MOTU is a Blues guitarist from NYC and is our latest Sonicbids feature interview competition winner. Many indie artists ask us at Song Revelation how to increase their online presence, getting their name and music out there! Over the last 12 months MOTU’s Youtube channel has enjoyed over 3 million views. We were therefore really keen to learn about MOTU’s experiences, highlights and what he’s hoping to achieve over the next 12 months. Read the full in-depth interview below.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
MOTU is a 2 Time Billboard Award Winner Acoustic & Electric /Blues-Roots international recording artist and social activist performer.
Q: What is your musical background?
Studied violin in my youth and became hooked on all string instruments; mandolin, guitar, banjo, etc.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
The last 12 months have been eventful. I released my 13th official CD in April 2013, my indie CD sales exceeded 200,000 sales, and my YouTube Video of an original song off my Time Runs Faster 2011 album (Drowning In Whiskey) went viral with over a MILLION VIEWS driving my entire YouTube Live Performance Channel OVER 3 MILLION VIEWS!! Also, my 2012 Barrier Beach Blues Album won “Best Album of the Year for 2012” by the LIBS (selection for competition awarded in Memphis as part of the IBC).
Q: Who inspires you musically?
Muddy Waters had a major influence on me growing up. It is probably the main reason I started playing Dobro Slide Guitar. I also had an opportunity to play live on stage as part of the back up band of the late Bo Diddley during two live shows. This got under my skin and gave me the bug to write, record, and perform.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
Not too many current day performers. I love Pat Metheny and dig the stuff the Allman Brothers are still doing.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
I do already collaborate with a lot of great artists like Frank Latorre (plays with Johnny Winter), Tommy Keys (has played with Watermelon Slim and others), etc.
Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?
Steely Dan Babylon Sisters.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
Depends on if it is live or in the studio. Live is influenced by the ‘moment’ with improvisation and the mood of the band whereas Studio is layered and with each layer can take on a different feel and direction as it grows into a final production.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
I’ve always been a lyric guy influenced by literature and the social condition. Many of my songs are about current events, politics, or other issues of the day. For example, my song Death Comes To Louisiana (about the BP Oil Spill when it happened) ended up on major world news programs and web sites worldwide and was picked up by the Associated Press.
Q: Where are you based?
New York Metro / Long Island
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Although I was born in Manhattan I have lived in, or traveled to, almost every corner of the earth. Except for both the North & South poles of our Earth, I have been pretty much everywhere else. So my perspective on life is a Global one and not a local one.
Q: What are you currently working on?
Album Number 14
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
I don’t know. That’s a tough one. I received so much press, and have played all over the world with many great memories and events that will stick with me always.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?
I have been on a kick of helping point out in my writing that although the recession is over that many families are still homeless or struggling while economists are only focusing on statistics relevant to bankers. It is a message I have been pushing for some time as our middle class no longer exists and it is a strong middle class that makes a nation strong.
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
Just finished up a tour in support of the 2013 CD so we are taking a break over the Summer to start working on album # 14
Q: What do you do to relax?
I go fishing.
Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?
I spend any free time I have at the shore. The waves relax me and help me to meditate.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?
Always be sincere and do what you enjoy. Be driven by creativity and do it because you love it and not for any material reasons. Listen and learn from constructive criticism but don’t let others manipulate your art. If you stay true to your soul your audience will feel the power of your spirit and sincerity.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
The MOTU-Miles Away CD that I just released (album # 13) is a concept album; one story. It is my best work to date. It has already been called, “One of the most important albums of this decade.” So if you haven’t heard it you should check it out (on iTunes, Rhapsody, MOTURecords.COM, and other quality music stores world wide).
Editor’s Note: MOTU is an accomplished and technically gifted musician with a vibe that many try to emulate and few achieve. Definitely one of Song Revelation’s Ones to Watch.
If you’d like to check out more of Motu’s tracks or get in touch, just follow the links below:
Any Other Links: http://www.moturecords.com/