Casha Monet’s fans are not the only ones paying attention to the Compton native’s ascension and development in the recording industry. Signed to The Dream’s Radio Killa/Def Jam imprint, it’s best to assume the platinum-selling singer/songwriter/producer is keeping close watch one the songstress himself. The most attentive set of eyes are the ones staring back at Casha every time she looks into the vanity glass.
Soul Train: Some people believe self-evaluation is the first step to self-improvement. Casha, are you one of them?
Casha Monet: Yeah, I do believe in that. Whenever you want to better yourself or just get ahead in life, and do anything better, you have to look at yourself. You have to find out your flaws, evaluate yourself and see how you can do better. That should be your first step to improve.
Soul Train: Okay Casha, now tell me how you apply that belief to being a recording artist.
Casha Monet: Well, you know what? I’ve been recording for years, and I’ve been trying for years. So I’ve taken the criticism Dream gives me, or criticism from other people I look up to. I evaluate myself. When I first got signed I did a lot of songs. When I look back on them I see I’ve gotten way better. I figured out what I had to do to get better, I practiced even more and more and more. So that improved me as an artist.
Soul Train: Be as literal as possible when you answer this next question: What do you see when you look in the mirror?
Casha Monet: I see a girl who is…trying to live her dream. She grew up in Compton, and won’t give up. I see a little engine that could, really.
Soul Train: What is different about what you see now than a year ago?
Casha Monet: Whoa… I’m on tour now with Dream; I do “Silly of Me” and I do a duet with him. So that’s a big change. This is my first tour, my first time living in a tour bus and being on the road. And also…I released a video with Dream! I’m featured on the song “Kill The Lights”. So right about now I’m doing more things viral, and people get to actually see me because this is my first time doing a video where I’m singing ever since “The Business” [with Yung Berg]. So a lot of people are like, “Yay, Casha is back!” Things are progressing, a lot of progression since last year.
Soul Train: So when you see yourself now, do you appear the way you’d hoped to by this point?
Casha Monet: Definitely. My main thing was to put something out, and all of that is going to happen soon. I’m really happy with how things are going and where I am – especially being on tour! I’d just been dying to do shows, and since I’m on the road now it couldn’t get any better! I’m really happy.
Soul Train: When you’re interacting with your fans and your business associates, how important is it they notice right away how much you’ve changed?
Casha Monet: It’s very important! You know what? I think a lot of people notice it right off the bat. Usually the first thing they tell me is, “Oh my gosh, you sound so good! I didn’t know you had this in you!” Or, “You look so good!” I get the compliments where I know they know I’ve progressed and gotten better. It makes me feel good.
Soul Train: Glad to hear that. Casha, when you watch clips of yourself performing live, how does your off-stage-self differ from who you see on stage?
Casha Monet: [Laughs] Umm…it’s not too much different. When I’m up there everyone is singing all the words, so I kinda feel like I’m part of the crowd! [Laughs] I feel like I’m singing along with the crowd to the person on stage, really! When I look at the video footage of myself I think, “Awww…she looks like a little sweet girl.” [Laughs]
Soul Train: You told me before you admired SWV and Beyoncé, especially their songs “Rain” and “Dangerously In Love”, respectively. When you were watching them, how did they appear to you?
Casha Monet: I started out in a group so I was really into the group thing. When I saw Destiny’s Child I wanted to be just like them as far as the dance moves, their performances and videos. I thought everything was fun and just dope, so I really looked up to them. And with SWV…when I was little in the car with my mom I used to always just groove to their songs. Their songs were the first ones I knew by heart.
Soul Train: Besides their sounds, their harmonies, and how they worked together as a group, what else about them did you attempt to mirror?
Casha Monet: Just their success, mostly. And that mostly with Destiny’s Child because everything they did was just so great; their songs were on the radio all day, they had all these #1s, all those Grammys, everything. I was so fascinated with them. When I was in a group, I thought we needed to be just like them – but a little different. I wanted to match their success.
Soul Train: Okay Casha, lets say some little girl is watching and studying you like you’ve studied Destiny’s Child. What is something you’ve done they might see that you wouldn’t want them to copy about you?
Casha Monet: Probably the fact I curse a lot. And I curse in my music. I wouldn’t want them to follow that, especially a young girl. That’s probably the only thing. I wouldn’t want them to have my filthy mouth.
Soul Train: Where you are now in your life and career, are you comfortable enough to advice other people how they can change who they are for the better – whether you’re telling them directly or through your music?
Casha Monet: I feel like I’m just starting…like this is only the beginning even though I’ve been signed for a couple years. Even though I’ve been doing music and all these other things, I feel like I’m still beginning. So I’m still learning a lot as well. What I can tell them to do is make sure they have the right people under their belt and…if this is what they really want, to keep trying.
Soul Train: Well, Casha, this is apparently what you really want. So when you picture your life and career in the future, what is the one change you can already imagine yourself never making?
Casha Monet: This might sound kind of bad [laughs], but I can see myself not being as nice as I am now. I get people telling me I need to start having more of a backbone because I’m so giving and so sweet. Dream is always telling me, “Once you have a lot of money you’re going to have to change that because it’s not going to be good for you.” So I definitely think I’m going to be a little tougher toward people. That’s the only thing I think will change. Other than that I’ll be the same Casha.
–Mr. Joe Walker
Mr. Joe Walker, a senior contributor for SoulTrain.com, is an acclaimed entertainment and news journalist published thousands of times regionally, nationally, internationally, and online. He loves to create, loves that you read. Follow him on Twitter @mrjoewalker, and visit ByMrJoeWalker.blogspot.com.