Montaigne (musician)

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Montaigne 2019.jpg
Montaigne in April 2019
Background information
Birth nameJessica Alyssa Cerro
Born (1995-08-14) 14 August 1995 (age 24)
OriginSydney, New South Wales, Australia
GenresArt pop
  • Vocals
  • acoustic guitar
  • piano
Years active2014–present
Associated acts

Jessica Alyssa Cerro (born 14 August 1995), who performs as Montaigne, is an Australian art pop singer-songwriter-musician. Her debut album, Glorious Heights, was released on 5 August 2016, which peaked at No. 4 on the ARIA Albums Chart. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2016 she won Breakthrough Artist – Release for the album and was nominated for three other categories. In April 2016 she was a featured vocalist on Hilltop Hoods' track, "1955", which reached No. 2 on the ARIA Singles Chart.


Early life[edit]

Cerro was born in Sydney in 1995, and was raised in the Hills District.[1] Her father Gus was a soccer player who played in the Australian National Soccer League, as well as for Negeri Sembilan FA and Pahang FA in Malaysia.[2] Cerro has stated that her "ethnic background is a mixture of Argentinian, Spanish, Filipino and French".[3]

2012-2013:Career Beginnings[edit]

Jessica Cerro was a Triple J Unearthed High School finalist in 2012 with her indie pop song "Anyone But Me" but waited until finishing high school to pursue her music career. In November 2012, Cerro signed a publishing deal with Albert Music and spent the following two years refining her songwriting skills under the guidance of Michael Szumowski.[4]

In late 2013, Cerro decided to adopt the moniker Montaigne, inspired by the 16th century philosopher and essayist Michel de Montaigne. Shortly after completing her HSC Montaigne began recording her debut EP with producer Tony Buchen (The Preatures, Andy Bull).[5]

2014-2016: Glorious Heights[edit]

Montaigne performing in 2015

In 2014, Montaigne released her first single "I Am Not an End", which was added to high rotation on Triple J. In July 2014 Montaigne signed a management and recording deal with Wonderlick Entertainment.[6] On 21 November 2014, she performed "I Am Not an End" for the radio station's Like a Version segment, along with her cover of Sia's "Chandelier". The song was listed as its 36th most played song of 2014.[7] The same day Montaigne also released her second single "I'm a Fantastic Wreck" in conjunction with the Life of Montaigne EP. "I'm a Fantastic Wreck" also received high rotation on Triple J and Sydney-based community radio station FBi Radio, which also listed the song as its eighth most played song of 2014.[8]

Montaigne was selected by San Cisco as the support act for their Run tour in November 2014. Shortly after, she was also chosen by Megan Washington to be the main support for her February 2015 national There There tour.[9]

In January 2015, Montaigne won FBi Radio's Next Big Thing Award at its annual SMAC Awards, which recognises "the musicians, artists, performers, restaurants and events that shaped the Sydney's creative culture in 2014".[10] Montaigne announced her first headline tour in February 2015, visiting Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth in April.

In August 2015, she released "Clip My Wings", the first single from her debut studio album, Glorious Heights.[11] In January 2016, Montaigne released "In the Dark", the second single from her debut album, along with the announcement of the In the Dark Tour.[12] A music video for the song followed in March. The following month, she featured on Hilltop Hoods' song "1955", which reached number 2 in Australia.[13]

In June 2016, Montaigne released the third single from her debut album, titled "Because I Love You".[14] The album, Glorious Heights, was released on 5 August 2016.[15] On 30 July, "Because I Love You" debuted at number 98 on the ARIA Singles Chart, marking Montaigne's first solo chart appearance.[16] In November 2016, at the ARIA Music Awards of 2016, Montaigne won the ARIA award for Breakthrough Artist – Release.

2017-present: Complex[edit]

On 4 May 2017, Montaigne was featured on Akouo's single "Feel That".[17] In 2018, she was featured on the track "The Best Freestylers in the World" from the Aunty Donna album, The Album.

In November 2018 Montaigne released a single, "For Your Love", ahead of her second album, Complex, which is due in August 2019.[18][19] In June 2019, the second single "Ready" was released.[20] On 9 August 2019, the album's third single "Love Might Be Found (Volcano)" was released.[21]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
Glorious Heights 4
  • Release date: 30 August 2019[20]
  • Label: Wonderlick Entertainment, Sony
  • Formats: CD, digital download, streaming

Extended plays[edit]

Title EP details Peak chart positions
Life of Montaigne
  • Release date: 21 November 2014
  • Label: Wonderlick Entertainment, Sony
  • Formats: CD, digital download, streaming


As lead artist[edit]

List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Year Peak
Certifications Album
"I Am Not an End" 2014 Life of Montaigne
"I'm a Fantastic Wreck"
"Clip My Wings" 2015 Glorious Heights
"In the Dark" 2016
"Because I Love You" 98
"For Your Love" 2018 Complex
"Ready"[25] 2019
"Love Might Be Found (Volcano)"[21]
"–" denotes releases that did not chart.

As featured artist[edit]

List of singles as featured artist, with selected chart positions and certifications
Song Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
(Hilltop Hoods featuring Montaigne and Tom Thum)
2016 2
  • ARIA: 6× Platinum[26]
Drinking from the Sun, Walking Under Stars Restrung
"Feel That"
(Akouo featuring Montaigne)
2017 Non-album single
"Best Freestylers in the World"
(Aunty Donna featuring Montaigne)
2018 The Album
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Awards and nominations[edit]

APRA Awards[edit]

The APRA Awards are several award ceremonies run in Australia by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) to recognise composing and song writing skills, sales and airplay performance by its members annually.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2017 "1955" (with Hilltop Hoods & Thom Thum ) Song of the Year[27] Nominated

ARIA Music Awards[edit]

The ARIA Music Awards are annual awards, which recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. They commenced in 1987. [28]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2016 Glorious Heights Best Female Artist Nominated
Breakthrough Artist Won
"1955" (with Hilltop Hoods & Thom Thum ) Song of the Year Nominated
Best Video Nominated
Tony Buchan for Glorious Heights Producer of the Year Nominated


  1. ^ Mathieson, Craig (20 September 2019). "'Why not do something a little wacky': Montaigne on new album Complex". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  2. ^ Rocca, Jane (1 September 2016). "What my father taught me". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  3. ^ "Montaigne on Instagram: "So my ethnic background is a mixture of Argentinian, Spanish, Filipino and French, and these are my great grandparents from the French side…"". Instagram.
  4. ^ "Jessica Cerro Releases 'I'm A Fantastic Wreck'". Alberts Music. Alberts Music. 7 May 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Montaigne". Wonderlick Entertainment. Wonderlick Entertainment. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  6. ^ Fitzsimons, Scott (1 August 2014). "Sydney Triple J Favourite Montaigne Signs With Wonderlick". Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Montaigne 'Chandelier' (Sia cover)". triple j. ABC. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  8. ^ "2014 Yearbook: FBi's Most Played Tracks". FBi Radio. 18 December 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  9. ^ Spring, Alexandra (24 December 2015). "Book ahead, Australia: Travelling Films, White Night Melbourne, Perth fringe". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Winners:: 2014 FBi SMAC Awards". FBi Radio. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  11. ^ "Hear: Montaigne drops new single 'Clip My Wings', announces tour dates | music news | triple j". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  12. ^ Mathison, Emily (22 January 2016). "Montaigne shares stunning new single In The Dark and announces tour". Happy. Vice Media. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  13. ^ " - Hilltop Hoods feat. Montaigne & Tom Thum - 1955". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Montaigne Releases New Single 'Because I Love You'". The Music. Street Press Australia. 3 June 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Glorious Heights by Montaigne on iTunes". Apple Inc. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  16. ^ a b "CHART WATCH #379". auspOp. 30 July 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  17. ^ "Feel That (feat. Montaigne) - Single by Akouo". Apple Music. 4 May 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  18. ^ Newstead, Al (9 November 2018). "First Spin: Montaigne is back to snatch the indie pop crown with 'For Your Love'". triple j. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Montaigne Complex National Album Tour". 12 June 2019. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  20. ^ a b Gallagher, Allison. "Montaigne shares new single 'Ready', reveals album details & national tour dates". Music Feeds. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  21. ^ a b "First Spin: Montaigne lets fly on the eruptive 'Love Might Be Found (Volcano)'". ABC. 9 August 2019. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  22. ^ a b c " - Discography Montaigne". Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  23. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 9 September 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  24. ^ "ARIA Charts — Accreditations — 2019 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. 30 April 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  25. ^ "Montaigne announces new single Ready". Gong Scene. 12 June 2019. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  26. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2019 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. August 2019. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  27. ^ "Urban Work of the Year". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). 2017. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  28. ^ "Aria Awards".