4 Minute Read | By Robbie Ware | September 17th, 2017
Each month, Skyline Specs interviews & features an up-and-coming Minnesota creative who embodies what it means to be rooted in hometown pride. These individuals cover the broad creative spectrum; musicians, artists, writers and thinkers who tell the stories of their city through their work.
Twin Cities singer/songwriter/student Moise is a 22 year old emerging talent, his style riding the fine line between R&B and Soul. His passion for storytelling, easily translated over slow, melodic instrumentals, paints vivid imagery of places you'd rather be. His thematic approach strings together a cohesive narrative and feels more like remembering a good dream that you forgot about, than listening to a song in your car. Moise delivers raw emotion through airy, subtly-filtered vocals over the Will Levison instrumental that escalate in intensity as the song unfolds. A relatively undiscovered gem, Moise's first single, wildflower , has almost 200,000 streams and counting in only 8 months on streaming services, subsequently picking up local radio airtime on Minnesota's The Current.
We sat down with Moise last September to talk about how his childhood shaped him, how the recording process has changed since he first started making music and how the music industry has evolved so rapidly. Read our conversation below and check out Moise's newest single bad attitude.
What sparked the idea to start making music?
That didn’t happen until freshman year of high school. My very first instance with music was getting together with my cousins from Iowa, who were huge Michael Jackson fans. And they had a whole bunch of VHS movies of Michael Jackson performances and stuff, so we would stay up late watching those and the next day we’d perform them for the whole family.
Freshman year of high school, one of my neighbors was a couple of years older than me and he really got into rapping. He had all of the recording equipment, made his own beats and stuff, but we had just been hanging out as friends. Over the course of the summer, you know those boring summer days, one day he was just like, “Yo you just wanna try doing this? You’ve seen me do this, you just want to try it?” And I was like, “Uh well, I’m not really good at rapping… I’ll just try singing. I think I can sing.”
Did you keep all those tracks?
They still exist somewhere, but definitely on private (laughs). I think what would be really cool, because you don’t really hear artists' amateur stuff, is to someday show that progression, like, “this is what I was like when I was 14, you can do it too.”
I think what would be really cool, because you don’t really hear artists' amateur stuff, is to someday show that progression, like, “This is what I was like when I was 14, you can do it too.”
How has the recording process changed for you?
So my process before would be to find an instrumental I really like and just keep replaying it, eventually writing to it. Hopefully that would turn into a song. Then I would record vocals, and back then I didn’t care too much if I got them down I got them down. Finally I would send it to him (Moise’s childhood friend) for mixing. The mixing process adds any vocal effects and polishes it up. There are layers to it.
Nowadays, it’s like, man my latest song wildflower, that song probably has like fifteen versions. I’ll get the intial idea, and then I’ll maybe get the hook done. But it’s not really done because there’s nothing in the background. So I’ll just be listening to it the night before take notes throughout the week, “this is what I should add here. This would sound good here.” Then I start re-recording, stacking and stacking, until I’m like, “this is the best I can do.”
How did you record wildflower?
You know I’ve been to some professional studios, didn’t like it. I’d rather record in my room, it’s where I feel comfortable. When you’re at a studio, you’re paying for the time. But being at home, I can do whatever I want, make something to eat. I don’t have to worry about all that other stuff. When you record you want to be comfortable. Those studios aren’t your friend, it’s a business.
So wildflower is a love song, is it not?
You know, it could be. It kinda came out to feel like something that would be in a movie. Which is the kind of picture I wanted to paint with some of the verses. Like being in a Cadillac out in the open, riding fast with someone you care about. Out in the open, having no boundaries and feeling free. That’s the kind of feeling I wanted to deliver.
How’d it come out to sound that way?
I started with the beat. I have three people I collaborate with. I found this guy Will , he lives in the UK, on SoundCloud and was like “this kid is dope.” I sent him a message and he just started sending me stuff, he’s really talented. So he did wildflower, all of the instrumentals you hear are him. I actually met him for the first time when I went to Europe this summer.
I actually traveled to Berlin to do a live performance of wildflower for a media studio. They have a video series called “Colors” and they really try to find up-and-coming artists. Somehow they discovered my stuff and I was pretty shocked at first, but that’s the internet man (laughs).
So what’s your next move?
My next move? I’ve been working on a project for probably the last year, and wildflower is the first release from it. Putting together a video, took a lot of footage in Europe. I think the way to do it now is to put out singles and really promote those in a mixtape fashion, which I kind of like. Rather than just making a bunch of songs, I can focus on making like one or two really good songs.
Since the writing of this article, Moise has released a new track titled bad attitude , available on Spotify! Listen to Moises two newest tracks below.