R&B star Monica has revealed that she is working on a country album. The singer-songwriter, who is also set to release a new R&B album Trenches shortly, told Billboard that she has collaborated with Brandi Carlile on the project.

“I grew up loving country music and my stepfather, who raised me, is a Methodist minister, but he also drove buses and he would take us to Nashville, Gatlinburg and Dollywood in Tennessee,” Monica said. “I became a really big fan of Dolly Parton, at about 8 or 9 years old. That was my real introduction to country music.”

“Shortly after, it was Kenny Rogers. I started listening to the depth of the songs and the fact that they were unafraid to say whatever it was they felt,” she added. “I felt like this was a great time for me to really step into an area that I’ve always admired and loved. We’re just getting started, but I have so enjoyed it and been welcomed with open arms.”

Meanwhile, this won’t be the musician’s first entry into the country music genre. Previously, she collaborated with Jimmie Allen and Little Big Town on the song “Pray” from Allen’s Bettie James Gold Edition project.

“Jimmie Allen is an incredible guy who loves his family and knows they’ve brought him through a tremendous amount of things,” she told Billboard. “That’s what we related most about.”

“I met Little Big Town when Brandi Carlile and I were in the studio working on my country album — it may be out before the end of the year — and I heard harmonies up the hallway,” she added. “That turned into them participating on ‘Pray,’ so it was one of those real organic situations after Jimmie called me about doing the record.”

(Photo: WLA Talen Agency)

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