Band member profile: singer Michelle Mondesir

Her voice is as smooth as butter, and she also has serious chops for songwriting, mixing and producing. This week’s profile explores the music that influenced the band’s prolific singer and front woman, Michelle Mondesir.

What are your biggest musical influences?

That’s a loaded question. I would have to say right off the top Whitney Houston, no doubt.

What is your favourite music video?

Honestly, I’m going to be that person who hates music videos. I don’t actually watch them.

(She may not like them, but she mentioned Whitney Houston, so enjoy…)

What is your favourite album or song of all time?

I can’t even answer that. This is where the long pause happens. Do you mean of all time?

You can pick whatever you want.

Ok, so I was introduced to Eva Cassidy. Her voice is just amazing and she does covers of other people’s stuff, like Beatles covers.

What is your musical guilty pleasure?

Dolly Parton, because I usually don’t like country, so the fact that I like Dolly Parton, that’s like the country of country music.

“Jolene” is great.

It’s the songwriting. We grew up to that stuff.

What are you listening to right now?

I’m listening to a lot of Syd and The Internet.

Jaina actually said the same thing.

That’s because of me. It’s my fault.

If you were not a singer, which instrument would you choose to play?

It would probably be between drums and trumpet. I love the trumpet.

What was the first song you learned to sing?

I’m sure it was something by Whitney. I remember my mom being like, “ya, from the time she could sing…”, you know.

That’s in the VH1 special

Ya, I know (laugh). It was probably “I Want to Dance with Somebody”. I’m pretty sure it was that song, cause you know every kid likes the catchy stuff.

What was the moment you thought, “I want to do this”?

When I knew for sure, I would say 12. It’s when I started writing.

Anything that brought that out?

No, like I said, I’ve always been singing. Like always. I kind of wanted to be a doctor, but then I was like “oh shit, that means I have to see blood. Ok, I want to sing instead”. You’d think that would be obvious, that you’d have to see blood.

What is your favourite Madame Psychosis song?

That’s like asking me who is your favourite child? I like Mellow just because it’s kind of a slow jam. I also like Dance with Me because it’s just very different from our other stuff as well.

It’s the only song that you get to rap in.

Ya, I just do something that I wouldn’t even think I would be doing.

Until we cover Rage Against the Machine.

That would be fun.

Photo credit: Claudio Paola

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