Delivering a dopamine boost of alternative R&B from Dublin, Monjola has grown in stature over the course of his three singles to date. His rise started last summer when his debut ‘Feels Right’ was named as an RTÉ 2FM Track of the Week and continued with ‘Know You’ and ‘Smile’. Growing international airplay has included Radio 1, 1Xtra and Reprezent in the UK, plus KCRW in the States and Triple J in Australia. Meanwhile, streaming adds have included Spotify’s New Music Friday, Fresh Finds and Alternative Hip Hop, as well as playlists curated by Dazed and COLORS.
And as if being one of Ireland’s brightest new prospects wasn’t enough, Monjola has teamed up with another of the nation’s brightest talents, Aby Coulibaly, to release the brand new collab ‘Where u at’ which received its first play courtesy of Jamz Supernova at 1Xtra. Tipped by Notion, “her sublime tone is again the enticing focal point paired with a coolly enunciated flow that provides a touch of her Irish accent”, and described by Wonderland as “taking honeyed R&B to new heights,” Aby’s tracks such as ‘Taurus’ have been praised for blending the empowerment of Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill with the leftfield production of James Blake.
‘Where u at’ finds Monjola and Aby’s melodic voices intertwining so naturally that it feels as if they must have been destined to work together. It also highlights a third talent, with production from Monjola’s young brother Moyo, which blends punchy alt-R&B sonics with old school live instrumentation.
Lyrically it’s a song which looks at how friendships evolve. As adulthood brings ambitions, romances, jobs and new locations into the mix, it’s all too easy to suddenly realise you’ve spent so long apart from your oldest friends. But when you’re reunited, the strength of your connection is striking – despite that time apart, it’s as if nothing has changed.
Monjola explains, “Where u at is about how friendships change over time, myself, Aby and Moyo all related to this so much. Before we started writing this song Moyo got a text from one of his old friends that he hadn’t spoken to in such a long time. It just felt right to write about this topic. Everyone gets caught up with life and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all your friends but no matter how long you go without seeing them or speaking to them, once you meet up it’s like you never stopped speaking”
Aby adds, “Where u at is about reconnecting with a good friend after what feels like the longest time; & how everything just feels back to normal you’re back in touch. Moyo, MJ & I all felt the similar feelings in our friendship groups, so decided to write a song about it”.
Listen to ‘Where u at’ – BELOW:
‘Where u at’ is released on the three friends’ own Chamomile Records label. The song is the latest collaboration between the trio. Aby and Monjola co-wrote her single ‘Maybe’ together, while Monjola also co-directed her ‘Taurus’ and ‘Long Nights’ videos. Meanwhile, Moyo has produced tracks for both Monjola and Aby.
Monjola will launch ‘Where u at’ by featuring in the influential live music series School Night, which has previously introduced world-famous artists including Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa and Miguel. Monjola will be joined by Aby for the first live performance of the track, and he will also be interviewed. It streams live here at 1 am BST on Thursday (5 pm PT / 8 pm ET on Wednesday).