You use to go by Ver$a, but recently changed your stage name to Armani Monté. Tell me about your name change.
Yeah, I was going by Ver$a for a while, but I felt like it was time for a name change. Armani Monté is my first and middle name. It was just time to drop the moniker, Ver$a was becoming a “thing,” and I want the world to know Armani.
What is your musical background? How did you get into music in the first place?
I grew up in the church, and that’s where I honestly got my love for music. My granny use to walk around the house singing church songs all the time, and that rubbed off on me. I use to take her tape recorders and make my own gospel songs. Around the 11th grade is when I started rapping, it was a group of guys in the school rapping and creating beats on FL studios, and I instantly just started doing the same thing.
How would you describe your sound to new fans?
I will have to say, just off my voice alone, my sound is soul. Sonically, my sound is big and powerful. This might sound cliché, but I make real music. My music is straight from the heart. It’s my therapy over instrumentals, my emotions, my experiences, my point of views.
What are your thoughts on the music scene in Detroit?
I love what’s going on in the city right now. I say that because, Detroit is on the come up, and it’s a lot of dope artist like myself, who have yet to be seen by the masses. I love the mixture too, I got mad respect for the street artist, but I really like the more conscious artists in the city. I do feel like too many artist the city, worry too much about what type of music they think people want to hear instead of just doing what they feel and just doing them.
Who do you rock with most in the city?
I listen to Chavis Chandler, Courtney Bell, Scolla, B Free, Malcolm Elliott, Phil Swish, my artist Taye Griff and besides the hip hop artist, I listen to Keely Ferguson, Bevlove and Ashley Sorrell.
How do you separate yourself from other artists in the game?
There’s not another Armani Monté, my music is me. I’m being myself when making music, and when performing. I really feel like I separate myself when it comes to my live shows. I know that being able to really perform will take an artist from running with the pack, to being the top dog. I really try to separate myself with my shows.
Who would you like to collaborate with in 2018? Why?
To be honest, I’m really focused on my own music and my own team, so I will really just be working with my artist Taye Griff. If I had to go get features, I want to work with Chavis Chandler and Courtney Bell.
What has been a stand out moment in your journey thus far? Explain the moment and why it stands out to you.
I have two really dope stand out moments, but if I had to choose one, it will have to be the listening session of my first mixtape Retro 11’s. I dropped the mixtape back in 2015, I had the listening session down at the old Harmony Park studio. The atmosphere was dope, brought some dope people out to listen to it. Nobody knew what to expect, and by the end of the night, the whole room was impressed. It meant a lot to me, because that was the first time I stepped out there and put out a project, and my peers loved it.
What is next for you? Tell us about any projects or ideas you are currently working on.
Next for Armani, is “The Ver$a EP.” That’s the title of my next project. It will be done soon. I want to drop it in April, but we will see. Besides that, I’m just working on shows, working on Taye Griff’s project, and working on some of my other business ventures. I’m a dope photographer too, so I do that on the side, as well direct videos with my guy Zach Lang.
What are the main inspirations for the music you create?
God, Life, & Love. God is the main source of were my gift comes from, so I will always have to praise God in my music. Life represents so much, life is the good times, the struggle, the growth, the adolescence stages and more. Love represents my vulnerable side. Love can feel so good, and hurts so bad at the same time. All and all, those are the three things that inspire my music.
What have you learned from your journey as an artist?
I’ve learned to be patient, but don’t wait on anyone to do something for you, that you can’t do yourself. Also, if it’s something that you don’t know how to do, you can learn how to do it. Mostly, I learned to be in control of my career, and if I crashed, and was because of me, and no one else.
Is there a particular song that never fails to move you emotionally?
Yes, Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On,” that’s one of my favorite songs and that’s my favorite album.
Do you have any other dreams and goals in life that go beyond music?
Most definitely, I have a lot of things lined up, I’m trying to do one thing at a time, so I can have that domino effect with everything I’m trying to do. I have a clothing company, branding company, and a non-profit for the youth. Can’t say the names of them right now, because I’m still getting things together.
What are your main inspirations right now?
My main inspiration, is not wanting to fail. I don’t want to lose, I want to live out my dreams. Most importantly I want to make my parents proud, and I want to leave behind a legacy for my future children.
What is your life motto?
Walk by faith, don’t think I need to say anymore. Walk by faith.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you, I heard so much, and I can say I’ve never heard any just dope ass advice. All I have heard is the typical stuff, “keep going, you’re right there” “you got it, I don’t have nothing to say.” My own advice to myself stands out the most to me. “Focus on my own world,” I can’t be worried about what everybody is doing, I have to do me.
Last question, what is one message you want to send your fans?
I’ll end this interview like I end every show. “First impressions are everlasting, come with passion and you can last forever.”