Harlem bred Journey Montana has already accomplished so much! She’s signed to independent record label, 10K Projects, has already toured the country and built a loyal fanbase, with hundreds of thousands of followers across social media. She’s now released her second EP and her star is continuing to rise with every new drop and post. Our Journey Montana interview jumps into her life as an artist, and what it’s like coming in to her own as a Stargirl.
Following last year’s breakout single “Bad Decisions,” which went viral to the tune of over 2.8M streams, the rising R&B princess has been consistently dropping music in 2023, gearing up for the release of her sophomore EP. The consistency has paid off, and the recent release of the Eric Bellinger assisted single only adds to her legend. The EP was released on November 17, 2023. If it a sign of what’s to come from the singer, it’s only a matter of time before she is the a household name.
It’s just the beginning for the rising artist, with so much to come. Get familiar with her story through our Journey Montana interview…
I really try to leave it open to interpretation, but if I had to I’d say my style is like Avril Lavigne meets Drake.
Parlé Mag: When did you first become interested in music? How did it all begin for Journey Montana?
Journey Montana: I’ve been singing pretty much since before I could talk, so as soon as I could understand social media I was doing singing videos, then singing videos turned into putting verses on songs, then producers started reaching out. I recorded my first song in 9th grade, and I’ve been going ever since.
Parlé Mag: You’re a native of Harlem, NY, so, growing up in the ‘Black Mecca,’ who did you consider to be your strongest musical influences?
Journey Montana: Teyana Taylor, A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg… and even though Rihanna isn’t from Harlem, I do feel like she has influenced me and other girls from New York a lot. I always say, if Rihanna wasn’t from Barbados, she would probably be from Harlem.
Parlé Mag: As a songwriter, where do you draw inspiration from when you pen your lyrics?
Journey Montana: I try to draw inspiration from pure emotion. When I write, I try to block out as much thought as possible and just sit in exactly how I FEEL.
Parlé Mag: What do you want people to get from your music?
Journey Montana: I’ve always said that my music is like a diary for me, so I say a lot of the things that I probably wouldn’t say out loud… So for other people, I’d really like to be an outlet for the things that they keep to themselves. The things that they can’t necessarily say out loud.
Parlé Mag: What are 3 – 5 albums that you would say shaped your journey as an artist?
Journey Montana: At Last Etta James’ first album
Nothing Was The Same by Drake
CTRL by SZA
H.E.R by H.E.R
2014 Forest Hills Drive by J. Cole
There are so many more, but I can literally recite every lyric to every song on all of those albums.
Journey Montana Stargirl EP out now
Parlé Mag: You recently released your new 8 song EP. What does this Stargirl EP mean for you, at this point in your career, and your life?
Journey Montana: It means a lot, I think of this project like a time capsule in a way. It contains so much about myself, my emotions and experiences all in one place. It feels so good to have a body of work that expresses me that way. Even pertaining to my career I’ve never put out anything that felt so personal so hopefully that resonates for my listeners.
Parlé Mag: The newest single, “Undefeated” features Eric Bellinger, talk to me about collaborating with him and how that connection came together?
Journey Montana: Eric had been a dream feature for forever. I’m personally such a big fan. We had written in the studio together before, but never for a collaboration. At the time I thought it was so far-fetched. When I had decided “Undefeated” was going on the project, my manager suggested him as the feature and I was like “of course duh if he’d do it.” And then he sent his verse back the next day! He’s amazing! Shout out to him.
Parlé Mag: The previous single is a song called “Jack” — Tell me about this particular track; how did it come to fruition?
Journey Montana: Well, “Hit The Road Jack,” by Ray Charles, has been on my playlist for forever, and what I love about it so much is its perspective. It is a women’s perspective with women on the hook. I just always wondered what it would sound like if those women had a whole verse to elaborate. I was having one of those creative urges to take that perspective and put my words on it. So I immediately called my producer [Harry Westlake], told him the idea and we recorded within 24 hours.
I feel like with “Jack” I really took it there with the boldness in my lyric more than I ever have before. It’s very uncut and raw, but I think that’s what makes it hit right in the chest so hard.
Parlé Mag: “Jack” follows on the heels of three other selections; “Vendetta,” “Ain’t Mine,” feat. Lay Bankz, and “212.” — Those songs aren’t on the EP, but talk to me about these compositions…
Journey Montana: Yes, those were my summer records. My 19th year is when all of these were written and recorded, and honestly it was just a lot of fun. I use my music to keep time and hold memories / perspective, so it’s only right I keep the same energy with the fun times as I do for the more frustrating.
Parlé Mag: Switching gears a bit, if you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Journey Montana: I would say Biggie because he’s from my city, and I love his music. His music puts me in the best mood… truthfully. I feel like he was way ahead of his time; he’s an icon, and I am an icon, so it just works.
Parlé Mag: If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?
Journey Montana: Madison Square Garden is my dream venue. A few years ago I went with my grandmother to go see Barbra Streisand – she was stunning – and ever since it’s been a goal of mine to be on that stage, too.
Parlé Mag: On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of music?
Journey Montana: I feel like there are pros and cons to everything, but at the end of the day people are expressing themselves and music is Art so that can never be a bad thing… but I do think there is a saturation thing happening in music today. I also feel like if anybody has any problems with the content in music today, music is a reflection of society. So if there’s a problem with the music, there’s a problem with society.
Parlé Mag: What do you feel has and will continue to be the key to your longevity?
Journey Montana: Honestly, trust in God, and trusting my purpose, going to therapy, having rest days where I take care of myself, and keeping my eye on the prize…having my vision boards and my affirmations. Really doing anything and everything to keep my mental health on track because when that’s on track everything else is on track. I know what I wanna do, it’s really just about continuing to do it.
Parlé Mag: Do you have any other additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?
Journey Montana: Yes, actually. I love to act and I love to write stories. One day I plan to write for television. I really love the film industry, even directing has sparked my interest. Also expanding my brand into fashion is in my plans.
Parlé Mag: To date, what has been your biggest career moment(s), at least thus far anyway?
Journey Montana: My biggest career moment was probably going on tour with Ann Marie…we did 25 cities and It was absolutely amazing! I’ve never experienced anything like that, and meeting so many people that support me all across the country was just unreal. There have been so many great moments, but that was definitely a Highpoint for me.
Parlé Mag: What’s an average day like for you?
Journey Montana: I wake up and write a bit because usually the best ideas come right when I wake up. I talk with my team and we plan and organize, go for a walk and get breakfast from the deli or wherever. I usually have some sort of event, but if not I’ll use that time for creating content…then I usually end my night in the studio.
Parlé Mag: What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?
Journey Montana: My favorite part about the sign of work, but definitely be how it inspires other people and how it touches other people. The first time I sang at school in the second grade, I noticed how my performance affected everybody and it stuck with me. I love it! I love the impact that music has, it’s the best part for me.
Parlé Mag: What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Journey Montana: I would say commitment is key…consistency is key and nobody will believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself, so be delusional. Also, the beginning is not always pretty. The beginning is not always perfect, but you have to start somewhere, everyone does.
Parlé Mag: Looking ahead, say five or maybe even ten years from now, where do you see yourself?
Journey Montana: I see impact. I see my EGOT loading, number one records on Billboard, brand deals, chart-topping albums, movies and breaking world records. Having my own production company and maybe my own artist. Just Legendary things…expanding my brand in every way possible. Making my mom proud.
Parlé Mag: As for the immediate, what’s next for Journey Montana?
Journey Montana: Yes, I’m dropping my EP stargirl. I’m super excited, I’ve been working very hard on it and trying to make it as perfect as possible. I feel like it’s a little bit different from anything I’ve put out before, so look out for that (later) in November.
Parlé Mag: Any other surprises we should know about the new EP?
Journey Montana: I’d just wanna say that it’s the beginning of a new era!
Parlé Mag: Just on the personal side, tell me about some of your favorite things to do in the city. When you’re not making music or in the studio…
Journey Montana: Going out with my friends to parties, group dinners and outings, hanging out with my cousins going shopping on 125th st. just walking around the city and whatnot.
Parlé Mag: You just celebrated your birthday (Happy Birthday!!), what are your wishes for this next chapter of life and music?
Journey Montana: Just growth and prosperity and to be happy. In this chapter I wanna continue to grow into the baddie that I am making the best music I can possibly make with amazing creative people around me.
? Stream Journey Montana for clear skin.
Image Credit: Edwig Henson
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