MonkeyRat - Voices Music Interview

Anna Iachino from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, of Italian descent is the songwriter, vocalist, rapper, spoken word artist, poet, dancer, and storyteller with a comical twist. Arnold Ludvig, from the Faroe Islands, is the composer, arranger, and award-winning virtuoso bass player. Together, they are a dynamic husband and wife team and the creators of MonkeyRat founded in 2006, in the Faroe Islands. MonkeyRat delivers multi-genre music rooted mainly in Funk. The band was formed in Copenhagen, Denmark with award winning guitarist, Alain Apaloo from Togo, Africa and superb Danish drummer Jens Stoklund. MonkeyRat released their 2010 debut album, Fuck The Jante Law followed by Sunshine in 2012 to great reviews and many #1 hits. In 2016, 4 digital singles were released with The Hentze Horns and received international radio airplay. Get into The Light, MonkeyRat's first hip-hop/gospel collaboration with Debbie Cameron, Deborah Herbert, and Joanita Zachariasen was released in 2018 with resounding success. On March 20, 2020, MonkeyRat started the year with their hit single, "Good Morning Reykjavík", a real funky dance number with a comical spin on the infectious chorus." U Gotta Love Being U", is MonkeyRat's first pop/singer-songwriter/folk pop, single and Anna's first co-written song with Hans Andrias Jacobsen and Beinir Troest Rasmussen. In these dark and uncertain times, "U Gotta Love Being U" lifts the spirit spreading a message of positivity and love.

What is your earliest memory of music? And, how did you get started in music?

My earliest memory of music was watching old black & white movies with Gene Kelley, Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers - I fell in love with dancing at the age of 3 and have been dancing to music ever since. I first became involved in music when I met and fell in love with virtuoso bassist, Arnold Ludvig, from the Faroe Islands at Café Sarajevo in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He was so shy, that he couldn't speak, but his playing spoke louder than words, so I opened a booking agency and he was the first artist that I represented. Eight years later, we moved to the Faroe Islands - what a culture clash! Music became a means of survival, after living in the Faroe Islands for 3 years, it was like a tsunami of words. I had something to say and I've been expressing myself in words since 2006.

What was the first song you ever wrote? What or who inspired you to start writing music?

The first song I ever wrote was Pastel Shades to a composition that Arnold Ludvig wrote in Montreal before we met. Upon hearing it, I thought it was so beautiful, that I heard a love song in my head with no particular words. It lay dormant for many years, but when we moved to the Faroes, where I first had such a hard time adjusting to the culture, I got inspired and put words to it, which Ludvig didn't accept at first, because he had released it as a jazz instrumental track. He finally gave in, when he saw how much I was suffering, I even started hearing the voice of Faroese vocalist, Róin Siggertsson singing the words in my head. After he read the lyrics and heard the music, Róin loved it, especially the fact that it modulates, to which he said, "It would be an honor to sing Pastel Shades, it later was added as a bonus track on MonkeyRat's debut album, Fuck The Jante Law. Do you play any instruments? If yes tell us about it. If not, do you work with a band or studio musicians? Do you produce your tracks or work with a producer? No, I don't play any instruments, never had any desire, I just wanted to become a professional dancer, but had to stop dancing, because of my strict Italian Catholic upbringing. In 2006, I started to perform with my band, as vocalist and songwriter of MonkeyRat and have the pleasure to dance to my own music - who'ld a thunk it! My husband, Arnold Ludvig and I produce our tracks ourselves. What is your favorite part about being an artist (performing, recording, writing, playing)? I like it all, just the fact that after so many years of being denied to be an artist, I am eternally grateful that I can be an artist and express myself creatively through writing, vocalizing, recording, and dancing to music. I love to perform, because I also get the chance to show my comical side with the audience, which also comes through in some of my songs and videos - I love to make people laugh. The whole creative process is my favorite part of being an artist.

Do you have any advice for young women pursuing music?

Never give up!

For readers who have never heard your music, can you suggest one or two songs to start with?

I can suggest to start with, "Sex in Wonderful Copenhagen" from MonkeyRat's 1st album, Fuck The Jante Law - it's funny and till this day, it's still one of our top 5 songs on Spotify and iTunes! The second, would be, "Ba Da Boom Boom Bass", because of my love of the funky, "slapping da bass mon" and my Italian heritage - Arnold Ludvig gets to shine with his incredible slap bass technique - one can't help but dance!

What do you think your strengths are as an artist?

Poetry, power, and persistence. :)

Tell us where fans can access your music. Provide 1 or 2 links here:

Fans can access MonkeyRat's music on: Spotify and Apple Music/iTunes.

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