Winter 2015 Singing Competition finalist Motolani is an aspiring soul and jazz singer and songwriter. She shares her perspective on building your own musical path.
Motolani has been part of a gospel choir for many years, and has developed a passion for writing her own songs.
She has made some public appearances, including a wedding in New York, performing covers and originals – which have had positive feedback.
She is currently working on expanding her own material so that she can begin sharing with the world.
One influential singer, and what it is that makes them stand out to you?
I would say Alicia Keys, her vocal technique and writing aptitude is exceptionally moving.
Biggest challenge to breaking out and sharing your music with new people?
One of my biggest challenges is letting go of my material. I like to strive for perfection.
Something that’s worked for you in reaching a larger audience?
I use social media daily, open mics and word of mouth to reach a larger audience.
A performance FAIL?
Not preparing an encore song for a gig.
A performance SUCCESS – and why…?
Connecting with the audience and evoking an emotion from them.
Favorite Vocal Gear and Why?
I love but to not own, Mic IT.Loop It. I love arranging harmonies and this allows you to do this live.
Watch the video that made Motolani a finalist
A musical lesson you’ve learned the hard way?
Always listen back to what you record or write, as many times as necessary until it feels right. There is no room for regrets once you let your music go.
What inspires you to write a song?
My inspiration to write songs comes from my life experiences and what I see others go through.
Do you write lyrics first, or melody?
Melodies normally come to me first, but at times I get the lyrics first.
A vocal-singing lesson you’ve learned the hard way?
Singing when my voice is absolutely tired puts a really bad strain on my vocals.
A few ingredients of a memorable vocal performance?
Digging deep down in my emotions and forgetting the audience is there.
Most important lesson you have learned about social media?
Don’t bombard your audience but be consistent with content to keep them coming back.
Most important lesson you have learned about vocal health?
To rest frequently and maintain vocal hydration.
A question you wished we asked you – and your answer?
“Do you believe there is a space in the market for you as an emerging artist?” – I believe everyone has their own unique gift to share with the world. You have to create a space you don’t see and stay true to you.
What is an area of your singing work/career that is a little (or a lot) unique or different that you could elaborate on?
About two years ago I performed at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre Theatre in North London. I was not the only solo artist but was the only one amongst many to be called back to the stage. In front of the audience Geoff Schumann (Life FM/Choice FM DJ and host) announced, that I am going to go really far and to watch out for me. At the time when I performed, I was a nervous wreck and was working on my stage presence and confidence. This has stuck with me since then and I still use it for encouragement.
Motolani is a keen singer-songwriter and gospel choir singer. She is currently working on expanding her own material so that she can begin sharing her music with the world.