Year in Music 2019

Victoria Monet Reveals Her Favorite Album of 2019

Victoria Monét
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Victoria Monét

For Billboard’s 2019 Year in Music, various musicians picked their favorite album released in the past 12 months -- and talked about why it’s stuck with them.

Lucky and I have been friends for years, ­because he was a songwriter first. He works with the producer D’Mile, who does all of my music, too. I first heard his song “Roll Some Mo” in a meeting with Tunji Balogun, who is Lucky’s A&R [rep at RCA Records], and I knew his voice, but Tunji called him “Lucky.” I referenced his real name [David Brown], and Tunji was like, “Yeah!” Right when the song comes on, it sounds like you’re dipping into another world, and his voice is better than butter. We had just done a song together for the Insecure soundtrack called “Little More Time,” and then he put out “Roll Some Mo” as his first single. I’ve been hooked ever since.

The album is for people who aren’t afraid to love. It has been a long time since we’ve heard a new male artist be that vulnerable. One of my favorite lyrics is “We’d be so much better misunderstood.” We spend so much time on social media explaining ourselves, and this song “Misunderstood” is a way to say, “We’re fine just how we are.”

Sometimes I hear Marvin Gaye in his tone -- it’s not like he was trying to be or imitate him, but he listened to him and absorbed it, and spit it back out in his own way. I also feel like New Orleans in general has a big influence on how talented [Lucky] is, with some of the horns and the strings and the bass. The soul of the project is from his city. It feels experimental; he wasn’t afraid to try new things.

A lot of people are still discovering [Painted], although it was released months ago [in May]. It’s always my first suggestion when someone’s like, “What have you been listening to?” It’s really nice in the car, or around the house if you’re cleaning up or cooking. Some of the songs can even transfer into a kick-back party vibe. If you’ve ever seen him live, it’s even better. It has been at least eight years [since we met], and now, I call him Lucky.

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 21 issue of Billboard.

2019 Billboard Year in Music