“Aboliremos el patriarcado, que es nuestro sueños que alabamos!” møya rey releases second single “Open Letter”

møya rey is a Brooklyn based independent recording artist and a multi-talented polyglot. Having grown up in New York City to with a Dominican family, and traveling to over twenty countries, møya rey is influenced by a myriad of cultures. To call her an R&B singer will not do this artist any justice. With the upbeat tones and percussions derived from multicultural influences of the Caribbean and West Africa, and the smooth rhythms of the United States, møya rey takes her soulful and melodic voice to new heights by synthesizing multiple genres melding into a unique sound of Contemporary Afro Indie R&B.

We had the pleasure to interview møya rey about her second single, “Open Letter,” and she reveals that the project comes from her EP titled “Lost in Translation,” a fitting name for a project written in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. The transatlantic dialogue that occurs in music is the pulse that gives møya rey’s music an unwavering rhythm of expression and liberation.

To watch the music video click here and to stream the song on all digital platforms, click here.

FEATURE INTERVIEW

What is the meaning behind your latest single “Open Letter”, what inspired the song?

The song “Open Letter” is the first track in the EP “Lost in Translation”. I feel the title evokes a heightened sense of vulnerability because the song is written as a stream of consciousness which aims to make sense of a number of emotions and experiences. The song came to life in September 2020 when my friend and producer Arty Furtado came to visit me in Paris. I told him I wanted a beat that emulated music from Cape Verde, and since he is ethnically Cape Verdean, it was very easy to draw on the cultural reference. I legit just gave him a guitar and opened by laptop up to Logic and he built the beat in an hour.

The melody of the song is what evoked the stream of consciousness. The song recounts the blending of surrealist dreams and lived experiences in a way that the lyrics are inseparable. I wish for harmony and unity and to contest the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. The song is in multiple languages and has multiple layers of melodies and raps. The multi-layered tracks are inspired by Lauryn Hill, who has a richness in her music because of the multiple layers that have different melodies and raps.

The song is a huge project and it aims to synthesize so many cultures and emotions, to talk about the sad and ugly but to end with hope and aspiration for more.

What was the music video production process like?

The music video production process was a journey of growth for me. This is the third music video created specifically for this song. The first music video was a video I created mostly on my own or with my cousin Carmelys in Paris, France. Most of the footage consists of me propping the camera up on some books and playing dress up in front of the camera. This was before I could imagine the greatness and the evoking power of my own words, by that I mean I was thinking small. The reason being was because at first the music was just a way for me to make use of time, quarantine was very hard on me, especially because I was living abroad and working on my master thesis with Columbia University.

My friend Hélibert and I had tried to make a second home film in Paris, but I had little direction for the many ideas pounding in my mind. Eventually that compilation was forgotten and months under the strict COVID lockdown in France made it harder to realize my dreams. But the music kept me alive and I would loop the song with no end until I built the confidence to try again. The more I worked on my demos and the more I went into the studio, the more alive the song came to me.

Before I returned to New York City in April, Hélibert and I got together and spent an entire weekend day filming playbacks in one of my favorite parts in Paris, La Basilique du Sacré Cœur de Montmartre, and a studio just outside of the city. Helibert compiled all the footage he filmed and color graded the project and really was a genius in bringing these visuals to match the audio.

How are you shaped by music?

Music is a way for me to make sense of these many diverging, yet unified worlds. Growing up there were certain Latin genres, such as Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Mambo and Rumba, that I assumed were all from the Dominican Republic. As I grew older I was able to begin to understand the nuances of these genres. 

The cultural mixing that dates back to the colonial era often blurs the line between cultural origins because the cultures mix to represent a people. Add that with the transitions into post modernity and being second generation American, there’s a lot of culture that one is influenced by. The common root for me was the ways in which these music genres represented the nuances of black identity. My project serves to make sense of these many worlds that I have been influenced by and synthesize them into free standing songs.

What does it mean to embody a Latinx identity

To me it means to embody the nuances of what Latinx mean, it’s a spectrum not a binary and I am an Afro-Dominican woman who is not just part of a mixed race Dominican diaspora but a larger black diaspora.

What is your song writing process like?

I didn’t write my songs beforehand, more often I sing what I’m feeling on an empty track, it’s whatever the music and my spirit guides push me to do. After I have that first track I just build off if; I would just rework my demo tracks and find the right harmonies and melodies to add to it before I would take it into a studio session. Every song is extremely multi-layered which really adds to the multiplicity of my own identity and understandings of the world. 

To watch the music video click here and to stream the song on all digital platforms, click here.

Connect with møya rey

Instagram: https://instagram.com/moyamusic_
Website: https://moyamusic.tumblr.com/

VIDEO CREDITS

Directed by: Hélibert Fini @2nuagesdecendres & møya rey @moyamusic_
Director of Photography: Hélibert Fini @2nuagesdecendres
Produced by: Hélibert Fini @2nuagesdecendres
Editor: Hélibert Fini @2nuagesdecendres
Color Grading: Hélibert Fini @2nuagesdecendres
Photographer: Hélibert Fini @2nuagesdecendres
Cover art: Hélibert Fini @2nuagesdecendres
Cover Art: edited by Kevin Jackson @burban.pics
Cover Art: edited by møya rey @moyamusic_
Makeup Artist: møya rey @moyamusic_
Stylist: møya rey @moyamusic_
Hair: Awa Soumah

COMPOSITION
Produced/ Mixed by – Arty Furtado @artyfurtado
Written by – møya rey @moyamusic_
Saxophonist: Maceo Le Fournis @maceo_saxman
Studio: La Base 43@labase43

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