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Monique DeBose Releases 'Brown Beauty'

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The song was written as part of DeBose’s one-woman show Mulatto Math: Summing up the Race Equation in America, where it served as the show opener. 

Monique DeBose Releases 'Brown Beauty'

Los Angeles-based singer, activist, and spiritual coach Monique DeBose has released her powerfully stunning new single "Brown Beauty"- a love letter to women of color.

The song was written as part of DeBose's one-woman show Mulatto Math: Summing up the Race Equation in America, where it served as the show opener. After performances in LA, NY, and around the world, Mulatto Math was awarded the Producer's Encore Award at the Hollywood Fringe Festival and Monique now performs the show as an interactive talk and workshop helping companies and communities to facilitate those often difficult conversations about race. As a mixed-race woman, DeBose had always found herself living in double consciousness and oscillating between two worlds, black and white. Brown Beauty is a song that speaks to the complexity of living in multiple worlds and pays homage to the incredible women who have to navigate this way of life. "Black women have a double consciousness," says DeBose. "Only when we can bridge those cultures to meet on an even playing field is when we can enter the sublime. It's a very taxing role to play. It's a big ask."

When it came to the visual storytelling of the song, it was a community effort that spanned a movement. Photos and videos flooded in from around the world to Monique's social media, from women posting content that reflects their interpretation of "Brown Beauty"(see highlights HERE). The resulting video is a beautiful and powerful visual celebration of "Brown Beauty." Last week, Monique held a digital event to celebrate the women who appeared in the music video, holding space for an impactful discussion around the definition of Brown Beauty and what it means.

Monique's mission to empower and inspire women through her music has expanded into the development and launch of the MORE with Monique podcast. Fifteen years ago DeBose penned a powerful song called "MORE." The song inspired her to take a leap of faith, leave the corporate world and pursue her dream of becoming a jazz singer. "MORE" was released as a single with a powerful accompanying video. "MORE has always been my personal anthem that I quietly kept in the back of my head for years," DeBose told Black Girl Nerds "and now I hope it can be an anthem for everyone who identifies as female. It's so important to consciously decide as women what we are choosing MORE of for ourselves so we can band together and support each other to make it happen!" Upon the release of the song last year, the message resonated with so many women around the world, and DeBose was flooded with messages from women on what they were choosing MORE of for themselves. The song quickly evolved beyond a female empowerment anthem and into a movement. The "MORE" movement demanded a larger conversation which has manifested itself in the MORE with Monique podcast. Each episode features conversations with two women from completely different backgrounds covering a topic of "choosing more....." faith, courage, purpose, sex, etc. Bonus content from each episode is then shared in the Women Choosing MORE Facebook Group HERE where the conversation is continued with guests and community members.

DeBose holds a master's degree in Spiritual Psychology and a BA in Mathematics from UC Berkeley. Monique calls Los Angeles home, is married to a Brit, and is raising two compassionate, culturally intelligent boys. Her life and upbringing, being raised by an African American father from the segregated South and Irish American mother from upstate New York, is the inspiration for her work, pushing people to step out of seeing themselves and the world, as black or white, but to embrace all of who they are and to live life in full color. DeBose honed her craft at Billy Higgin's famous World Stage jazz club in Leimert Park, as well as in various jazz bands. She is a trained jazz vocal improviser, and once led a community of over 500 improv singers across the world. In 2005 and 2007, she released two albums - Choose the Experience (featuring Kamasi Washington) and Choose the Experience 2 - and performed internationally, in India, China, London, and Amsterdam. The idea of "Moving from seeing in black and white to living in full color" is the driving force behind her artistic output. DeBose received rave reviews for her one-woman show "Mulatto Math: Summing up the Race Equation in America '' winning the Producer's Encore Award at the Hollywood Fringe Festival before being transformed into a workshop which she has performed at UCLA and MindValley. DeBose was also a featured artist and performer at TEDx where she performed her song "Rally Call" live. The video for "Rally Call" garnered over 150K views upon its release striking a chord with people all over the world, including the United Nations, who invited DeBose to perform the song at their SDG Action Zone Conference last year.

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