His interest in music began as a child growing up in Memphis. His father was and still is a sought-after bassist. His mother and grandmother always had music in the house or at church.
When it came to the bass, MonoNeon had a great tutor, as he and Dwayne Thomas, Sr., regularly jammed together. “We pretty much started out like each other. We had no formal training, just practicing, listening, emulating,” said dad. “Then later on, thinking I knew what I was doing, I started adding effects, things bassists weren’t doing at the time. You tell me to go right, I go left. That’s why I embrace what he does. It’s his style.”
That flair — bolstered by training at Berklee College of Music — also extends to the bright colors and intricate quilted fabrics that make up his eye-catching outfits. Inspired by experimental art movements such as Dadaism and surrealism, MonoNeon’s works are as impactful visually as they are musically.
“I try to connect music to visual arts,” he said. “Abstract expressionism stuff that I really try to convey when I play. I don’t know how to explain it. I just grab those things and apply them to music.”