She might be young, but Monica is an industry veteran with a nearly 30-year career in the game. The singer is still standing, though, and seems to only get better as time goes on. Perhaps that’s why she was one of the artists tapped this Black Music Month to bring their talent to NPR Music‘s ongoing Tiny Desk Concert series with a special Tiny Desk (Home) Concert performance of some of her biggest hits.
Dressed in a pink lace outfit, Monica opened her six-song set with her 1998 No. 1 hit “Angel Of Mine” while surrounded by a semi-circle of candles. The song was a great choice to set the tone for the stripped-down set filled with some of her most recognizable ballads.
She continued the set with her 2010 cut “Love All Over Me” before taking us all the way back to her Miss Thang beginnings with “Why I Love You So Much.” She did offer some surprises with her setlist, however, with a reworked version of “So Gone” that veers into country territory with a slower groove and twangy guitar playing.
She then offered the only new song of the set with “Friends,” a track that happens to be co-written by indie duo Cousin and Tasha Catour, which she served up with passion and grace. Before ending the set, Monica closed with the fitting “Before You Walk Out Of My Life.” The track, which was one of her earliest hits, demonstrated not only how far she has come but just how talented she was to be singing a song at 15 that still resonates nearly three decades later.
Monica has always been a treasure and her lengthy career has been a pleasure to watch. Here’s to watching her talent bloom for many more years to come. Get into her pitch-perfect Tiny Desk performance when you press play.