At YouthMundus & Inner Voice Artists, we aim to not only be a platform for music and film, but for the artists who make them. Our “Artist Spotlight” series aims to create a space for discovery of new, budding global talent, while simultaneously offering us an exclusive glimpse into their creative process. We’re beyond honored to have the multitalented, New York-based musician, MOZIAH, be the first artist featured!
A recent graduate from New York University, MOZIAH developed quite the underground following upon the release of his 2018 album, ‘Dax Nextdoor.’ The album is uniquely layered, both in its personal content and its expert use of multiple music styles. With soft, dreamy, love duets to powerful, belted ballads that quite literally paint a picture of the artist’s deepest fears, ‘Dax Nextdoor’ is an album born from personal experience. However, it’s the specificity of his songs that makes MOZIAH so easy to connect to.
Inspired by ‘Dax Nextdoor’, a musical combination of styles similar to that of Frank Ocean, Daniel Caesar, and Rex Orange County’s all in one album, YouthMundus sat down with MOZIAH to pick his brain about his origins as a musician, his own inspirations, and any advice he has for upcoming artists.
What inspires you and your creative process?
A lot of things. Pixar movies are a big one. I love their storytelling. I love how they’re able to weave a quality lesson into a script; but there’s also a raccoon fighting a baby! It’s a wicked and magical combination. It’s vegetables with the chocolate.
What is the connection between your music and social justice? Why?
I like how music can make people aware. It’s a busy world, I feel there are issues all the time that go over our heads; so sometimes it takes where we get our entertainment to remind us of what’s going on around us. For example, Haiti is an area that still needs attention. My family has always done charity work for Haiti and that experience opened my eyes to how one act might not be enough. It takes consistent and frequent effort to make change. I want to bring more attention to the relief efforts down there. The cameras may not roll on them as much; but there’s still a lot to be done down there. Both my parents are Haitian-born and it’s home to many people I love, so it’s important to me to use what I have to show what’s up.
What inspired you to pursue music? What were the challenges you overcame in this?
I grew up around a lot of music. My dad played a bunch of records and sang around the house. My first afterschool activity was musical theatre. In high school, my Sundays were singing with a church choir in the morning and practicing with a punk band my friends and I had in the afternoon. I think I’ve always had music in the picture, no matter what I was doing; and I wanted to keep it going.
What’s been the most rewarding part of being an artist for you? Do you have any advice for future musicians?
Being able to make something that could be a part of other people’s lives. With ‘Dax Nextdoor,’ I wanted a collection of songs that could tell its own story and be a part of other people’s stories. I go through funks in my personal life; and one of the things that’s kept me going is when someone messages us and says, “I’ve been going through a rough time and your album helped me cope.” Other artists have done that for me growing up; so that kind of reach is really special.
The best advice I’ve received was to define success for yourself. There will always stuff to be up on and things to consider. But you're all you've got at the end of the day; so i feel it's important to also invest in yourself and what you want to see for yourself later. Make sure that's part of the conversation in your life.
Follow MOZIAH’s Instagram: https://bit.ly/2VRHlIf
Follow MOZIAH’s Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2Tpg8j3
Catch MOZIAH at The Bowery Electric on April 2nd at 6:30!
Photos by Sharmonie Cockayne (instagram: https://bit.ly/2XKYsNy)
Thank you for your continuous support and love,
Lots of love,