Amber Monique Talks Save RnB: "I Really Feel Like R&B Is Becoming Extinct"

Page 2 of 3

Crossfade: What's your first memory of singing?

Amber Monique: I would say the very first seriously memorable experience would be singing the national anthem at a boxing match at Hard Rock. That was my scariest one. You can't really forget the words to the national anthem. And they booked me the day of the event. There were thousands of people there. I was scared as hell.

How did you get that gig?

I was actually working at the pool at Hard Rock. I was a pool attendant, and somebody had seen my YouTube videos, and so they asked me if I could do it. I was kind of second choice. Somebody that was booked before canceled on them, so they took me last minute.

Why were you scared?

I don't know. I'm just a shy person. Even now I'm a little nervous. I've always been a really shy person. I feel like I have anxiety. I used to bite my nails, and that's why I have acrylic nails on right now.

I had to do a lot of open mics just to get past my voice being shaky and getting over that nervousness. And even talking to the crowd, when they would introduce me, I would just start singing. I wouldn't interact with the crowd at all.

Was singing something you kept from everybody?

I sang around the house. I would sing songs that I liked. But I really didn't tell people -- I don't even think my parents.

See also: Rap and R&B's Worst '90s Ripoffs

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lee Castro