The pop singer making music you can dance or cry to.
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Since making Berlin her home, Belgium-born Moli has found her niche in the city’s thriving alt-pop scene.
The 19-year old pens lyrics about her own experiences, mostly concerning love. Her debut single “Didn’t Mean To” is based on a relationship that never went official, written from the perspective of the boy she felt lead her on. Heartache aside it’s a light, feel-good jam that’s layered with intricate melodies and R&B rhythms.
Moli signs off its video with #whoisMoli, a hashtag that’s garnered attention online and a question she also uses as her Instagram handle.
We sat down to talk story telling, her background in classical music and the EP she’s dropping this summer.
So starting at the beginning, are you from England originally?
No, my parents are British but I was born and raised in Belgium. I’ve never lived in England but I have the British culture from my parents, then I’m living in the French speaking side of Belgium so I’ll speak that.
I really like it, it’s just it’s so small. Everybody kind of knows everyone, at least where I live in a really confined area. People don’t really leave Belgium. Maybe people will travel around but they won’t leave for good – they’ll go on their gap year and then come back. So there’s that community solidarity feel when I go back there.
And with your parents being British, did they play you loads of British bands or did you just like bands from Belgium growing up?
No, I was listening to a lot of British and American music. I did listen to a few French artists too, all the French pop radio stuff. The thing is, you can really go cheesy really quickly with the lyrics in French. It can be so bad! But when it’s well done, it can be great.
When did you first get into music?
My Dad is a really big music lover, so I grew up listening to all kinds of music. But I started playing the violin when I was four. That was my main instrument, and then I was playing in orchestras and a lot around classical music.
Has that classical stuff influenced you at all with the music you make now?
I’m not sure. I don’t really listen to a lot of classical music now, but it definitely has helped me with finding harmonies and hearing what’s in tune. It’s helped me with my education in music but I don’t think I’m adding classical references into my music.
And have you always wanted to do music?
Yeah, there’s a point where I wanted to become a violinist but that quickly faded away because the classical industry is so difficult. There’s so much competition out there. When I was trying to learn a piece I’d type it on Youtube to hear someone else play it and there would always be like a five or six-year old playing it impeccably, it was crazy. But then I started singing a lot.
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(RIGHT) Dress ADIDAS
What do you like to write about? Where do you get inspiration from?
Mostly from what I go through. It helps me to get my feelings off my chest. I write a lot about my love life and romance. But also about feeling lonely or feeling down, especially through adolescence. Now I’m starting to also write about other people and other things that I see.
Is it not quite scary to put it out for the world to hear?
Yeah, I didn’t realise before I actually put my first two songs out how personal it was and it was really scary! But then I guess you get over it and just think, well now they know. It’s like telling a story, really. If it’s something deep and personal to me, I’ll try and put it under metaphors and disguise it a bit.
And your EP’s coming out soon, do you have a date for it yet? Are you excited?
So I have two tracks that are out already, but then the whole EP will be out in August. I’m really excited. But we’re putting a track out every two weeks so it’s all quite gradual.
How long have you been working on the songs that are on it?
It took me some time. I’ve been in Berlin now since last February and I started working with one specific producer on an EP at that point but it didn’t really work out. So then I started writing lots of pop music and doing features, and then I ended up just finding this producer who really understood what I wanted to do and it just really clicked.
Lyric-wise, is it all about one thing or different stories?
It’s all kind of different stories, I wouldn’t say they actually fit together. Four tracks out of five are about romance and love, and then one isn’t. I think it’s normal to write a lot about that. I wish I could be that indie person that doesn’t, but I’m a really sensitive person to that so I write about it.
And what do you want people to feel when they listen to it?
I would love it if they can relate to what I’m talking about. If I can make someone feel something when they listen to a song, that would be awesome. But otherwise just for people to enjoy listening to it.
There’s a lot of young females in the industry, how do you stand out?
When I was in Berlin I was pushed a lot by all the people around me to just do pop. What I’m doing is definitely still pop – but then pop is really vague. I’m trying to add more R&B, touches here and there, because I don’t want to be that plain pop artist. I’m just trying to bring something a bit different with it, trying to open up the door.is of what people listen to. I think there’s no point just copying what other people are doing and that’s what I’m trying to move away from.
And finally, what are the aims for the future?
I want to be able to perform as much as I can, to travel and tour a bit. To do live stuff, that’s really my aim. And to write a second EP as soon as I can. I also enjoy writing for other people so I want to keep writing pop music for others.