Lead Photo Credit: Victoria McEwan
Based in Toronto, Monowhales exploded onto the scene with a DIY ethos and killer live shows. Monowhales first made waves with their breakout single “Home” in 2016 which quickly garnered 140K+ streams on Spotify, featured on some of the DSP’s most popular playlists. The POV-shot video of Shaar’s Toronto-based adventures went on to be viewed over 1M times and set the stage for the incredibly creative and clever videos the band has become known for.
Last year’s EP Control Freak, produced by AL-P (Death From Above 1979, Young Empires) spawned multiple singles that received commercial radio play across Canada. Monowhales maintained traction on the National Alternative Rock Radio charts for over nine months in 2018. The first single “Take It Back” was described by 102.1 the Edge as “the track that put them on the indie rock-map in Canada” after it rose to #25 on the Canadian Alternative Rock Radio charts. Follow-up singles “Real Love” climbed to #31 and third single “Let It Go” peaked at #32. Additionally, Monowhales’ livestreamed performance at the Facebook Canada offices had an incredible 1M+ views. Monowhales have headlined multiple tours in Ontario and Quebec, supported popular artists such as Dear Rouge, K.Flay, Sloan, Matt and Kim, and Coleman Hell.
They have also performed at notable festivals including Festival d’été (Quebec City), Riverfest Elora, Yellowknife PRIDE, Liquid Arts Festival (Hamilton), and JUNOFest. The band recently showcased new material in Toronto to a sold-out Horseshoe Tavern crowd during Canadian Music Week 2019 and were awarded the Jim Beam INDIE Award for Best Alternative Artist/Group of the Year and the Forest City London Music Award for Ontario Independent Recording Artist.
The band recently released a new video for their catchy single “RWLYD (Really Wanna Let You Down)” and we had the opportunity to catch up with Jordan Circosta to talk about their new single, songwriting and career highlights.
Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your latest single “RWLYD (Really Wanna Let You Down)”?
Jordan: I remember us all really struggling with our mental health around the time we wrote RWLYD. There was a lot of pressure on us surrounding the release of “Control Freak” and a lot of internal pressures in the band as we questioned the way forward. The song took shape around the idea of pushing back against those forces and the release that comes from failing to live up to unrealistic expectations. We work very hard as an independent band and put a great deal of pressure on ourselves to be the best we can be, but the band and I have learned over the years that sometimes it’s just as important to practice self-acceptance. Whether it’s in the context of music or just our day to day lives, we can’t be all things to all people. I think it’s a relatable feeling so I’m happy we were able to write a song that expresses that idea.
Kat: Can you talk about your songwriting process? Is it always the same? How do you deal with multiple people in the band bringing in ideas, lyrics sounds etc?
Jordan: It’s always changing! Every song starts with someone bringing in an idea, usually either a cool backing track or a melody with some lyrics or both. It takes some time for us to all get on the same page about the story we’re trying to tell but once that happens the songs come together pretty quick. Everyone has their specialty, personally I love writing lyrics and topline, but we all work together on all parts of the song to make it the best it can be.
Kat: What can someone expect from a live Monowhales show?
Jordan: Connection, love, energy, just four honest people putting everything they have into their music. There’s nothing we love more than being on stage and we try our best to project that positivity into the audience. If you’re out there and you connect with that then we get to share a bond that is completely unique and can never be replicated.
Kat: How do you think your sound has changed over time? Where do you see it going?
Jordan: We’re actually in the studio right now finishing the new record and I can tell you that these new songs are taking on a completely different personality to the songs you heard on “Control Freak”. They’re bigger, colourful, modern, and are telling stories that get a little deeper and more personal than ever before. I wouldn’t pretend to know where the sound is going after this, you’ll just have to follow along to find out.
Kat: Has there been a moment in your career, or a piece of advice that has stuck with you? what advice would you offer to an emerging artist?
Jordan: The moments in my career that have affected me the most have been the ones where I’ve realized how little I know. Learning about the music industry comes in stages, every time you think you know everything is about five minutes before something happens that teaches you you actually don’t know anything. My advice would be: have the confidence to create and put your music out there but the humility to listen and learn from the people around you. Build a team of people you trust and manage them well and above all else always remember why you started making music in the first place, it’s easier to forget than you might think.
For more on Monowhales + Tour Dates visit: https://www.monowhales.com