We recently caught up with newly formed LA-based duo The Monroes about their new single and accompanying music video for “Better Half of Me” featuring Walker Reinhardt. The Monroes features the dynamic duo of husband and wife Molly Kate Kestner and Brock Monroe.
With over 1 million combined followers, over 200 million combined streams, and multiple syncs, their first single “Small Town Stars” released recently is a song about their journey and imposter syndrome that can come from following your dreams in LA when you’re from a small town.
We asked Molly Kate and Brock about releasing new music as well as their sound, musical influences, their creative process and much more. Check out our conversation below.
How excited are you to release this new single?
We are extremely excited! We’ve put so much of ourselves into this song & the music video and we can’t wait to share it with the world.
What was it like working with producer Johnny Hanson (aka Walker Reinhardt) on this track?
Working with Johnny was an absolute blast and so so easy. We call him the third Monroe because he really became part of the band on this song. He played most of the instruments on the track and even added in some harmonies. He’s so much fun to collaborate with and we can’t wait to do more together.
When people listen to your music, what are you hoping they get out of it?
Love. We hope they feel our love. For each other. For life. For them. For God. Love is what drives us and we hope it comes through in all that we create.
How would you describe the sound of your music?
We like to call it modern nostalgia. It’s a cool combination of past and present production elements mixed with dynamic, harmonizing vocals.
Who would you say are some of your musical influences?
Brock’s music has been influenced by U2, Coldplay & The Killers. Molly Kate’s music has been influenced by Brandi Carlile, Sam Cooke and Sara Bareilles. Some of our influences for The Monroes are Sonny & Cher, The Beatles and Ed Sheeran.
Did you always know that music was something you wanted to pursue?
Molly Kate: I always knew it was something I loved. I knew I wanted it to be a part of my life. But growing up in a small town, with no connection to the music industry, I never thought a career as an artist was an option for me. So when I was 18 years old and my original song went viral on the internet, my life changed. Suddenly, I could see a path I didn’t see before and I decided to take it. 8 years later and I’m so glad I did.
Brock: Having started performing at 5 years old, I figured that my future would have some type of stage in it. I didn’t know if it would be acting, singing, or being a news anchor. After going to school for journalism, I learned quickly that the news anchor life (plan B) was not for me, and I drove out to LA in hopes of making a living in entertainment. I’m so grateful that I have been given opportunities to perform because it has only ever fueled the fire that I have for the entertainment industry.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Molly Kate: Listen to the still small voice inside you. People will have so many opinions and “keys” to making it in the music industry. But everyone only speaks from their own experience, which is never going to be the same as yours. No one can create like you, and no one’s journey will be like yours.
Brock: Never burn a bridge. Music can be made for yourself in your bedroom, or it can be made for people around the world. If you want the world to hear it, you cannot do it alone. You have to work as hard as you can on your own but at some point you have to take a part of that load off of your shoulders. You need people. And when you learn this, you’ll know how important it is to make genuine connections in this big yet tiny industry and to always be kind to those you meet along the way.
What is your favorite song to perform live?
Molly Kate: Oooh, that’s tough. I think it changes depending on my mood. We have a song called “I Still Love LA” and that one is always super fun.
Brock: “Right at Home.” If you haven’t heard this one at a show yet, don’t worry, it’s coming soon!
Can you describe your creative process when you’re writing new music?
A lot of times it starts with Brock playing around on the guitar. Molly starts humming a melody and then that melody will soon turn into a line and then we just build from there. Lyrics and melodies kind of come simultaneously when we write together. Sometimes we only get a chorus and we have to come back to the song another day, other times we’ll write the whole song in under 30 minutes. Songs are unpredictable that way.
Stream “Better Half of Me” here
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