won both Album and Song of the Year. So even if you should fail to win, there is no need to despair.