Seventy years from now, Victoria Monét plans to still be cradling a 50-pound dumbbell, doing squats, and smiling as she wipes the sweat from her brow. The rising singer and frequent Ariana Grande collaborator dropped her glittery, devilishly sexy new song “Ass Like That” earlier this week, and while its title may suggest a striptease, it’s actually an empowering anthem for women to feel confident in talking about their bodies. “When I wrote this song, I was just starting with my trainer, and I just really wanted to have really toned legs, a small waist, and a big ass,” she told MTV News over the phone. “That goal still stands.” Naturally, Monét also said she plans on never slowing down on fitness, even when she gets up there in age.
That’s because the 26-year-old singer has made fitness a lifestyle. As she’s worked her way through the 2010s penning songs with Fifth Harmony and Grande and popping up for features with artists like Machine Gun Kelly and T.I., she’s also focused on her physical wellbeing. “It’s something that I don’t consider letting go of, ever,” she said.
This fixation on physically, mentally, and emotionally maturing through aerobics is at the heart of “Ass Like That” and its awesome 1970s-inspired lyric video. The exercise bike she rides is bathed in era-appropriate sepia tones, and Monét also found inspiration in her mom, who had “workout tapes that she would exercise to at home.” Instead of working out in a private gym for the visual, Monét wanted to bring some of the warm homey feel to the screen. “I felt like it was a lot more tangible and relatable for people to bring it into this environment,” she said.
MTV News spoke with Monét about making “Ass Like That,” her fitness goals, and what to know when planning on getting back in the gym.
MTV News: Why do you call the gym your true home? What would you say that your fitness goals are at this moment?
Victoria Monét: There are some really fire women that come into the gym who are an inspiration for me, and they have abs without flexing and arms like Angela Bassett’s. I’m inspired by the people around me. I just want to get better than where I am today and inspire my family and people who need the inspiration to go for it.
MTV News: And how would you say that this plays into the idea of perseverance that’s at the center of ‘Ass Like That?’
Monét: I think every time you challenge your body, you challenge your mind and you can push yourself further than you would naturally think. Going to the gym kind of proves that when you do one more rep than you couldn’t do yesterday. So I think it expands into everyday life when you take this perseverance and apply it to everyday life with other challenges.
MTV News: What was the process like for creating the song?
Monét: I actually was in a writing camp by Yours Truly Creative by Adidas Originals. There were a lot of creatives, musicians, and producers. We were just going from room to room. This was one of the songs that came about at the camp. It kind of naturally just came together by me narrating my life and just telling the truth.
MTV News: Where did the idea for the lyric video come from?
Monét: The rest of my music has even more 1970s influence and live instrumentation. I was really inspired by older artists that would leave musical breaks. This is just my take on that and bringing it into the living room space and making it relatable for other people.
MTV News: How has fitness defined your life so far?
Monét: It’s really become quite a lifestyle. I think that it’s largely in part since I have to be in front of the camera a lot and try on a bunch of clothes that are usually runway size. They’re very small, so it can play with your confidence emotionally. But just making sure that I’m doing my best and transferring my gym work to a healthy eating lifestyle kind of certifies me for a longer and healthier life in general.
MTV News: What would you say to people who want to start fresh in the gym tomorrow?
Monét: The first step is walking in there. Sometimes when people think about the gym, they think about the end of the process and get overwhelmed. As soon as you walk in and do something, that’s a start. There are going to be some days that you fall off but you can always start again and make it a habit for yourself. Make it a real lifestyle, even if you leave and have a milkshake because you have a crazy craving randomly. As long as you get up and walk in that gym again, you’ll be fine. It’s not really about perfection. It’s about growth. That’s the mindset you have to have. Keep going, keep growing.