Monica Rush is the gorgeous new girl on the music scene that’s creating some buzz as the “Hundred Dolla Debutante” as MTV Desi named her in honor of her hit single “100 Dolla Bill” that blew up the Downtown NYC music scene this past year. She’s even giving away her album for FREE, yea I said it, FREE!! Get it today at www.monicarush.com!! Monica’s music career began long before her ‘100 Dolla’ debut and we sat down with the rising star for an exclusive interview to get inside her head!
Nila: Why don’t we just start with your background first Monica, so our readers can understand where you come from. Where did you grow up?
Monica: Where haven’t I lived? You’d think I was an army brat from the amount of times I have moved. I was born in Virginia, moved to Ann Arbor, MI when I was 6, and then to a small town called Solon in Ohio when I was 11. I graduated high school and moved to the big apple when I was 17! With the exception of a year and half down in Miami when I was signed to Cory Rooney Group (CRG), I have remained there since. I will always claim Solon, OH as the place I grew up…ALWAYS. However, I am a true New Yorker now…don’t think I can live anywhere else for too long of a time.
Nila: Tell us about your parents and siblings (if any,) how did you get along with all of them?
Monica: My father and mother are the coolest most liberal parents I have ever met. I really don’t know any other parents like them. My father is a fricken genius. He’s a radiation physicist and travels too much for work! Books are his friends and I couldn’t have done anything I have done in my life without him. Ugh, I get really emotional just thinking about all he has done for me. I am so blessed. He has been the greatest support system, all the while giving me reality checks even when I don’t want them. Everything loud, passionate, and crazy in me comes from my mother. We are twins, just 30 years apart. She is my biggest cheerleader. She’s a gym fanatic and I try to keep up with her. She just recently discovered how to text message and has a blast using emoticons, even when they don’t make sense. No matter where we go, she makes her mark loud and clear. I’m dying for the day she gets her own reality show. Oh, and she has skin to die for, I hope I look as beautiful as my mother when I get older. She’s one hot mama! All of my guy friends end up having a crush on her…it’s hilarious.
It’s important for me to speak of my best friend of 16 years Preeti. This girl is my rock, my other half, my everything. Anyone that knows either of us, knows us in a pair. If I were Oprah, she’d be my Gayle…or vice versa, cuz I know she’s obsessed with Oprah, so I’d be Gayle. But ya, she is the sister, well, I have always had. And I wish she were a guy and taller, cuz then we’d be married. PROBLEM SOLVED!
Nila: Were you always sure about your musical career? Do you remember a moment in your life where you thought “this is what I want to do my whole life,” that music was truly your calling? Were you parents always supportive of your music career or did they want you to become a doctor or engineer like all the other Asian parents?
Monica: Was I always sure? No. Was I always involved in something musical? Yes. My mom was extremely proactive about honing in my musical craft once she identified it. I remember beginning at the age of 7, competing nationally in classical Hindi singing competitions. My training was almost all in Indian music. I would spend weekends learning sitar, tabla, northern classical hindi music, and Karnatic music. In High School I hit a wall and wanted more of a social life. And I quit everything all together. But , ya, my whole life was music.
It wasn’t till college, my junior year, that I realized I wanted to take my passion for music elsewhere. I’ll never forget the day I decided that I wanted to actually pursue a career in music. I was at a summer internship, miserable because I didn’t love what I was doing. I picked up the phone, called my Dad and said, “Dad I need to take a year off from NYU (what was my senior year) and really get a feel for what’s going on in the music industry.” Without hesitation he said “OK.” Ultimately I had an amazing year off, I met my production partner, recorded a demo, and got major label interest. I did however, return a year later to NYU and completed my senior year. College is important people!
So ya, my parents have always been supportive and I don’t think I have ever heard them even say the words doctor or engineer in the capacity of speaking about my future. They developed my talent and they were more than willing to see it flourish.
Nila: Do you play any instruments? What was the first song you ever wrote? How old were you?
Monica: I played sitar for 7 years and Tabla for 5. I also play the piano, partially self-taught alongside 2 years of lessons. I wrote my first song my junior year of college when I was 19.
Nila: We’ve heard that it took you 6 years to create your sound, a sound that you describe as “a mash-up of electronic, funk, the color gray and a dollop of multiple personality disorder,” what does that even mean?
Monica: I think a lot of what goes into creating a sound is time, rejection, and reflection. Some of the best material on my LP was a part of my demo! Some of the material on the LP I was told wasn’t good enough and statistically has ended up becoming the most downloaded track of all of my songs. I think you create your best material once you become confident. They always say stay true to yourself, and it took years for me to really understand what that meant. I have gone through many obstacles, many forms of rejection, many highs and lows, but the woman I am today and the music I produce has withstood and evolved as a result of all this. As for the muliple personality part, I am creative and whacky. No two songs are really the same and often channel the many alter egos I have. I think this comes from the fact that I moved often and always used humor to break the ice with people. I’m also a creative mind, I’m a performer, I love to make people laugh and engage them, so my music is a reflection of this. It also comes from the fact that I am just an odd person. But I love that about me.
Nila: It must be amazing working Grammy award winning Cory Rooney! Why don’t you tell us more about that?
Monica: Oh man, Cory is the best at what he does. He is an amazing vocal producer. There isn’t a person out there that he can’t bring the best out of vocally. Evidenced by his work with Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, and Jessica Simpson, his record is proof. He really was the first person to ever give me a shot, and for that I will always thank him. I walked away from that situation, a polished professional recording artist. Aside from that, we had such an amazing relationship and shared many laughs.
Nila: What are some of your influences? Who do you look up to the most and which artist would you feel most honored to be compared with?
Monica: I love the feel good aspect of artists like Gwen Stefani, Nelly Furtado, and A Tribe Called Quest. In terms of reinvention, I am obsessed with Madonna. In terms of moodiness, Kid Cudi all day. If you compare me to Nelly Furtado or Madonna it’s safe to say I like you.
Nila: Among artists today blowing up the mainstream like Kesha and Lady Gaga, who would you like to collaborate with the most?
Monica: I really am dying to collaborate with Cudi. We come from the same town in Ohio and are peers, but the kid is just so damn busy these days!
Nila: Let’s have some fun, so if you were trapped on an island what are 3 things you would bring with you?
Monica: A cellphone with a solar charging battery so I could call my parents and Preeti, a flashlight (because I’m scared of the dark), and an ipod (again with a solar charging battery) filled with episodes of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Nila: How do you start your mornings?
Monica: Beeline to BRUSHING MY TEETH!!!
Nila: Are you superstitious? Is there any type of rituals you like to do before recording a song or when you need to sit down and write a track?
Monica: Not superstitious, but I do like to drink a Diet Coke before I record or perform. Something about the drink clears my throat and gives me a boost.
Nila: What is your addiction? The one thing you can’t possibly live without?
Monica: I am addicted to water.
Nila: What’s your favorite food? Favorite drink?
Monica: I love lentils, brown rice , and avocado….my idea of the perfect meal. Fav drink? Margarita on the rocks with salt
Nila: What’s your favorite Hollywood movie? Bollywood movie?
Monica: The Social Network rocked my world. Joh Jeeta Wohi Sikander is probably the best movie ever.
Nila: Who are your favorite actors/actresses?
Monica: Love James Franco and Ginnifer Goodwin.
Nila: What do you like to do on your free time?
Monica: I love running. I really love drinking with my friends, although I hate myself the next morning. The older I get, the more allergic to alcohol I am getting It’s really very sad.
Nila: What city would you like to visit?
Nila: So I’m going to list some words and I want you to tell me the first word that comes to your head, as random or pointless as it is, no thinking twice!
Monica: The Nanny
Hope you guys enjoyed getting to know Monica Rush! Keep an eye out for this rising super star, she’s bound to make a big splash in the music industry!