Singer/ Songwriter Monique Bingham is My Top Pick for Woman Crush Wednesday
It’s Woman Crush Wednesday and this week Monique Bingham is my Top Pick for #WCW. Monique Bingham has been responsible for some of the most poignant, soulful jazz-infused house music of the past 20 years. Her career began with the acid jazz band Abstract Truth in 1995 at Francois K‘s legendary Axis studios. The first single, “Get Another Plan” received international critical acclaim and was picked up by Gilles Peterson for his UK imprint, “Talkin Loud” in ‘96. The follow up single, “We Had a Thing” penned and performed by Monique, is an indisputable soulful house classic due in large part to Matthias Matty Heilbronn’s infectious house remix.
Once injected into the veins of the underground, Ms. Bingham’s penchant for painstakingly crafted lyrics put her in a class by herself. In addition to her work with Abstract Truth she went on to solo performances with Blue Six (“Pure“/NakedMusicUS) Sir Piers (“Don’t You Love Me“/CuriousUK), Studio Apartment (“Flight“/KingstreetsoundsUS), Liquid People (“Glance Look Stare“/MN2SUK).
She has also worked with some of the house scene’s most respected dj/producers: Quentin Harris (“Poor People“/DefectedUK), Kerri Chandler (“In the Morning“/BiggasoundsUS), and Ralf Gum (Kissing Strangers/GOGO) named Traxsource’s #1 most downloaded song of 2008. Her writing also brought her to the attention of legendary dj/producer Jellybean Benitez who signed her to his NYC publishing house in ’08. In 2009 and 2010 she released songs with Karizma and Osunlade (“Good Morning“/R2US) as well as Phil Asher and Bah Samba (“Run“ and “Do It”/Symple SoulUS)
In 2011, Monique completed her first self-produced single “You.Me.World“ released on her own record label Bigga Sounds. 2011 also brought Monique for the first time to her many fans in South Africa where she was featured at the 12th annual Capetown International Jazz Festival sharing a bill with jazz heroes Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding and soul legends Earth Wind and Fire! Subsequent tours in Durban, Johannesburg and throughout South Africa, Botswana and Lesotho have confirmed Monique as one of Southern Africa’s most respected underground artists.
Her 2012 collaboration with Ralf Gum “Take Me To My Love“ off the certified SA Gold album “Never Leaves You” was a runaway hit worldwide garnering 490,000 plus YouTube hits as of this writing. She was also honored to be the first ever non-South African artist to perform live for a television audience of over 10 million viewers at the 12th annual Metro FM awards in 2013 where her song “Pride” helped DJ Pepsi snag the award for house album of the year.
In 2014 Monique was elated to collaborate with one of the world’s greatest living jazz legends, “Bra” Hugh Masakela when she penned the song “With her Hand” with Ralf Gum for his sophomore album “In My City” about the late human rights icon Nelson Mandela passing in the presence of Winnie Mandela. The latest single release with Ralf Gum entitled “The Pap” has already received international critical acclaim and reinforced her love of and contribution to South Africa’s explosive house music scene.
In 2015, Monique’s 2 decade milestone in the recording industry will be marked by the release of a “best of” compilation featuring a host of classic and rare Bingham tracks as well as new music. She remains one of the most interesting and enduring artists the New York City underground has ever produced. “It’s weird. After 20 years of making music and being on the road, I almost feel like I’m just getting started. I have so much more to say and in some ways I’m more excited now than I was back in ’95. The future is wide open.” – Monique Bingham