50 Shades of Music, and a chat with Mona Lissa
On Sunday, you can get a taste of some of the city's most promising indie talent at an event entitled 50 Shades of Music. Always the trooper, I set out to find out exactly what it is all about, and whether it has anything to do with a certain rather controversial book. You know what I'm talking about. Here's a little virtual chat I had with singer-songwriter Mona Lissa Chanda, who will be performing at the event along with some more of Montreal's young up-and-comers.
What is the idea behind this event and how did it come to be organized?
Nancy-Ann Michaud, Andrew Sutton and I met via an online networking site for musicians. We were fans of each other's music and wanted to create an event that would showcase our talent.
Does the name of the event have anything to do with a certain pseudo-porn book?
Yes, it certainly does. We wanted a name that reflected the intimate, bold, confessional nature of the stories with tell in our music. The music is also very eclectic. And we are, of course, young and hot :)
What can people expect at the event?
People can expect to see three exciting young singer-songwriters perform in a warm, intimate setting. They will hear music that they can deeply relate to on topics such love, lust, fear and loneliness.
Andrew Sutton will also be performing at 50 Shades of Music
What is your musical background? What got you started making music?
I have experience singing in the classical Bel Canto style, jazz and pop, and started playing guitar at the age of 13. I have been writing lyrics and been active in the spoken word/poetry scene for 15 years. I was honing my skills for two years in Chicago.
What are some of your influences? What inspires your music?
My influences include singer/songwriters Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, Tracy Chapman, Tom Waits. I'm also heavily influenced by jazz composers such as Cole Porter and Duke Ellington, Latin Jazz (especially Brazilian Jazz), blues artists such as Robert Johnson, Howlin' Wolf and Bessie Smith, German Cabaret songs of Kurt Weill/Bertolt Brecht. Finally, being of part Asian background, I really adore the classical Indian Music and Middle Eastern music I was exposed to as a child.
What is your favourite thing about the Montreal music scene?
Montreal is a city where people dare to push the envelope. Not only
are there a wealth of incredibly talented musicians here, but they are
fearless in their creative expression. They take pleasure in
What's next for you?
I just recently formed the band, Mona Lissa & The Brink with Tasso Goudis (guitar), Matt Bergbusch (bass) and Francis Laliberté (drums). This will be our very first live appearance together as a band. Our next steps are to record and release a full-length studio album and a live album.
50 Shades of Music
September 2nd at Piranha Bar
680, Ste-Catherine West
8$ in advance, 10$ at the door