Have You Heard? #1: MoYah
- Have You Heard?
Rapper, artistic curator and workshop facilitator
Welcome to Have You Heard – an interview series highlighting the people behind Bristol Beacon.
Each month we speak to colleagues, artists, fans and friends and ask them to share their thoughts on our transformed venue, as well as the music that matters to them.
For our first edition, we spoke with Bristol-based, Mozambican-born bilingual Afrofusion rapper, workshop facilitator and artistic curator, MoYah.
A long-standing friend and collaborator for Bristol Beacon, MoYah has worked with us on several projects including his role as lead facilitator of our artist mentoring programme, Futureproof, assisted in this year’s work experience activities, and delivered an inspiring and energetic performance at Bristol Takeover 2022.
This week, MoYah offers an insight into the many varied projects he is currently undertaking, his life as a genre-hopping artist, and shares the latest album from J Hus.
What have you been working on?
I struggle to limit myself to only one musical project at at time because there’s so many aspects of my artistic identity that I want to express, explore & create from.
At the moment I’m recording a lot of songs which I intend on releasing as singles, I’m also working on a super fresh, bilingual afrofusion EP with my Angolan brother Don Jaga, exploring afrobeats, afropop, hip hop and trap whilst reflecting our stories as migrant African refugee men who reside in the diaspora & the complexities, obstacles and most importantly the celebrations around it.
I also just started writing for a new collaborative album with Latin Grammy nominee rapper from North East Brazil, ‘Rapadura’. This is super exciting because we aim to explore both my Sufi spiritual roots as well as Rapadura’s Afro-Brazilian spiritual traditions of candomblé. We want to explore the rich musical traditions that originated in Brazil, alongside music derived from different parts of the African continent.
What does a stand-out live performance look like to you?
When a musician or band is able to really connect with the hearts of the audience, and turn that performative experience into more of a collective interactive experience between everyone present. Vulnerability is extremely important, and through it you can connect with your audience and take them on a journey of feelings and emotions.
I recently had the opportunity to perform at Land Skills Fair Festival with my brother Rapadura and it was a very special moment because I felt we really connected with the audience. What I like about Rapadura is that he was able to bring some of his spiritual & musical traditions from Brazil and incorporate them into a powerful performance.
What are you listening to right now?
J Hus‘s new album – I think it’s dope, and I really like it musically. I love the live instrumentation in it, his style and the fact that he reflects his identity as a UK based rapper from East London whilst not shying away from his West African Gambian roots.
Have you heard? J Hus – Beautiful And Brutal Yard
(2023, Black Butter Ltd)
Please note: this album contains explicit content.