Flitting between NYC and Nashville, the nascent singer-songwriter talks to us in the midst of new music video release as part of latest album.

kelly monrow
kelly monrow

Hailing from Texas, the alt-country artist Kelly Monrow has trotted around The States searching for a place to call home. Settling on living between NYC and Nashville – two lauded hubs of musical artistry – it’s probably this semblance of stability which helped to foster Monrow’s new album, Scars of Venus. The multihyphenate, actress-turned-musician cites a vast repertoire of musical references – from Snoop Dogg to Shania Twain. Although Monrow’s more unlikely references don’t immediately shine through, “Ain’t Mine” – a track off the album – nonetheless embodies the DGAF attitude that pertains to ‘90s rap.

“Ain’t Mine” is a celebration of Monrow finding her voice and stepping into her power. Feeling the need to empower the voices of those who feel they can’t speak up for themselves, her self-directed music video is the embodiment of unapologetic, playful energy. Stunning in a spectacular rouge chiffon dress, the video’s sweeping camera shots exemplify freedom from the shackles of toxic love, which the artist unpacks within the lyrics. Fit with a smooth groovy bassline, and a voice like velvet – this song without a doubt puts Monrow on the map as one to watch. We had the pleasure of sitting down with the artist, and taking a peek into the inner workings of her mind.

Head below to step into Monrow’s carefree world…

Hey Kelly! How are you? Where are we speaking to you from right now?

NYC! I’m great thanks for asking. I’m just enjoying having the album out and finally getting a little bit of rest.

The title of your album, Scars of Venus, is very evocative; what was the inspiration behind the name?

We all have scars – both emotional and physical – and I think a lot of people try to hide those. This album is all about embracing my past, healing my trauma, and stepping into my power as a woman. Venus is the goddess of beauty, grace, elegance – and even she has scars. It’s a reminder that embracing the perfect imperfections, which is what truly makes us a masterpiece.

You started out your career as an actress, what made you want to transition into the music industry?

The pandemic hit and everything shut down and music was an outlet for me. It became my therapy. I hadn’t really given myself the chance to explore my singing voice. I’ve been writing since I was a little girl in journals, and really just slowed down enough to be able to play. If we give ourselves the platform to be curious and to play, I think we are all capable of making some form of art and magic.

Your music has a very distinct old-school feel, what were your influences growing up?

Ha! I love that you hear that… man I love me some 90s! My producer Sinclair and I tried to infuse these old school 90s vibes because it’s nostalgic and makes me feel good … Growing up I listened to everything from Shania Twain to Biggie Smalls to Nirvana. My Dad would blast Tears for Fears in the car so I had a lot of different music influences as a child.

On Instagram, you noted that your album is dedicated to “all the women before me that couldn’t use their voices”. Why was this focus important to you?

I really repressed my voice growing up, feeling like I didn’t belong. I think women are taught as little girls to ‘shut up and look pretty.’ I’ve always been a rebel that way, and my mom was a great role model for being a strong outspoken woman… I’ve now realised how important it is we teach our youth and people in general that their voice matters. We all deserve to be heard, and I did this album for all the people before me that didn’t get to use their voices.

What is your relationship with social media and how important is it for an artist to employ it as a promotional medium?

I really don’t like social media, yet I find myself scrolling on it frequently. I have to really be careful that I don’t compare my own process or timeline with other people. That’s the real bitch of it, so I remind myself that we all have our own journeys. I also get frustrated because I don’t always know how to put my authentic self out there. But at the end of the day, it’s a necessary and helpful tool to get yourself out there and to truly have a voice.

Who is your dream musical collaborator?

PINK. Dolly Parton. Shania Twain. Bono. And Snoop Doggy Dawg!

Let’s talk about the featuring single, “Ain’t Mine”! What inspired you to pen the track?

I’ve always taken the road less travelled and I ended up getting married at a very young age – getting divorced by the time I was30. I didn’t trust myself about following my own path and so I did what all the other Texas girls were doing (no judgement). This song is about following your inner voice and creating your own path, letting go of the societal bullshit of what we’re ‘supposed to do’ with our life.

How did you come up with the concept of the music video? Are there any underlying messages?

I directed and produced it myself. I wanted something really artsy that showed my quirky side. I didn’t want it to be “pretty or put together”. The dancing on the roof in the red tutu was my favorite part of the video … it just felt right! I wanted an 80s/90s throwback vibe too so I think we accomplished that. Also me burning sage was to symbolise getting rid of all the haters and bad juju in life – not letting people affect you!

You have lived both in Los Angeles and New York City! How different were your experiences in the two metropolises?

I needed both places to experience the growth I needed. Los Angeles made me soft, and New York made me super hard. Both held really crucial lessons for me.

Do you have any plans to get back into acting?

Hell yes! They’re both equal passions of mine. When you’re an artist, all channels give you great joy and really fulfil my heart.

Lastly, what do you hope the rest of 2022 holds for you?

I’m gonna keep writing and pushing my music out to the world. I really want to give this album a chance to be heard. There are some lyrics on this album that I am really proud of and I think can help some people, and bring a smile to their faces.