Recently releasing a song on indie label alaya’s latest compilation, multi-talented artist and musician Mothica is making a name for herself throughout the music scene with her hauntingly rich vocals and detailed visual aesthetic, grabbing the attention of heavyweights such as Odesza, Jacques Greene, and Giraffage. Read on for more about our pick for “the next big thing.”
Hey Mothica! Great to be chatting with you. Can you give our readers a little background on you and your music?
Hi! My name is McKenzie and I just turned 20 two weeks ago. Mothica is a music project I started after moving to New York from Oklahoma City. I started producing on Ableton and singing vocals for producers in between classes. I study programming and interactive visual art. I always planned on having a career in the visual side of music, but I showed a few people my personal music and they encouraged me to make a soundcloud.
Not only are you a musician, but you’re also a designer and visual artist as well. Do you feel like your creative projects insect with each other? How so?
Definitely! I’m a visual person, so my merch ideas, my music video plans, my ideas for visuals on stage come to me before the music does. I recently wrote a song that I already had a video in my mind for. I like to visualize the mood of the song before I write it, and make sure my lyrics evoke the image in my head. Since I freelance my design work, I’ve actually met some of my favorite musicians by designing posters or album art for them! I think we’re moving towards a more visual age of music, and artwork influences people’s perception of a song.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My lyrics are a little metaphorical at times because I don’t want the person I wrote them for to know. Sometimes I don’t write about people, but personify emotions like my song “Hold Me Down” with DIVERSA sound like it’s about an abusive relationship, but it’s actually about depression. People can hear if lyrics are genuine or not, and some of my songs were written in a really dark place. Speaking of darkness, I’m super inspired by the dark ages right now. I want chain mail to come back in style, and carrying swords, and dragons.
It was given to me by my best friend in middle school who studies mortuary science. We collected taxidermy together, and were interested in exploring abandoned buildings. She called herself “gothica” and me “mothica” because one time I joked about having a personal connection to moths that just repeatedly ram themselves into light bulbs. The name stuck and I was already using it for social media before I started this project. It works though, moths are nocturnal, depressed butterflies and I identify with that.
Is there any advice you’d like to give to aspiring musicians that you’ve learned from your own experiences?
My advice is to ask for advice. Everything I’ve learned about producing is from asking my friends who are more experienced than me. Don’t spam your soundcloud link to your entire friendslist. Make real connections with people you admire, and make music you enjoy, not music you think will get plays. I don’t really know anything though, I just got started myself!