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GET FAMILIAR: MOSES BOYD

Posted by Anne van Lingen on

Drummer, composer, producer and electronic musician Moses Boyd -one of the shining stars of the current London jazz scene- only graduated Trinity Laban Conservatoire in 2016 and has already worked and collaborated with the likes of Lonnie Liston Smith, Ed Motta, Little Simz, Four Tet, Floating Points, Sampha, Zara McFarlane, Gilles Peterson, and many more. His recently released album Dark Matter is a jazz producers album, infused with grime, bass, afro, grime and electronica, released under his own label Exodus Records. Patta got to ask Moses a few questions ahead of his Amsterdam show, on Sunday March 1st.

Hi Moses, what got you into music? 

I got involved at my secondary school, I was lucky because my school had a focus on Performing Arts at the time. So I was able to get free drums lessons from a jazz drummer once a week. my drum teacher put me on to a lot of music that and started my interest. 

 

Why did you embrace the drums?

I saw a kid a few years older than me playing in one of the practice rooms at my school, it totally captivated me, this was before Youtube. I had never seen anything like it but I knew I wanted to play drums after that.

 

What other genres are you digging into?

At the moment, lots of ambient music and folkloric music I can find from different countries.

 

Can you share your favourite childhood memory with us? 

Honestly I can't think of one. I had a good childhood but equally can't remember loads of years. 

 

What defines a Moses Boyd record?

Something that's pushing forward. I'm always trying to push myself creatively and do something I haven't done before. 

   

You recently launched your debut album Dark Matter where jazz and British bass take the musical lead. Can you elaborate on your approach?

It started out with a lot of experimenting with textures that would make me feel something emotive. I had a lot of time and freedom to experiment for a long while before things started to formulate. This album is very produced and put together from lots of different sessions. I would take my computer to different studios, people houses to capture stuff as raw I could.

 

Can you take us through your creative process?

I don't think I have one per se. At the moment i'm about chasing sounds. However that may be. I’m less concerned with the technicalities. I used to start songs on the piano and then translate them into pieces. Now I can start a song based on a sample of a rain storm and go from there. 

 

Who has been your mentor throughout your musical journey?

Gary Crosby has been a huge influence and mentor to me. I met him when I was 17 playing with him in his different bands. I’ve learned a lot from him over the years.

 

Rye Lane Shuffle is an EP named after a street in Peckham. What importance does your London DNA hold in your music? 

It's a further reflection of me.. I’m a born and raised Londoner so my music is just a reflection of all my lived experiences. There’s a big history of music culture here in London that i've been strongly influenced by, it all seeps into my music.

 

Can you tell us about the formation and mission of your label; Exodus Records?

It happened very organically. I had some help from my friend Floating Points in terms of how to set it up and get distribution etc. I’m not against labels but I like to do my own thing from time to time. I’m also interested in business, so having my own label fulfils both aspects of my interests.

 

What was the most important thing that happened to you in 2019?

I got engaged.