Interview with our ReverbNation Winner, London’s John Moukarzel!
1. Age and how long in the industry? How is the music scene in your area?
I am in my 30s! But I tend to say I am younger and in my late 20s (as I can 'hopefully' look it too) just due to the nature of the industry - the younger the better - sort of mentality. Though I am pro-maturity and it's a wonderful thing.
I have been doing music forever. I first started producing my first single in 2003. The music scene is... pretty mixed and messed up I would say. I stopped gigging
a few years. You invest so much time and effort for the venue
to really be making money off of you and they put restrictions as you need to get a certain number of people in to be able to perform. Artists get nothing and sometimes a £1 commission after a certain minimum number of people coming in to see you. I find that negative and have pretty much detached from it. There is always interesting music, however.
2. Let's have some fun! What's your Zodiac Sign?
3. What is your main inspirational philosophy in life? Favorite quote and why?
My main philosophy is that everything in life is energy. This energy is everything which is not visible to the naked eye. Everything generates energy that travels. A conversation. Happiness. Sadness. Anxiety. A thought in itself sends an energy out into the universe. We just don't see that. Think of radio waves that we can never see however music is sent and received precisely from far ends. The energy we form in us, our beliefs, our motivations & intentions are one of the most important things as we create and put an energy out there by doing that.
Quotes keep changing depending on time and my personal journey. At the moment it's:
"Your mind is a powerful thing. When you filter it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change. The world is a looking glass. It gives back to every man a true reflection of his own thoughts. Rule your mind or it will rule you.
4. Ok, now...who are YOU as an artist? What is your story?
Story is everything and what sets every individual experience from the other. I'm simply someone who has something to say. Someone who has a story, journey and pain to share.
I don't believe that music comes from nothing. It could. But then it deflates as quickly as where it comes from. I believe it comes from a longing, a yearning, a pain, a struggle - it's ultimately about having to say something. If you don't have that 'urge' then it comes across that way too.
I've had a hurtful childhood and being a delicate character has probably magnified emotions to a further extremity. I then went through a series of eventful and emotional relationships. I am a believer of love. These extreme and painful experiences have shaped who I've become and yet led me to have something to say.
5. Who are your musical influences and what genre of music would you say your style is?
I love Alphaville, Erasure, Dirty Vegas, Seal, Dido, Aqualung, Keane, Depeche Mode, Washed out, Aquilo, etc...
It's hard to pin down the genre of music I am really and I'm not so much a fan of labelling music. If I have to, I would say I am mostly Alternative/Pop. I do have my indie, ethnic/Arabic and deep house influences too! Now apart from all that, I also compose orchestral music and produce music for film.
6. What is the state of the music industry right now? Where is it going?
I believe the industry still has money but no where at the point it was. I believe the future of music is simply in advertising. This can still be good and lucrative but it means you need to have a following. And to have a following you either invest lots of marketing money in or you put an endless effort through performing and spreading out your music - although that has it's own limits.
7. How is your Art “your Religion”?
To better put it... It's simply a way of life. Religion is a way of life.
As much as you take in, you also need to release and put out. As ridiculous as this sounds, it's like going to the bathroom. You can only eat and sleep for so long before you need to visit the bathroom to let out some of what you've put in. It's a process. And it feels exactly that way to me. Making music comes as an 'urge'. I will not be able to keep my balance if I don't express and let out. The expression is needed to counter balance the soul, mind and heart's energy.
8. What are you truly creating with your music that changes the world, changes society?
I share my experiences (many times pretty metaphorically) so I leave it a bit more open for everyone's own interpretation (I love poetry).
My messages are somewhat personal and it's about the external society relating to what I write to or not. Many of times I have heard people come up to me at a concert/gig/leaving me comments/DMs to tell me that they felt as though I read their mind or they went through a very similar thing that it was comforting them. Others have said that they feel safer or even understood. How much that changes society is the question, though the key to change is unity and that's the core to start from (which is I'm hoping is what my songs could create for others).
9. What is the spiritual, political or social message of your music?
Simple answer. LOVE.
I am a romantic and probably a spiritual being. I believe in LOVE. That's what I would promote.
10. What do you really think it takes to make it in the music industry? Tell us 3 keys.
Confidence. Almost being naive at times.
-Persistence. Never stopping because sometimes, that one more try with persistence makes things happen.
-Authenticity: Discovery your personal universe. It is the only form that makes you stand out from others - and it takes *time* before you discover who you really are. That then comes across in your lyrics, your melodies and your 'sound'.
11. Where do you see your career going in 2019?
If things play out right, signed and moving on a good track. Exploring and promoting my single. Playing specific shows and radio.
Other than that, I do make music for film too (orchestral) so possibly something in that realm of the industry too with perhaps an indie movie or even having a soundtrack on a bigger movie.
12. Legacy: At the end of the day, how do you want your fans to remember you and your music?
I'd want my fans to remember me and my music as: Sensitive. Emotional. Deep. Euphoric.
Contact John here: