Who is Montreea?

About MontreeaThose who wish to learn about Montreea will find a story of perseverance & resilience. Her gospel vocal stylings have captivated audiences across the continent, and her songwriter’s pen continues to craft records for DJs and producers worldwide. Captured across film, television and radio is an improbable portrait of a woman who, despite improbable odds, has managed to land on records around the globe.

Though she enjoyed and survived the heyday of the trailblazing artist Miss Money, a twist in Montreea’s journey led her down a path not even she anticipated. “I just love music,” she quips while on a studio break. “Through the wins, losses, exultation & embarrassments, I’ve just held on when most people would have probably quit.”

Montreea and momMontreea was born in Monroe, Louisiana. When her alcoholic father received Christ, the whole family followed, and Montreea, the eldest child, supported his ministry through singing. “I learned about Christ early and sang at church after church. My dad took me all over the South,” she reflects on her late father, a product of Marshall, TX. His church, built from a dilapidated crack house, still sits in the heart of Studewood today.

“My mom was the original Sister Bailey,” Montreea grins. “I inherited passion from her.” On May 21, 2021, her mother passed away from breast cancer after a fruit-filled life. Though Montreea admits that the choices made early in her music career strained her relationship with both parents, she credits them for her strong determination and introduction to music.

Montreea began studying classical music at age ten. After graduating with honors from the High School for Performing & Visual Arts, she attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. Montreea majored in music business & audio engineering. She also attended master classes by Patti LaBelle, Oleta Adams, Sting & Quincy Jones. “Berklee was magical,” she states. “Brian McKnight, Jonathan Butler, and the great Phil Wilson were accessible and available to mentor & teach.”

Montreea was awarded internships at BMG Records (Whitney Houston) & Island Records (Boyz II Men) as a college student. After graduating Sum Cum Laude, Montreea adopted the stage name Miss Money.

The thirteen years spent as Miss Money were a whirlwind and resulted in numerous awards, including Black Heritage Society Jr. Achiever (2005), a 2006 Texas Lifetime Achievement Award, and The Houston Chronicle Ultimate Musical Multitasker title in 2007. Part of her journey was captured in the award-winning film Pick Up the Mic. Curve Magazine dubbed Miss Money an “underground musical genius,” and she appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, Computer Music, Blues & Soul, URB, David Atlanta, Rolling Stone, and The Dallas Morning News.  

The religious community came calling in 2009. With churches lining up to hear her voice Miss Money changed her name to Montreea. The momentum began to pick up in her career and she won the 2010 Houston finals of the Most Powerful Voices contest. She was nominated for a My Gospel Soul Award a year later, won a 2011 Fresh Award and, in 2012, she was a semifinalist in the Unsigned Music Only competition. Montreea beat out 15,000 singers to land on BET’s Sunday Best in 2013 and toured across the country through 2017.

In 2018, she set up a songwriting factory. “I went back to work writing & singing for rappers and DJs,” she asserts. Her songwriting pen has blessed a who’s who of house music, including Sebb Junior (Spain), BOS (Sweden) & Alex Millet (Italy). The film Here’s My Heart also featured Montreea’s testimony in 2018.

Montreea BET Sunday BestIn 2019, Montreea celebrated releases on SubUrban Records (Europe), Soulful Legends (US), Check It Out Records (Europe) & House 4 Life Records (US). By 2020, the pandemic hit. Montreea’s buzz as a writer was simmering, and life changed again. “My mom decided to stop breast cancer treatments in 2021,” says Montreea. “I used my money from studio sessions to pay off my studio. I closed up shop and spent as much time as I could with her before she passed.”

After taking time off, she returned in 2022 with releases on Quantize Recordings (US) and Ricanstruction Brand Label. Her memoir, My Escape from Sodom is currently in the works and documents her unbelievable journey through music, Hollywood and religion. She says, “It’s all about the music and showing love. It’s a new season. I’m just blessed to still be able to share.”