It’s time someone said it out loud: Singer Whitney Mongé is the (bleep).
WHITNEY MONGÉ was a finalist in the 2012 Hard Rock Rising battle of the bands competition in Seattle.
Just Mongé, her acoustic guitar and her soulful voice. She lost to a talented (and loud) band, Ayron Jones and the Way. Mongé and Jones became friends, and they still are, often playing music together.
Mongé told me recently that Jones’ confidence is sometimes mistaken for cockiness.
“People think Ayron is arrogant because he just says, ‘I’m the (bleep),’ ” Mongé says. “I think I’m the (bleep), but I don’t say it out loud.”
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Oh, Whitney. Jeez. Sorry; I think we just did. Sort of.
I met Mongé five years ago, when I was writing a story about busking. I saw her perform at Pike Place Market, and was captivated by her strong, emotional voice. Don’t take my word for it, though. Check out her cover of “Landslide” from a 2012 appearance on Bob Rivers’ morning radio show.
I invited her — and Jim Page, the godfather of Seattle busking — to play at The Seattle Times as a going-away gift for departing executive editor David Boardman (he didn’t die; he just moved to Philadelphia).
I kept an eye on Mongé’s career. She wrote songs that featured powerful, relatable lyrics, then played them on Seattle TV and radio stations. She was featured in Brian Nunes’ fine, award-winning 2014 film, “Find Your Way: A Busker’s Documentary.” I listened to her records, and I noticed she was playing shows at clubs and festivals around Seattle and the Northwest. Now she’s planning a solo tour in Europe this fall, and soon will release a new EP.
I met with her several times for this story, including twice at dazzling live performances — one solo, one with her band. I see her talent. Her work ethic, her intelligence and her charisma. I see her authenticity. And this much I’m sure of:
Whitney Mongé is the (bleep).