We had a chance to connect with Moxie Raia, the emerging LA-based singer/songwriter who’s been low-key buzzing through a string of independently released singles, covers and remixes. Her jazz infused, soothing feel-good soundscapes have been her calling and after years of working behind the scenes, she’s ready for the her own spotlight. She tells us a mixtape will be coming in 2016 and shared with us a look inside her world during her recent trip to Art Basel in Miami.
Tell us about your Jazz background.
I grew up listening to a lot of jazz and soul music. That’s really all my parents played in the house. That and Frank Sinatra. When I listen to it, it feels like it’s flowing in my blood. It’s rare that any other type of music makes does that to me.
How does that differ from the music you’re making now?
It wasn’t exactly a transition… The music I write now is similar in style to the music I’ve been writing my whole life. I’ve just been influenced and inspired by different things along the way… Jazz being one of them. My obsession with Jazz really started when I moved into an apartment across the street from a Jazz club when I was 17… I was always mesmerized by it but at that point I knew I wanted to go to Columbia and major in Jazz Studies… Studying the sociology of Jazz was definitely what I was most interested in.
What are you currently focused on?
Right now I am finishing up a mixtape that I am releasing in January! I am also working on an album that I plan to release this summer.
Goals for 2016?
I’m really excited to just put out music… I’ve been working. And I want to tour.
What’s on your iTunes right now?
I don’t download a lot of music… I only have 5 or 6 artists on my iPhone. Kendrick Lamar, Stevie Wonder, Kanye, and D’Angelo are always with me. Bob Marley. Lauryn Hill. Then just my friends.
Are you still working with Steve Aoki? Any other collaborations coming?
Steve remixed a song of mine called “I Love It When You Cry.” I remember the first time I had ever even got word he did the remix I saw a video of him playing it for 185,000 people at Tomorrowland and I cried. He’s a great friend and I love him. I’ve been working on some things with Wyclef and also The Social Experiment. There are a few more features on the mixtape… but yea, I love working with other artists.
What inspires you?
I think my greatest influences throughout my life have been Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, John Coltrane, Bob Marley, and Lauryn Hill. I could go on… so many artists inspire me.
This artist Chor Boogie was working on his wall while I was performing at Basel House… He was really cool and let me make a little addition to his work.
My favorite place to be.
This is me and one of my closest friends, creative partner, and DJ, WWIII at the Complex event
Talking to Goldlink after his performance at the Complex event.
When the beat drops…
This is Yogi Hakim the art director for Kamp Grizzly who hosted this Adidas event and Broc Fetch who premiered his photos of A$AP there.
Talking to Kesh about this piece of jewelry (a harness I always wear) our mutual friend and stylist Amelian Kashiro made me.
I don’t remember this photo being taken but shoutout to Danny Seth I hope it was great to meet me.
This I actually do remember because we found these really great steps at the Delano and talked on them for hours.
If you know me, you know these are the two most important things in the world to me… Those chains were moving… to me it represented Love and Peace in motion which is beautiful.
My reaction to finding out this piece of Obama holding up gang signs by MR Herget was called “Democrips & Rebloodicans” which is one of my favorite Kendrick Lamar lines ever. MR Herget was definitely in my Top 5 favorite artists I saw at Basel. The content was political, and layered, and heavy which I am always drawn to and his style hit me like this new form of impressionism… It reminded me a little of Picasso and cubism too… but NEW. His style felt like something I had never seen before… which to me is the best thing an artist can do.
This piece was so cool.. from afar this artist’s pieces were portraits but up close the portraits were made out of these little photos, pill cases with powder in them, figurines, nails, and beads… The precision was overwhelming.
This was taken at this Haitian restaurant called Tap Tap where we all went to dinner one night. I eat mostly only fruit so I had a boiled Plantain which sounds not that exciting but was actually really good
Talking to Peter Tunney before he took my photo with his giant Polaroid camera.
Peter Tunney taking my photo on his giant Polaroid camera
The first thing I felt when I met Mr. Brainwash was that he had very warm energy.
Peter double exposes his Polaroids with different images… for mine he used this photo of a painted forrest.
When we got into this golf cart, party bus, lady bug apparatus Peter gave us 3 rules… No cell phones, you must scream every lyric “even if you don’t know them” at the top of your lungs, and when we stop along the way you must get out with alacrity and “interpretive dance” in the middle of the street. This turned out to be one of the most epic things I’ve ever done and a memory and feeling I will cherish. We did a tour around all of Wynwood blasting music, laughing hysterically, and dancing for an hour. What struck me about it was how beautifully it was bringing people together… everyone we passed. Completely sober we almost all had tears in our eyes by the end from the love and connection we felt during it… Music is the universal language…