Encounter with MØNA: "I am a hopeless romantic, so a lot of my music regarding love stems from that"
MØNA's brand new single, "unsent letters," emerges from the shadows. Following the success of her 2022 debut EP, "written in the stars," a heartfelt memoir of love, heartbreak, and resilience, MØNA continues to paint a vivid narrative with each track.
"unsent letters" weaves a tale, urging listeners to reflect on their own worth and demand better from their significant others. Through the exploration of writing unsent letters as a means of emotional processing, MØNA acknowledges the non-linear journey of healing. While "unsent letters" showcases a slightly different stylistic approach, it seamlessly harmonizes with MØNA's existing discography, thanks to its profound and introspective lyrics. MØNA fearlessly confronts the trials and tribulations that arise when one falls for someone who merely occupies their space out of loneliness.
Indie Boulevard recently had the extraordinary opportunity to sit down and engage in an exclusive conversation with MØNA. In this unforgettable encounter, we delved into the depths of her creative journey, unraveling the stories behind her eagerly anticipated new single. But that's not all – we ventured further to uncover the wellspring of inspiration that drives MØNA's artistic vision. And of course, we couldn't resist diving headfirst into the ever-enchanting realm of love, exploring its profound impact on her music.
INDIE BOULEVARD: Hi MØNA, it's an absolute pleasure to have you join us here on Indie Boulevard. Firstly, congratulations on the release of your latest single! I'd love to dive deeper into the creative process behind your new song and explore the inspiration behind the theme of "unsent letters." Could you share what sparked this particular idea and how it relates to the overarching narrative and themes that you have established in your music so far?
MØNA: Thank you so much for having me! It’s an honor to be here. And thank you, "unsent letters" has been in the works for quite some time and I’m so happy that it’s finally out in the world. I think a lot of people in life have been told to write a letter when they are angry at someone, but never send it. It’s a way of processing your emotions and I wanted to take that particular method and write a song about it.
IB: I am fascinated by the unique sound of "unsent letters". Could you take us behind the scenes and provide more details about how you crafted the distinct horn textures and the captivatingly punchy beat that contribute to the song's sonic landscape?
MØNA: I’m big on making sure my music has texture, whether that be a synth pad, strings, or in the case of unsent letters, horns. I worked with my producer, Maya Wagner, to make sure the drum beats had a rock feel to it, then adding the horns we ended up somewhere in a rock EDM space.
IB: In "unsent letters," you mention the concept of emotional healing not being a linear process. How does this theme resonate with your own personal experiences and why is it important for you to convey this message to your listeners?
MØNA: I think as human beings we tend to go through waves of healing, it’s not often that you just cut someone out of your life 100%. You make the decision to stop being around someone but it’s not always an instantaneous thing… In some friendships or relationships you go back and forth, still see them a bit, still have them in your lives, until the relationship fizzles out. I wanted to make sure that “unsent letters” had a feeling of “wait a second, I still sometimes wish they called me, that it was how it used to be” especially in the bridge. I often use the bridge as a turning point in my music and rather than portraying the narrator being completely over their love interest, I acknowledged the pain but with a spark of hope.
IB: Your debut EP, "written in the stars," explored the themes of falling in love, heartbreak, and resilience. How does "unsent letters" build upon these themes and what new elements does it bring to your discography?
MØNA: For me, "written in the stars", was a journey not only literally with the story it was telling, but also musically. It was my very first public release of a collection of songs, and I spent a lot of time in the development of "written in the stars" because I was also discovering my own sound. I was figuring out what kind of music I wanted to create and what directions I wanted to leave open to explore on further releases. Looking at "unsent letters", it exists in a slightly different sound landscape but still feels authentic to myself and my sound. The newest and largest diverson being the texture of horns, something I’ve never experimented with because I didn’t think they’d fit.
IB: Your lyrics in "unsent letters" delve into the relatable concept of falling for someone who is merely present in our lives due to their own loneliness. It's a topic that resonates with many of us. Did it bring about any specific emotions or experiences that shaped the direction of the song?
MØNA: Personally, I feel like I’m always existing in a state of “I’m talking to someone right now” but never getting to the “I’m dating someone right now” which definitely sucks but it means I have a lot of experience of being on the side of someone just hanging out or talking to you because they are lonely, not because they like you. Alternatively, I’ve always noticed that humans, myself included, will show some slight interest towards someone else who likes them, especially when you’re younger. You learn that someone has a crush on you and suddenly there’s a moment of “oh well maybe I could like them too?” So you spend more time to kind of figure out if you do, and that leads to this tainted relationship of “I’m truly just spending time with you to figure out if I actually like you” which kind of hits that same chord of talking to someone to tame your own loneliness.
"LOVE IS REALLY SIMPLE"
IB: As an artist, how do you strike a balance between experimenting with new styles while still maintaining a cohesive sound within your discography?
MØNA: I’ve always said, “I just want to make cool sh*t” and as I started to really depart on my musical journey I just allowed myself to make music that sounds cool, that is what I would want to listen to. Because of this, I’m really aware of what sound of music I wanted to make, but it also means I’m open to experimenting to find other sounds that fit in with my aura. I know myself, and who I am really well, so I’m secure in knowing what I want and what seems to far away from being authentically me. That in itself means that when I’m experimenting with new sounds or textures in my music, I’m far more aware if it feels true to myself or just something that sounds great but isn’t the right fit.
IB: Looking ahead, what can we expect from MØNA in terms of future projects or artistic directions? Are there any themes or concepts you're particularly interested in exploring in your upcoming work?
MØNA: The next EP, that has yet to be titled, as I usually save that for last, is really angry, there’s not a lot of hopeful songs on it, more bittersweet and anger than I’ve ever written before. It’s also even more personal than "written in the stars", purely for the fact that it has two tracks on it about a situation that I’ve been wanting to write about for roughly two years, and I’ve never been able to put to words.
IB: Are there particular moments, places, or even people that consistently ignite your artistic imagination? I'd love to hear about the influences that inspire you and how they shape the unique sound and storytelling in your music.
MØNA: Most, if not all, of my influences comes from everyday life. I am constantly writing, sometimes about events that have happened to me, or to my friends and family, and other times a phrase pops into my head, or I hear a conversation in passing with a statement that really seems like it could be a great lyric or a great topic for a song. As for production influences, I draw a lot of inspiration from Allie X, Dove Cameron, and Thomston.
IB: Love is a recurring and significant theme in your music, touching the hearts of your listeners. How you personally define love and what it means to you. In addition, could you share how love has played a role in your own life, both as an artist and on a personal level?
MØNA: For me, love is really simple, it’s small surprises just because, it’s sh*tty times and good times. It’s never calling someone “perfect” but rather “perfectly imperfect” and knowing that you are whole on your own but even better together. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve actually never been in love. I think I’ve felt love for someone but I’ve never been IN love with someone. At the root of my being, I am a hopeless romantic, so a lot of my music regarding love stems from that. The sadder and angrier songs stem from a place of feeling so close to having love or being in love but not quite getting there.
IB: And the final question. If your love life were a sitcom, what hilarious and unconventional plot twists or romantic clichés do you think would constantly happen?
MØNA: Oh god! I definitely think I would have the cliche of talking to the person who was meant to be my blind date without realizing it was my blind date who I was waiting for. I would also totally just constantly be running into exes at the worst possible times. It’s something that happens to me quite frequently now, not always exes, sometimes just people I’ve had flings with or went on one date with and it didn’t work out… and yes it is ALWAYS at the worst possible time or when I least expect it.
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