We had the good fortune of connecting with Mo Shakray and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mo, what do you attribute your success to?
I think the most important part of my success is my discernment. Knowing when to move and who to move with. There’s always going to be someone who wants to help, but is it the help I need? Does it make sense? Those are the kind of questions I consider before making a move.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a singer, songwriter, and recording and mixing engineer. I been singing since I can remember. When I was about 5 I started paying attention to melodies and song structure. By the age of 12 I started writing songs in my little notebook. In high school, I started writing to beats and my sophomore year I went to a studio to record to them, and that’s when I figured out I wanted to learn how to engineer. Going to the studio was expensive so I figured if I can learn how to do it for myself, I’d cut some costs and be able to network with other artist and industry folks. It was my way in. And it’s working. For a while I was focused on being an engineer, so my artistry became secondary. I feel like I’m still finding the balance of artist verse engineer, but this year I’ve made more of an effort to split my focus. Engineering is how I make money, but being an artist is my ultimate form of expression. It’s what I do to feel good. And that’s the type of music I aim to make. Fun, confident, rhythmic. I want people to feel like they are THAT one when they hear Mo.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would definitely that them hiking! Probably off the coast of Pacific Palisades or Paulo’s Verdes. There’s beautiful routes out there. Then go to CoCo Ichibanya, which is a curry house. I grew up in Okinawa, Japan so it’s nostalgic for me and anyone else from Oki. Then hitting either a reggaeton/dembow or soca/dancehall party, depending on what’s happening.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Huge shout out to my family for always supporting me through my journey. Not everyone has that, especially being of color, and it’s important to acknowledge it when it’s present.
Damoochie of Matt Defrance Photography. Kay Coria of Illuminated Moments. Anthony Mendoza of Kinfolk Visuals.