Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Lauren Silva “Monti”. I am a Los Angeles based singer-songwriter. I built a career in entertainment at an early age landing my first record deal as a teenager. To escape the abusive broken home filled with drugs and alcoholism that I was born into, I ran away from home at a young age and dodged foster care systems living off and on the streets, escaping a life of gangs, mental hospitals, group homes, and drug and alcohol abuse. “Monti” is like the brainchild of me I formed in 2014. As much as I’ve suffered and despite all the struggles, I have persevered and experienced transformation. I created Monti that represents that transformation to be used to empower others, especially the next generation, with the message that you do not have to be a victim to your circumstances.
You had many hardships in your childhood. How has music helped you overcome that adversity?
I always say that my whole musical experience saved my life. The music was a catalyst to do much more. It definitely was not an easy transition but for the first time I was introduced to the power of choice and to a whole new world that I could be in and could accomplish greatness in if I chose to and since then I continuously keep striving, persevering and working to become better as a human being for myself and for others to also make a difference like it was for me.
You landed your first record deal as a teenager. What was that experience like coming at such a young age?
Well actually the earliest I can remember making music and writing a song was at age 7 when I would use pots, pans, plastic Tupperware, kitchen utensils and my voice to create the theme song for a radio show my best friend and I created using a stereo with a microphone plug-in and recording to cassette tapes.
During my teen years when I spent most of the time on and off the streets and hanging out in gang life, I ended up singing hooks for several rappers in home recording studios and that lead me to meet Artist/Producer Lamar Lacañgan. He and his family took me under their wings and mentored me. Soon enough he started his Independent record label; O.Y.I.E. Records and offered me a record deal where we immediately started working on my first album where I wrote my first songs ever. That was the start of my career as a recording artist, but more importantly, that was the start of my transformation. I got so much more than just a record deal but a sense of unconditional love, community, and new possibilities. Lamar and his team clearly had a heart for inner city/at-risk youth and so they later started a nonprofit; O.Y.I.E. Music where I became their first success story. All of this not only lead me to find my purpose in my life but I believe also saved my life as well.
How would you describe your musical style?
Moody, synth, electro-pop, anthem-like yet intimate with authentic lyrics sharing my personal experiences
What can audiences expect from your debut EP, “This Is For You”?
Empowering music that takes you on my personal journey with deep and thoughtful meaning lyrically with tracks that are relatable and heartbreaking.
What are some of your favourite songs from the EP and why?
The single “Echo” for sure. It refers to our voices and the next generation’s voices to be heard. I found that I not only wanted the voices and message to be “heard” but to be a heard loudly as a declaration and “echo” so it may continue on to be heard by the next person as well so they can hopefully be inspired and so on… One of my mentees joined us in writing on this song as part of his first time experience in a recording studio and songwriting. We also had the Hope Generations youth choir sing on the choruses.
What was it like working with Josh Stevens on this set of songs?
It’s been great! I have learned and continue to learn so much from him. He’s been very inspiring and has become a mentor and friend. It all started when I met him through another project I was brought in the studio to work with him on and then later approached him on my vision for my next solo artist project. He saw the potential and believed in it this started our incredible musical relationship with him and his company Stadium Music Enterprise where we worked on bringing this vision to life. When we went in for the first writing session, we were definitely in sync. As the first song we wrote, “Echo” progressed over time, he also found his own voice in the single as he did the feature on it that was also an experience he shared from his own story. He’s become one of my top favorites to work with for sure and I can’t wait to see what we do next!
Do you have any live shows coming up?
Yes! I have been on my U.S. tour actually started May 1-15 with 9 shows in various states. We are currently finishing up the tour in Austin, TX.
What’s the experience like at one of those shows?
My intention and commitment to my audiences in my shows is to relate, connect, empower, spread love and create family bonds. I’ve spent my life adopting myself and being adopted into many different peoples lives and families and I’m committed to doing that same thing through my message and music. Many leave with open hearts, tears, joy, and love and I am happy to say it appears we have been succeeding in that commitment!
What advice would you have for aspiring singers/songwriters?
To find and focus on what it is you really want to say or be known as and stay committed to that as you can only do what you do. And also to think “legacy” as we’re only here for a short time and have been given a gift that has the power to impact people and the world immensely so make sure you’re really doing what you want to be doing as you’re the only one who can do what you do.
No matter where you come from or what you’ve been through, you can make it, if you choose to…
What’s your life like outside of music?
I keep a very busy and disciplined kind of schedule for the most part when I’m in work mode. I start my day with coffee first thing and check my schedule for the tasks and plan for the day. I am constantly working and completing current projects while also creating and planning ahead for new ones. I also make time for social interaction in both personal and business. I also stay consistent with my personal training and life development work I do which also includes physical training in various martial arts as well so depending on the day, that will also be in my mix of tasks for the day. I also strive for balance as that is crucial to my overall well being so I make sure to stay disciplined in even that making sure I have at least one day off a week where I take for myself and for family, friends and loved ones or when I have time off, I spend as much time as I can back home with family in Hawaii.
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