Written by RJ Frometa
1.) Hi Monica, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I am very well, thank you for asking.
2.) Can you talk to us more about your single “My Holiday Bling”? Absolutely, I love this song, it was so much fun to write and sing.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song? There wasn’t a particular event, it was the thought of being so in love with a person that when you look at them, they shine. The word ‘bling’ came to mind and so that is what I wrote. You know that type of love where you think of them and want to do everything with them. It is a special time and for many, a special time of year. I just combined the two and got this super fun song.
3.) How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
That’s a story I was hoping to take with me to my next life. Everything fell apart at the last minute and I had to change the whole direction of the video. There are so many details that went awry and if I wrote them all out, you would be reading for quite a bit, and your mind would be blown. I am so grateful to Michael W. Bryant (the Cinematographer) for rolling with the punches, and being so great at what he does, and to Joshua Olds for being the hand and shoulder in the video. And to Joshua and AmiBeth Olds for allowing me to use their fireplace to shoot at. It wasn’t the original vision but I am happy with how it came out.
4.) Why did you name the record after this song in particular?
The night before I went to record the song, I literally heard the song in my head, on repeat all night long, and then I woke up singing it, so I felt the EP needed to share the same title.
5.) How was the recording and writing process?
The writing process was great, I wrote the lyrics and then shared them with my friend AmiBeth Olds and she said “I could write some really cool chords for that” I got excited and said “Let’s do it” and we did. She and I have been friends for years and it was so much fun working on this song with her, I hope we can work together again in the future.
6.)You also took down some of the holiday’s classics – what was the selection process like?
I really wasn’t sure how many songs I wanted to put on this EP or what I wanted to sing other than My Holiday Bling so I went over a list of holiday classics knowing that it would come to me when it comes to me. This was very much a process of flow and not fight.
7.) Why did you choose to take on these tracks in particular?
When I was looking over the list of the classics, I saw ‘Let It Snow’ and a jazzy rendition came into my head and I could hear the upright bass so clearly. I said an instant ‘Yes.’ I chose ‘Winter Wonderland’ because I have sung that song so many times during the holiday season, it’s like an old friend, and I felt as though I couldn’t leave it out.
8.) How did you go on balancing this original single with the music and essence of these two other classics?
I’m glad that you think I did and I hope other people think I did. I love these songs and I hope that love shines through.
9.) Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
My inspirations mostly come from an internal place. For ‘My Holiday Bling’ the thought that a person could be ‘bling’ instead of a material possession struck true to me, and I wanted to sing the happiness of that thought. My version of “Let It Snow” was so jazzy and deep, I just kept thinking of lying next to a fire with a special someone and singing it to them. ‘Winter Wonderland’ was so playful for me, I kept thinking about building snowmen.
10.) Any plans to hit the road?
Yes, in the new year. I am super excited about the possibilities.
11.) What else is happening next in Monica Ortiz’s world?
In my music world, live performances, more music, and some pretty fun music videos.
Listen to the new album here.
This review was originally written and posted by Vents Magazine on December 16, 2019.