New Artist Spotlight: Kira Taylor

Hey Everyone!

Kira    First of all, congratulations to Debbie for winning some new music from last week’s featured performer Haley Jonay! I am so excited to introduce you to another great young lady from Florida who I know you are going to hear more from in the future. Her name is Kira Taylor and I first met her a few years back and marveled that we had the same last name. We have become pals and I have been following her career ever since. She’s making a huge splash in the southern half of the US and even performed in the Midwest last year! I asked her to share a little about herself with FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME fans and here’s what she had to say:

1. Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? How long have you been performing?

I am a 15 year old singer, songwriter, performer, cystic fibrosis warrior, free2luv youth advocate, Kindness U activist, and volunteer with the special needs / youth ministry.

I live in tampa, fl but I was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. I have been performing for almost four years.
2. Describe your music. R&B, pop, rock, folk, etc.

My two originals songs can be considered as Country/pop and ballad but I want to expand to more fast beat fun type of songs.
3. Who were some of your early influences and who do you admire today?

If referring to early music influences I would say Hillary Duff. Miranda Cosgrove, and Victoria Justice. Now I admire Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Bella Thorne, Carrie Underwood,etc

4. Did you ever crush over a guy in a band (can be a famous boy band…no judgement)? If so, who?

Yes, I am a huge “Mahomie Fan” for Austin Mahone.

5. Who was your first concert?

My first concert was Demi Lovatos ‘here we go again tour with David Archuleta, etc.

6. Where do you find your inspiration for your lyrics?

I use personal events that happen in my life and what happens to others to help inspire me to create my lyrics. I write about things that I know will inspires other and people will relate to.

7. Who is your favorite female songwriter/artist (Other than MonAmi)?

Demi Lovato

8. Can you tell us a little about your latest recording, album, or project you are working on? In November, I did two collaboration covers with House Puzzle (Pablo Adame). We did a collaboration cover to A Thousand Years by Christina Perri and Bad Day by Daniel Powter. I am working on some new original/ cover songs.

9. Will you be playing publicly any time soon? If so, where can my fans find you?

Not at this time. I have submitted to venues, but really want to perform soon. I have opened up for Keegan Allen (Pretty Little Liars –Toby one of the main characters, ) at the Shops at Wiregrass Mall Meet and Greet over 1100 people. I’ve performed along with Spencer Sutherland, Oliivia Millerschin, Liberty Deep Down at the Second Annual No Bull Challenge Music Showcase Event Fundraiser for the Teen Video Awards

10. What is your favorite song by MonAmi? 

I like all of MonAmi’s songs! She rocks!

11. How can MonAmi’s fans find you? 


12. Anything else you would like to add?

Want to score some FREE music? Enter for a chance to win a copy of Kira Taylor’s “Country Girl Things” by commenting below or on the FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME Facebook page:

Until next time, Keep Rockin’,



Artist Spotlight: Haley Jonay

Hey Everyone!

hjalbumcover     Today, I am pleased to introduce Haley Jonay, a very talented young singer/songwriter who you do NOT want to miss. I discovered this amazing artist last fall when I was visiting my hometown and I was blown away by her style. (In fact, she kind of reminded me of ME at that age!) I asked her if I could present her to my fans via my FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME Tour Diary and she jumped at the chance. So…here’s the 411 on Haley and don’t forget to read to the end for a special offer for blog readers!

1.Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? How long have you been performing?

My name is Haley Jonay. I’m a seventeen year old singer/songwriter from Greenfield, IN. I’ve been performing since the age of fourteen.
2. Describe your music. R&B, pop, rock, folk, etc.

My music is a melting pot of genres; everything from pop to rock to country to folk.
3. Who were some of your early influences and who do you admire today?

One of my biggest influences as a child was Hannah Montana, also known as Miley Cyrus. I was totally inspired by her rock star lifestyle and sparkly outfits. Others include Johnny Cash, Demi Lovato, and Alanis Morissette. Currently I’m pulling a lot of inspiration from artists like Ed Sheeran, John Lennon, and Taylor Swift.

4. Did you ever crush over a guy in a band (can be a famous boy band…no judgement)? If so, who?

When I was about ten years old, I had the biggest crush on Joe Jonas from The Jonas Brothers.

5. Who was your first concert?

My first concert was Miley Cyrus on the Best of Both Worlds Tour in 2007. That concert definitely sparked my dream of being a performer

6.Where do you find your inspiration for your lyrics?

My inspiration comes from the world around me. That can be anything from heartbreak to dandelions. When I write songs, nothing is off limits.

7. Who is your favorite female songwriter/artist?

Other than MonAmi, Taylor Swift is definitely one of my favorite female artists/songwriters. Her lyrics are so clever and relevant, her stage presence is enchanting, and she is a beautiful person inside and out.

8. Can you tell us a little about your latest recording, album, or project you are working on?

I recently released my debut album ‘Haley Jonay’ which I wrote, composed, and produced. I’m insanely proud of it. The songs are all from my heart. With this album I’m essentially opening my diary for the world to read, and I couldn’t be more excited.

9. Will you be playing publicly any time soon? If so, where can my fans find you?

I have tons of exciting shows coming up in 2015. On July 2, 2015 I’m playing on the Plaza Stage at Klipsch Music Center right before Ed Sheeran hits the main stage. This is a dream come true for me, because Ed is one of my idols, and Klipsch Music Center is my dream venue. It’s going to be amazing! All of my dates can be found at

  1. What is your favorite song by MonAmi? My favorite song by MonAmi is definitely “How Do You Like Me Now?” 
  2. How can MonAmi’s fans find you?

    iTunes: Haley Jonay

    Instagram: @HaleyJonay

  3. Anything else you would like to add? I’m a huge fan of MonAmi, and I’m so incredibly excited to be interviewed for this blog! It’s a dream come true.

***SPECIAL GIVEAWAY*** Post comment to this thread and be entered to win an MP3 of Haley’s song “Like We’ve Never Met” from the album Haley Jonay!

Thanks Haley for joining us on our Artist Spotlight!

Do you know of a hot new artist I should feature? Tell me about them in the comments, send them to this blog and I will try and feature them on an upcoming edition!

Until next time, KEEP ROCKIN’


MonAmi’s Rock and Roll Rules

MonAmi Blog 3    The smart artist takes the time to study the greats in order to become greater. They build upon previous successes and avoid the pitfalls and mistakes of the past. While most musicians have those people who they look up to, and the rules they adhere to in their own career, here are mine. You’ll notice that I haven’t always gotten them 100% right, but even though I have broken some of them, I have always learned from them. Here’s hoping they will help you in the same way that they have helped me! -MonAmi

1. Do something worth remembering. -Elvis Presley

2. You Build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. -Johnny Cash

3. Don’t work at being ordinary. -Paul McCartney

4. I can’t think of anything more expressive than being a rock and roll singer. -Robert Plant

5. I may not believe in myself, but I believe in what I am doing. -Jimmy Page

6. I never trust anyone who doesn’t like Led Zeppelin. -Jack White

7. I won’t be a rock star, I will be a legend. -Freddie Mercury

8. If I told you what it takes to reach the highest high, you’d laugh and say nothing’s that simple. -Pete Townshend.

9. Don’t be in a band and then get involved with each other. – Ann Wilson

10. Before there was Elvis, there was nothing. -John Lennon.


Julie Young answers your questions about FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME plus GIVEAWAY!!!

Julie     Recently, I attended a special event when a dear friend of mine came up to me and said, “We need to talk.”

Although I was pretty sure that I hadn’t done anything wrong, when I hear a statement like that, I tend to get nervous. Maybe it’s the Catholic guilt setting in, but I never know if what will follow will be a good thing or a bad thing. Hoping for the former, I offered a nervous laugh and asked what she wanted to talk about.

“I’ve read FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME,” she replied. “I have questions.”

A few minutes later, we were huddled at a table where we talked about my characters as if they were real people, which after a while they become. She asked me questions that I get from a lot of people at signings and personal appearances and I decided what better way to begin this one year anniversary celebration of FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME than by answering some of these questions I am often asked? So…for everyone who has wanted to know the backstory behind the novel, here’s hoping this provides a few answers!

Jem    1. Was FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME based on Hannah Montana

No. In fact, I had the idea for FMOF at least 15 years before Hannah Montana came out and when it did, I nearly scrapped the whole project! I often joke that Disney stole my idea and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t see the similarities, but actually FMOF came from a couple of different sources. The first was a cartoon I watched as a kid (and one which is getting the Hollywood treatment as we speak) Jem and the Holograms. I loved the idea of an ordinary person transforming into a rock and roll superstar as well as the potential pitfalls leading a double life could bring. It seemed to me that trying to hold down two identities would be very isolating and that it would be next-to-impossible to be true to either one.

The second source for FMOF was a Disney Sunday Night Movie I saw at some point called Rock and Roll Mom. I can’t even remember who was in it other than Thelma Hopkins of Tony Orlando and Dawn, if that tells you anything, but I loved the plot line of this middle-aged women accidentally becoming the biggest thing in rock and roll. They give her the full makeover treatment to the point that her kids don’t even recognize her and when she sings a song she wrote back in school, her friends think that this diva stole her song. (I really wish I could find that movie on YouTube or that Disney would release it on their App…I’d love to see it again!)

FMOF   2. Is the character of MonAmi based on you? 

I’m never quite sure how to answer this question because it is not something that can be answered with a straight “yes” or “no.” Although I am a musician and many of my friends refer to me as “the rockstar” I never reached the same super stratified level of fame that MonAmi does. However, I often wished that one day I would wake up and someone would offer to make all of my rock and roll dreams come true. When I wrote FMOF, I decided to explore what that might have been like if it had actually happened, but no…the book is not based on my life per se.

When it came to finding a personality to base MonAmi on, I drew on a lot of people who experienced the insanity that comes with “first fame” such as Michael Jackson, Jon Bon Jovi, David Cassidy, and others. I watched and read a LOT of rock and roll biographies to get a sense of the pattern that occurs when a record label throws all of their muscle behind a young artist. Typically, they explode onto the scene, believe their own hype and by the time they are 18 or 21, they are a walking case of burnout. I didn’t want MonAmi to become a train wreck. I wanted her to be smarter than that, but she had to make mistakes as well. Nobody’s perfect and there is always a price to pay when you sell your soul to rock and roll.

Denim    3. Who inspired the character of Denim Rhodes? 

I’ll never tell! LOL Look, every fantasy guy is a composite of several different people and Denim is no different. Denim is as exasperating as he is irresistible and I think all women have a guy like that in their lives. He’s the one who doesn’t follow the script, who will rub the stardust out of your eyes a little, but always makes you think. Denim is the guy who catches every detail. He points out the red flags that MonAmi can’t see. He sees her career for what it is and although she doesn’t always listen to him, she can’t ignore him either. He’s the one person in her all-too-crazy world that she would like to get close to, but can’t out for fear that even if one person finds out the truth about her, the clock will strike midnight and everything she’s worked for will come to an unceremonious end.

   4. Who were your influences as a writer? 

All of the rock and roll heroes. My personal favorites are people like Lennon and McCartney, Plant and Page and the Wilson sisters of Heart. When I was a kid, I loved to read but I never thought I could write a story the way Judy Blume, Ellen Conford, or Betty Miles could. That seemed like it took talent on another level and because I wanted to be a musician, I focused on the poetry and symbolism contained in lyrics. I had notebooks filled with little songs that I just knew would become my hit singles in time. (God, I was so cheesy back then!) Eventually those lyrics and poems progressed into prose and here we are today. I’ve discovered that it’s not all that different really. It’s all self-expression and getting your truth out there. So no matter if it is a poem backed up by a la la la or telling a story that you have in your head, it’s all about sharing what you have to say with others and hoping it resonates with them as well.

FMOF reader    5. What has the reaction to FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME been like? 

Quite surprising, really. I wrote the book for younger readers who repeatedly asked, “When are you going to write something for us?” However, I have been amazed at the wide range of ages that seem to respond to this story. I have had people call me and say “I didn’t expect to like it, but I did!” or “I thought it was going to be a rock and roll book but it was something else as well.” I attended a book signing of another author and a woman in her 50s who happened to be there said “I read FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME and I loved it. How did you come up with the character? Did you write all the songs?”…It was awesome to learn that not only the young but the young at heart love this character!

6. Did you write all of the songs in the book?

Yes. It wasn’t easy to write lyrics that fit the storyline, seemed believable and made musical “sense” in my head. I couldn’t write a bunch of words that rhymed and be done. I had to think about what they would sound like if played with a band, how you would choreograph a production, etc…so I used a lot of real songs as inspirations for them. (Note: Check back later for a complete list of songs that inspired MonAmi’s tunes.)

photo-2    7. Do you have any signings coming up in conjunction with FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME?

I sure do! I will be at the Wheeler Arts Theater in Fountain Square (Indianapolis) tonight at 6 p.m. I will have gifts for everyone who purchases a copy of FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME and will personalize each book. I am one of the special guests at the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana’s Author Breakfast on 4/18, I will be at the Pendleton, Indiana library on 5/2, Barnes & Noble in Greenwood, Indiana on 5/3 and I will also be appearing at various book clubs this summer!



***FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME FANS*** Here’s your chance to win a Fifteen Minutes of Fame Tour pack from MonAmi herself.  Post “Rock On” on the official FMOF Facebook page to be entered in the giveaway. One lucky winner will receive music from one of MonAmi’s featured artists, a guitar pick, backstage pass and bookmark autographed by MonAmi:




Happy One Year Anniversary FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME!

photo-2    Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of my debut YA novel FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME and in order to celebrate this momentous occasion (and give readers a chance to see some new material I am working on) I am having a month long party full of new music, prizes, giveaways, and exclusive material that cannot be found in the book!

MonAmi herself will be introducing readers to some new artists that you will be able to catch all around the country this summer and she is always on the lookout for new talent. If you know of a band or act who may want to be featured on MonAmi’s Tour Diary, be sure to let us know in the comments or on the official FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME Facebook page:

Stay tuned and keep rockin’

Julie Young