Montaigne: the girl behind the voice

Montaigne: the girl behind the voice


Site: Samantha Ledlin

Image: Courtesy of Vogue Australia

Jessica Cerro is the voice behind Montaigne with a lot to say

With a voice like that, you can expect Montaigne to be outspoken on the issues that matter most to her. Samantha Ledlin caught up with the ARIA award winning songstress ahead of her performance for Vogue Fashion's Night out, chatting music, personal style and her 'People over Profit' statement. 

What have you been up to lately?

To be honest I have mostly just been trying to fix myself, I have been very unwell for the past two months, and we've just being trying to figure out what it is. I've had a few procedures, two doctors' consultations, a couple of scripts and about a million blood tests. In between that I've reordered a cover song from an older renowned Australian band a couple of weeks ago, and I'm working with Vogue and a few Festivals coming up, but mostly I've been sleeping.

Can you tell us who the band is?

I don't know? It's not original, it's a band that everyone loved back in the '60s and we're doing a cover album with a bunch of Australian musicians - that kind of vibe. It's more of a baby-boomers demographic.

Montaigne: the girl behind the voice (фото 1)

Are you working on any new music for yourself?

Yeah, I sort of carry on writing songs constantly and I have been organising a lot of co-writes [for upcoming music].

You're working with Vogue for VAEFNO and you appear in their September issue, what's it like to be working with the Vogue brand?

It's pretty cool, it's kind of like a validation. It's weird because growing up I was never 'the prettiest girl' and never cared about clothes and makeup and fashion stuff, I was just who I am on the inside - but secretly I wanted to be having the same party as everyone else. Now that I am on board, It's nice to know that they are on board with me as well. I feel like I have been acquitted for my previous crimes.

How would you describe your style?

My style oscillates between a bunch of different things. I like an 'assertive librarian' sort of vibe and I like a 'swashbuckling pirate' vibe. Anything with really puffy sleeves I'm a big fan of. Anything that looks parachute-y is cool. But I also really like zoot suits from the '70s and '80s. I like stuff that is really textured as well, I used to wear a lot of Macgraw, they're really cool. I like stuff that is unusual in a pretty way almost, but then I also go for a super-boyish Freddy Mercury kind of look, it just depends.

Montaigne: the girl behind the voice (фото 2)

Last year at the ARIA's you won Breakthrough Artist of the year and you made quite a statement - what message were you trying to send?

There were multifarious messages, one point I was trying to put across was about pokie-free Sydney and the Keep Sydney Open campaign, and the way that corporations, the government and developers are really destroying our nightlife. Gambling is a really serious issue, I don't know if you knew this but Sydney has the worst gambling problem in the world after Nevada, and that's really not good. [On top of that] I'm an ethical vegan, I care about people and I am queer, and have a lot of friends who are queer. I just generally believe in compassion and tolerance and the good treatment of all human beings alike, so 'People over Profit' is me putting that out there. I have a lot of people who are influenced by me and I play a role in shaping the way they think and the things they believe in.

Lastly, what kind of music are you into at the moment?

The albums that I'm smashing at the moment are Vera Blue's new one Perennial and also Everything Now by Arcade Fire and Pleasure by Feist.  

Montaigne will be performing at Vogue American Express Fashion Night Out in Sydney, Thursday September 7. At this year's one-night-only event, shoppers can expect live entertainment, special offers, celebrities, fashion industry VIPs and exclusive runway shows. The champagne will be flowing as the Melbourne CBD comes to life with fresh florals in celebration of the new season.

Montaigne: the girl behind the voice (фото 3)

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