Born as, Monaneka Jones in Athens, Georgia, Mona J is
no stranger to the music, acting, and entertainment world.
During her younger years, she was apart of the East
Athens Educational Dance Foundation, where she learned
the art of ballet, jazz, tap, & modern dance.
At the age of 6, Mona was casted for a leading role in
the community musical stage play, Annie. Mona J took
the leadership, discipline, and teamwork skills that she
acquired from her younger years, and used those skills to build her own brand.
In 2002, Mona J formed an all girls dance team and began organizing and hosting fashion and talent shows as before making solid connections. In 2004, she became a dance choreographer for Cedar Shoal’s High school and in 2006, she became the dance instructor for Clarke Central high school’s dance team
In 2006, Mona J attended a Theatre 101 class and gained her first acting experience as an adult. Mona J was casted for her first speaking role for a local tax commercial “Check and Exchange Tax Services” directed by Zebra Media Co and was also casted for a music video titled “Liquor” directed by Reality Check Productions.
In 2007, she began working for Seat Fillers and worked for several years as a production assistant for the B.E.T Hip Hop Awards.
In the same year, Mona J played a role in the independent film “The Jack Squad directed by Simboya Entertainment Co, and she was also casted in the film “Road Trip 2".
She later teamed up with Da Underground Entertainment Company and worked as a Radio Personality for WBKZ880 A.M. Known by the name, CoCo. Mona J co-hosted the Underground Radio Show starring Buddah & Coco and since CoCo was made into a brand name in her area, she continued to utilize the name Coco when she teamed up with a local television owner in 2010 to create the talk show, “It's Time to Talk Today with Richard & Coco”, which aired in five counties in the Northeast Georgia area.
In 2011, the name Mona J was created when she teamed up with a former coworker from Da Underground Radio Show, Tavaris Roberts, owner of All Out Management and Promotions LLC, where she worked as an Artist Development Manager preparing artists for the music world.
Later on that year, Mona J started her own Artist Management and Development company,Mona J & Associates, LLC which specializes in development of music artists and engineers. This current role fulfills her desire to support others in the entertainment industry, while enjoying what she does as well.
Besides managing artists and producers, Mona J also attended Celebrity Actors Studio under the direction of acting instructor and film director, Gaylord Parson in order to increase her skills as an actress . Mona J also began working as Parson’s production assistant for the film “Truth Seekers” .
In the same year she worked as the Associate Producer for the musical stage Play, “For the Love of Angie, by director and owner of Broadway Bound Productions Co., Vincent Kee
Later in that year, Mona J was introduced to Damels, CEO of Xsquad DJs, and began working as a radio host for their online radio show titled “Celebrity Sundays” in which she was afforded the opportunity to interview artists such as the legendary, Kurtis Blow.
Some of her work with the Xsquad DJ coalition includes participation in DJ conference calls where she listens and give feedback on new music being introduced to fans from celebrity artists.
Through social networking, Mona J met Todd Uno, producer at Atlanta's #1 FM radio station, V103, and began working on several projects for him.
Mona J has also worked as on air radio personality for A105 Aworldradio.com, Xsquad DJ Radio, and CollaboLive 106.5.
Mona J is currently an actress in the hit stage play, " I Don't Want A Church Man", a host of her own television show, "The Mona J Show" which airs on Comcast Cable Television, a new music artist, an artist and production development manager, an entertainment consultant, a spokes model/brand ambassador, and she continues to act as an hostess, perform celebrity interviews, and do correspondent work for a variety of events and showcases worldwide.
Mona J’s versatility to be a behind the scenes business woman, but also a talented entertainer ready for lights, camera, and action, sets her apart from most people in the industry.
Through dedication and focus, Mona J plans to walk the path of success.
3375 What motivates you to get up in the morning?
MONA J Thoughts of being successful wakes me up each morning. I'm a thinker. I constantly think of my next move and ways to become more successful. This keeps me from being content with where i am in life and encourages me to work hard for the goals I'm aiming to achieve.
3375 Do you consider yourself as a triple threat?
MONA J I consider myself more than a triple threat. I am skilled at being an event hostess, an actress, a correspondent, a radio personality, a music engineer manager, a talk show host, and a business owner of my own hair collection. I'm a force to be reckoned with.. Lol
3375 How did you get your started in radio?
MONA J I teamed up with a young lady who i worked as a partner with for Girl Scouts for underprivileged children. We later teamed up after she had an idea to run her own radio show on an A.M radio station. She called the name of the show, "Da Underground Radio Show, and i worked as a radio show host/personality who went by the name of CoCo at the time.
3375 Were you nervous when you did your first interview on the radio?
MONA J Yes, i was nervous then and i get nervous now. When you talk with celebrities that are well known today, they'll also informed you that they still get nervous when hosting an event or going live on air. I don't think a person ever loses that nervousness because a lot of people strive for perfection. I am guilty of that as well. I get nervous because i desire to entertain people and I'm sometimes afraid that i either will mess up a line or not entertain the crowd as much as i planned to do.
3375 What made you want to get into acting?
MONA J Ive always had a desire to be an actress. Acting is all about embodying a character and making the audience believe in the character. I believe that i can do just that, and i enjoy embodying different types of characters and giving the audience that experience to believe in the character that Ive embodied. My first passion was to become a professional dancer, and my second passion has always been to become a professional actress.
3375 How difficult was it to learn your lines in your first film?
MONA J Not difficult at all. My first experience as an actress actually happened at the age of 6. I learned at that time how to study lines and how to perform in front of an audience. Since i gained experience of rehearsing and memorizing lines at such an early age, I've always knew what it took to be great as an actress in film. One of the most important jobs that a person has to do as an actress or actor is to study your lines consistently.
3375 Whats the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
MONA J Thank God for another day.
3375 How important is it to give back to your community?
MONA J Giving back is very important. Because I've experience growing up in poverty, dropping out of school as a teenager, becoming pregnant at the age of 15, and being in an abusive relationship, it's easy for me to give back to others that have experienced these things I've went through. My goal is to be an inspiration to their and i aim to change their lives for the better. After experiencing all of these things, I went back and obtained a GED, an associates degree in Marketing Management, and then a Bachelors Degree in business. I went on to work as a manager in the E.R. at a public hospital, and later pursued my dreams in the entertainment field. So, I honestly experience joy when i can share my story with others and be a inspiration to their lives.
3375 Was it difficult for you as a woman to be taken serious in the
MONA J It's difficult for me to be taken serious in this entertainment business everyday. The biggest challenge i face is from men that come approach me everyday about sex. There are some women in this industry that have slept their way to the top, but i believe that you should work hard for the things you desire and not always lean on the easy route. Most women play themselves, and are left with only a bad name in the industry. I value my brand name, and i intend to keep it that way. I say that i you do choose to sleep with someone, my personal preference would be to sleep with a guy that doesn't work in the entertainment field.
3375 What are the pros and cons of being in the the entertainment business?
MONA J The pro's are doing what you love instead of working a job that you do not enjoy doing, meeting and networking with new people that can benefit your career, and making income for doing the things that you love. When you're doing the things you love doing each day, and you're getting paid for it, it never feels like you are being forced to work a job. The cons of this business would definitely be the huge amount of competition. There is a lot of competition in this industry, so you have to be the best at what you do so that others will acknowledge your competitive edge and want to hire you. People that are interested in the entertainment field have to understand that success make take years and doesn't happen over night.
MONA J My family has recently played a huge part in my success. I am a mother of two, so my son and my daughter are in Athens Ga with my family while I'm in the Atlanta area pursuing my career. My family looks after my kids while i am making the sacrifice to obtain success. Without my family, i wouldn't be able to do all the things that I'm doing. I miss my kids everyday, so i am determined to be successful, so that i can create a lifestyle in which i won't be forced to work as hard and in which I'll be able to spend as much time with my kids and with my family as i desire.
3375 What does Mona J do in her spare time?
MONA J I really don't have a lot of spare time.. LOL.. But when i do have spare time, i spend it with my family or i travel.
3375 Tell us about your TV talk show?
MONA J It's basically and entertainment and lifestyle show. I named it Mona J The Center of Attention show because every person who is reaching for success or just talking about themselves in general desires to be the center of attention at that particular time, meaning, they desire for all eyes and ears to be on them. So, each guest that comes on my show will be called, not guests, but the center of attention for that day's show. I call myself Mona J Center of Attention, so i figured why not call every guest center of attention as well. Besides having celebrity guest, the show will consist of segments with a professional chef cooking for the audience each week, and I'll talk about topics in the entertainment world and topics in worldwide news.
3375 How does it feel to have your own talk show?
MONA J Its a great feeling. The funny thing is, Ive always said that i wanted to be the next Oprah and the next female Ryan Seacrest, so to have my own talk show on cable television is a huge accomplishment in my career. I feel extremely blessed to be given this opportunity by the owner of the network.
3375 Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to get into the
MONA J Be willing to make sacrifices, network everyday, build a team of good people to work with and for you, and never give up.
3375 How can we find you online?
MONA J You can log on to my website at www.itsmonaj.com , on my instagram and twitter @_Mona_J , and you can also find me on facebook at facebook.com/monajxsquad.
3375 Any shout-outs?
MONA J Wow, i have so many shout outs to give because i have so many people to be thankful for, but the main shouts would be to my God, my family, my manager Nate Bryant, my entire team that works so diligently for me, Damels with Xsquad DJs, Kermick Freeman, Trechotty Meadows, Michael with Specialist Tv Network, and everyone else who's played a major part in my success. I truly love them all..