Introducing Moxie Raia: Exclusive Interview / Talks The Brain House, "Buffalo Bill" & Upcoming EP
Make sure to remember the name of Moxie Raia. She is about to become ‘the next big thing’ in music. Recently signed to US label Capitol Records, the breath-taking singer-songwriter from a small town in New Jersey left in 2012 her studies of Jazz at Columbia University to become part of The Brain House – an experimental song-writing collective in L.A created by Freddy Wexler. If you're not in the knowledge, Freddy has penned songs for artists such as; Lil' Wayne, Demi Lovato, Bridgit Mendler or Selena Gomez.
The Brain House was made of Moxie and six talented men who had only one mission; to create music non-stop. There, pop’s future superstar learned a lot and without knowing it yet The Brain House would become later her catalyst to launch a solo career. As months passed, The Brain House realized of Moxie’s superstar potential, and it was agreed that she would release a mixtape with original music sung by her (and produced by the group) as well as a few covers. Moxie's cover of Big Sean's Jhené Aiko-assisted rap hit "Beware" went viral last year so there is a probability you may already know her without knowing it. After the 5-song “R.P.Y” mixtape, Moxie was intelligently recruited by Capitol Records - although, she still belongs to The Brain House brand.
Moxie is currently working on her first musical project with Capitol, which is going to be an EP that will be released before 2014 ends. The first single from it is “Buffalo Bill” – a song I’m addicted to nowadays. Moxie described “Buffalo Bill” as a state of mind. It’s “the perfect high”. The second single is going to be a song called “I Love It When You Cry” – which I had the privilege to hear recently in its studio version - which will be released some time in the Fall. In it, Moxie will slow the tempo a bit, sing about love, and will display even more of her amazing vocal repertoire.
Moxie has been in the latest few weeks creating buzz for her music opening at concerts of Danity Kane and MKTO. Did you catch her on the road?.
Although Moxie and Capitol let “Buffalo Bill" be without major promo, that is going to change for “I Love It When You Cry”. She is going to be everywhere, and you will become a fan. Mark my words. Moxie's voice is so unique, vulnerable, and well-controlled. It's like she's a pro already and she's only starting. And considering she also writes her own music – and the three songs I've heard are just clever and sound like radio hits - I'd say Moxie Raia is the total package. Success will be on her path!
I only just discovered your song “Buffalo Bill” and I’m literally obsessed with it! I think that in an interview you said that “Buffalo Bill” meant 'the perfect high'? Tell us a little bit about the inspiration to the song and the meaning of “Buffalo Bill”.
Thank you. Yeah, Buffalo Bill is just a great state of mind and your own personal perfect high. Mine was inspired by living at The Brain House and being surrounded my this family of extremely talented people. It was perfect, for me.
Let’s talk about how Moxie Raia’s music career started for a second. I think it all began in 2012 with Freddy Wexler and his ‘The Brain House’ project - an experimental song-writing collective in Los Angeles. You had to live with SIX guys in a house and create songs together. How exactly did you get into this? And how was life living with six men under the same roof?
Freddy reached out to me about this collective he was starting... I was very intrigued. Some of my most favorite memories were created in that house. Just thinking about it makes me feel warm, those guys are my family. We all learned a lot from each other.
Then in 2013, you put out your "R.P.Y" mixtape. Many blogs positively reviewed your “Bad Decisions” song. What was your reaction like when you started to realize people actually really liked you and your music? Did it serve as fuel to keep going?
Totally... It was surreal as I had never released music before. "Bad Decisions" is such a personal song, probably the most personal song I've ever released, so to know people were hearing that and liking it was really something.
Last year you released a cover of “Beware” by Big Sean. It went viral! I just heard it and it’s awesome. I mean, Jhené Aiko is Jhené Aiko, but your version of her hook and bridge plus Big Sean’s parts are A+. Why did you choose this song as your first cover? Was it just the song you were digging at the moment? Or did you like the message very much?
I couldn't get it out of my head and was singing it over and over again one night at the studio. Freddy was actually the one who said let's do a cover tonight. I wanted to put my spin on it so I flipped it to be from a girls perspective.
I read that your first project with your new label Capitol with will be titled “Reckless Passionate Youth” (that was what your 2013 "R.P.Y" mixtape title stood for, right?). Will “Reckless Passionate Youth” be an EP or a full-length album? AND, is there any tentative release date yet?
Yes, that's what it stood for. And yes, we are releasing an EP first to tentatively be released before the end of the year.
Your next single will be "I Love It When You Cry", to be released this Fall. I've heard the song thanks to your label and I've loved it! It’s more mellow than “Buffalo Bill” but it’s got a vibe that I think everyone will like. It’s got a big sound too. I can see it do it well in America AND the UK. For some reason the chorus (with the drums) makes me think of Ireland. What is that cool instrument that you hear in the beginning of the song? And, how proud are you of your next single?
The instrument in the beginning is a Sitar which is somewhat of an Indian Guitar. I love the feeling the sound brings to the song. I think it's enchanting and gangster at the same time. I am so happy this is the first single, it's my baby.
I’ve heard ANOTHER new song from you too - not sure if I can reveal its name, but the title is, let's say, a synonym to the word "error" in plural. I REALLY love the chorus of this song. It’s so relatable! (Just live your life without worrying too much, right?) “We've never really been too good at much but it's okaaaay” is one of my favourite lines. You're a terrific song-writer. I really liked too that dreamy synth-pop sound after each chorus. Are you hoping this song becomes a single later on?
I feel like this song is the anthem for all people who relate to the idea of reckless passionate youth. It's very freeing to embrace "errors" and embrace growing up and embrace being human.
Your friends from The Brain House helped co-write and co-produce “Buffalo Bill”. Are they going to be involved in all of the songs from your upcoming project or have you worked (or going to) with anyone else?
The Brain is the core group. Freddy and I have co-written everything together but have involved some other amazing people too... for one, an unbelievable producer and great friend Jason Evigan. I also recently spent some time working with Avicii.
I’ve heard that you have recorded some ‘collaborations’. Without revealing anything big, what can Moxie fans expect?
I really love working with people who I feel lots of honest, raw passion from. Every artist I've been drawn to collaborate with has that in common.
You have started playing a few live shows to get the Moxie Raia buzz started. You recently opened for Danity Kane and MTKO. Did you love the experience? And what other shows do you have coming up?
I did love it... both of their fan groups were so sweet and embracing. It was a lot of fun. About to play a whole string of shows in LA over the month of August. I can't wait. Performing live for me is what it's all about... though I tend to say this about every part of the process.
Where are you answering this Q&A from and what’s your day been like?
I love this question. I am answering from my bed. My last night was possibly more eventful than my day thus far but this has been a great start... about to head to rehearsal.
Thank you very much for time, Moxie! Any last thing you would like to share with our readers?
Just that they can follow me at @yomoxie for updates, new music, show dates, and personal confessions.