Success Story

How Victoria Monét went from singing in front of In-N-Out Burger to superstardom

Born Victoria Monét McCants, the pop star grew up as the only child of her parents in Sacramento, California. Her family’s love for music made it easy for her to embrace it. Her grandparents introduced her to old classic music, while her mother introduced her to more contemporary sounds such as Buju Banton’s dancehall, Elvis Crespo’s merengue, and Uncle Luke’s loud Miami bass, as per The Guardian.

Despite her early attachment to music, she started off dancing. She trained in dance groups as a teenager but later took to songwriting. While balancing jobs at a bank and an electronics retailer, her breakthrough came when her songs on MySpace caught the attention of R&B producer Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, who was then formulating a girl group, Purple Reign.

The group became an instant hit and was signed to Motown Records but was dropped during a switchover of label head, leaving the girls “dead broke.” Monét recalled “singing in front of In-N-Out [Burger] with the girl group and a cup, getting people to put dollars in.”

Then she transitioned into writing songs as a means to survive. “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.”

She has spent more than a decade writing for successful artists like Selena Gomez and Blackpink, Chloe x Halle, and Brandy. What is more, Monét is also involved in Ariana Grande’s catalog, including hit singles 7 Rings, 34+35, and Thank U, Next, according to The Guardian.

Despite writing for some of the industry’s biggest names, she remained on the fringes until her breakthrough via her debut album, Jaguar II, and its headline song, On My Mama, a tribute to women who came before her.

The 35-year-old’s success in the music industry has seen her get several award nominations. Three months ago, she received seven Grammy nominations, making her the second-most-nominated artist of the year.

In February, besides winning Grammys for best new artist and best R&B album, Monét won a Grammy for best engineered album. She is the first Black woman to win the award for her debut, Jaguar II, and also the fourth woman overall to win the coveted Grammy following Imogen Heap, Trina Shoemaker, and Emily Lazar.

Monét, a mother, attributes her growth to tenacity and patience.

“I was a person who didn’t go to college,” she told Vulture in an interview. “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.”

“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,” she said.

Abu Mubarik

Abu Mubarik is a journalist with years of experience in digital media. He loves football and tennis.

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