Photographer credits: Taylor Ballantyne

The status of the female artist in the music industry has transformed significantly in the last few years. Be it the overly publicized presence of shock-value sexuality, or the knock off positivity movements that trend amongst the listener community, expressing the essence of the female mystique has become an abstract volition for some, and tip-toed eggshell minefield for others. In this fog of gender confusion both socially and in the music industry, some have not only embraced the full fledged reach of their inner personality as a woman, but remind us of the courageous attitude it takes to be one. Kelly Monrow, the rock n roll bell from Austin Texas, has been captivating audiences with her powerful voice and empowering lyrics since the turn of Covid. From her early beginnings in movies and television, Kelly has paved her way as a female artist in a muck ridden industry, and her journey through thick and thin is an inspiration for all those with that same feminine fire.

Like many artists that have transitioned through multiple art forms in the limelight, acting in local theatre productions and eventually to big and small screens have been a part of her life since a very young age. As she has said in many of her interviews, music, the last iteration of her talents always held a special place in her heart with an undeniable urge to pursue. We’re talking about a woman who has acted, modelled ( and still does), sings, and performs, and has her own show called “cigar sessions.”

After listening to Scars on Venus,  her hit new album, I couldn’t help but look into the story through which this music was born. A few interviews later, and you can see that despite overcoming a litany of personal and professional challenges, including near-death experiences, divorce, a difficult childhood, and multiple career changes, Monrow has emerged as one of the most electrifying new voices in country music. With a lyrical penmanship that paints the picture of peaceful triumph over her life, her raw instrumental talent comes in to reinvigorate the spirits.

With 2 years of home lockdowns ahead of her, this artist’s career revival has a spiritual twist. Kelly recounts in her interview with Rockwood Music Hall that 2 life-altering experiences triggered her plunge into the musical unknown – an ayahuasca ceremony and a profound encounter with chocolate mushrooms. Like most psychedelics they unlocked a “wellspring of creative expression and emotional depth” that just needed a nudge to come out.

The album is fire, a personal and emotional journey, exploring themes of love, heartbreak, and self-discovery. Kelly’s powerful vocals and insightful lyrics have earned her a huge following on socials.

Now, with the success of “Scars on Venus” behind her, Kelly is looking ahead to her next steps in the music industry. She is an artist who is not content to rest on her laurels and is always pushing herself to grow. That youtube series, Cigar sessions, is bringing together all kinds of genres and artists, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store.