FabAfriq Magazine

Latest from Monique Bingham,“Best Of The Last” two disc Anthology 1995-2015

New York’s Monique Bingham is one of the most respected artists in Mzansi House music culture. This is no small feat for an American artist. Monique Bingham has been responsible for some of the most poignant house music of the past two decades.

She made a lasting impression in 1995 with Acid Jazz band Abstract Truth. Recorded in Francois K’s legendary Axis Studios, the act enjoyed critical acclaim when Gilles Peterson’s pioneering UK label Talkin Loud released the cut “Get Another Plan” and five ultra rare mixes. The house anthem “We Had A Thing” soon followed.
In 2011 her adoring South African fans got to see Monique up close at the 12th Cape Town International Jazz Festival, where she performed her first self-produced single “You.Me.World”. Reinforcing her status as one of the country’s most respected underground artists – and possibly its favourite vocalist – Monique subsequently toured SA, including Johannesburg, Durban, and even Botswana and Lesotho.
Then she became even more prevalent in the Mzansi mainstream. “Take Me To My Love”, her delectable 2012 collab with Ralf GUM was a mega-smash, helping to push Ralf’s House Afrika-released ‘Never Leaves You’ album into Gold territory and earning her a Metro FM Awards performance.
In September 2015 she released her first album an impressive body of work. The Best Of The Last is just the best of Monique Bingham's work over the last 20 years. Like all of her work, it’s authentic story-telling, wrapped up in classy, kicking beats. Here is what she had to say about it.
RM: You have history of collaborations in your catalog, did you arrnage them or did they "happen"?
MB: Over the years I have collaborated on tracks that were presented to me by producers. I chose what I liked, and what I could write to.
RM: What is one of your most recent memorable musical moments ?
MB: I would say writing a track and singing back-up for jazz legend Hugh Masekela for Ralf GUM on his sophomore album.
RM : Tell me about the new album
MB: MB: I've been doing this for 20 years, in that time I've written enough material for at least two albums.
RM: So how much music do we get with this album?
MB: It's called "The Best Of The Last", and it is a double disc anthology in collaboration with House Africa. It's a collection of my singles from the last 20 years. It also includes four new tracks.
RM: Wow, that's quite a collection of music, and a lot of work putting it together.
MB: The album has been quite a production but it's finished and I adore it. There is an amazing collection of producers and musicians on this anthology.
RM: You mentioned four new tracks, who worked on those?
MB: Chymamusique, who did an amazing remix of “Bloody Lucky”, Todd Terry (Gets You Off'), Black Coffee (Deep In The Bottom Of Africa), and Louie Vega who produced the track Going Up.
RM: What do you think draws people to your music?
MB: I like to believe that the folks who seek me out are a little deeper than the average joker you know. That they have more on their minds than the next booming hit.

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