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Life & Work with Monnize Wolff

Today we’d like to introduce you to Monnize Wolff.

Hi Monnize, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I was born in a small city in Brazil but grew up between two worlds: my family’s ties to Bossa Nova music in Brazil and Pop culture in the US. The first time I came to LA I was 16, there was one time I auditioned for American Idol, and another time I auditioned for The Voice… I made it through the first round of the voice but was in military at the time, so I couldn’t go to my next audition… that was my first glimpse of meeting a huge group of people so passionate about music I also remember busking in college on the Santa Monica promenade. I would drive a couple of hours just to have that fun around a crowd. After college and a couple of years at home, I decided to move to Los Angeles to continue pursuing my passion for music. It’s this fire inside, you know? It’s like a bug you can’t get rid of. I figured if not now, when? It’s tough transitioning into the big city, even with a degree. When I first moved here, I was a Lyft driver, I did postmates, door dash, instacart, you name it. Driving Lyft, I really got to meet all the personalities that make up this city. One day, I drove this super friendly and energetic woman, Alicia, to the airport. She was thrilled to hear I’m a musician and showed me her app, SoundStorming (an app where you can record your music ideas down and collaborate with others on yours or their track)…so, Months later, SoundStorming had a release party where I got to meet some musicians from all over.

That night, I ended up meeting IRKO, an extremely talented mixing engineer, the one who made Memória EP possible. He liked my music and connected me to Fabio Poian, an extremely diverse drummer from the UK, and Antonio Rebuf, a super groovy bassist from Italy. All of the sudden, my ideas started coming to life! From this, Memória EP will be out Summer ‘21. The EP consists of four songs, charting a year in the life of love, family, connection, affection, and shared story. The last song,“Saudade”, was co-composed with my mom, Josie, sang with my sister, Giovanna, and written by my grandmother, Ercy. Saudade is a Portuguese word that cannot be directly translated to English. Saudade is a noun for the feeling of longing for someone or something. For Erci, her lyrics were inspired by her departed husband (my grandfather) whom she misses dearly. Memória features lush production and a youthful bass, it’s her most accomplished EP to date. She writes from the point of view of moments in time, bringing a perspective of vulnerability and incisive wit to her shared love tales of memory in slow motion. I try to write from the point of view of moments in time, bringing a perspective of vulnerability and incisive wit to shared love tales of memory in slow motion. I want people to feel and be able to relate to pain and happiness. I want people to be inspired to be open. It’s more than okay to love.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, it hasn’t! I am still learning and growing! I have had many setbacks. I have lived in ten states. Some because of the military, others because my parents kept finding us opportunities to be able to be in America legally. They wanted a better life for us. Moving has taught me a great deal about adapting, letting go and moving on. It has shown me different cultures and expectations that I can no longer mold to as time goes on. Being a strong and independent woman has its moments of glory and its moments where others don’t understand. That sometimes gets exhausting as well – having to be the example for others. I moved out at 18. I was raised in church and lead out many praise services playing and singing in choirs and bands.

However, my sexuality did not sit well with my religious upbringing and the community that it brought. So, I found different communities that were understanding, and music helped me through a lot of lonely times. As for a career, music is a luxury, especially in a city like Los Angeles. I went to college for business, and the competition for a well-paying job in such a broad field is tough. The cost of living here is not cheap, and COVID has drastically decreased my salary. However, the passion for music overturns any obstacle. I share my music so that others may be inspired. If we hold all of that energy and passion for ourselves, who are we helping? Some jobs have not understood the value that I can bring to the table since business can sometimes be so straightforward. However, music is always there for me through all of the ups and downs. I hope someday that my creative mind and my business mindset will continue to collide into something beautiful.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m a Brazilian singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist. I love to sing and play guitar. I am known for performing with a smoky raw voice and my finger-picking strumming pattern with a groovy backing band. My music is jazz-influenced pop, and I like to call it Bossa Nova Pop. I have recently released two singles, Respira and Fast. One in Portuguese and one in English. They are both off of the Memória EP which will be out fully this summer. Memória features lush production and a youthful bass. It’s my most accomplished EP to date. Memória charts a year in the life of love, family, connection, affection, and shared story.

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
I like tomatoes a lot, I’m vegan, I’m a lefty. If you didn’t know me in high school or college, you probably don’t know my love for volleyball, basketball, and soccer. Since those days, it’s become increasingly easier to just ride my bike, run, or hike a mountain.

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Image Credits:

Photographer: Jobel Medina Art Direction: Dexsy Repuyan

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What to check out next:
Aleasha Bahr is a sales & marketing strategist known for showing introverts and ambiverts the Secret Art of Subtle Selling.  She personally sold millions in revenue while discovering introverts are usually top sales people – as soon as they stop trying to act like extroverts.  We’ve partnered with her to produce Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories. Check out episode 1 below:

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