The Fame Reporter interviewed superstar Queensland performer and leading lady, Courtney Monsma at the launch of her debut studio album ‘In the light‘. She is performing in Disney’s Frozen the Musical at QPAC and touring Australia as the royal and quirky Princess Anna.
The launch was held at the Cremorne Theatre, QPAC to celebrate the incredible talent and hardwork of Monsma. Courtney opened the event by performing the magical tune ‘Journey to the past’ from Anastasia.
Surrounded by family, friends and colleagues Courtney then candidly spoke about how grateful she is to create an album with the support of so many wonderful people in her life. She then sung a song from Beetlejuice the Musical ‘Dead Mom’ and beautifully performed her original track ‘The light that you are’ that she wrote during one of Melbourne’s various lockdowns.
The debut album, features nine covers of mostly musical theatre renditions and one original song ‘The Light That You Are’, is designed to shine a light inward, exploring the journey Courtney has been on the last couple of years as well as sharing her passion for storytelling.
Monsma wrote her original track ‘The Light That You Are’ during lockdown when she had time to reflect on mental health, including her own. ‘The Light That You Are’ explores the power you can find by looking inward, rather than relying on external sources to build you up and recognising the light that shines within yourself to galvanise your own inner strength.
Listeners will recognise several of the cover tracks including Sara Barellies’ ‘She Used To Be Mine’ from Waitress and Jason Robert Brown’s ‘I’m Not Afraid Of Anything’ from Songs for A New World, which Monsma used to sing to herself when studying musical theatre at Queensland Conservatorium.
Theatre lovers will revel in Monsma’s personal favourites from Beetlejuice, Means Girls on Broadway, AIDA on Broadway and Six The Musical, in which Monsma played Katherine Howard in the Australian tour before landing the role of Princess Anna.
The album also features two very special tracks from the Frozen The Musical song catalogue; ‘True Love’ and ‘I Can’t Lose You’, the latter being a heart-felt duet with Courtney’s co-star Jemma Rix who plays Elsa in the Australian production of the hit Broadway show.
We had the exciting opportunity to sit down with the incredible Courtney Monsma at the launch of her very first album. Courtney talked about the inspiration behind the album, her inner monologue during the creation of the special project, performing Princess Anna in Frozen and more.
Welcome to The Fame Reporter Courtney, congrats on your debut album ‘In the light’, what inspired you to want to record your own CD?
I have always wanted to record an album. It was just about finding the right time and the right resources. As I am currently performing the role of Princess Anna now felt like the perfect time with a platform like Frozen the Musical.
It was a great chance to connect with so many listeners as well. I thought it felt right to give them a chance to see who I am as a person, rather than the characters I play.
What was the process like creating the album, choosing the tracks, the recording structure and how did you choose the specific songs you wanted to feature?
I started with the biggest list ever because I love so many songs. I was really thinking about what each song meant to me personally, that’s how I narrowed the list down. I featured some songs that mark a few moments in my career but also presented some tracks that I just love singing in the car.
What do you love about songwriting and what was the inspiration behind the original song ‘The light that you are’?
I always get nervous about songwriting. I think it is this big imposter syndrome of not feeling like you can do it. It is its own art form. I have always loved writing poems so I think that was a way I started to write music.
It really came as a springboard after Covid lockdowns and meeting people and being around performers I realised that their minds are quite similar to mine in a sense that they don’t always realise their value and full potential.
How does it feel to be in an iconic Disney Broadway musical as the quirky, real, weird, loving Princess Anna of Arendelle and what is your favourite music right now that you are playing on repeat?
It is amazing playing Anna in Frozen, particularly at QPAC in Brisbane where I used to see shows growing up and now to be performing in one at QPAC is very special. Anna is very much me so there is not much acting going on there.
Princess Anna is a massive challenging role so she keeps me on my toes show after show and I love that.
The music I have been playing on repeat…I have actually been loving an artist called Laufey, she is a jazz singer with a modern twist – you should listen to her music. I often listen to her when I am getting ready to do Frozen. She is nice and chill.
If there was a snowperson created from your personality what traits would it have and what would its name be?
Ooh the snowwoman would be called ‘Chaotic’. It would be very messy and would forget things all the time. But it would be very fun-loving and not scary at all.
Thank-you Courtney for joining us at The Fame Reporter and we wish you all the best for your debut album’s success and the tour of Frozen the Musical!
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