Multimedia artist Moni Vargas began her professional music career as a college radio DJ on WVAU in 1991 and since she has shared billing with Paul McCartney, Maceo Parker, Massive Attack, Amy Winehouse, Mos Def, Janelle Monae, Katy Perry and performed in major cities throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America. She has released two CDs, one for The Fader’s Suite 903 series and another for the Japanese label Toy’s Factory which she promoted with a tour in Japan in 2009.
Moni has been named one of “New York City’s 15 Hottest DJ’s” and been featured on the cover of NYC’s Village Voice and in various print and online publications. In 2002, she joined the female DJ crew, Ubiquita. For several years, she was also part of the Giant Step roster at the Winter Music Conference alongside acts like Jazzanova, Erykah Badu, Kruder & Dorfmeister and Gilles Peterson, who personally selected her to be the resident DJ for his Brownswood Recordings’ monthly club night in NYC with jazz vocalist, Jose James through 2007 – 2008.
Moni has rocked massive crowds at Central Park’s Summerstage, Roseland and the Brooklyn Museum as well as the select clienteles of the Delano in Miami, Top of The Standard in NY and Anantara in Bali. She has held residencies at classic NYC venues like APT, Highline Ballroom and subMercer and enjoyed bookings at top institutions like The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, The Bronx Museum and Hayden Planetarium. Moni’s corporate clients have included MTV Japan, Dwell Magazine, People en Español, Morgan Stanley and fashion labels Issey Miyake, Triple Five Soul, Puma and Adidas. Her keen ear and seamless mixes draw on global soul, deep house, afro-latin rhythms, hip hop, jazz-funk, and future classics.
Soon after graduating college, Moni worked for Eighth Dimension Records exploring early house, jungle, trip hop and acid jazz. Years later, she transitioned to theatrical productions as a music director, scoring various plays with her original music and remixes. She has toured nationally performing at LA’s Royce Hall and the Studio Theater in DC earning an Helen Hayes Theater Award nomination as a cast member of the musical, Flow. As an on-stage DJ, she has also appeared on two prime-time TV specials for the Food Network.
Moni has honed her curatorial skills in music and the arts with a solid commitment to quality, originality and community. In 1999, she began her work as an associate producer for documentaries broadcast on Discovery’s Travel Channel and Court TV. Behind the lens, Moni’s photos have been published in several magazines including Rolling Stone and Spin. She has also worked as a contributing writer & photographer for the Japanese magazine Luire with a monthly music column.
In 2008, she and her husband, Mike Vargas, began collaborating in video production through their company, Nuyorktricity. Their clients include Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment, Sony Pictures, NikeID and The Queen Latifah Show. Additionally, they produce Friends We Love, a short documentary series on passion and creativity featuring artists like Pharrell, Gary Baseman, Femi Kuti, Jeff Soto, Quadron, Invader and Miss Van. With a motto to create, celebrate and educate, they have volunteered as teaching artists for high school and college students and produced the FWL Arts & Music Festival with some of NY’s best known street artists and bands. FWL prides itself in high quality, socially conscious content that ultimately benefits the greater good.
As a recent Los Angeles transplant, Moni hopes to engage her new community with the musical and artistic discoveries that inspire her, experiential events that move her and through memorable media that leaves a lasting impression.
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