Monica Ott: Bio

 

Growing up in Baltimore, MD in a household where posters of different musicals decorated the walls, Monica Ott was destined for a life in the arts.  Her parents' music collection introduced her to artists ranging from Frank Sinatra to Joni Mitchell to the Eagles.  It wasn't until she  began spending a lot of time with her dad's Beatles collection, that ultimately led her to learn how to play the guitar.

From then on, she took guitar lessons, but quickly pushed the material aside in favor of playing and writing her own songs. This became a way to relieve the growing pains of highschool and escape into her own private musical oasis.  It wasn't until college that she finally started performing and singing for people all over campus.  The encouragement of her peers (who consistently said that she should keep writing more songs) allowed her to break free from the insecurites of stage fright and ultimately become inspired to write her debut album, "Only Human."  Monica desired to not only write songs based on her own experiences, but to write songs for people to experience their own emotions. Having her share of breakups and heartache didn’t hurt the writing process either. 


Monica moved to NYC in 2004 and met Tina Shafer, one of NYC's top vocal coaches (Lana Del Rey, Avril Lavigne) who helped Monica evolve her music into a style that’s fresh and timeless. Monica quickly became a part of the NYC Songwriter’s Circle and was a regular performer at their showcases. She also met her bandmates along the way Joe Bonadio (Sting, Marc Cohn), Jeff Allen (Suzanne Vega), and Marc Shulman (Jewel) who introduced her to recording engineer Robert L. Smith (Lady Gaga, Glee) of Defy Recordings. Together they created her debut album “Only Human.”  Already garnering some attention for her song “Perfect Circle, Monica received an honorable mention in the 2008 Songwriter’s Circle contest and landed her a feature on the NYC Songwriter's Circle "Best of - Volume One" compilation CD that was released nationally.

 

In 2009, Monica discovered the healing power of yoga at BambooMoves Yoga in Englewood, NJ.  It suddenly began changing her life and the course of her musical journey.  Monica quickly took to the art form and beauty of traditional mantras and realized that singing the lyrics in repetition creates an energy that is calming, transformative, and very powerful.  Monica started a weekly 'Live Music Class' at the Englewood studio where she would perform originals, covers, and mantras while her teacher, Stephanie Miller, taught the asana portion of the class. It quickly became the most popular class of the week barely having to turn students away.

 

Wanting to create an album of mantras that was a little more fresh and modern, she with the help of her band, allowed the songs to develop organically similar to the way she created "Only Human." Each song has a verse, chorus, and bridge even though the same lyric is repeated throughout the song. That's what makes this collection of mantras so special as well as the experimental instrumentation that ties the album together.  With this, "Veil of Time" was born and has become Monica's best work to date.

 

Bringing her talents and her yoga back to her hometown of Baltimore, MD, Monica opened up another location of BambooMoves Yoga in Locust Point and can been seen and heard in her 'Live Music All Levels Class' every Wednesday night. For more info visit: BambooMovesyoga.com