MoTalk Radio With Monica

Monica is an R&B legend who has released some of the genre's most indelible cuts—the apologetic yet firm “Don't Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days),” the sinuous Brandy duet “The Boy Is Mine”—and is still innovating, releasing singles with the likes of Ty Dolla $ign and James Fortune in the run-up to her album Trenches. With her new Apple Music show MoTalk Radio With Monica, she brings all that experience together, offering mixes and commentary on music as well as conversations with big names from the world of entertainment. MoTalk Radio begins with the music, which is curated by the Canadian DJ Baby Yu, who Monica began working with during the pandemic. “DJ Baby Yu is incredible at just bringing the right music at the right time,” she says. “It was really, really easy merging our worlds together. By the time we actually sat to do MoTalk, it was like a conversation between good friends. You get two different perspectives—someone that's never been married, and someone that has, or someone that has one view of relationships because obviously he's a man and they're from a different planet than us. We get a chance to really have some healthy dialogue between the two.” Healthy dialogue is also key to MoTalk Radio, which will feature Monica in conversation with basketball star turned mogul Shaquille O'Neal and groundbreaking country artist Mickey Guyton, among other luminaries. Inspiration for the show's interview portion comes from Monica's own extensive experience in the public eye, which makes her someone people will trust more readily. "Oftentimes, stories take on lives of their own based on how they're presented to the world," she says. "Because people know that I know what that feels like, me asking them certain questions allows them to answer with a level of truth and comfortability that they may not find somewhere else. The reality is that I still ask the hard questions. I do it in a way that it ensures that they know I won't be chopping, editing, or changing what their response actually is." Monica found her first two subjects organically, reaching out to people with whom she'd already connected and who had life experiences that she wanted to dig into more deeply. "Shaquille is like a brother to me," she says. "He's always been a part of my family and my extended family. He's always been really concerned with, protective towards myself and my children. But he's experienced a lot in his career and he's always been able to elevate it. No one can bring the funny, bring the life to a party like Shaquille. But there's also a very serious side to him. He's experienced love and marriage and divorce and raising children, and those are the topics we really got into." Her friendship with Guyton, meanwhile, was the result of a meeting at the 2022 CMT Awards, where Monica performed. "She and I had a really genuine conversation backstage, and it led to me interviewing her," says Monica. "She also understands what it's like to be an African American in the country music space. There was one reporter in particular that wasn't very kind to me after the CMT Awards, and I happily addressed him in the manner that I felt best. She really rallied behind me, and it made me want to talk to her about her experiences." Monica is still lining up guests for the rest of the season, and she has a wish list for future subjects—although establishing bonds with them first is key. "I absolutely would love to interview Lizzo and Janelle Monáe," she says. "As much as I do the reaching out, I want to keep that personal touch throughout it." Most importantly, Monica wants MoTalk Radio to be a place where an audience can find something to make their day better, whether because of a song that sparks a memory or an anecdote from a guest. "I want it to help you get through your day if you're having a difficult one, if you're sitting in traffic," she says. "I want it to really be an easy listen from start to finish." MoTalk Radio with Monica airs Saturdays at 3 pm PT on Apple Music Hits.

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