Moorea Masa Opens Up About Her New Album: "I Took a Light and Shined It Into All the Darkness and Beauty That I May Have Been Too Scared to Look At"
Music is second nature to Portland native Moorea Masa, who has been singing for as long as she can remember. As she has grown as a person, from singing in church as a child, to sneaking into concerts at 16 and eventually releasing her debut EP as Moorea Masa & the Mood, her music has evolved as well. Now, Moorea is gearing up to release her new full-length album, teasing listeners with her stunning new single, "I Can't Tell."
With the new single out now and more new music coming very soon, we caught up with Moorea Masa to talk about her musical upbringing, her hometown and her musical journey. Read the entire interview and listen to "I Can't Tell" now below.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for and readers who might not be familiar?
I'm a 25 year old Portland, OR native. My father is passionate yet stable northern Italian man, and my mother is a fiery and eccentric mixed woman born in Germany, and I feel like i'm a true mix of the two. I've been singing since I could talk, and learned to sing in a gospel church here in Portland. Soul and R&B music has been the most influential sounds in my life, but growing up in the NW I was surrounded by trees and folk music, so that has definitely seeped its way into my pores. My goal with music is to spread love, to share of myself and help people not feel as alone in this lifetime, and to help inspire and be a part of the change I want to see in the world. I feel unbelievably lucky I get to do this thing, so I want to do as much good with it as possible.
What first inspired you to get involved in music?
It's just always something I've done. Even before it was a thing I knew people could do. Then when I figured out it was something people did as careers, I knew that's what I would do with my life.
As a Portland native, how do you feel your hometown and local music scene have shaped you as a musician?
Oh man. My community is everything. I'm so incredibly grateful to have grown up in such a supportive and nurturing musical environment. I met a bunch of local musicians when I was 16, and from there on out they took me in sneaking me into shows and calling me on stage with them. That was everything to me. I've done a lot of traveling in my life, and I remember the first time I lived in another country and I realized.. Wow, not everywhere is there this same sense of tight nit community, and I just felt so lucky. It's really integrated in the musical experience I try to cultivate as an artist. I feel like Portland is so supportive and collaborative, and doesn't have that competitive vibe at all, which is just how music should be in my opinion.
You started 2018 off with the release of your new single, “I Can’t Tell.” What inspired this track?
My greatest love, Steve Swatkins. The track is inspired by the raw, sensual, sweet, solid and soulful love this man has shown me.
“I Can’t Tell” is the first single from your upcoming full-length to be released this year. What can fans expect from the album?
I'm really sharing my whole heart in this album. This year I've really been digging deep into my history, my own learning lessons, and the state of the world. The album is called "Shine A Light" and it for me feels like I took a light and shined it into all the darkness and beauty that I may have been too scared to look at previously.
How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist since the release of your debut EP to now? How do you feel this has affected the songs on the upcoming album?
I've grown so so much since the last record. These songs are taking a whole new direction musically, and definitely have more of an R&B vibe to them. I feel like more than ever I'm authentically me with the music and content that I'm writing about. Also, I'm playing guitar all over this record, and the last one I was still very much a baby in the learning process with that instrument.
Are there any challenges you’ve come across when working on new music? If so, how do you overcome them?
Always. My ego and insecurities trying to creep their way in. I try and squash them quick. One way that helps with that is getting out and engaging with my audience, going out into nature, reading a book, meditating. Anything to get out of my own way.
With “I Can’t Tell” out now, can fans expect to hear some more new music soon?
Yes! Be on the look out for a new single real soon, and the album out this Spring!
Do you have any other big plans for 2018? Any shows coming up?
Yes! Currently in the process of lining up a CD release tour, a Europe tour, and a bunch of festivals for the summer! It's going to be a busy year! Also, on a US tour now, singing back up for the legendary KD Lang.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks so much for the thoughtful questions! <3