If you thought you were a rap aficionado like me, hold right up, because upon hearing Angelo Mota spit some serious bars you shall well and truly be shook. Cue the obligatory knee-deep perusal through his SoundCloud profile – a listen that for me has been on repeat for the past week.
Native to the blocks of “The Oranges” in New Jersey, hip-hop artist, Angelo Mota spawns raw tracks with an energy and flair that is all but refreshing to a musical landscape drenched and dripping in never-ending formulated one-liners. Rapping since his budding teen years, the 20-year-old has not only laid down some powerful and introspective rhymes in his short-lived time but has also just recently dipped his hand into the world of production. (What can’t he do?)
As well as hooking up fellow Immaculate Taste homeboy Well$’s with some mad production skills Mota just recently released ‘Dawn’ the headlining track from his forthcoming album. The tune showcases his refined, nuanced skill in the studio with pepperings of synth-pop elements and some head-bopping raps. It’s one of a kind, and nothing beats an artist such as Mota with a passion and heat so serious in their art.
In between playing shows and releasing his next single, ‘Oath’ (which is bomb af!! – scroll down and take a listen), we got a chance to have a chat with Angelo Mota about his craft in the studio, his plans for his next project and his dream collab with Franky O.
Welcome to Outlet Mag! First off, how would you sum up yourself in 3 emojis?
Hey! I’d have to say it’d be ???
For those just discovering your sick tunes can you describe your sound in one sentence?
A whole lotta passion.
You’ve just recently released your latest single, ‘Dawn’ which you both produced and composed. Can you tell us a bit about its creation?
Dawn was one of those special records that got better and better over time. It kind of grew on everyone in my camp, and it really started from the ground up. I made a skeleton entitled “water” and it showed promise so I went in deeper to put little flourishes and write the record so it told a story, and by the end of it, it became this beautiful piece of music I got to share with you all. Rob McCurdy of Noise Club really helped glue the track with his guitar and bass playing. Most of our records take form over the phone since my managers and collaborators live a ways from me, but this was the most personal song on the album feeling-wise.
What is your songwriting and production process like? Do you usually have a plan or do you let your tunes come organically?
It really depends on the day. Some days I wake up with a melody or a tune and I sing it all day until I get a chance to lay it down over some piano. Since I produce, it really helps me make a full record because I can “write” the beat as I create a song. On other days, my team and I will bounce ideas off of each other and go through life and pick experiences to share through a song. Sometimes songs take 30 minutes, and sometimes songs take 30 days. My favorite are the slow building songs that grow on you.
What inspires your creativity? Are there any artists or influences that really impact your work?
I’m very much inspired by current events, both on the news and at home. I remember hearing from a mentor of mine that you could take a 30-minute walk outside and find things to write about just off that short walk that you took. It’s really all about perception and what you decide to do with the information or the experiences you’re faced with. I try to make everything really organically, but I am influenced by really musical people like Kendrick and Anderson .Paak. They create these full-bodied works of art that are so complete, and I feel like that’s the next step I have to take.
What lead you to produce the music you do now? Is there one memory or moment in life where it struck you that music is what you want to do?
Turning to production as well as songwriting and performing just seemed like the natural progression of things. I used to convey a lot of negative emotion through music because it was a way to cope with my depression and anxiety problems, but I decided to try a new sound with this album that countered the negative feelings I had with positive sounds. I realized that this was for me when I rapped for one of my friends and he said “This is the only way people can even get close to understanding you. You’re gonna help others.”
Did you grow up in a musical household or neighbourhood?
Absolutely not a musically talented household hahahahaha. My towns school district gave us access to study the musical arts, but it was Band/Orchestra/Chorus, not anything like songwriting or production/etc. There was an emphasis placed more on it being a hobby rather than a career path.
What do you love most about rap? Do you find that it is an effective way of expressing your personality and telling your story?
Of course! That’s what I love most about it. Expressing myself is important to me because I don’t really know how to convey to people the things I feel or the thoughts in my head without alarming them or scaring them off. I feel like I have something to say and rap helps me say it. My production adds the picture while my songs tell the story.
Other than writing and producing do you indulge in any other creative outlets?
Not really, music is all I do and all I have done since I was 16. I used to skateboard; I think I was pretty good at it. I got contests, sponsorships (skate shops/small board companies) but I decided to stop doing it to pursue music more completely.
You released your first project, Good Life back in 2014. Do you feel that since then your musicality has evolved?
Oh shit!! You heard that? That’s so crazy that you bring that up, I’m happy you got a chance to dig around for it hahaha. I feel I’ve grown as a person as well as an artist since that album. I was in college and I was doing a lot of dumb shit and it was the first project I decided I’d take seriously in terms of quality. I think it turned out great, but I don’t think I’ll ever re-release it. It’ll just be a special thing I shared in a moment of my life with people who were listening in.
What has been the craziest moment in your career so far?
Not too many crazy moments, but it was really cool performing at Oberlin University in Ohio. Everyone there was so nice and so excited to have WELL$ and I there to rock a show; there were posters and shit, people would stop us and tell us they loved the music. It was a really nice and expressive environment. It’s also the first time I got a rider or writer or however you spell it (the thing you get in a dressing room before a show). We pretty much all had burgers together with some of the local artists. WELL$ and I still keep in touch, they’re the homies now.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
One person? Frank Ocean. Hands down. I love his songwriting and the production he has, and the way he presents himself to the world is so cool and innovative. I think we’d make some really great music together.
Do you have any tips for upcoming musicians?
Usually the moments where you feel like giving up are the same moments that change your path for the better, and they give you hope to reach your goals. If you have your heart set on something and dedicate 300% of your time and effort to it, there’s no way you can lose.
When are you planning to release some new beats next? What can we expect?
HOD!!!! I just released “Oath” recently, but we got one more single before the album drops. I have a feeling it’s the one you’ll like the most! I also got some collaborations in the works with some other artists; I’m really trying to flex my production abilities more. Album will be out soon!!
Top 4 goals for 2016?
It would have to be:
1. Play a really big show.
2. Show my parents/myself I can really do this as a career and make a living.
3. Meet a cool girl I can hang out with and be myself around.
4. I wanna make big waves with my album, as well as with everyone else on Immaculate Taste. There’s no way we can fail, so it’s my favorite goal.
Thank you Outlet Mag!! #motaseason
Keep your eyes peeled for some new beats by Angelo when his album drops later this year. In the mean time, catch him on…
Soundcloud – soundcloud.com/angelomota
Facebook – facebook.com/angelomotamusic
Twitter – @motaraps
Instagram – @motaraps