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It’s sometimes hard to find the words that accurately bring justice to avant-garde electronic works. With an artist like Maki you almost only have to mention his name for fans of the underground independent scene, to understand the potential for a great album of music. Maki should be an instantly recognizable global name within the mainstream electronic world of sound. His latest release, “Atlas Hacked”, is a classic album in the making. And I do not say this lightly. There is a growing body of research that has examined the impact on adolescents and adults of internet and social media

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INTERVIEW: Recording artist and producer MOSHUP

MOSHUP is a recording artist/producer originally from Dominican Republic. With years of world touring arenas, collaborations and productions for award winning artists, MOSHUP releases his first single as a solo artist entitled “HOLLYWOOD”, which combines Pop, Future Funk, and Electronic elements with dance feels, in a homage to the night club flirting scene. “HOLLYWOOD” was released worldwide across all digital platforms on April 10, 2020.

  1. How and when did the MOSHUP project become a reality?

MOSHUP: MOSHUP has been in my head for a long time, it just didn’t have a name. I have been producing music for other artists for years, but recently I decided to finally give MOSHUP the form it deserves.

  1. Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?

MOSHUP: I am from Dominican Republic, a tropical country, so most of the music I was exposed to when I was a child was Latin music.  Although MOSHUP is a Pop project, I believe you may hear some of those influences sprinkled here and there.

  1. Who do you consider the most influential producer/artist in your genre today and why?

MOSHUP: There are some amazing artists doing inspirational stuff. Some of my favorite today are: Childish Gambino, Billie Eilish & Finneas, The Weeknd.

  1. Do you remember the first piece of equipment that you actually purchased?

MOSHUP: My aunt bought me my first Bass Guitar before I even learned how to play. It was a 4 string Ibanez that came with a small combo amp and a VHS tape to learn how to play the basics of Blues. Back in January, I was on a World Tour and was performing to a packed MGM Grand Garden Arena, and I brought my aunt for the first time to watch the show and that meant the world to me.

  1. Tell us something about your current set-up? What is your favorite piece of software or hardware you use to perform, record and/or produce your music?

MOSHUP: I usually record the instruments the way I want them to sound at the mix. Although I have a lot of hardware, I’m always thinking about the song, so I don’t force a particular gear or software into a production just because I like it. That said, the SSL Duende Channel Strip is on every single track in my productions. I think those plugins never got the love they deserve.

  1. Which ingredient do you think is most essential in making your music sound the way it does?

MOSHUP: I blend strange compelling sounds with some familiar elements we like. That will always be a characteristic of the MOSHUP sound.

  1. You just released the song “Hollywood”. Every song usually has a backstory or anecdote behind it. How did this song come about?

MOSHUP: I started working on this in hotel rooms while on tour, next to tables with room service food and finished it in my studio in Hong Kong. When it comes to lyrics, I borrow stories. This particular one was a repeated scene I’ve seen many times in the night clubbing life.

  1. Did you compose the both the music and lyrics for “Hollywood”?

MOSHUP: I did everything on this track, except mastering.

  1. Can you tell us how you go about putting a track together? What do you typically start with first? The beat or the melody?

MOSHUP: I record lots of ideas and put them in a drawer to let them simmer. I come back after some time and grab the first thing that I believe could be worked further. I start with the first element that compels me. Sometimes it could be a vocal line, sometimes a drum sound, sometimes a nice chord progression. In “Hollywood’s” case, I came out with that high pitch vocal/synth line that starts from the intro and goes throughout the whole song.  Basically, I grabbed some demo vocals I had done, chopped it, put it into a sampler so I was able to play my own voice in a keyboard as an instrument, processed it a hell lot, and there you go.

  1. How long did you work on “Hollywood” before it was finally completed for release?

MOSHUP: Once I took “Hollywood” out of that drawer, everything came together pretty fast, but I do like getting away from the song for few days and coming back to it for changes.

  1. Did you encounter any specific difficulties while completing this track? And did the final production come out exactly as you intended when writing it?

MOSHUP: A big part of the production process is throwing a lot of stuff to the wall, and see what sticks. Much of it will suck, but you’ll come out with crazy ideas you would have not thought of in a different way. “Hollywood” went through many changes before it got to where it is today.

  1. Do you still perform live music events/gigs? And if so, which do you prefer more – live gigs or studio work?

MOSHUP: Yes. Besides MOSHUP, I am a touring Bass Player for international Asian artist Coco Lee. I love doing both, as it keeps my brain sharp and fresh. So, by the time I get back to the studio I am not saturated.

  1. Has “Hollywood” been performed and tested in front of an audience yet? If so, what was the crowd response like?

MOSHUP: Due to the quarantine we are all going through, I have not performed “Hollywood” live yet; but the amazing comments, response, and the passion people have shown makes me believe we got some good fun ahead of us.

  1. What are you ultimately hoping to achieve with the release of this single?

MOSHUP: This is the coming out party for MOSHUP, so I wanted to come out with a bang, and it has, so far, exceeded every expectation I had. If people liked “Hollywood”, what’s coming next is pretty crazy 😉

  1. What would you consider a successful, proud or significant moment in your career so far?

MOSHUP: This single release has to be up there. I knew the track was good, but I did not foresee the love I got.

  1. What do you think mainly separates you from the massive crowd of electronic artists emerging right now on platforms all over the web?

MOSHUP: There are amazing electronic artists out there! But electronic music is just a little part of the MOSHUP sonic. I would consider this more of a Pop project in which I marry organic real life elements to electronic ones, but ultimately making people sing.

  1. In general, do you consider the Internet and all of the social media platforms as fundamental in building a career in music today, and what is your personal relationship with the new technology at hand?

MOSHUP: 100% YES… we have amazing tools that artists from before never had. We can hold our own careers in our hands, and steer it any way want. The fans are closer, so you have real-time feedback when something is working or not. I try to engage constantly with fans on my Instagram account (@musicbyjordie) they show love, and I do the same.

  1. How do you handle criticism and/or naysayers and haters in general? Is it something you pay attention to, or simply ignore?

MOSHUP: It really doesn’t bother me. I came from a background where you gotta have thick skin, and people will always have something to say. Plus I believe real art should create a conversation and divide to a certain degree. I prefer that out of 10 people, 3 LOVED my music and 7 hate it; than having 10 people that ‘kinda’ like it.

  1. What do you find most rewarding about what you do? And do you have a specific vision or goal set in your mind that you would like to achieve in the near future?

MOSHUP: Seeing people enjoying the music that at some point was just in my head, has to be the most rewarding part it. I will be releasing various singles throughout this year, and aim to have the full album ready by beginning of 2021.

  1. So what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing / producing / recording / playing etc.?

MOSHUP: When I’m not doing music, I like doing things that are not related to it at all. That thing for me is Jiu Jitsu.

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