Victoria Monét Had One Hell Of A Year
“I’m honored to have all of these firsts happen in a row. It also tells me that this was the right time."
On "Stop (Askin' Me 4Shyt)" — one of the standout tracks off Victoria Monét's debut album, JAGUAR II — she sings, "It ain't even Christmas, and it ain't your birthday / So why you callin' me with a wish list?" But fans needn't worry: The 10-time Grammy nominee is "so excited" to make some of their holiday wishes come true via Postmates' #BetterThanSanta campaign. "It just gets everybody in the giving spirit," Monét, who says gift-giving is her love language, tells Elite Daily.
Until Dec. 13 at 5 p.m. EST, you can enter the sweepstakes by leaving a comment with your wish under Postmates and Monét’s joint Instagram post while using the #BetterThanSanta and #PostmatesGiveaway hashtags. On Tuesday, Monét also passed out free hot cocoa, burgers, fries, and grilled cheese sandwiches in exchange for toy donations at The Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles. In addition, Postmates will donate to Alliance of Moms in Monét’s name.
Doing good for others, especially her fans, puts Monét in a state of gratitude — and the 34-year-old artist has plenty to be grateful for this year. The Sacramento native has been dropping music for nearly a decade. But the release of JAGUAR II earned her a whopping seven nominations at the 2024 Grammys, including Best New Artist, and Record of the Year for her breakthrough hit "On My Mama" — accompanied by a Y2K-themed music video that boasts 22 million views on YouTube. One of Monét's Grammy nods is even making history: Her 2-year-old daughter Hazel is the youngest Grammy nominee in history since JAGUAR II's penultimate track, "Hollywood," which features Hazel's first laughs, is up for Best Traditional R&B Performance.
One of my biggest wishes is to be a Grammy-winning artist. This year, it seems that I'm well on the way to that becoming a possibility.
"I'm fully aware that what I do is supported by so many people. Without their acknowledgment of my music, it wouldn't mean a thing to anybody," Monét tells me over the phone while getting glammed up for her first-ever Art Basel experience followed by Teyana Taylor's birthday party later that night.
So, how does she plan to celebrate if she wins her first Grammy? "I probably will do a lot of crying and cheersing of champagne with everybody who helped get the project and get me to this point," she says. "My daughter may be asleep by the end of the ceremony, so I'd have to delay her celebration until the next day, but we'll probably toast to some Martinelli's apple juice."
Below, Monét discusses her exciting year, being serenaded by R&B heartthrob Usher, and what's in store for 2024.
Elite Daily: Your Postmates partnership is all about granting wishes. What's at the top of your wish list career-wise?
Victoria Monét: One of my biggest wishes is to be a Grammy-winning artist. This year, it seems that I'm well on the way to that becoming a possibility.
At the top of my wish list, though, is happiness because one of the reasons I chose music as a career path is because I actually love to do it. It's something I'm passionate about, it's something that inspires me and puts me in a great mood. It's another way for me to give to the world — my creativity and my perspective can be of service. But in doing so, I want to make sure that I'm maintaining a level head and that none of it becomes too serious and too stressful because there are a lot of other jobs that are a lot more serious, like curing cancer. I'm just so thankful and excited that I get to make music that so many people appreciate.
ED: After writing hit songs for artists like Ariana Grande, Chloe x Halle, and Blackpink, the success of "On My Mama" repositioned you as a star in your own right. It led to your first headlining tour, first solo Billboard Hot 100 entry, and first solo Grammy nominations. Which accolade surprised you the most?
VM: The Grammy nominations were very shocking to me, especially the amount. That part is really blowing my mind. Even if you feel like your work may be Grammy-worthy, or even if you're a fan and you feel like something you adore is Grammy-worthy, the Recording Academy may have a different opinion.
I would summarize 2023 as my most proud year career-wise. I moved to Los Angeles 14 years ago and I was just trying to accomplish so many goals. I thought it was time then, but it's really God's timing.
I’m honored to have all of these firsts happen in a row. It also tells me that this was the right time because sometimes accolades can be spaced out, so I love that they're just coming. Like tumbleweeds, they're just gathering and building up so much momentum. I want to keep that going through 2024.
ED: What are some of your biggest wishes for 2024?
VM: The first thing on my mind is definitely the Grammys; that's the first big event of the year. I would love to be holding multiple Grammys in my arms at the end of the night for a photo. I see that very clearly.
I want to go back on tour, I want to make another album. I want to throw my daughter a really, really big Grammys party since she's also a nominee.
I met Janet Jackson this year, and I'm hoping to meet a lot more people I admire like Sade and Beyoncé and just give them their flowers and tell them how much I appreciate them.
ED: You recently attended Usher's Las Vegas residency show, where you gifted him a custom Super Bowl LVIII jacket. What's one song you hope he performs when he takes the stage at the Super Bowl halftime show early next year?
VM: "My Boo!" That was really my song. It felt like I was in love in high school, and I thought, “I'm going to get married to this song, I love this person so much.” It made me feel like I had a high school sweetheart, so for nostalgic reasons, I would love for him to include that song.
ED: What was it like being serenaded by Usher in front of such a huge crowd?
VM: You know what? I was really nervous, because I've seen how his previous serenades have gone and I am in a relationship, so I was like uh-oh. But it's Usher, so it was also super surreal and exciting. He's such an amazing performer and a great professional and a showman. I was just smiling ear to ear. My mom was there as well and she was fan-girling, too.
I also took her to see [Beyoncé’s] Renaissance tour. She has such a huge appreciation for artists and their performances, especially since she went on tour with me. She's getting to compare and contrast my show with legendary shows. It's been really fun.
I'm just so grateful that art is how I make a living, because it's really just a mirror of what I've gone through in my life.
ED: With Christmas being less than two weeks away, how and where are you spending it this year?
VM: Oh my God, I can't believe that! You just blew my mind. But I haven't made a decision. My house is under construction right now, so I would like to travel on Christmas Day when the airport's nice and empty and land in paradise. I just know that I want to be overseas on an island somewhere.
ED: Are the holidays extra sweet for you this year given all the exciting firsts you're celebrating?
VM: Yes! But not so much because of my career. My daughter is approaching her 3rd birthday, so she now has a better grasp of Christmas. I'm excited to do Santa activities with her, and she can understand unwrapping gifts and the whole spirit and essence of Christmas. I know how Christmas made me feel, and I want to create that environment for her consistently. I'm excited to try to get into some traditions that she potentially can remember.
ED: The Jaguar Tour sold out in minutes after being announced. What will you treasure the most about taking your debut album, JAGUAR II, on the road?
VM: The love that I received from all the fans was so beautiful. The fact that, like you said, it sold out so fast just shows the urgency and gusto with which they would support me. And the energy at the shows was so nice! Everyone was so kind to each other and so celebratory afterwards, singing songs on the way to their cars. It just was this really great fantasy that had come to life for me.
It was an unforgettable experience, and I hope the fans feel the same way. That exchange of love and energy via music is so refreshing.
ED: What's been the greatest gift?
VM: That I get to be myself. There are a lot of jobs in the world where you're required to suit up eight hours a day and maybe act differently than you act around your friends. I'm just so grateful that art is how I make a living, because it's really just a mirror of what I've gone through in my life and how I feel and how I want to express myself. It's a really cool job.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.