Joshua Morata is a young and eclectic music artist from Honolulu, Hawaii. Over the course of his career he’s written and recorded countless material in his bedroom. Although being an underground artist, he hopes to someday break through the confines of the unknown and become a welcomed and established member in the music industry.
Q: For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words?
Ans: 5 words is too much for me already, but if I had to really take time to think about it, I’d describe my music as eccentric, intriguing, interpersonal, diverse, and revealing. That’s the best I got hahaa.
Q: When and why did you start playing?
Ans: I started writing songs when I was much younger, but I never took it seriously until I was 15. Some of my earlier material involved my first break up. It was dreadful. Half-assed attempts at ballads and comedy raps. After I put out my first mixtape, THAT’S when I started taking my music seriously.
Q: When you decide it’s time to make a new record, is that more exciting or stressful?
Ans: It’s a bit of both. When I’m finishing up an album, I immediately move on to the next. At first it’s like “oh cool, new tunes and new vibes!”…afterwards it’s becomes “shit, which one do I want to put out first?!”. I’m always writing and thinking about the follow-up release. I don’t ever take breaks between albums, unless I get incredibly burnt out or bored. I’ve made this a personal goal to release a new project each year until I eventually get famous.
Q: Who are your inspirations?
Ans: My main inspirations are Prince, David Bowie, The Weeknd, Childish Gambino, and Julian Casablancas. It honestly depends on what vibe i’m in during writing sessions. These last few months I’ve been inspired by Toro y Moi and Björk (Her Debut album is a real trip!)
Q: Is your family musical?
Ans: Oh definitely! My father was a drummer in a band during his High School years and service in the Army; Playing in clubs in Hamburg, Guam, Japan. My uncle used to be a wicked guitarist in a Mariachi band in Singapore…my whole family’s musically inclined and I dig that. If I was asked “who got you into writing songs?”, the first thing I’d say is my family. Most importantly my dad. He’s the one who got me into Jazz, Blues, and record collecting!
Q: What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?
Ans: I remember singing to my mother on the night of her birthday; I stood there with one hand in my pocket and the other holding the mic. I think I sang “Hero”, that one Nickelback song that was for the 2002 Spider-Man movie. I got a standing ovation from my family.
Q: If you could perform with anyone, in the future, who would it have to be?
Ans: It’d be an absolute dream to work with The Weeknd. He’s one of my biggest influences and working with him would be an absolute dream! I don’t care what anybody says, Kiss Land is an amazing album. I will argue with anyone and their grandmas.
Q: Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
Ans: Gotta be Prince, hands down. He is THE definition of artistic integrity. The greatest artist to ever do it. The sexiest and baddest mofo to ever hold a guitar!
He’s the reason why I’ve ever made it through adolescence. I used to get picked on and bullied a lot, and there were days where I wanted to hide in the bathroom and never come out until the final school bell rang. I was losing my faith. The first song I ever heard from him that made me regain my self-confidence was “Future Soul Song”. Since then I’ve had this dream where I got the opportunity to hug and thank him for keeping me alive. I remember being incredibly heartbroken when I heard his passing on the radio; I was on my way out the door to school when my dad was cooking breakfast. He had his radio on and once they announced it, my heart sank. I miss him, though I know he’s still alive from his music.
Q: Which famous musicians have you learned from?
Ans: Shing02. He’s one of my favorite rappers and someone I could actually call my friend. I’ve interviewed him for a school project, and the answers he gave me were very in-depth and intriguing. One thing I’ve learned from him that I never forgot was “time flies when you’re having fun, but time warps when you’re in love”. He’s referring to your love for what you do, and when you’re in love with what you do, time warps and shifts. Speaking of, we need to get in touch again, a collaboration is long overdue!
Q: Do you have any events coming up or recording going on right now?
Ans: I’m working on my next album. I won’t say much about it, but I’m really happy with where it’s at right now. It’s going to be 200% me. Björk’s music and Basquiat’s paintings have been really inspiring. Personally I don’t think people will like it when it’s out, but we’ll see.
Thanks for taking time out of your day:)