Miss Monique (UA)

Artist & Speaker

Miss Monique is miss unique.

A Ukrainian DJ, producer and label owner who’s a YouTube, clubland and streaming phenomenon, with over 1 million subscribers and 1.5 million monthly Spotify listeners.

A trailblazing artist in the progress/melodic space with a huge online following hooked on her exquisitely crafted and produced live streams – the most recent instalment of her filmedMiMo Podcast, number 042, a 70-minute Melodic Techno & House DJ Mix, had one million views within a month.

A talent incubator and champion in her own right: this year Siona Records, Miss Monique’shome for other young progressive artists, celebrates its fifth anniversary. Her Siona Records 3rd Anniversary @ Ibiza mix, launched on YT in June 2022, has been viewed almost 19.5 million times.

A fast-rising international performing phenom, drawing huge audiences from Argentina (4500tickets sold for her last show in Rosario), to Canada (her 2022 set at Montreal’s BiosphereMuseum for Cercle is also online, with five million views and counting), to Ibiza (multiple annual shows at multiple venues) to the US (she’s just been announced for Coachella 2024),to the UK – she’ll be appearing alongside CamelPhat at this summer’s Junction 2 festival in London, a show trailed by the honour of an upcoming Essential Mix for Pete Tong. "That's an honour, and I'm very nervous, of course!" she admits. "And very excited at the same time."

And Miss Monique is a breakthrough recording artist who cut through in 2023. Building onthe success of her 2022 remix of Sied van Riel's Rush (the most-sold progressive housetrack on Beatport that year), last year she remixed Sorry by BLOND:ISH featuring Madonnaand Ringo by Lufthaus, Robbie Williams’s dance project with Tim Metcalfe and FlynnFrancis. And she released three big singles of her own: Subterranean, The Morning After(with Paul Thomas) and City Boy.

Those artist releases came via Adam Beyer’s techno label Drumcode and Armin VanBurren’s more trance-driven Armada. Factor in her proven ability to remix across the electronic spectrum and collaborate with producers and vocalists such as Avira and Luna(both on Subterranean), and it all speaks to another game-changing aspect of MissMonique’s skillset: her effortless ability to shapeshift between genres and sounds. Little wonder that she recently signed to WME, and is a 2024 priority act for the powerhouse Los Angeles-based agency’s Electronic Division.

This, then, is Miss Monique’s kaleidoscopic world. It’s a space where her signature green hair (an accidentally iconic look now much-copied by fans) is far from the only colour in the creative palette of an effervescent, positivity-promoting artist who prioritises good mental and physical health. Those ideas are also at the heart, sonically and metaphorically, of herepically uplifting, powerfully percussive latest track, Veselka. Long teased as the opener in her sets, the instrumental was finally released on Siona Records at the top of ’24. The translation of that Ukrainian word? Rainbow.

"Veselka is the last track which was finished in my hometown Kyiv before I had to leave my country due to the war," explains Miss Monique, real name Olesia Arusha. "This track has pure energy, good vibes and is imprinted in my memory like a bright moment of peaceful times. I feel from our listeners they're excited to finally have the copy in their playlists.”It seems highly likely. As Progressive Astronaut noted in their rave review: “Veselka... has resulted [in] hands-in-the-air moments throughout her huge Christmas and New Year shows from Berlin to San Diego”.

But beyond the facts, stats and hits, she’s something more. Born in the small town of Kirovograd and raised in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital where she cut her teeth as a teenage DJ, Lisbon-based Miss Monique is a reluctant artist-in-exile. She's using her music and her performances to spread messages of peace, unity, solidarity and joyful defiance. Two years after she was forced to leave her war-torn country, she’s proud that, wherever she travels in the world, her shows are as much about flags in the air as hands in the air.

“This kind of support, it's incredible,” she says appreciatively of the fans, of multiple nationalities, who wave the Ukrainian flag at her gigs. “But at the beginning, it was very hard. You don't know how to control your feelings. I remember when the first time I saw the flag, it was in Israel. I ran away for a few seconds because it was very painful.

“Now I'm more controlled in my emotions. But I'm very appreciative of everyone doing this, because that means that people still remember, even after two years. They're still trying to help us. The main thing is that they don't forget, and they show that every time they come.”

Miss Monique’s emergence as a global talent came during the pandemic. She was already abig draw at home in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries, her profile hard-earned after adecade playing out and, way ahead of her peers, honing her YouTube artistry. But during thelockdowns her livestreamed sets from her home studio went viral. They were characterisedby high production values, with Miss Monique’s natural, unforced decks-appeal radiatinggood vibes at a time when the world needed them most. Then, as restrictions eased, herprofile rocketed as online fans around the world were finally able to see her live – by herestimation, in 2022 she and her close-knit team took some 200 flights to over 100 events.

There, again, it’s important for her to be an ambassador not just for her country but for abetter way of pursuing both artistry and fan satisfaction. For that reason, “I take care of mybody as much as I can,” Miss Monique says. “Because I want to be fresh, young and healthyas long as possible.”

And, of course, that clean-living and progressive mental attitude helps with a productivity thatis as boundless as it is impressive. In 2024 she’ll be using her new global partnership withtalent agency WME to expand the activities of Siona Records in promoting the new artistsshe and her team have discovered and are supporting. She’ll be touring wherever the musictakes her. In the earliest weeks of the year alone those bookings include stops in Italy,Montreal, Andorra, Bali and Amsterdam with, down the line, slots on the Main Stage atTomorrowland and the Carl Cox stage at Ultra Miami. There’s talk, too, of a fashioncollaboration on her own capsule collection, with that signature look having drawn attentionfrom various brands.

And, after Veselka, she’ll be releasing multiple new tracks.

“I’m always testing my new music in the clubs, because it's very important to me to first of allsee how it's working, then I do some more edits. Only then do I release the music.”Somehow, amidst her performing schedule, she vows to “work harder on the production sideof my own music. More collaborations with singers, some bigger artists...”Miss Monique, then, is excited for the year and opportunities ahead. It’s a role that’s fired byfeelings that, compared to most of her peers are, inarguably, more meaningful, moreimportant and more powerful.

“If I have a party in two hours, but I’m reading in the news that Kyiv was just bombed again, Ican sit and cry. But at the same time, I know that I have to turn off my feelings, and still bringthe people happiness. Because I always try to make people happy.”

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