Ever since I was younger, I always had the dream that I would interview famous musicians. Today’s post makes that dream come true. Today’s post features Momi, an artist that just released her first EP, Sun Goes Down.
Momi’s music reminds me of the music put out by Lorde and Lana Del Rey. What is unique about her music is that she produces, records, and writes all of her own music. And did I mention that she’s only 19?
So, keep on reading for my interview with Momi. Trust me, you’re going to want to hear her music after reading.
What is your entire discography to date?
As of right now, my discography is “Taste Your Love” (single), “Bandaids” (single), and Sun Goes Down (EP).
How did you get started in music?
The first instrument I picked up (that wasn’t the recorder) was the flute in fourth grade. I was absolutely blown away by the sounds that could be created from it. I kept up with flute playing through high school and stopped having lessons once I started college. Aside from that, I am self-taught in guitar, bass, piano, ukulele, and drums; however, I hope to learn more instruments as I get older. Now, I’m diving headfirst into electronic music production. I started with using Garageband loops on my mom’s desktop computer when I was in eighth grade. Now, seven years later, I use Ableton and Pro Tools to write, record, produce, mix, and master my own music along with others’ as well.
Who are some of your inspirations?
My inspirations for my own music primarily comes from AJR, Iron & Wine, Bon Iver, and Eminem. I admire how AJR produces their tracks in a truly original style, bouncing between pop sampling and vocal manipulation, and lush Broadway-esque choirs and arrangements. Lyrically speaking, the last three artists are extremely clever with their words. I try to model my lyricism after each of their styles, whether it’s double entendres and well-thought-out wordplay, or cryptic words that express complex emotional ideas. Sometimes though, a raw acoustic track is the best way to deliver what you want to say, and because of that, Iron & Wine is my top folk-acoustic inspiration.
What do you like to listen to? I try to listen to as much music as I possibly can; I don’t like keeping myself restrained to one genre. It feels too restrictive and close-minded to me. My music taste includes everything from classical, hip-hop/rap, pop, indie, alternative, Polynesian, Indian, African, electronic, rock, acoustic, chillhop/lofi, metal, and more. Whenever someone gives me something new to listen to, I immediately jump on the soonest opportunity to hear it. I’m always open for new suggestions!
What inspires you to write a song?
More than anything, I take inspiration from my friends’ and family’s stories. Although I do take from my own experiences as well, I find that using another person’s emotions from a situation and incorporating them into a song makes it much more relatable. Finding ways to keep their story private while exposing all the emotion behind it is an incredibly fun challenge. All of us have stories to share, so why not celebrate them?
Tell me about your recording process. Recording at home versus in a studio are two very different animals to tackle. When I’m at home, the first thing I do (once I have an idea for my song) is to get sound levels just right. Getting a clean and healthy recording level to start is the foundation of a good final product. Once I’ve got levels down, I’ll do at least 3 takes of each instrument, and if I need anymore I’ll redo them. My vocal tracks typically take anywhere from 10 to 20 takes first, and then I’ll take my favorite versions of certain words or phrases from each take and stitch them together into one perfect vocal line. Harmonies and other vocal sounds don’t typically take as long unless I’m looking for a particular tone in my voice. Once everything is done and recorded, I move onto the mixing and effects process. That’s when I incorporate any kind of audio manipulation like stutters, changing the pitch of my voice, adding artificial harmonies to instruments and vocals, and more. I usually do at least 3 mix sessions for each song just to make sure it’s where I want it to be at, and then I do a quick mastering session. I’m no mastering engineer, but with the help of software plugins and what I’ve learned online and through my professor at school, I’ve got a small grasp on how to finalize a song. The entire process can take anywhere from a few days to months to complete.
Once things begin to open up, do you think you’ll perform live concerts?
Aside from being the songstress for my mom’s Polynesian dance company Kaiholunuie, I have never gotten to perform at any live concerts. It would be an absolute dream to be able to perform my own music for others on stage; I hope to make that dream a reality once things become safe enough to try.
What is your advice for someone who wants to get into music?
First and foremost: do NOT let anyone tell you not to do it. Most people believe that music is such a terrible career to get into, but that just isn’t true. I’ve never met someone who didn’t listen to music of some kind, and without people who create it, the world would be an absolutely dreadful place. If it’s calling out to you, there’s a reason. Go find that reason. Secondly, keep finding ways to be driven and passionate about your work. The more you want to strive to become better, have a polished professional sound, and be noticed, the further you’ll be taken. Find every opportunity to learn whether it’s through YouTube videos, lectures, books, buying software and practicing, performing publicly… anything you can do to keep music a daily part of your life, do it. You will learn and find so much about yourself creatively as you learn from others. The power you have is magical once you know how to harness it.
Interested in hearing Mom’s music? Be sure to check out on Spotify here. She can also be found on Twitter and Instagram, so be sure to follow her there as well. You can also check out her YouTube channel here as well.