Growing up in Bayside, Queens as the daughter of two hardworking immigrants and artists, MJ Songstress witnessed her parents’ passion for music on a daily basis. From late night rehearsals at home to live orchestra performances, she remained entertained with every sound and became more curious as the years passed.
“Being in survival mode and doing the best that they could do to feed their child and pay their bills, [my parents] would take me to their gigs and kind of hide me behind the equipment. But I never said a word. I didn’t cry. I didn’t freak out. I was more, like, in my element,” MJ confessed to us.
Even though her career has been greatly influenced by her Mexican dad and her Greek mother, MJ Songstress’s interests and dedication stem from her own aspirations and ambition. “I have my father’s musicality and my mother’s tone but, in essence, it’s really just me choosing music and not having someone choosing my dream for me. This is what I’ve always wanted,” she shared.
Her story is not one of following but one of creating. She has proved this to the public with her fresh, innovative rhythms. MJ is a chameleon. There’s no doubt about that. From a young age, she started studying various genres, instruments, and all kinds of music styles. MJ was constantly surrounded by incredibly talented artists, which made her day-to-day life a learning environment and, as she mentioned in her interview with BELatina, “created the musician beast that [she] is today.”
MJ Songstress has gone from hip hop and international to soul and funk to R&B and even Latinx music. She’s best known for her debut in NBC’s sixth season of The Voice and Televisa’s final season of La Voz México. She has worked, collaborated, and toured with stars like Nile Rodgers and Los Kumbia All-Starz. She has done it all, and keeps surprising us.
The more that MJ expanded her music career and played around with different sounds, the more she wanted to add Greek elements like the Bouzouki and a Mexican touch to her songs as well. “It just needed to happen organically… so now it’s great that I had the opportunity because of my team, my manager Jojo Brim, and my producer Tyrice ‘TyJamz’ Jones,” MJ enthusiastically mentioned when asked about her new single “Give Me Tonight/Dame La Noche.”
MJ told us about the great relationship that she has with TyJamz. She discussed some of the details of the production and writing process of “Give Me Tonight/Dame La Noche” with BELatina. They were looking for a melody and lyrics that communicated a good vibe and simply a good night out, which organically came to them in a brainstorm session. MJ just started humming (what later became the chorus of the song) and TyJamz’s immediate reaction was to scream “What?! Go record that!”
“Give Me Tonight/Dame La Noche” is a youthful, fun song purposefully crafted in that way — not to overthink it. Now, the music video could not have come at a better moment! MJ Songstress recently released it on her YouTube channel and it’s three minutes of pure joy at a time when we need catharsis, even if it’s a vicarious one. Directed by Brooklyn-based cinematographer Shamell Mason, the video shows MJ dancing at home and transporting her mind to the club, only to realize that it was all a dream.
Currently, MJ Songstress is working on an Afro-Latinx artist’s mix of “Give Me Tonight/Dame La Noche.” We can’t wait to hear all the new sounds she has in store for us and who the feature artist will be! Stay tuned!