From Austin, Texas, Mobley is spreading his music. It’s complete with funky sounds, soulful beats, and maximum energy. His live show was captivating, leaving the audience wanting more. He writes, produces, and sings for all of his music and even creates his own artwork and videos. Mobley has been working hard and is so eager to show the world just what he brings to the table. For something to spice up your day, check out his single, “Swoon.”
For those maybe a little less familiar with you, give us a quick rundown of where you’re from, what you do, and the fun funk you put out into the world!
I’m a songwriter/producer/one-man-band living in Austin, TX. I call my music “post-genre pop” — it’s hard to define, but people can check it out at mobleywho.com and hear for themselves.
From reading up on you a bit, you pretty much do it all. You recently dropped Fresh Lies, Vol. 1 so tell us what the writing process behind that album was like.
Initially, I’d planned to release Fresh Lies as an album, but as time wore on, I realized that it’s actually a much bigger project than that. For me, an album is a statement; its terms and scope are defined. Fresh Lies isn’t an album; it’s a song cycle — a large collection of songs that are connected by a thematic and conceptual approach. The concept that joins them is that they are all love songs that use romantic interplay as a metaphor to explore my relationship, as a black man especially, with my country.
Themes of nationhood and identity and alienation are ones that I’ll need decades to explore personally, let alone artistically. I want a place to work with those ideas, but I also want the freedom to put them down, imperfect and incomplete, to go chase other concepts.
That’s why I decided to commit to making Fresh Lies a career-long work that I will expand for years to come. I plan to release one volume in the song cycle for each generation that has passed since my earliest ancestors were brought to this continent.
How did it feel to perform at such an amazing festival as Hangout?
I had a great time! The crowds were really generous and fun. I look forward to hopefully doing it again.
The great thing about Hangout is discovering new artists to fall in love with and seeing the artists you already love. What’s one thing you want to communicate to those who have never heard your music before?
You know, I feel like that’s what my art is for. I’d like to encourage people to have a listen and decide for themselves. I’m always very interested in the meanings fans of my music create for themselves, and I think it’s ideal for people new to my music to encounter it fresh, without too many preconceptions.
What artists did you love seeing at Hangout?
I unfortunately didn’t get to spend much time at Hangout because I was on tour and had shows before and after the festival. I drove all night to make it to my set, and then had to leave pretty soon after to make it to my next show. But I was fortunate enough to catch some of MAX’s set, who played after me on the BMI Mermaid stage. He was fantastic.
Obviously, you’ve probably had a passion for music your whole life, but what was that defining moment where you thought, “This. This is what I want to do”?
I didn’t have a single, defining moment; it was an obsession that grew over time into something that dominated the landscape of my life.
Alright, you have the chance to create your own music festival. Other than yourself, what four headliner artists/bands are you picking?
Josie & the Pussycats, Jem & the Holograms, Spinal Tap, and the Oneders.
STORY ELIZABETH STAFFORD
COVER PHOTO ERIKA GOLDRING for BMI
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