Menifee Musician and Educator
Contributed by Lucile Harrington
MENIFEE – When Angela Mona was born, her grandmother heard her vigorous cry and predicted she would be a singer. Before she could speak intelligibly, Angela was hitting notes on the keyboard and singing in her own language. Now, 20 years later, she is a genre-bending performance artist who sings in two languages and has been chosen the June Artist of the Month by Arts Council Menifee.
Council president Colleen Ackerman says, “Angela is being recognized because she is an inspiration to many with her dedication to teaching, performing, composing, and producing. She is an amazing multi-talented individual with a beautiful soul.”
Angela was also invited by Ackerman to appear in the Menifee’s Got Talent show on May 5, performing an acoustic version of her most recent single, “Relax, Bro, I Win,” a song about standing up for yourself and moving forward despite naysayers. She wrote the song during a visit to her parents’ homeland of Armenia. She was accompanied at the talent show performance by guitarist Austin Jenkins.
Angela first performed in Menifee’s Got Talent six years ago at age 17. Since then, she has appeared on several other stages in the Inland Empire and Los Angeles. She has covered artists such as Billie Holiday, Stevie Wonder, and Sarah Vaughan.
However, Angela mostly performs her own work, written and composed by her, often accompanied by music videos she has conceived of and produced as well. She has an online presence on several social media and streaming sites. Her style has been described in so many ways — alternative, R&B, jazzy, soulful, dark-pop, rap — but Angela doesn’t like labels. She calls herself a performance artist, and proclaims, “I don’t like to be put in a box. I want to be in my own lane.”
For the last two years, Angela has been teaching piano and voice at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Murrieta while growing her independent music career. The Academy is where Angela began with music lessons herself. Her parents were supportive of her talents. They signed her up for piano lessons at age five and singing lessons at 10, and they listened to her mini-concerts in the backyard.
Angela loves children and enjoys teaching. “I love boosting kids’ confidence”, she says, “especially when they’ve got to go on stage and perform. I love mentoring them, giving them that stamina, that stage presence. You’ve got to build feeling and passion in these kids. It’s not just knowing the technicalities; you’ve got to understand the feeling, that it comes from the heart. I love engaging and sharing honest communication with these kids.”
She could be talking to her own younger self. In fact, many of the songs she has written express support for outcasts, people who have felt insecure and dismissed by others, including herself. As a first generation Armenian-American, raised in Murrieta and schooled in Menifee, she belonged to an immigrant family full of dreams and hardships. As she grew, she experienced some loneliness, rejection, and health issues. She coped by listening to favorite musical artists, like Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, and Donald Glover. She imitated the singing and dancing, studied the lyrics, and internalized the messages. At different points in her childhood, she realized that she was born to sing, and later on, that she had to write.
When she was 12, Angela wrote her own song, “I am a Nobody,” inspired by a favorite video game. It was the first of many originals. “Everything I felt I jotted down,” Angela explains. “Writing became my free therapy.” When she writes, she hears the melody, sees colors, and visualizes scenes.
According to Remix Magazine, Angela broke out onto the music scene in 2019 with her single “Snap,” a song about being your own friend and watching out for others who don’t value you. The melody is upbeat and catchy and Angela sings and moves in several locations in her own music video.
Another creation, “iam. Sincerely, Nobody.,” is based on Angela’s autobiography. It’s a series of performances, cinematic songs in chapters, each featuring a different alter ego belonging to the creator, Angela, who wants to connect with inner peace and her inner child. The collection includes some extras, such as her experiment with AI visuals on “I Brought You Flowers.” Other pieces, such as “Guess Who,” are highly produced with real sets, actors, and Angela front and center. She conceived these pieces, drew the storyboards, produced, directed, and performed. In all her stages, her character is on a mission to find that inner peace, to prove her capability and strength, and to support that in others.
For more information, visit https://tell.ie/angelamona/kLDV0uHe2mWo
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