Everyone has their favorites. Whether you specifically express it or it just becomes obvious in some physical form. I have more than a few people who I champion for musically. If you’re following any of my social media sites (most visible instagram) you always see these people based on birthday salutes and random postings from me.
In Chicago during a period where house music had more venue acknowledgement, I used my platform as a Dj to expose people to those artists that I loved (not just what was known to be popular). To this day, based on those who associate artists with me, it has been effective. This is one of the reasons why when some of Chicago’s soulful house lovers (note I didn’t use HH) hear Monique Bingham, I’ll get a text or tag in posts. Some have even asked what’s the big deal?
As a child your parents fashion everything about you (good and not so). Musical taste is no exception. My mothers love (combined with radio programming during this period) of Quincy Jones productions became etched in my memory. When you think Quincy during the late 70’s / early 80’s you may think Michael Jackson. Mike would be the tip of the iceberg. People like Patti Austin, George Benson, Ashford and Simpson, Minnie Ripperton, and Marvin Gaye (to name a few) were all found in association with the mastery of Quincy Jones. (Hmm Quincy is most certainly worthy of a future post) The genres that he fused together gave way to my never ending search for similar soul driven sounds. It is most certainly the reason why, in my adult life, I was lead to Masters at Work and of course Ms.Bingham.
You should easily be able to identify the blues, soul and jazz (at least) when you hear Moniques delivery. Couple the voice with her detailed songwriting (storytelling) and the right instrumentation / arrangement, and you have a sound that pays homage to periods beyond her body of work. This sound is rare but most necessary in today’s music industry. I think the first tune I got hooked on of hers was either PURE from Blue Six or We Had A Thing from Abstract Truth (on vinyl). Songs of self love and love and loss, true to my personal state (at the time) and the never ending plight of humans but specifically black folk. That was well over 15 years ago and she continues not to disappoint. I still consider her to be “The Electric Blues Mama” based the genres she is mostly found under and how she paints a story and drives it home with her deeply felt phrasing. Monique is currently giving birth to new tunes that are reigning in Africa and spreading globally.This has once again shed light on the fact that her music has no expiration date. It continues to reinvent itself and its torch carrier.
Purchase Monique Binghams anthology here ..
I’m sitting here thinking about the possibility that you may not have any references to real house music, soulful house and or even true soul music, as scary as that sounds. This is a part of why those who craft and convey sounds (Dj / Producer / Sing / Song write / or Musician) need to be held at a higher level of esteem as archivists / history carriers.
Monique Bingham, without question, conveys the gift that keeps on giving, ask the babies deep in the bottom (Africa)!
This is why I continue to champion for Monique. Vessels of good energy deserve the highest of accolades…