Just a couple of years ago, Matthew Hershoff was a wiz-kid medical student at Columbia. He’s still smart as hell, but now he’s dedicating his energy to Mons Vi, a solo music project that marries his Miami upbringing and half-Taiwanese-half-Jewish roots with his Bushwick-nouveau style.
Hershoff came into the Warner/Chappell Studios last September to put an unreleased track on tape as part of Level’s Open Sessions program.
As he puts it, “Come On, Violet” is about getting older, being alone, and seizing the moment.
“I wrote it in the midst of some major life changes, and it all came out at once,” Hershoff says. “It was inspired by a friend who passed away from a heroin overdose about a year and a half ago. I think maybe she wrote the song, and I just got the chance to pass it along. There’s something special about the ones that arrive fully formed.”
Like a lot of Mons Vi’s emotionally explorative sound, “Come On, Violet” is a bell-curved autobiography of personal moments. Its acoustic counterpart leaves Hershoff’s vocals bare and full of muddled melancholy.
“Songs, to me, are vessels to convey meaning. I want to reflect on my own experiences through what I create. Whether that means dressing myself up in electronics and cold technology or throwing myself [onto] a wood floor with an acoustic guitar and air filled with dust — I just want the thing to live.”
Yet, self-identifying as a solo project wasn’t easy.
“I feel like I’ve always been afraid to take that on for some reason,” he tells us. “I needed points of diffusion so that I wouldn’t have to explain myself too much or shoulder too much attention. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some great friends and great musicians over time and hope to continue to do so, but I’m ready to assume my identity as an individual. I want to take form. It’s taken a long time to get here.”
Aside from an imminent EP, Mons Vi is most excited about the chance to collaborate with his peers, while pushing his recording process to new places.
“For the past six years or so, I’ve written and recorded almost everything on my own in my bedroom, which has been an invaluable learning experience and one that I am more than ready to move past. I want to collaborate more. I want to expand. And, lord knows, I want to start working in real studios with proper gear.”
Level Open Sessions is part of our ongoing initiative to support the creative pursuits of our community, whether it’s for a burgeoning idea or a finished record. Designed to pair independent artists with a creative team and resources to actualize a vision together, Open Sessions encourages collaboration.