Moli, the 19-year-old singer/ songwriter now living in Berlin, is a storyteller foremost, penning lyrics that most people can relate to at some point in their life. What places her apart is a vocal style that’s completely refreshing from her contemporaries. Drawing on her English roots, her musical style draws on the UK’s contemporary scene, taking cues from R&B stars like Jorja Smith and Mahalia. We sat down with the talented teenager to talk musical inspirations, dating, and why you won’t be seeing her in Berghain any time soon.
When and why did you start making music?
I started playing the violin when I was around 4 years old. I basically copied my sister who had already started – I thought it looked super cool, so I wanted to do the same. I then learnt music theory, played in orchestras and sang in choirs. I grew up with a very classical background which I learnt a lot from. I started properly writing my own songs around the age of 14. My mum got me a cheap guitar and I learnt to play the easy chords and took it from there.
How would you describe your sound to someone who had never heard it before?
I always find it very hard to describe sound but I would say it’s somewhere between R&B, pop and left-field pop.
Who would be your dream musician to collaborate with?
Frank Ocean. He is incredible – always takes me on a journey with his music.
You have a very distinctive voice, with a very expressive tone; what’s your vocal background?
I had a classical vocal upbringing. I learnt a lot of technique when I sang in choirs. When I was covering pop I use to try and copy pop stars, but I eventually found my own tone throughout the years.
You’re currently based in Berlin, which has an infamous clubbing scene – where’s your favourite place to party in Berlin?
To be honest, I am not a big clubber so I don’t know the clubbing scene that well. I really enjoy going to bars a lot. Berlin bars definitely have their own character. I would rather go to showcases/ concerts or private parties than clubs for the music
Your latest EP talks about various dating experiences – would you say it is important to create a dialogue about dating from a female perspective? Why?
I do! I think it’s important to share the way you feel and your vulnerability so others can relate and feel less alone in their situation. Dating can be a rollercoaster ride especially for people who are very sensitive like myself and those feelings should not be underestimated.
On the EP, songs like ‘Comfortable’ sound as if they have been inspired by UK Garage whereas your vocals on tracks like ‘Didn’t Mean To’ seem to be inspired by Soul, what do you see as the primary musical influences informing the album?
While making the EP, I was listening to a lot of “UK music”. Jorja Smith for instance, NAO, Mura Masa, Mahalia, SG Lewis. But also Frank Ocean, Elley Duhé, The Internet, Kaytranada and many more.