• 3 min read

Melbourne’s MONRXE has made a strong one with the release of her debut single, ‘BAD4YA’.

Built upon a bed of lived experiences, drawing from a rich and vibrant sonic palette of influences, the track is an insight into a fresh new voice and perspective to come out of the Melbourne R&B scene. Though this is her first release under the MONRXE moniker, the artist has been evolving her craft from a young age; a natural performer who has established a reputation for herself as a strong and dynamic vocalist in other outfits, MONRXE is now ready to step out into a spotlight all her own.

As MONRXE describes, ‘BAD4YA’ is an observation on life lived as a Black woman growing up in Australia. Spending these formative years in Queensland, MONRXE experienced multiple forms of racial discrimination and fetishisation; with her music, she has channeled the feeling of hurt, confusion and frustration into music that is impossible to steer away from.

Speaking about the single, MONRXE explained, “‘BAD4YA’  explores multifaceted layers of systemic fetishiation of Black women within a world of white privilege. Particularly, when it comes to oppressive views that the Black woman should be seen and  not heard. The idea that white society loves black culture, but not Black issues is sad; really dehumanising.”

“‘BAD4YA’ speaks of such experiences where partners outside of my culture would be drawn to the fact that I was a well spoken Black woman. I was opposed to preconceived stereotypes of their experience with Black women portrayed in the media. That was the limit to how I was permitted to behave. I wasn’t allowed to contest treatment of racial discrimination, nor voice my authentic opinions from a Black perspective. If I ever did contest, my reputation was villainised. I had to remain in a state of code switching in order to be accepted as safe."

On ‘BAD4YA’, MONRXE worked with David Hull aka DrasOnThaBeat on production, with mastering handled by Ivan Choi Khatchoyan (Choi Productions); mixing and arranging handled by the talented Hudson James Jr (Baro, Hanoq) and Nightwrk aka Dosplay Productions at Hit_Inc in North Melbourne.

The arrival of ‘BAD4YA’ coincides with MONRXE’s debut live appearance with the project at this year’s Leaps and Bounds Festival in July. Conceptualising a show that exists to push the boundaries of R&B in a similar way to Teyana Taylor, MONRXE has been working with visual and lighting designer Rhys Newling (Sampa The Great, Hiatus Kaiyote) to bring her vision to life. 

MONRXE further added, “I’ve always told myself that if I were to release my original music, it had to be done right from the very beginning to not only make a statement, but to set a minimum standard for myself. To encourage myself to only go forwards in performance innovation and to never go back."

"I’ve always imagined a full show with choreography to be like the artists that I looked up to growing up. The Michael Jackson World History Tour in Adelaide was my first ever concert. I was probably about five years old, but I was always drawn to how both he & his sister Janet would perform. It was like the music was an extension of their bodies, they become not only the vocals, but a pure expression of the instrumentals themselves. That is when I knew that I wanted to create music that I could dance to. I couldn’t help but move. I even more so wanted to create that magic I saw as a child come to life on my own stage.“

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