Artist of the Issue: GloMonCho

Before Travis Scott’s ASTROWORLD entered the music scene, there was GloMonCho’s OffWhite. The album is a product of a Faculty Sponsored Activity (FSA) completed by Gloria Hui, Cho Nikoi, and Montanna Riggs ’19 last winter. Instantly a success, it is currently available on the music platforms Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and Amazon Music. Cho’s captivating vocals along with Gloria and Montanna’s harmonious backing distinguish this album from others. Cho answered questions about the group’s quick rise to stardom for the Circle Voice.


How did you guys come together to become a music group?

During Third Form winter, Gloria and I occasionally had jam sessions in the music wing after school and we’d often try to find ballads that fit both of our musical styles. One day we brought Montanna in to add some cello backing on the songs, and we decided that “When We Were Young” sounded good enough for the next Open Mic. And the rest is history!


So, why is your album called OffWhite?

We decided we wanted to somehow reference the room number of the recording studio we worked in, which was Room 044, as we were spending so much of our time in there. 044 alone seemed too overt, so we took the initials of the numbers (O Four Four) and made something of it. As we were brainstorming the rest of the name, people always asked us what the “theme” of our album was. We realized that there wasn’t really any theme – WE were the theme, along with anything that we felt like doing. Very non-conformist. So if “white” symbolizes order or pureness, we are not that. So that, plus 044, became OffWhite. It also just so happens that none of us are white — which was a joke born AFTER the naming of the album!


Which song was most memorable for you and why?

“Redbone x Me and Your Mama” mashup and the GloMonCho original “Hold The Floor” are the most memorable songs. The mashup was the most difficult song to record because it had so many moving parts and required a lot of creativity and effort. We had to enlist multiple Groton musicians (shoutout to Andrew Lei and Joe Collins) for that authentic, non-computer generated sound that we were looking for. Bobby Meehan also threw in his original rap verse. Meanwhile, we ourselves had to learn how to produce countless computer-generated sounds for the instruments we didn’t have at our disposal in a limited amount of time. On top of that, mashups are a really difficult thing to do, especially when the two songs are in different time signatures—which is what we were facing. “Hold The Floor” is just our baby because we wrote the whole thing ourselves, and there’s just always a very special relationship between a song and its writer.


What are your plans for this year?

This year we just plan to survive Sixth Form but music is not going to take a backseat! We are not making another album or doing an FSA, but that doesn’t rule out potential singles, and it MOST DEFINITELY doesn’t rule out postludes and Open Mics. We will never stop performing! Groton will probably be sick of us come Prize Day!


Shoutout to the faculty members who helped you out during the journey!

Ms. Lanier, our faculty sponsor, and Kenji Kikuchi were super helpful throughout the entire process. Without them, we’d probably have no album to be talking about. Also, Mr. Maqubela’s endless support truly means the world to us; he wants us to succeed probably even more than we do, and we’re eternally grateful!


If you could blast one song from the album on the Circle, what would it be, and why?

We’d probably just blast Bobby’s verse from Redbone x Me and Your Mama. Yes, just Bobby’s verse, and no other parts of the song. It’s so catchy!


Things only Groton insiders should know about the album?

If you were wondering why Cho sounds especially soulful in When We Were Young, it was because the AC in the recording studio was blasting, and in an extreme effort to cancel out that humming sound, we built a DIY recording booth with the drum booth padding, and Cho sung her heart out in complete darkness. She took this habit with her even when we ultimately moved to the studio next-door, and she made it a ritual to always record her vocals in a completely dark room. Something about the ambiance, apparently.

Another great moment was during the mixing process, a month after recording, we started to hear suspicious tinkles in the background of the Wild Thoughts mashup. We soon discovered that Cho had been wearing her favorite gold bracelet and couldn’t control her hand gestures during the recording. We had to take the bracelet away from her and redo the vocals of the ENTIRE song.


(This interview has been edited and condensed.)