An Interview With The LA-Based Indie-Pop Trio LITTLE MONARCH!
Posted On 09 Dec 2016
The indie band, Little Monarch recently released their acclaimed self-titled debut album. Prior to the EP’s release, it’s lead single “No Matter What” premiered on All Things Go, who called the song “a funky little indie groove that will make you feel like it’s all gonna be okay.” Today, the track has over 1 million streams on Spotify!
Little Monarch is a Los Angeles-based indie-pop trio consisting of an LA native, a New York transplant and a Memphis import. Singer/songwriter and music teacher Casey K, who also has a jazz album and publishing company among her credits, has been performing solo for years, but felt something was lacking. Ironically, Nick Setter, a Berklee College of Music grad who had interned at the school at which Casey taught, contacted her last year to write songs together.
The pair became instant friends and writing partners. Then, somewhere in that process, the duo became a trio, after Casey saw another band one night at the House of Blues and became enamored with their keyboardist, Lanita Smith. The three have been churning out indie pop hit after hit ever since.
Before the formation of Little Monarch, K’s music was featured on TV networks including VH1, MTV, A&E and ESPN, and she co-wrote the title track to a new ‘E‘ reality show, “Hollywood & Football“. In addition, Casey wrote and was featured on songs by Far East Movement, Parra For Cuva, Mandy “Grace” Capristo, Clyde Carson and more!
Learn more about Little Monarch in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Now that 2016 is almost over, what are some words you would use to describe this year? What have been some of the highlights for you and your music? What are you most excited about for 2017?
I would say this year has been eclectic, exciting, and wonderful. We actually recorded the EP in 2015 so 2016 was all about getting the right mix and then releasing the music. The highlights have been the amazing shows we have played in LA even before we had any music out. Also hearing people’s reactions from all around the world to the EP and how it helps some of our friends kick-start their mornings listening to the single “No Matter What”. I get random snaps all the time of my friends on their way to work blasting the EP. I love that. It’s really great to make music that people genuinely feel good about supporting.
Growing up, did you all always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
I was always performing from a young age. So that much I knew. Jumping on the coffee table and attempting to sing Funny Girl. First it was mainly acting gigs as young as 4 years old. Singing was something I always did to complement my acting and then during college I switched my focus to music and writing. – Casey
How did Little Monarch first form? How did you come up with your name? Was it a difficult decision to make? What other names were you considering?
Over about a year period we all started hanging and writing. It was pretty organic synergy. First Nick and Casey met at a music school they were both working at and then I met Casey at a show I was playing at House of Blues in Hollywood. Kind of snowballed from there.
The name was the hardest piece of the whole puzzle. We kinda settled on Little Monarch because it was the only name we brainstormed that everyone agreed on. The name that truly spoke to us was Pizza Dust but that was is an inside thing. – Lanita
Let’s talk about your recently released self-titled debut album. What was it like putting that collection together? How long was that process?
The actual writing of all the songs took up about a half a year since we all work, teach, and have other musical projects to tend to. The actual recording took about 2 weeks in studio and then what really took a long time was getting the right mix for all the songs. The whole thing was really rewarding and gratifying in the end, worth the wait and we learned some major lessons for our next releases.
What are some stand-out tracks on this album? Which songs are you particularly proud of?
My two favorite tracks on this EP are “No Matter What” and “Too Little Too Late”. I feel these two tracks have come the longest way from their beginnings. They’re super fun songs to play/dance to live. In my opinion they both showcase the diversity of the group the most and you can hear a little bit from each member’s personality. – Nick
Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire you and your music? Who would you all still love to work with in the future?
I love a wide variety of music. D’angelo, Foster the People, Bill Withers, Prince, Freddy Mercury, Bob Marley, Vulfpeck, Bonnie Raitt, Sting. I recently saw Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats in concert and I loved their live show and made me think… man we need horns. So that’s something I want to add into the mix in the future.
Personally I would love to work with loads of musicians in the future. Alabama Shakes, Coldplay…even producers and DJs in the dance space like Major Lazer, Zhu, and Tokimosta. Of course any of the artists I first mentioned that are still with us. – Casey
When you aren’t performing, working in the studio, what do you like to do for fun? How do you all unwind from it all?
Eat, sleep, make fun of each other. – Lanita
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
Good vibes and little bit of a mood boost. Equality, love, and groove are key aspects for us as well. If the vibe is uplifting, sexy, or even a bit mystical we are down with it. – Lanita
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or the music you make?
We are just at the beginning so it’s going to be a great ride discovering ourselves and our audience. We are so stoked on the support of this EP and can’t wait to release some more tunes next year and hopefully get a tour put together.