Victoria Monét always had it written on her vision board that she would one day become a Grammy-nominated artist. She probably didn’t foresee that the achievement would also happen simultaneously for her 2-year-old daughter, Hazel.
After Hazel has shown flashes of brilliance and a keen sense of musicality by making what her mommy describes as “potty songs,” on Friday (Nov. 10), Monét’s daughter became the youngest Grammy nominee in history, after being credited on her mom’s song “Hollywood” alongside Earth, Wind and Fire.
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“I’m so proud of her, but she has no idea. She’s just on the phone watching Baby Shark, chilling, while we’re all celebrating,” Monét tells Billboard after earning seven 2024 Grammy nominations of her own. “She’s like, kind of panicking, because she doesn’t know why we’re all screaming. I know I’ll be able to explain it to her when she gets older, and she’ll definitely appreciate it because she’s already into music and is starting to write songs unknowingly. She’s making potty songs and all that kind of stuff. So I’m super excited that this will be something that she has forever. I’m already thinking about her wardrobe for the Grammys.”
Though parenting the youngest Grammy-nominated artist is a humble flex, Monét’s bragging rights result from her own songwriting abilities. Lauded as a premier songwriter thanks in part to Ariana Grande’s smashes “Thank U, Next” and “7 Rings,” Monét became an R&B contender this year when she released her project Jaguar II. Headlined by her buzzy single “On My Mama,” Monét served Black Girl Magic on a song brimming with positive affirmations and swagger. With her Grammy nominations including best new artist and record of the year, Monét is finally becoming the star she always saw in the mirror.
“I just think this a big deal and is something I always wanted people to see for me and not just me seeing it for myself,” she says. “Today is a big win.”
Billboard spoke to Monét about her seven nominations, finally being “seen” for the artist that she is, and the importance of Black women uplifting each other.
What was the initial reaction in the Monét household this morning?
Oh my God! I actually got a hotel because my house is under construction. I just wanted to be able to have my team over, watch it and celebrate. Pending that we didn’t get nominations, we definitely set ourselves up to fall hard because we already have balloons. We already had champagne pulled out and a TV set up. We were on Zoom with my whole PR team and we’re just super excited. We were hoping for the best for sure, but we were gonna be grateful just to be together and drinking. Champagne had our backs today.
Jelly Roll is also nominated for best new artist, and he made a viral speech the other night at the CMAs about receiving his flowers at an older age. Knowing that you’ve been in the music industry as a songwriter first, what does it mean for you to get honored for a category like best new artist at this stage of your career?
I’m really just so happy. It feels like a long time coming. I guess the easiest way to explain it is like when you have a team that’s been underrated and the underdog for a long time, and they finally go to the Super Bowl — it’s that feeling. As a fan, I’m sure people are like, “See! I told you. I been knew!” And then, newcomers are now discovering the strengths and to be the person that’s on the receiving end, it just feels like, oh my God. It’s such a great validation for all the sacrifices, the hard work and the “no’s” that I received. I love even in movies when there’s this great underdog story, when this person keeps finding a way and ends up where they really wanted to be. I feel like this is the road to that with these nominations.
Your friend and executive producer, D’Mile, was also nominated for producer of the year. Have you guys been able to touch base at all about your wins today?
Yes! We FaceTimed immediately as soon as I saw he was nominated for producer of the year. We FaceTimed him and we watched the rest of the ceremony together. His stream was a little bit earlier than mine, funny enough. So he would be celebrating and I’m like, “Wait. What happened?” So I would get it like 30 seconds later and I’m like, “Oh shoot!” We got to share that moment together. We credited my manager for one of the reasons why he’s nominated, because when we got on a call to go over the categories that exist — like what songs to submit to what categories — we were encouraging D’Mile to submit for producer of the year, because it didn’t occur to him that he should. So he did, and he’s actually nominated. I’m just so happy for him, and he’s actually on his way to the hotel now to celebrate.
What I’ve loved about the success of “On My Mama” is the outpouring of support from Black women in the music and entertainment space. What has that feeling been like for you?
I feel like it’s extra special when you see Black women supporting each other publicly, because I also think publicly, we are pitted against each other a lot. In this world it only seems like there’s only room for very few of us, if not one of us — like, only one queen. I feel like super appreciative when we go against that narrative and support each other, like, “No. There’s room for all of us at the top.” I always look at it like songs are three minutes long and there’s so many minutes in a day, why can’t we all be heard?
I really am grateful for all my sisters who show me love loudly. The text messages are appreciated, but it means so much more going against the grain if you’re being supportive online and showing love. I love to see that and wanna keep that alive.
Seven Grammy nominations and six Soul Train Music Awards nominations in 2023 – did you have any of this on your vision board coming into this year?
Oh my God! The Grammys have been on my vision board since I stepped foot into a studio. I always saw Kanye [West] and his 16 Grammys — at the time I remember he had 16 and that was the goal. I remember I said, “I want 16 Grammys. That would be so amazing.” The Grammys are extra special because they’re not just a fan-voted thing — I appreciate fans’ support, of course — `but it’s different when you’re acknowledged by your peers, or people who actually do what you do, because they understand what it takes, the sacrifices that have been made, and the work that has been put in.
The Grammys hit so different. Today I feel so seen and elated. I just wanna celebrate. I told my team that I wish I had a job to quit because I sure would. I would say, “I’m Grammy-nominated. I quit!” [laughs] It feels so nice and it feels so good. I’m so proud of my team. There’s so many people that go into making dreams come true, and I know that this journey hasn’t been one I walked alone, even though music can sometimes makes you feel isolated. But today I feel seen and just so happy for my team that they were able to assist me on this layup.
I love how you’ve used the word “seen” when describing this feat, because to me, you’ve been “seen” and spotlighted from a songwriting standpoint in the past. Do you feel after today that you’ve gotten that extra boost of validation and confidence from an artist perspective?
Oh yeah, I definitely do. I feel there’s so many things that I can relate it to when I look at movies, or when people try to pigeonhole you into one thing and don’t always see you for what you’ve always been. So you just kind of have to move with grace and give people the opportunity to change your mind and keep putting up shots. I think that’s what’s happening today. The narrative has changed. It’s Victoria Monét, the songwriter and you can officially add [Grammy-nominated] artist. [laughs] I just think that’s a big deal and is something I always wanted people to see for me and not just me seeing it for myself. Today is a big win.
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