In Conversation With: Moyka

Moyka is hotly-tipped as a future electronic pop music star, having been signed to Made Records alongside AURORA and Sigrid. The morning after a Sofar session in Berlin, she talked to us about her inspirations, artistic goals and love of Britney.

So how was the Sofar session last night?

It was nice! I was really nervous before the gig, but it went fine.

Were you doing an acoustic set?

Yes – usually we’re a whole band and lots of synthesisers,  but yesterday it was only me and my collaborator Eirik [Hella].

How long have you and Eirik been working together? And what is your creative process like?

We’ve been working together for a little more than two years and met at a production school in Bergen we both went to. We both get really inspired by sounds, and try to create soundscapes. We create something melodic first, that’s what we start with (some synthesisers) and then we follow the song…the music always comes before lyrics.

I’d love [to] take a load of synthesisers and sit in a cabin

Where does the name Moyka come from?

I didn’t want to use my own name because it’s boring – I wanted an alter ego to hide behind. So I took my name and tried to spell it in different ways. I thought Moyka sounded really cool – it turns out it means ‘wash’ and there’s a river with that name in Russia.

What are the musical influences that inform your sound?

I listen to different kinds of music. I get intense periods where I listen to only one genre or song really intensely. So I get really hardcore pop periods, for example, recently with Miley Cyrus. I love the Party on the street song. Or I’ll listen to only Britney Spears’ Britney album, or Norwegian indie rock.

I think it’s really important for me to listen to artists that are themselves. Like Alt J, or Royksopp, it’s their own thing that they’re doing and they’re very ‘themselves’. I think that’s really important when creating something.

Where do you get your lyrical themes from?

I get inspiration from my life, other people’s lives. Also from TV shows. I’m just a really emotional person and feel things very strongly, so I can dive into an emotion and live in it for a moment.

In terms of new E.P. ‘Circles’, was it written around a theme or a collection of existing songs?

It’s a collection of songs from the past year or so. It started out with the collaboration with Eirik and the first song we made together was the song Circles. I knew it was really special and that I wanted the EP to be named Circles already, as it was the start of the journey we were on.

There wasn’t just one idea for the EP, but they were really inspired by big emotions so they got together as a whole. It kind of ended up that way- we have some other songs that kind of fit but these ones felt right. They belong together. This is the first time I’ve released ‘real music’… I uploaded a couple of demos, but let’s not talk about them!

I’m interested in the artwork you used you used for the EP, who is that by?

It’s an artist called Ryan Tipper from Chicago. I was really fascinated by a few artists on Instagram, especially art that is ugly and beautiful at the same time. I was recommended Ryan and immediately thought it was just right for the EP.

You studied music production in Bergen – is producing other people something that you’re interested in?

I’d be really interested in that, but haven’t done it yet. I really like to collaborate with people and to learn. To collaborate with others is really nice, but I haven’t ever sat down to write songs for other people.

I read that you grew up in very rural Norway, is going back to write there something you’d like to do?

It’s a valley called Hallingdal, and it’s a lot of nature and trees and forests. We’re in the middle of Oslo and Bergen. There’s a lot of people who haven’t heard of it but its really nice. I don’t usually but I’d love to do it, to take a load of synthesisers and sit in a cabin. But I haven’t done it yet.

And so what is it that brings you to Berlin?

We’re actually going to a couple of sessions to write music, as well as the Sofar session. And we’re going to explore Berlin a little bit. We’re maybe going to a rave tonight!

I read in September you’ll play Reeperbahn Fetsival in Hamburg?

Yes, we’re very excited about that. The Sofar event was our first concert outside of Norway so I think the Reeperbahn will be the second…we’re really looking forward to it, the festival sounds very cool!

And finally, what are your plans for the next year musically?

We’re going to release the EP and I’m putting together an album but there isn’t any set plans for it. And we’re going to play a few festivals, more than I thought we would. We’ll play a lot and hang out in the studio making music.

// Well, it’s been really nice talking to you. I hope enjoy your rave tonight!

Thank you, I’m really looking forward to dance!

Moyka’s ‘Circles’ E.P. will be released in Autumn. You can find previously released singles ‘Colder’ and ‘Bones’ here.

A Scottish troubadour, scientist, writer. Jack of few trades.

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