- Words Notion Staff
- Photography Celeste Call
Moli chats with Notion about her new single "Insomnia" and mini-album, as well as battling identity crises and self-doubt to get to where she is today.
Having debuted in 2018 with her single “Didn’t Mean To”, Moli has since racked up millions of streams on her music. It’s no wonder she’s found fans – Moli’s sound is bright and lively, each song carving its own lasting impression.
With more than a dozen singles and one EP – ‘Résumé’ – under her belt, Moli’s electro-pop sound has been created after quite the journey of self-doubt, hundreds of demos, “constant small identity crises” and tons of experimentation. Now, it’s time for her to share the mini-album, ‘Préface’, which features lead single “Insomnia”.
Born in Belgium but now based in Berlin, Moli opened up to Notion that whilst she loves writing new songs, she finds it hard to let them go, her inner perfectionist always keen to make a few tweaks before they’re mastered. In this interview, we talked about everything from writing for other artists to her advice for other artists starting out, and thoughts on life in a parallel universe.
You’re about to share your mini-album, ‘Préface’, this week. Containing seven tracks, how did you know these were the right ones to release?
Usually, I know straight after having written the track when it gives me a buzz and I get so excited that I can’t stop listening to it. I will then spend the next couple of weeks binge listening to the demo and if I am still not bored of it after the 100th time then It’s passed the test and I take the next steps to finish it and prepare it for release.
Seven songs might have made it onto the record, but how many had you created for the project overall?
I am constantly writing new songs and so many of these will probably never see the light of day. I can’t really give you a precise number but I have hundreds of demos laying about on my computer.
You’ve said that the mini-album is a result of finding yourself and your musical identity. What was the journey like for you to get there?
Constant small identity crises to be honest. There are lots of different directions to choose from and it took time to really find out what felt right for me. A lot of experimenting happened and frustration was also brought into the mix at some points. Realizing that sometimes I put a lot of energy into one direction but that it didn’t feel 100% right so having to start all over. It’s a journey of trial and error where patience is key.
Did you set yourself any goals or intentions in mind before creating this record?
My intentions were mainly sharing how I felt and for the record to feel honest and authentic to me. Listening to myself and following my heart without trying to be a people pleaser.
What was the hardest part about creating this record? And what was the easiest?
The hardest part was mainly self-doubt and finishing up the songs. It’s not always easy to define songs as “finished”. You can always go in and tweak them more or change sounds and levels constantly. At some point, I had to let them go and declare the songs as ready to be mastered which I found quite difficult.
The focus track for the record, “Insomnia”, is inspired by your experiences with sleeplessness. It’s an example of how you turned something that troubled you into something beautiful. Do you find catharsis in this?
Yes definitely, It somehow feels relieving to create something good out of not such a great situation. It makes me feel like being in that difficult situation wasn’t in vain and that I managed to get something out of it.
As well as creating your own music, you’ve co-written a number of pop and dance tracks for other artists. How do you decide which songs to keep for yourself?
If the song feels super personal and that I realize that I wouldn’t feel comfortable with someone else releasing it as it feels like it’s my story to tell or if the song just feels very special in the way that it really fits to my artistry then I will keep the song for myself.
What would your advice be for other artists starting their musical journey? What do you wish you’d known at the start?
That you need to listen to yourself. Don’t let other people talk you into something that doesn’t feel right even if they say that commercially it makes more sense. Make sure to have a team of people around you that have your best interest at heart, speak up about what it is you want, and try to educate yourself as much as possible about the music industry.
I would definitely still be a creative. I could see myself in film or photography. Something that I do more as a hobby or to create bits and pieces for my artist project these days but in another life, I could see myself pursuing a full-time career in that sector.