Moia, it’s a pleasure to have you on the blog. I really enjoyed your performance alongside Speaker Child, opening for Andre Nickatina at The Music Box in San Diego. Please introduce yourself.
[M] Hey! My name’s Moia Bri. I am 20 years old, and I am a singer, songwriter and a musician.
I currently reside in the suburbs of Redmond, WA, which is where I’ve been raised from the age of four. I was actually born in Cavite, Philippines, and a couple years after, my parents moved me and my brother here to Washington; and I have yet to move away from PNW.
My passion for music is all thanks to my parents, Norm and Sarah. They had met in the prime of their own individual careers as artists in the Philippines. They are both two creative and talented singers, songwriters, composers and musicians; which is why my upbringing consisted of music everywhere I turned.
At a very young age, my mother introduced my brother and me to Michael & Janet Jackson’s music, which became a staple sound in my household. As I grew older, I began to be exposed to music that my parents performed, which varied from then-hits to old school funk, pop and R&B. As I began to exercise my own vocal ability my influences shifted to artists such as Mariah Carey, Whitney Huston, Celine Dion, Tina Turner and Christina Aguilera.
After moving my brother and me here to Redmond (into the very house my father was raised in), my parents continued performing as a cover duo, as well as a full band with other musicians for local venues, festivals, clubs and casinos. Aside from the usual – attending public schools, having friendly play-dates and big family gatherings on occasion – my parents brought my brother and me to as many gigs as they could. It was definitely a regular weekend for us to attend a band rehearsal, or a performance, or to be dropped off at a relative’s house to be watched while my parents performed at a club or bar.
[V] How long have you been singing and when did you begin recording professionally?
[M] I always have a tough time answering this question, because I can’t honestly remember a time when I wasn’t singing. My mother always encouraged me to sing, whether it was a classic Disney tune, or one of the songs she would play often that I would catch on.
I started off shy when it came to singing, early on when my only audience was my mom. By the time I was six or seven, just getting better at reading and writing, I began to write my own little tunes. They went something along the lines of “I have a cat named Fishy, fishy-fishy-fish” at the time (laughs). But as the years progressed, my writing became more subjected to love, and I actually started to use metaphors and lyrics that expressed that feeling of desire for another.
I have been playing piano since I was four years old, and at the age of nine I took on guitar. I remember it all being quite natural to me. By the age of ten I was writing and composing songs.
I started recording at 17, thanks to a local rapper Captaincy, or Carter Wilson. He hit me up one day via e-mail, asking to collab. He apparently had watched one of my old videos that I now cringe at (laughs), yet it somehow impressed him enough to feature me on a song. After collaborating on that first song, he and I just continued to work together, and soon grew to be really tight friends and music partners. He actually let me record all of my first work with his set-up. Now, I have a set-up of my own in my room; but I am forever thankful for that guy, as I wouldn’t have gained ANY of my knowledge and experience I have now if it weren’t for his generosity and guidance.
Other than recording at home, I once travelled to NY in 2015, to record at Quad Studios. It was the dopest experience ever. I met with their sound engineer DG, who produced the beat that I wrote and recorded to in the two days that I spent in the lab. It’s a bangin’ single that I will actually be releasing sometime in the beginning of next year, 2017.
[V] How did you land an opportunity to tour with Speaker Child and Andre Nickatina? You’re also featured in a three songs on Mind On My Business album by Speaker Child and you sound amazing. How did you get involved in this project?
[M] Well, I was introduced to rapper Speaker Child through his engineer, David Severance. He played me three songs that he was looking to have me record the hooks to. I learned them and recorded them all in that one session. These songs eventually became the three songs that I am featured on his album, Mind On My Business.
After recording the hooks to the three songs that Speaker had me on, he and I never got back in touch until almost a year later, when he hit me up and had me work on a music video shoot for one of the songs, Mobbin’ Since Monday. Shortly after that he told me about the tour, and asked if I would be down to tour alongside him and Andre Nickatina. You could only imagine my excitement, as it was my first tour ever! I was like, “hell yeah!”
Mobbin’ Since Monday ft. Moia Bri
[V] In fact, you’ve done quite a few features with other artists as well. I loved you on the Carter Wil$on’s, How to Fall and in Tieren Simon’s, Miles Away. Were you involved in the writing process for these features?
[M] I have actually written the lyrics for all of my existing features – excluding the ones on Speaker Child’s album – and songs to date. I still have yet to co-write with another talented mind!
Captaincy’s How To Fall is definitely a nostalgic one for me. He always had a vision of art and one’s self awareness that really set him apart from anyone I had ever met. Through his words you can only begin to comprehend the surface of his dense mind; he has a lot to preach. This song hit home because it closed in on the conversations one has with themselves, about their inner demons and undisguised feelings about this life. When I wrote my part, I stuck to the theme of “starting fresh”, and thus letting go of whatever fear or entity made their path so dark before.
Miles Away with Tieren was so much fun, because the production of the music was so simple, so there was so much room for me to take control of what exactly I wanted to convey to the listener. I felt that all that space, consisting of just a few simple but impactful tracks, made it so intimate. I felt that whatever story I was going to tell would not hide behind a catchy hook, but rather speak to the listener in a way that they could not ignore. When I first listened to the song, trying to think of what to write, the see-sawing chord progression that goes back and forth from that minor chord to that G sharp took me to an unapologetically raw place. It triggered love, anger, confusion, sorrow and tons of other feelings within me. It all circulated around love, but I wanted to be more specific, and appeal to those really intense emotions that one in love has when scorned. So I wrote from an unfiltered mind, of someone who may have had their heart tattered by a deceitful person. It was relatable, and in its flame of wrath it was sonically purifying.
[V] On your Facebook page, you’ve mentioned that you’re songwriter as well, what topics do you find yourself drawn to the most when you’re writing?
[M] I honestly find myself helplessly drawn to the topic of love when I write. And this may or may not say a lot about me, but it is infinitely easier for me to write from the bad side of love, than the good side of love. But on the certain occasions when I am not crying out heartbroken tears in my songs, I actually get quite creative and find myself writing from a place of confidence and truth – meaning, I encourage the idea of not lying to yourself, and being able to be real, be you, and be happy about it.
[V] I understand that recording an album (especially your first one) takes a lot of resources but have you thought of recording your own anytime soon?
[M] I have definitely thought of recording my own album, and I believe diving into Moia Bri’s mind and soul in a matter of several songs is such an exciting project to put together. I do not have a specific date, but I do plan to really launch myself farther than ever, and release my first album next year, 2017. So, stay tuned!
[V] How do you think you separate yourself from other artists?
[M] One thing I can say that sets me apart from other artists, is that my voice is very unique and versatile. I feel that my voice doesn’t really belong to any specific genre or style. I have a voice that can do any pop, rock or EDM track justice, but I can also expose my soul and spirit in that strong genre of R&B. I love crossing over and trying new things, playing with sounds, singing and writing for different styles. And I have come to find that there’s been no place that I cannot fit thus far, like I have made a great product at the end of any song regardless of what type of genre or theme. To some, like myself, maybe there is no lines between genres at times; ultimately I’m just writing and singing what I feel.
[V] Do you have any other projects in the pipeline that we can look forward to?
[M] Like I said, I have one single that that will be released in the beginning of next year, along with a music video. And, again, no dates yet, but that first album is coming and it’s gonna be sooo great. I cannot wait.
Thank you so much for having me interview, as this was my very first interview ever! It was such a pleasure!
Connect with Moia Bri on
A couple of my favorite tracks with & by Moia:
Youth ft. ALi The Prodigy, prod. Tieren Simon
Miles Away – Tieren ft. Moia Bri