While classically trained in opera singing, she grew up surrounded by the sounds of the Portela samba school, and combines diverse influences into her music. After failing to break through into 1980s Brazilian pop rock she went into semi-exile in Italy where she met the famous producer Nelson Motta. Thereafter she became a hybrid of MPB diva and pop rock performer. While most of her music is in the style of modern MPB, she has also recorded traditional samba and folk tunes, as well and songs performed by Marvin Gaye, Lou Reed and George Harrison. Much of her work has been in collaboration with musicians/songwriters Carlinhos Brown, Arnaldo Antunes, and Nando Reis, and producer Arto Lindsay. She has also worked with foreign artists such as Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Julieta Venegas. She has performed live in the United States in such venues as The House of Blues. In 1996, she contributed a version of "Waters of March", in a duet with David Byrne, to the AIDS benefit compilation album Red Hot + Rio
produced by the Red Hot Organization. She also collaborated with Bonga and Carlinhos Brown on the track "Mulemba Xangola" for the AIDS benefit compilation album Onda Sonora: Red Hot + Lisbon
produced by the same organization. Again, in 2011, she contributed a collaboration with Devendra Banhart and Rodrigo Amarante "Nú Com A Minha Música" ("Naked with My Music") for the Red Hot Organization's most recent charitable album "Red Hot+Rio 2." The album is a follow-up to the 1996 "Red Hot+Rio." Proceeds from the sales will be donated to raise awareness and money to fight AIDS/HIV and related health and social issues.On 12 August 2012, at the London 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony, Monte was the first Brazilian singer performing during Rio de Janeiro's side of the Olympic Flag handover - she initially sang the classical Brazilian piece Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, representing Brazilian folklore's Yemanjá deity. She later sang, alongside Brazilian performers BNegão and Seu Jorge, the samba "Aquele Abraço", translated as "That embrace", closing Rio's presentation for the occasion while Pelé was revealed to be present at the ceremony, disguised as Rio's traditional "Malandro do Morro".Monte owns the rights to all of her songs; it was her chief demand for renewing her contract with EMI Music.