1. Artistic background: how did you start playing music?
As a young kid I was really obsessed with celebrity culture and pop stardom. Wildly enough, my want to go into music stemmed from video games. Specifically The Sims. In the Sims Superstar, you were able to rise through the ranks of musicianship, going from jingle maker to 5 Star Celebrity, and something about it really resonated with me. I know this isn’t the usual “I grew up with my parents playing Motown in the kitchen”, I did grow up around some good music – but it was this taste of glamour and stardom I got from a video game that made me really laser focused. This lifestyle aspiration combined with my love for popstars at the time, specifically the edgier, more out there artists such as Gwen Stefani really solidified the path and passion that would hopefully get me to that dream. So I started writing music at a really young age, I’d say 8 or 9. And I didn’t play any instrument at this point, nor had any musical theory knowledge so I mainly wrote lyrics and vocal melodies. Once I started secondary school, I studied music and focused on vocal performance for the practical exams. During this time I also started attending vocal lessons, and dabbled in guitar and piano but no instrument really struck a chord with me due to my lack of patience and the fact I never truly wanted to be behind an instrument on stage. I didn’t find confidence in myself as an artist until I attending University. I studied Commercial Modern Music in BIMM Dublin and majored in vocal performance and after a few failed band attempts, a change of genres and a few prototype artist identities, here I am.
2. What are your main musical influences?
At the moment I’m really into Hyperpop and the PC Music stuff coming out of London. I love Charli XCX, 100 Gecs, SOPHIE, A.G. Cook. I love the combination of really bright bubblegum pop and edgy EDM and trap influences, which is ultimately what Hyperpop is.
3.Tell Us about your Latest release?
So, the song is titled; soda pop and it’s pretty much a hyperpop anthem through and through. It has these sweet catchy vocal hooks, distorted 808s and crunchy synths with a lot of glitch effects throughout. I wrote the song around two years ago now, but it didn’t suit the band I was working with at the time so I held off on it for a future solo project. Then in October 2019, I started working with another Dublin artist, Viscose. Together we were able to piece together the vision for the track and I’m pretty happy with the outcome. I had to actually buy all the recording equipment myself during the Lockdown to record, because we went into a full Lockdown a few weeks before I was set to record the track in-studio. So it was stressful, but I learned a lot about recording and DAW’s.
4. Tell us about what inspires your music videos, visuals etc.
Visually I’m really inspired by a lot of Y2K aesthetics, high gloss, early 2000s with some’s 90s edginess and attitude incorporated into it. This stuff can be seen in my single artwork for soda pop, and other visuals displayed across my social medias. The green slime is a huge part of my brand atm, it can be seen all over my visual work. And to me it kinda’ represents that 90s, kids with attitude, nickelodeon aesthetic. And then I’ve combined it with the high gloss Y2K aesthetic, and some neon colours.
5. Who inspires your lyrics?
Pop culture highly inspires my lyrics. I like referencing popular brands, moments, products etc. In soda pop alone I mention Charli XCX, Barbie and Ken, Ferrari, Atari. And the lyrics of the song itself is actually a narrative on pop artistry in the modern music industry. I use a lot of metaphors and humour to compare pop stars to highly manufactured products, and their disposability. I think ironic humour is a very common thread throughout all my song lyrics, they’re pretty tongue in cheek and kind of intentionally cheesy – and just have a lot of humour to them.
6. What inspires your style?
Once again my highly based off the early 2000s skater aesthetic and streetwear. I love beanies, oversized shirts, tartan bottoms, netted tops, platform shoes. I think it’s mainly stuff I grew up seeing in the media, and in tv shoes and music videos. And I feel like I’m able to be that person I grew up admiring.
7. How is the current scene treating you and alt pop artists like you?
It depends. The thing about hyperpop artists is we kind of fit into this odd space in music. We’re considered too experimental to be pop, but we’re also considered too pop to be alternative or experimental. I think there’s still a lot of popular discourse regarding the hyperpop genre and whether it really has artistic integrity or whether it’s really loud, chaotic, cheesy trash. So I think we’re still in a battle to prove the genre has artistry. And I think we’ve gotten the critics on our side, with the likes of Charli XCX, 100 Gecs and SOPHIE consistently releasing critical acclaimed body’s of work. So it’s just about showing that artistry to the masses. ‘Cause I’m sure the mainstream industry has a little bit of fear promoting us to the larger audience.
8. Top 3 dream collabs?
Charli XCX, Dylan Brady and Gwen Stefani. I’d love to feat. on a Charli XCX track. I’d love to do a Dylan Brady produced track because his production is just ridiculously sick and innovative. And then I’d love to have Gwen Stefani hop on a hyperpop song, she has some earlier solo tracks that bleed into the genre and I think it’d be so cool to just see her tear up that type of song again.
As a pop culture stan throughout his childhood, Monroe garnered a passion for
songwriting, performance and fashion in his early teens. He now has his sights set on a
future in pop music – intending to innovate and push boundaries within the Dublin music
scene. Influenced by the British PC Music scene, and artists such as SOPHIE, Charli
XCX and A.G. Cook, he creates music that is chaotic, futuristic, sweet, vulnerable, and
full of attitude. He’s a BA graduate of BIMM Dublin and recently returned to BIMM to
pursue an MA in Popular Music Practice. During his time in BIMM, he also helmed an
80s inspired synth pop band called Apollo 6, spending just over a year with them before
pursuing a solo career.