Perhaps you are familiar with the musical stylings of local artists Jelani Kwesi, NAPPYNAPPA, or Mak11. While their sonic visions range from lo-fi to glittering, the thread that weaves them together is producer Black Moses and his instinct for creating intensely mercurial and earthy, yet spaced out, sonic landscapes.
While the juxtapositions of his musical renderings may seem whimsical, they do come naturally. Outside of music, his biggest inspirations are nature and architecture, which Moses noted “is odd cause they are like opposite to each other.” But they don’t have to be. Think about the way the National Monument perfectly absorbs the sunset each dusk. Just like the beauty that ensues when nature and architecture are carefully juxtaposed, Moses creates harmony out of a seeming cacophony, “like the perfect picture in real time.”
He recalls one of his earliest fascinations with sound, stemming from the apparently endless crates of vinyl records his Dad used to keep in the house from his DJing days. Every Saturday evening, he would blast songs from music icons like Marvin Gaye, Chaka Khan, and Anita Baker through his sound system, a ritual that sparked young Moses’ curiosity about the sounds flooding from the records and how they were made.
“I always knew I wanted to do music [or] at least be on the creation side of things,” he said.
His musical tastes are as diverse as the emotions he captures through his production. His process, however, is quite steady. He makes a point of exercising his creativity in the morning.
“Even though I’m not a morning person, it’s my favorite part of the day to make beats,” Moses said. He usually begins by playing around with various sounds or listens to samples until he finds an interesting starting point. He always ends up with something surprising and delightful. Expect to hear a bleep here, a bloop there, a flute, maybe even Scottish bagpipes—all the sounds required to successfully prepare the mothership and more.
While Moses has his hands in several proverbial pots, you’ll get to hear him shine solo soon. This July, he’ll be releasing his beat album, Kyle, in which he intends to capture “the feelings of awkwardness and pressure” from the mundane and seemingly simple aspects of life. Currently, he’s working on a collaborative venture, Melodies Mnemonikos, with Kwesi, set to release this year. His labor is a diligent and thoughtfully-timed one of love, much like that of the biblical Moses who endeavored to go the distance with Israel. Just know, you’ll be hearing a lot more from Moses this year.