I’m an operatic piano pop singer-songwriter currently based in Melbourne, originally from Toronto, Canada. I perform live gigs internationally, write and record my original music. I’m currently in the process of recording my next album which will be released in 2020. I’m doing this as a side hustle and hoping for it to be full time. I have a day job to help pay the bills.
I do usually have a videographer/ director that records my live music videos and story based music videos. I usually do my own performing, makeup, hair, etc. I do have one music video that had a bigger team (director, videographers, set designers, makeup artist, stylist) which was filmed in Kelowna.
I started taking piano lessons at the age of 7 and voice lessons in my university years. I have years of classical music training - I’ve been a professional musician since I was a teenager, my professional music career starting in musical theatre, concerts, operas. I also teach piano and voice lessons. At the moment I’m really focusing on my singer-songwriter career.
As a musician, you always have to have music and video content. I create content so I can let my fans know what I’m up to and share it with the world.
In the beginning I used Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bandcamp and iTunes.
For all video content I use Youtube and Facebook. For all music tracks, I use multiple platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Deezer etc.
My most inspirational quote that I try to follow is a quote by Freddie Mercury “ I won't be a rock star. I will be a legend.” Queen is my favourite band so whenever I’m feeling down I listen to their music.
At the moment I don’t have a favourite content creator. I really like following a bunch of different content creators. I guess the main creators I follow are musicians, artists, comedy, lifestyle and animal channels/accounts. What has kept me motivated are other musicians and artists. Being in the artistic world is pretty tough but I always get inspired looking at what my fellow colleagues are doing with their careers and what big name musicians are accomplishing.
I usually get my inspiration from the lyrics of the song I wrote or if I’m covering a song. I also get inspiration from other artist’s music videos, film, etc. I write them down in a notebook or on my phone and when ideas come up I write it down immediately so I don’t forget.
I handle mental block by trying not to think too much and not make things complicated. When I judge myself on how I’m doing something that’s the moment where I can’t create freely. Judging yourself is your worst enemy as it leads to doubt and you forfeit the creative process. There are no dumb ideas!
When I’m in an actual mental block I step away from what I’m doing. I exercise, go see friends, listen to some music, watch a movie, or do something else creative. I have to get inspired again in order to end the mental block. For me inspiration can come from any outside source so I have to stop the creative process and just live in the moment doing something else.
I would recommend writing or recording any ideas immediately. The moment you have an idea pop in your head write it down. In my case I usually record a song idea on my phone. Everyone has a phone so use it anywhere as your recording device. If I want to do a song recording session I use the software Logic.
For video and photo editing my videographer/photographer does this for me. They use Final Cut Pro for video, Adobe Photoshop for photos. For recording audio and music I record using Logic. I didn’t have any experience beforehand with these softwares. I was taught by my partner or learnt things from Youtube.
If I do any blog videos on my own I use my iPhone and use iMovie.
I am on the following social media platforms:
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/monique_angele/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/monique_angele
Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/monique_angele
I watch other Youtube videos to get ideas on how to grow my accounts and fan base.
I was scared that people would not like my content and think my music wasn’t good. With negative comments it affected me more at first then I learned how to brush it off. How did I learn how to brush things off? Well it wasn’t easy but I’ve learnt how to deal with rejection from when I first started working in the arts by about the age of 7. I’ve done music and dance competitions which really helped me build a thick skin.
Rejection actually helped me to keep pursuing my dreams and goals. Negative comments or criticism doesn’t affect me so much anymore. I think to myself that I’m the one who is putting myself out there and following my passion. Some people are haters and you just have to keep going because the only person stopping you is you!
I’m used to performing in front of a camera because I perform live gigs constantly. Talking in front of a camera is something I’m not as comfortable with.
I try to post consistently every week with my social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. With new videos and music I don’t post that consistently but I’m working on posting more.
I received some advice from friends who work in marketing and social media.
The hardest thing building my brand was creating interesting content. I’m still working on the consistency but it is also important to create engaging content and promoting it. I’m still working on building my fan base at the moment. I have been creating content since 2014.
I would advise to not think too much when creating content. You have to just start creating and see what works for your brand and platforms. I think the most important thing is to be yourself and share what you want. When you are honest and being yourself, people really connect with that. I do find there is a lot of pressure to be perfect and amazing all the time but for me it’s not about that. I want to be real and genuine with whatever content I share to the world.
In my past when I was doing classical music full time, I won several competitions in piano and voice in Canada. I ended up going to National Finals in these competitions.
One of my biggest milestones for my own original music was releasing my first album. Also here is a live performance of my first gig performing my own original material in Toronto, Canada. - I was pretty proud of that moment as this was something out of my comfort zone creating and releasing my own music to the world.
Another important thing for me is having people share my content and sending really positive and encouraging comments have motivated me to keep creating. One of my music videos “Answers” was featured in an Indie Film Festival in Canada, that was pretty cool to see the music video on the big screen.
My most recent achievement that I’m proud of is releasing my latest album “Alive” - This most recent album has had many internationally acclaimed reviews from well-known blogs and magazines which meant a lot.
The next big project for me is recording my new album with my producer here in Melbourne. I’m quite proud of these new songs and can’t wait to release it worldwide in 2020!
To grow my brand I sometimes use Facebook ads and Promolta. I usually create Facebook ads when I have a major release coming out like a new music video or song. I spend about $50 - $100 every time, depending on how well it is received. I usually get an alright amount of views or engagement. I also contact music blogs to get coverage on my new material. I basically google music blogs from Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand, etc. and there were a ton of listings. I made myself an excel sheet of all the music blogs I found and contacted (I added the blog name, contact details, which city they were from, what kind of music they post about, etc). I do use a template when contacting blogs but I alter each email so I cater to each blog. I think it’s pretty important to make sure you are taking the time to modify and cater your emails to each blog specifically. I also used a promoter to help me get blog postings in Canada and USA.