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Who is the popping UK artist Monique Lawz? She strives for Greatness!



Monique Lawz
Born in London UK of Jamaican heritage, Singer-Songwriter Monique Lawrence known by stage name Monique Lawz is on her way to international stardom. Making her musical introduction in 2015 Monique gave Musos a taste of who she is with the release of her single ‘ON’. Taken from the same titled debut EP via independent record label Gold Roar Music. The project featured production from Joey Dyer (Fancy- Iggy Azalea), Sampl and artist features from Ms Banks, Shystie, Johnson Orchid and Grammy Award nominated singer-songwriter Kevin McCall. Fast forward to 2018 Monique has worked with multiple artists and producers, featured on UK’s Skrapz’s album, Lisa Mercedez’s EP & had various performances including DJ Target’s BBC 1XTRA Christmas Live Lounge special. Her latest release 4 Minutes produced by ATG Musick premiered by DJ Ace is a re-introduction to the World and already making waves, one that won’t be ignored.

When did you start singing?

I started singing ever since I could remember. To become better, I went to college and I learned how to use my voice practically. And I’ve had 1 or 2 vocal lessons which  teaches you how to use your voice properly. How to switch from head range to chest range.

Have you ever done talentshows?

Talentshows?! Never! Actually.. No I have not. I have done some auditions when I was still in school for a schoolplay. But that is as far as competitons go. I get really nervous when it comes to that.

Are you a family person?

Yes I am super family orientated. There is like a hundred of us. My grandma, 13 cousins, siblings left right and centre. I am all about family!

What or who is your fashion inspiration?




How do you get inspired for fashion?

Fashioninpsiration? I dont know really where it comes from. Jamaicans can be loud. Maybe that iswhy we like loud colors like yellow.




Who would you like to work with in the future?

I feel like I would like to work with anyone who would like to work with me. Because I dont feel like it is something you can force. So I am open to work with anybody. If anybody wants to work, and make dope music. Let’s go!

It is full of diversity!

Can we expect some new stuff from you soon?

I have a super dope song coming out with Demarco, who is a reggae artist. Should be out July or later. Depending on when you read this. I could already be out. But yea I have a super dope song coming out with him.

Where do you get your music inspiration from?

My inspiration is literally day to day. Sometime I do not know what is going on in my head. But some times in the moment I do know I need to get this out Now. While I am inspired and put it in a song.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years? That is a hard question. I mean apart from you know: the normal answer which people give. The hope to be succesful, healthy, to be with my family. I want to be in a good place with my family. Hitting a couple of stages all over the world I guess.



How do you deal with negative experiences? 

I feel like as a artist, or even as a dancer, designer or any type of creative. We can get lost in the creative world and forget that real life happens too. Every situation that happens in life even when it is negative, let it happen. Let is happen, let it evolve you. Allow yourself to be you and always keep pushing.

Because energy never lies


Is a platform like Melanin Wonder needed?

I believe it is so necessary that there is a platform that shows the world diversitiy. I dont think there is enough. But I do believe there will be in the next three years. There will be so much. Social media is in the forefront of eveything now. I am so excited for it.

Have you ever had negative comments thrown at you?

I think that it is one of those things to be honest: When i hear certain comments or I see certain comments. Certain people have tweets, not mentioning names. I feel sorry for them. Because I feel like it is not entirely their fault some of the time it can be ignorance passed down to them or under education. 

You know I try to not to fight fire with fire. you can not be aggressive with it. Try to understand the person.



How can we change the way some see themselves?

In order for that to happen. People need to come out of their comfort zone and know that we have a voice. We all have a phone or an android, we have voices. I believe we should use our platforms to influence other people, because we can. We can make a difference. Sometimes it just takes that one word or little bit of encouragement to make some elese speak on something that they thought that they would have been shammed for. People need to give each other confidence to make people speak out on what they believe in.

Up and coming artists that want to make it big in the music industry. First of al believe in yourself, believe in your own hype, believe that nobody is going to push for you as hard as you do.  Make sure you are making the music you really believe in. Because energy never lies. If you do not believe in what your are doing, other people are not going to believe in it. They are not feeling it if you don’t.  Always GO HARD GO HARD GO HARD. 

Even when you think you are going hard, go harder :D. 

The entertainment industry has changed so much over the years. It is not the same it will never be the same. Because there are so many new sounds. So many new people are creating new things themselves in their homes. It is not any more the typical: you have to go to the big studio to record. the vibe will be different. I am excited for where the industry is going now. It is full of diversity! So I am very excited to see where music is in a few years.


Idris Elba or Bo dereck hunter

Idris Elba but double tap Bo dereck ! haha is that allowed?


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On the sixth of May, 2019 something horrifying happened. The Dutch lifestyle and fashion TV show allowed one of the cast members to make racist comments about Afro and kinky curly hair.

This exploded in a negative in all the news platforms and many if not all black and brown men and women were grossly offended. Robin Ramos (20) and Kymani Ceder (19) wrote a poem as a response. They used the poem as a positive representation by, from and for the Afro-Dutch community. The goal is to use the movie “The Crown” (De kroon) created by Robin and Kymani to create awareness and free the Black community from the chains of stereotyping of Afro hair.

Footage from the short film – de KROON

Robin and Kymani chose to form the video as a school assignment with a theme family.

Robin Ramos

Kymani Ceder

Using ‘Black hairstyles’ as a point gave them the inspiration to show different historical and tribal connotations involving Afro hair. In many cultures, it is still a way to be in contact with the ancestors. Besides braiding, is doing hair an activity done throughout time and has it has been a signature activity in black families.

The short film portrays a paradox time-machine with precolonial impressions. It takes you on a journey back to the age of where the traditional braids were used to connect the past with the present.

The movie is a re-enactment of history acted out by present-day Dutch Africans. How do Dutch Africans experience their African identity after the physical alienation that has taken place after slavery? How do they feel about their hair now? How do we feel during and after watching the short film?

Around 80 people were involved by the making of the short film: De Kroon. Some well-known artists and actors from the Dutch entertainment such as Sylvana Simons, Veronica van Hoogdalem, Digitzz, Clarice Gargard and Guillermo Babel.

Sylvana Simons & Robin Ramos

“De Kroon” is a poetic storyline about the relationship Afro Dutch citizens have with their natural hair and hairstyles. The Natural Hair movement is becoming more and more visible in the world. And we are loving it.

For all readers from the Netherlands: Want to read more about the backstory and behind the scenes, straight from the creator/inspirator of this video? click here

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HPS music goes Romantic on Valentines Day!



How would you describe yourself?

My full name is Helder Pedro Salazo. Hence the artist name (HPS). It is actually just an abbreviation of my real name.

Currently 25 years old and born in Angola. Capital Luanda and to be precise in the district of Ingombota. As a child, together with my father and two older brothers I fled from Angola to the Netherlands in 2000. At that time I was 6 years old. I then lived in several refugee camps. We fled to the Netherlands from Angola for political reasons and because we were not safe at the time. I grew up with different cultures and religions. This has also formed me as a human being, which makes me open-minded and not easily startled or amazed.

“I have lived in different refugee camps for 6 years.”

In total I have lived in different refugee camps for 6 years. The situation at the time has formed me as a person. I always try to get the most out of things and am convinced that you can achieve more through positive energy and faith. That period also ensured that I, as an artist, can now create and establish my own identity. To explain this I have never actually had a home where I could settle. Because of this, I actually turned into a spider in the web and can adapt to any situation like a chameleon. If you listen carefuly you will be able to hear that versatility in my music.

Especially with the material that I have now prepared ” It’s all that ” I have a total of three brothers, one sister and one older half-sister. at the moment I live in the city of Utrecht. Music does not really live here like in the big cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. This offers me opportunities so that I can also put Utrecht on the map and represent.

What inspires you to make music?

The music that I make is mainly inspired by real life events. E.g. the things that I experience which linger in my heart or thoughts that I save. It could be about a nice house party, a nice woman, a certain drink, etc. It could be that I am going to write about it immediately or later in time.

I prefer not to write about negative events, but have noticed that it is liberating when you put it on paper. As a child I was always crazy about Micheal Jackson he definitely influenced my songs. MJ is was a complete artist for me. Singing, dancing, creativity, such a real performer. I also like to listen to music with a message in it.

“I wrote the song within half an hour.”

What other hobbies do u have besides making music? 

Besides making music. I play soccer and I occasionally go to the gym to keep myself fit.

We know that u also like to dance: do you have any footage where we can see you dance? 

” Hahaha ” funny that you ask this question. I myself have nothing on Youtube or something, but the people who know me probably have footage of me. There was a time when I often danced at parties where I was filmed by people and friends of mine. I do have a few films in my gallery. Perhaps it is an idea to make a compilation of it and drop it.

Your new single is out! What was your main reason to make this song?

The story behind this song is quite funny. Like I said most of the tracks I create are based on real life events. Formerly in high school they always called me an undercover lover, because I was one step ahead of everyone. I could always kept my relationships low-key for a while. When I met a woman who could mentally and physically feed me, I was inspired to write undercover lover. I think I wrote the song within half an hour.

Newest video dropped on Valentines day ft. Goon maan

How was the process of making this video?

It did take some time, because the featured artist ” Goon Maan ” does not live here in the Netherlands but Germany. He came to the Netherlands twice. the first time it went completely wrong, because the images were not good. The cameraman who had to film it was ill and we had to arrange someone urgently for that day. After the shoot we watched the images but we were dissatisfied, so we decided to delete everything and to film again. The second time it went better because the original cameraman was available again. In total it took the crew four days to record everything properly, during which we also shot one day in Belgium. The images may look summery but it was really super cold, especially the basketball shoot in Belgium.

Can we expect a tour or other appearances from you on parties or event?

When my first single ” Hennessy ” came out, I did a number of gigs. I myself did not expect that I would be booked so often with one single girth. For the upcoming singel I already have a performance on the 23rd in Utrecht. For the rest I will perform at a number of private parties. I do not have high expectations because I have been out for a while. but you never know, maybe I will be surprised. Should it be that there are no performances this year. Then I also take pleasure, because the focus this year is on releasing new music. However, I can already tell you that there is a chance that I will perform at a festival.

What is your all time favorite song?

I can not come up with a song now, because I am a too much of a lover of music. There are countless of classics. But if I had to mention one, I’d say ” Thriller ” by Micheal Jackson.

Tupac or Biggie?

To be honest, I have received little from these two legends. But I have to say that Tupac has a slight advantage. Because his music is not only strong in content but also catchy in terms of vibe, emotion and it has a message. Biggie is more of a word magician in my opinion.

When can we expect new songs from you?

If I have to count the release of a clip. I would say within now and 2 / 3 months and I will try to continue the streak for this year.

Where can we find you?

Facebook: Hps Messias

Instagram: Hps.Music

Snapchat: Hps.Music

What do you think of a platform that supports mainly people of color and melanated people? 

I think it’s a super strong initiative. This is because there are few opportunities for melanin artists or entrepreneurs in the industry. You also have colored writers or actors who do not have a platform.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Before I say anything, I want to emphasize that God is the one who knows where I will be in five years time. But with God’s will I will see myself being crowned as the Afro king of the Netherlands within 5 years. By that time I also have international collaborations with the big boys in the scene. I also want to be known in Angola within 5 years. How I get there is not clear but I will find a way, because who seeks shall find.

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Glowing Singer/Songwriter Bessem (Oh) a Diamond in the Rough!




Who is Bessem?

My name is Sophie Bessem Tataw, I am 27 years old and I am Dutch Cameroonian. Born and raised in Cameroon by Cameroonian and half Nigerian parents up until I was 16 years when I moved to live with my mom and siblings in The Netherland.

I am happily married to a wonderful man. In total I have 6 siblings, two siblings which I love so much, my older brother and my littlee sister, the CEO of a fashion brand called 

MAFCOUTURE based in The Netherlands are here in Europe with me.

Bessem is my middle name, and it means “A Woman of Virtue”

Will you ever produce a whole album in French?

I am really not sure for now if I want to do a whole album in French. Maybe a couple of songs but not a whole album.

With which artist would you like to do a collab?

For right now I am trying to establish my sound therefore collabs are not on my radar. But if I was to work with any artist right now it would be: Mr Leo, Daphne, Boy Tag from Cameroon, Teni from Nigeria. Teni in particular is super talented, love her and Frenna, Nana Fofie from The Netherlands.

A short freestyle about melanin wonder in 4 sentences in 3.. 2… 1…

Bessem’s video Faut pas jugé which means don’t judge

How is life living in the UK?

The UK is still a mystery to me because I just moved here. But i’m ready to explore and find out what it has to offer.

What other talents do you have other than singing?

I am a great match maker LOL, I love acting. Funfact: I met my husband many years ago on a set of a movie project I was working on and I am a decent bongo drummer.

What is a crazy habit that you have?

Besides Singing all the time, I love to go to the movies alone. LoL its really bad to the point where I make excuses to get out on social gatherings to go watch a movie  at the cinema Alone. I Love IT J.

How do you feel about the global beauty industry? What do you think about Make-up?

I am very pleased with the way the black girl has made a mark over the years as Beautiful too… globally. Gone are the days where the white woman was the symbol of beauty.

Although I personally am not crazy about makeup, unless it’s for something special like performance, appearance, parties etc. But I applaud the way melanin is being appreciated globally in the beauty industry through Makeup.

Would you like to be internationally known?

My dream has always been to serve my people first with my music. I am very patriotic to my heritage with my craft. But if the international market is ever feeling it and is willing to know more about me and my story, then I’ll be more than willing to share with the world.

What are your next steps?

Well first just to let your readers know I do have my Debut EP called GESTATION on soundcloud which u can download for free. For future projects, my policy is New year, New project, so u guys should definitely watch out for new songs coming out this year.

If you could act in a movie, what movie would that be?

A movie about my Life! Cos I have seen some thangs! A good film that will give society hope on never to give up on life no matter your circumstance.

What is one of your favourite songs?

I do have one of my own, called Mercy, u can find it on soundcloud. And I’m feeling Trobul by Wurld and Joey B ft King Promise; SweetiePie

Our favourite video and song is faut pas juge. Why did you create this song?

Well thank you. I made that song because we all know how judgmental the African society can be of people’s circumstances, good or bad especially through social media.

So, it was just to say go slow on the judgement of other pple for you really don’t know what they might be going through at that point and time of their lives. Let’s raise each other up.



How was recording the Faut pas juge video with one of our team members of Melanin Wonder? 

That day was so not planned LOL, sometimes unplanned events re the best. First off shout out to Jen for killing it. She was just so energetic that I wanted her in front of the camera and ofcos she did her thing and it came out beautifully. We had a blast that day and the afterparty at my place was just lit! It was overall one of the best video shoot experience I had, from the camera guys to my friends that came to support. Thank U guys so much for the Love.

The amazing Yaxfilms from Belgium was the videographer. He and his crew wer such a delight to work with.

Where do you want to be in 5 years time?

Well, first off I would love to be healthy, My music playing on radios and tv stations across Africa, couple of MTV Mama awards, performances on stages like One African Fest, O2 arena, Palais des sports Yaoundé Cameroon, Open-Air festival and two healthy babies  hopefully one on the way.

Social Media Handles!

IG @OfficialBessem

Soundcloud; RealBessem

Snapchat –> Realmissbess

Youtube –>

by Janet Dara

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