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Monica Arnold may be young, but she knows about attitude. Confident. Intelligent. Self-possessed and self-assured. Wise beyond her years, but still playful.

Some people might wonder just what a teenager could possibly have to say. The answer, for Monica, is plenty.

MISS THANG is Monica's Rowdy Records debut, and it's a potent, persuasive and personal statement from a young woman who's heading up the new breed of R&B; singers. Such is the depth of soulfulness of MISS THANG and of Monica's powerful vocals that it's hard to believe she only turned fourteen in October and has just entered the ninth grade.

With songs written and produced by the incomparable Dallas Austin and his all-star DARP producers Tim & Bob (Boyz II Men), Colin Wolfe (Dr. Dre, Madonna) and Arnold Hennings (TLC, Tracie Spencer), MISS THANG is a solid, funky, sassy and knowing collection that represents both Monica and the way young girls are living.

More than just a collection of songs written by a man trying to perpetuate teenage reality, the album was composed with Monica's input, and with one particular young lady in mind: Monica herself.

Take the powerhouse first single, "Don't Take It Personal." Straight-ahead funky, both in the beat and in the message, "Don't Take It Personal" is Monica's credo. Directed to a boyfriend who's sweating her to spend more time with him, the track is a soulful announcement that Monica can walk the walk, talk the talk, and live her life with pride and confidence. Lines like "It's just one of them days when I wanna be all alone...It's just one of them thangs...Don't take it personal" set the tone.

Monica has an amazing sense of self, especially for someone her age, and this clearly comes across in her music. The title track take the assuredness of "Don't Take It Personal" to the next level, as Monica asserts, "It's all right for me to think it's all about me..." commenting on Monica's confident and sassy personality, Dallas sates, "She's a young girl with an old soul. She had to have been a jazz or blues singer in a past life."

The strength of Monica's album and attitude caught the attention of Queen Latifah, who happened to hear an advance of MISS THANG while visiting Atlanta. Latifah arranged to meet Monica, and immediately offered to manage her through Flavor Unit Management Company.

Born and raised in Atlanta's College Park, Monica's musical ambitions have always been supported by her family. Monica began singing in her local church choir at the tender age of four, and quickly rose from the chorus to a soloist. Word of the child prodigy with phenomenal skills began to filter around Atlanta. Vocally inspired by the likes of Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, and Rachelle Farrell, Monica was encouraged to enter local talent contests and eventually won over twenty of them. It was at one of these shows that fate, in the persona of Dallas Austin, intervened.

Dallas' rep is well known. A bit of a wunderkind himself at twenty-three, his list of credits is diverse: Madonna, Joi, TLC, Boyz II Men, Grace Jones and Highland Place Mobsters, to name a few. Noted for his visionary approach to soul and pop, Dallas saw and heard that "certain something" in Monica and immediately offered her a deal with his Arista-distributed Rowdy Records label.

"Working with Dallas was hard work, but he made it fun. He really helped me feel the meaning of the songs and bring my own point of view in," Monica says of her "daddy" Dallas, who claims, "Monica is the most gifted and innately talented singer I've ever worked with. Her phrasing and interpretation came very naturally."

Monica's got the wisdom, the attitude and , most of all, the voice to deliver. Monica is a real singer, with serious talent, and MISS THANG is just the opening salvo from a young woman that has a lot to say and her own unique way of saying it.

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Genre:  R & B
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