If you haven’t heard of one of the DMV’s most on fire rappers at the moment, let me introduce you: Nia Monaé, 24, who goes by the stage name Pink Moni, is one to watch. It is always a pleasure to speak with her, as Monaé exudes confidence, inspiration, and natural talent. Her style is uniquely creative, and the DMV is lucky to have her as she is sure to soon blow up. Already, she is a 3x Wammie Award winner and has made a name for herself as the first, youngest, and only female rapper to win a music competition in Baltimore. She has amassed thousands of views across her social media, including going viral on TikTok several times.
Monaé’s iconic pink hair and loud style grabs your attention and reflects her exuberant personality. This also shines through her music, which is the ultimate hype music to boost your mood.
She grew up in a family of dancers in Prince George’s County and started dancing at 3 years old – ballet, tap, jazz, and modern. Little Nia would hear popular rap songs on the radio in the backseat after her dance practices.
“One time, my brother and sister were just having fun freestyling in the basement over beats, and I went down and was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I want to do it.’” Her brother wrote her very first rap for her that day. “Ever since then, I just couldn’t stop.” She started writing and learned how to record her own music at about 11 years old.
Her personal style has changed so much since her beginning: “When I first started, I remember people telling me I was a little too old school,” she says, remixing songs from artists she looks up to like Lil’ Kim and Biggie Smalls. Now, she “keeps up with the times,” creating music that people can dance and grow to.
Monaé would describe her music as hype music, but that doesn’t mean she shies away from the craft of lyricism. Her new single, “SWEEP!”, which recently made its radio debut on 93.9 WKYS, is based on her winning streak at last year’s Wammie Awards, taking home every trophy for the rap category. She describes that moment in her career as an amazing feeling; it was the confidence boost she needed to continue pursuing what she loves.
“The Wammies played a huge role in all of my connections and opportunities last year,” she adds. “I hope that people can hear it and be motivated – Sweep … anything you want you can have. Just take it.”
Song ideas sometimes come to her on the spot while walking around the city, then she brings them to the studio; currently she is working with Midnite Recording Studio in Capitol Heights, conveniently five minutes away from her. For “SWEEP!”, “I freestyled my second verse too,” she says. “I’ve never done that. Normally, when I’m in the studio, I like to have everything written.”
Alongside her music career, Monaé also has her own clothing line called $omethin’ Pink. “I came up with the name because, you know, my name being Pink Moni, every time I went to a show, I was like, ‘I don’t know what I’mma wear, but I’mma just wear something pink,” she says. The name stuck, and now fans show their support by wearing her own line to her performances.
Some of her favorite DMV performances have been the D.C. Funk Parade, – “That was my first show having dancers, and I felt like a whole celebrity” – Art All Night, Sofar Sounds, and the RepItSocial competition at The Fillmore, which she describes as an amazing experience, making the Top 10.
Monaé is an example of determination in an industry that hasn’t necessarily been too kind to powerful women like her, and it took her a while to be confident in her own skin and open up about her sexuality.
“I think that I just got to a point where I was like, ‘You know what, God has the last say,’ so I’m a Black woman; not only am I a Black woman … I just cut all my hair off, so a lot of people are going to know like, ‘Okay, she’s gay,’” she says with a laugh, “and I’ll just learn to accept it … I’m Black. I love the skin that I’m in. And I want to inspire anybody to just truly be yourself. Because at the end of the day, nobody can stop what God has for you,” she says. “Just be proud of who you are. Represent yourself; represent your culture.”
This year, Monaé wants to step out of her comfort zone with out-of-town shows, her first one being at the Open To All Entertainment PreShow in Brooklyn on Feb. 27. As a big fan of so many artists from New York, she is ecstatic about this opportunity. Big things are coming her way, including some new music, videos, and collaborations.
Monaé is an artist who is grateful for what she has accomplished so far, and her bubbly personality and fire music is sure to take her even further. Keep a lookout for her pink hair and unapologetically colorful style.
Find more information about Pink Moni here, and find more exciting new artists on our Alchemical Multigenre Mixdown playlist on YouTube and Spotify.
Emma Page, a recent Journalism graduate of The George Washington University, possesses a passion for music journalism and storytelling in all its forms. Originally from Baltimore, MD, when she is not writing, she can be found at a local concert or making music of her own.
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