We’re excited about it. We love the adventures it affords us
and can’t wait to spend more time in the business. We’ve been a part of the music industry for many, many years, so we’ve experienced both sides of the spectrum: the joys and excitement of unexpected success and the frustrations of grinding as independent artists @whoismoxie
Episode #363 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/09/21/episode-363-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax
GETTING TO KNOW THE MOX & J. PROJECT
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
The Mox & J. Project
We’re excited about it. We love the adventures it affords us
and can’t wait to spend more time in the business. We’ve been a part of the music industry for many, many years, so we’ve experienced both sides of the spectrum: the joys and excitement of unexpected success and the frustrations of grinding as independent artists. The music business can be a cruel, humbling entity, it’s easy to let the industry “win” or make you want to give up on chasing your dreams. But we’ve realized that regardless of what the industry thinks of us, and regardless if labels or agencies take notice of what we’re doing, we’re going to continue to make the music that we love to make because it allows us the freedom to express ourselves, it takes us on journeys we’d
otherwise never have the chance to experience. And more than that, we’re good at making music. Whether or not the industry takes notice is irrelevant, we’re good at what we do and we’re going to continue to do it for
as long as we’re having fun.
CON: Having to pay to play a show! What’s up with that!?
Pay to play is one of the ridiculous aspects of being an independent artist (and happens to be something we refuse to do). PRO: Getting feedback on our music. Love hearing what people think (good or bad), it helps us get better! We also love playing live shows. Connecting with the audience, watching people dance to our music, seeing people sing along with us… that’s what music is all about, sharing that experience with others.
We spent a lot of time planning the order of songs on our album.
For us, it was more important to write a cohesive, flowing album vs. a bunch of unrelated tracks. We never sit down to write under the caveat that needs to make a single. If you’re looking to release a bunch of unrelated tracks, with no arch or consistent theme, you’ve created a mixtape. We don’t make mixtapes. We tell stories through our music, we describe our worlds and our observations and thoughts about what we’re experiencing and the world around us. Our worlds are related, our situations and experiences are related. We want you to share that with us, we don’t
want you to sit down and listen to 10 unrelated singles. There is other artists you can listen to for that.
Social media gives us direct access to our fans,
that’s easily the biggest benefit for us as artists. Along those lines, we are also able to connect directly with artists that we look up to (or venues/agencies/companies), which gives us access to certain people that we would most likely have a difficult time connecting with under different circumstances. Social media gives us the opportunity to create a product like “Who We Are” and put it in the hands of thousands of people without the backing of a traditional label, and we can do that simply by clicking a button. We need to have constant contact with our fans, and we enjoy connecting with those who support our music, it makes the entire experience more personal for all of us.
I think, at our age and with how long we’ve both been in the industry,
we focus less on being “trendy” or “current” and focus more on making music that speaks to us and our situations and circumstances in life. We are focused on making music that is outside the box, fresh, and unique. We focus on the process of making music, the journey of creating something together, and the experiences we get to have together as we create these new projects. If we create the quality of projects that we feel we are capable of making together, we don’t necessarily need the finished product to be trendy or current, the music will connect with those who take the time to listen on a deeper level.
Turning struggles into triumphs is what creating music and art is all about.
It’s what life is all about. Every person, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, education, etc has their own battles to fight. Those battles look different for all of us, but at it’s core, life is about overcoming and persevering. Life will test your resolve, life will face you with adversity, life will force you to look yourself in the mirror and decide whether or not you’re going to move forward or give up. There’s a line in the opening song of our album, “This Could Be”, where I rhyme “cuz time after time/you know we tried and tried/you might have left us for dead/we aint survived, we thrived”. Those words exemplify how Jess and I live our lives. We’re in our mid 30s, we have decades of life experiences that have tested our resolve, forced us to handle adversity head on, and motivated us to push our way through the difficult times. Triumphs wouldn’t be triumphs if we hadn’t experienced struggle. It’s the satisfaction of overcoming, it’s the sense of pride and self-worth from having pushed through the depths of the most difficult situations in our lives that makes triumphs so special. Humans turn struggles into triumphs every single day, we just don’t often take the time to allow ourselves to realize and appreciate it.
You could ask this question to a 1000 people and not hear the same response twice.
Each of us has our own definition of how we would describe living life on our own terms. In my opinion, living life on our own terms is what every human strives for, it’s the basis of the life experience. Living life on your own terms, to me, means that as my time here on Earth draws to a close, I’ll look back and think to myself “wow, I didn’t waste a second”. I didn’t just exist, I wasn’t just a passive spectator as the years passed me by. No, I experienced, I felt, I participated, I lived. To me, living life of your own terms means you had the pen and wrote the narrative to your life story, you didn’t sit by and let time write it for you.
Jess: I’d love to have five minutes to sing with Ms. Callie Day.
She is a phenomenal talent that has mastered multiple genres. I’d like to hear more about where she derives her inspiration and maybe learn a trick or two.
Mox: Give me 5 minutes to sit and have a beer with Charlie Sheen.
His stories, the fame and fortune, the alcohol and drugs, the mental health concerns, the marriages and relationships, coming out to the world with his HIV diagnosis, looking back at this stage of his life and the lessons learned (if he’s learned any, that is), would make for a fascinating 5 minutes.
Jess started singing by a dare.
In college, after she’d come home from the bars, friends would ask her to sing. The only song she knew in it’s entirety was the National Anthem. Her friends dared her to sing the anthem for a sporting event at the University. Never turning down a dare, she called up the athletic department and said she wanted to sing a National Antherm. They asked, “who are you?” The athletic department then gave her a volleyball game stating “nobody comes to those games.” From that point on she was singing all the college events and spent the next few years after college singing for MLB, NBA, and WNBA. She started making connections with other musicians and hasn’t stopped since. Her main gig has been with a guitar player from New Hampshire as part of a blues and jazz duo. I got my start in hip hop when I found myself working at a non-profit after college with a well-established rapper. This guy became one of my best friends and helped me turn my writings/poetry into music. From there, I’ve continued to expand my musical scope, working with artists from many different genres. I think it’s safe to say both Jess and I are predominantly inspired by the world around us.
You & Me
This song is our love song to the world.
You & Me is a song that was written with that special person in mind. That person who you look at and things seem right in the world again. That person that supports you, loves you, picks you up when needed, and is your lifeline.
Support Artist: http://moxandj.bandcamp.com/track/you-me
Jess and I found that we worked better
as a team if we were able to take time to write our verses individually vs writing everything together in the same room. I’ve always written solo, I have a hard time sitting down with someone to write songs. I need to think about my lyrics, I need to get into this weird zone where I can lose myself in my thoughts and just write. Because of this, we wrote most of the album in separate locations, sharing ideas/lyrics/demos back and forth via the internet. Once we had the basic structure and lyrics of our songs, we went into the studio at the Instititue of Production and Recording in Minneapolis and allowed ourselves the freedom to bring the songs to life in an organic way– we messed around with our cadence, harmonies, lyrics, and structures in the studio. With no label to answer to, we were able to let the songs develop as we wanted them to, these songs are ours and only ours.
Who We Are is the culmination of decades of life experiences and musical expression
forming into one unique entity. While many rappers have had RnB singers on their songs to sing a chorus or a feature verse, it’s pretty rare to see a rapper and a soul/blues singer totally immerse themselves into becoming one unit. This album is honest, it’s Jess and I sharing our vulnerabilities. It’s transparent. You’re not going to hear anything else like this in the music industry today, there is no one else combining the various elements and genres of music into a full project like we are. We are not rapper Moxie and blues artist Jess Bro collaborating on an album. We are The Mox & J. Project, two artists from different genres who have fused to create something new and fresh. We are one musical entity. That’s the significance of the album for us.
We live in the Twin Cities which is a great spot for live music.
Tons of talented musicians reside here and you can find solid local live music playing from almost any genre any night of the week. Our favorite spot to check into for the latest and best in town is the Icehouse Mpls.
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