Monique Maffei Hester is a professional singer, songwriter, voice over artist and empowerment speaker. Her latest release, called “Victory” is the first of four songs Monique co-wrote with Producer Matthew “Moz” Jenkins. In their first session together, he asked Monique what at this point in her life and career did she have to say to people. The question was daunting. What did she have to say? What did she want to say? Monique thought about it, prayed about it. What came out was a song that acknowledges what she's been through (the disappointments and the triumphs) and what all she's learned from going through it. Her heartfelt lyrics depict how in spite of sometimes making bad choices, having negative thoughts or not knowing which way to turn, she found her way and an inner strength and drive to press on, to change, and to be better. She learned through scripture how God lovingly sees us, as daughters and sons. In receiving this perfect love, Monique discovered how to access the freedom that Christ spoke of in John 8:32 when He said that you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. This is the message of “Victory.”
As Monique learned to walk in victory she ventured out of her comfort zone to create an original EP called “The Peace Project.” This totally acoustic album was intentionally sung in mostly hushed, soothing tones instead of the usual powerhouse vocals she typically sings in. The aim of the project is to change the inner narrative so that it more fully aligns with who God says we are. Monique has made it her mission to build people up and to help them to find their purpose and their personal strength. Her unique and charismatic presentations usually include both singing and speaking. She believes that the best way to teach is to lead by example and she often freely shares her own life experiences to make things more relatable. Monique's vocals often evoke tears and goosebumps, and her speaking style has been called "engaging, inspiring and easy to understand.
Monique's original songs have been featured in fitness videos, independent films, internet radio and Christian TV. Always willing to give of her time and talents, Monique has sung for numerous events and organizations such as the Orange County Sheriff's Fallen Officers' Memorial Services, for assisted living homes, for Children's Hospital in Orange County, for the Queen of Hearts Foundation, for the Los Angeles Mission, and for SMASH GLOBAL's affiliated charities, and others. She has also lead Worship for several churches in the Los Angeles and Orange County, California areas.
Shortly after her husband Danny became the first ever Classic Mr. Olympia, Monique began traveling with him to sing at fitness expos and bodybuilding shows as Danny, poetically posed on stage. While it's usual for an Olympia champion to be invited to "guest pose" at shows, this type of performance, where a competitor's wife actually sings on stage as her bodybuilder husband poses to her singing, had never been done in this industry. She and her husband performed together steadily for 3 years throughout the U.S. and internationally. This opened the door for them speak, as a couple, to the dynamics of a marriage where both people are leaders. It's also been a great way for them to combine their passions. Together, they have been called one of the industry's “power couples.”
On a personal note...
I was bullied as a young person and often excluded from the "in crowd". You might think that would cause me to be angry or bitter toward people. Instead, I developed a tremendous amount of empathy for any living being who is being unjustly treated. It also made me strong and birthed a desire within me to become empowered and to help others to do the same.
I love helping people and teaching and sharing things I've learned. I believe it's more beneficial to that person to equip him or her with the skills necessary to accomplish tasks on his/her own. Doing so creates an opportunity for independence, and provides options that might not have otherwise been available to him or her. #empowerment
It might sound cliche, but I totally believe in the power of prayer. Why? Because I've seen the results of it. I've had the honor of praying for so many folks in ALL KINDS of places. And to see the LIGHT in their faces after they hear an encouraging word or better still, when they get confirmation of something secret they were holding deep inside,
it's one of the most amazing things I experience in my life.
The last thing I'll share with you now is that I lived in Nashville, Tennessee for about one year. This move was a HUGE change for me. I went on my own, left a prominent job, my family, my boyfriend (now my husband), and everything that was familiar to me. I knew though that Nashville was where I was supposed to be, even if only for a season. It was during this time that I made a dear friend and a new business partner in a co-venture called "The Kaz and Mo Show." It's a series of educational, musical children's videos, and a wonderful outlet for me where I can really use my character voices and express
My taste in music is very eclectic,
from Opera & Classical to Jazz
& Blues, from Motown to Americana, from Cinematic to EDM. Consequently, I write and sing in many different genres.
WHO'S ON MY PLAYLIST?
Aretha Franklin, Kari Jobe, Sarah Vaughan, Mary J. Blige, Mercy Me, Placido Domingo, Patty Griffin, Bruno Mars, Nick Jonas, Christina Aguilera, Barbra Streisand, Cody Carnes, Worship Mob, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, just to name a few.
I was raised both Catholic and Protestant.
So we attended Mass on Saturdays and two Pentecostal services ("kids' church" and the "grown up's" service) every Sunday. There was also the occasional Wednesday night healing service. It was a lot of church to sit through but IT PLANTED A SEED IN ME that never left. And even though I would walk away from it in my teens and in several of the years that followed, GOD NEVER LET GO OF ME. It's like He reserved all the good stuff I had experienced and filtered out all the misguided, religious garbage that was inflicted upon me. For this I AM SO GRATEFUL. We all have our paths in life; I remember the day so clearly, that God called me on to mine. With my whole heart and with both eyes open, I can attest that at that moment I CHOSE TO CHANGE MY LIFE and to BELIEVE what I now believe. I received God's love for me and I have never looked back. #hallelujah
"You will know the truth and the truth will set you free." John 8:32
my SILLY side. (I hope to be sharing the show with you all soon.) At a certain point however, it was time to go back to sunny Cal and the loved ones I had left behind. I drove ACROSS THE COUNTRY 2,000 miles by myself. This may not seem like a big deal for some people, but for me it was a major accomplishment that perfectly wrapped up a phenomenal time of learning in my life. I know that my time in "Music City" was the catalyst for so many new ventures that were yet to come on my self-awareness journey; it ultimately led me to where I am now, the writer, arranger and performer of The Peace Project. Yay! #believeyouwill