The best music get’s down on its knees with you. It whispers to your shadows and lures them into the sun. Mishal Moore’s music is like that. Her songs leave me hopeful, reflective, and eager to dive into the uncertainty that comes with embracing life as it is even if I’m wishing for more.
“How do you know when things are meant to be possible?”
I’ve considered the inspiration behind Mishal’s compositions. Naturally, my music pick for the August B4Peace Challenge was a no-brainer. I’m aware it’s October. It was logistics but good things come to those who wait. I gathered the courage to contact Mishal about an interview. Mission accomplished! Mishal is very personable. And aside from my geeking out, our conversation was breezy as she touched on her creative process, her love of movies, and what brings peace to her corner of the world. It was like catching up with a friend and talking about life.
Glorious Mettle: Is there a particular location, time of day, or a space that cultivates your song writing?
Mishal Moore: I’m a night owl. I get my inspiration when everybody’s sleeping…when it’s quiet. I’ve written songs in the daytime but I can’t really remember the last time I wrote something in the daytime. Usually it’s very, very late at night.
GM: Ever have an idea that just comes to you when you’re sleeping and you have to get up and get it out?
MM: It usually happens when I’m in the shower. That’s where most of my song ideas come from. I have my phone next to me so that I’m able to press record if something comes to mind. A melody will just come to me and I’ll hum it. I always have new music running in my head. As soon as I think of something, I’ll think of something else right after. I’m horrible at remembering an initial thought; I have to record immediately.
GM: Do you think water has a certain quality that makes inspiration flow?
MM: I like the white noise sound…when I go to the beach, or a fan’s spinning, or a washing machine. I’m kinda like in a trance. It comforts me. It puts me in a place where I’m not thinking. I write best when I’m not thinking. Whether it rhymes or not or makes sense to people is not my style.
GM: Do you have any songs that you’ve written that you’re apprehensive to publish?
MM: I’m not ever apprehensive to put anything out. I write a lot. For instance last year I wrote over 300 songs. So, because I write so much, I don’t want to put too much out at one time and overwhelm people. I try to make sure that I sit with things before I release [them]. It’s that knowing feeling that ‘it’s time for me to release this song’. Because once I release a song, it’s no longer mine. It’s for everybody else to interpret. Sometimes there [are songs] that are dear to me that I don’t want anybody to hear.
GM: What music brings you peace?
MM: I’m a big fan of KT Tunstall and Feist. I recently bought KT Tunstall’s latest album and I’ve seen her in concert. Her music always brings me a sort of calm. I listen to this band called Free. They’re from like the 70’s. They’re from London. I like a lot of rock music. I listen to a mix of their music all the time, especially when I drive. It just depends on what mood I’m in. Sometimes I listen to music without words and I listen to music when I don’t understand what they’re saying. It depends on where I am. I’m not really a radio listener. I try to detach myself from the commercialized world of music and art because it stifles my creativity. I don’t really listen to music that much because I’m always engulfed with music. So sometimes to get inspiration I watch a movie.
GM: What other activities calm you down when you’re stressed?
MM: Funny enough, I just recently got into Zumba. I play a little tennis. Physical activity really helps me get out any aggression. Like I said I’m a big movie watcher. I love watching horror movies, foreign, indie films, documentaries. It puts me in a very calming place. And I don’t watch much TV but I have certain shows that I watch. I love Breaking Bad. It’s the best show on TV. Ever! My thing is that I like to watch a series and if I’ve missed it, I’ll splurge and I’ll just go buy it and sit and watch a whole series in like two weeks when I’m on my down time.
Speaking of down time, Mishal is taking a much-needed break from two and a half years of touring. To add to her list of things to watch, I suggested the Netflix series Hemlock Grove (she already had it in her queue) and Lo (a quirky horror movie). However, she’s still busy. Mishal put out a sample from her upcoming mini project arriving October 22. “Fire” delivers that haunting bliss that makes her music so irresistible. She’ll be filming a video in London soon. You’ll have to wait until sometime in 2014 for Mermaid Sailor, the full project.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to get through the rest of the year on a few tracks but I guess they’ll have to suffice. Who am I kidding? I’ll be running them for a while. I leave you with one of my favorite tunes from Mishal’s Mixtape ’08. Soak up the peace and “let it go”.
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