Emanating from ATX is singer, songwriter and mentor, Monae Miller, who recently released a string of songs that capture the essence of her powerful narrative, #foreveralive. As an independent recording artist, Miller is consumed by the work of salvation and restoration. Her relentless desire to speak, write and teach from the heart of a servant is felt and heard in her music. BlackGospel.com engaged the bohemian minstrel to discuss her music, her ministry and her mission, designed to bring life forevermore.
Christopher Heron: Let’s start with a few of your favorite things. For instance, what instrument best represents your personality and expression, as a worshipper, and why?
Monae Miller: Definitely the guitar because it just feels natural with me singing with my guitar. It demands attention because it is an intimate worship experience. I love the piano too but the guitar just seems more like me and I can take it anywhere.
Christopher Heron: Your musical style clearly has a soulful edge to it. Who are a few artists that influenced and impressed your artistic approach, as a musician and performer?
Monae Miller: I actually did a tribute concert to my musical inspirations a few weeks ago. I sang songs from Nina Simone, Jill Scott, India Arie, and Tweet. Four women that helped shape my soulful sound and all storytellers with their music. I only hope I can be as clear in my message of faith, love, and ministry in my artistry.
Christopher Heron: Are you an artist that’s evolved into a worship leader or a born worshipper with an equal interest in artistry?
Monae Miller: I think I have always been a worshipper at heart and then the recording artist part came last as God’s words began to flow through me in songs. I became a songwriter with a worshipper’s heart.
Christopher Heron: What is your favorite Bible text and why does it holds so much value to you?
Monae Miller: I have always been drawn to the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2-3. In these chapters, God created man and woman, gave them a purpose, gave them a warning, then they were tested. In this test came revelation of flesh and worldly desires, and we all know that story of the fall of man. That struggle between right and wrong is prevalent today. Even though we may get confused or misguided as did Adam and Eve, we must not hate the truth and love lies.
Christopher Heron: You’ve committed so much of your life to service and ministry. Could you speak to the many compassionate endeavors you pursue and why these projects are important to you?
Monae Miller: I volunteer as a phlebotomist at a clinic that provides access to prevention of HIV medications called PrEP. This is so important to me because of the lives that are affected by HIV and AIDS. We are so close to a cure but I am glad there is medicine that can prevent this horrible disease and there are non-profits out there willing to make it easier to obtain. I am also hosting a benefit concert soon for the Rites of Passage program in Austin that helps young people learn to be character and Christ-centered individuals. It means a lot to me because I am a graduate of the program and I learned so much about humility and love that I would like to give back to this program so they can provide scholarships and educational experiences for those growing up now.
Christopher Heron: I love the title of your latest EP, #foreveralive. It’s so millennial, so seeped in social media vernacular. Why did you elect to call this project #foreveralive? What is this album title saying?
Monae Miller: I love the concept of being forever alive in Christ. All things become new when you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. If Christ lives in your heart and he has overcome the power of death then you have that same power in Him. You will continue to have that freedom and newness in Him.
Christopher Heron: What do you hope to leave with the listener after they lend an ear to all 5 tracks?
Monae Miller: I hope that after listening to my project, people are engaged to participate in the #ForeverAlive movement of sharing their testimony with others. Someone’s breakthrough is tied up in the testimony you are ashamed to tell. I hope they are also moved to experience Christ in a new way that involves intimate worship and relationship.
Christopher Heron: What’s next for Monae Miller?
Monae Miller: I have been hosting a bible study on Saturdays on Google Hangout On Air and YouTube Live called The Institute. I have even recently turned it into a meet up in Austin, TX. I have an event coming up April 15, 2017 called Music and Conversation that will include my acoustic guitar gospel music set, gourmet food, poetry, a live art demonstration, and blogging. My next project will be called Forbidden Fruit and it will be more acoustic and raw. Be on the look out next year. I have already started recording. Follow me and my ministry by visiting www.monaemiller.com and joining my email list.