Maria Moss is a Spanish recording artist currently based in London. Mixing pop and RnB with a Spanish influence, Maria offers a distinctive sound that is like no other. With an impressive back catalogue of releases and recently working with Cher, Maria is definitely one to look out for in the London music scene.
Where did your love of music come from?
Music has always been a huge part of my life. I was always singing and dancing around the house. When I was little, everyday after lunch, I used to go to my parents’ bedroom where there was a mirror and I used to sing and dance in front of it.
I have always sung and danced, so I have always liked songs that had engaging rhythms to dance to and songs featuring strong vocals. That is the reason why as a kid I would listen to pop, but also hip-hop and Soul. For example, I would listen to The Spice Girls, Aqua, Ciara, Destiny’s Child, Britney Spears, and The Black Eyed Peas, but I would also listen to Motown Artists, Michael Jackson, Cher, Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Linkin Park, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Pink. Even though I listened to Spanish pop, English and American pop have been very important in my life. In my early teens, I started listening to blues, jazz, and Latin genres too.
I started telling my parents I wanted to be a singer and a dancer when I was three years old. My parents, of course, did not believe me at that time until I started working professionally as a session singer when I was 16 years old. At the age of 14, I won ̈The English Key ̈ prize singing ̈When You Believe ̈ by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston on Cantamania, a Catalan TV programme (Salou, TV3). It was an amazing experience, I felt people really liked my voice and it gave me energy to pursue my dream.
I first started developing myself as a musician and a singer. I wanted to make sure I knew music theory, ear training and had a good vocal technique so I attended Aula Musics (Liceu of Barcelona) to study the professional degree of jazz and blues, the Conservatoire of Tarragona to study classical music, Acción-Escena School of Actors of Madrid to study a professional course of Musical Theatre and BIMM London to study BA Creative Musicianship. While studying, I performed as a session singer and wrote songs. When I moved to London, I continued working and developing my artistry and my message as an artist lighting up industry interest (X-Factor, Universal Music Group, AEG Presents, OML, etc). I played a number of international performances in Spain, the UK and the USA (LA, Chicago, and New York).
Do you have a usual songwriting process? If so, what is it?
I love writing different types of songs. One day, I could write a power ballad, and the next day I could write a dancey pop tune or a soul song with raw vocals. I really like exploring emotions, moods, different stories, or mixing reality with fantasy. For example, I will start a song based on an experience and exaggerate it: I am thinking about ending things with a man I have been seeing, when his ex girlfriend shows up and I have to hide behind the sofa. It is true I was thinking about ending things with the man, but I never saw his ex girlfriend. My songs aren’t always about my personal life or experiences.
I started writing music in English when I was a teenager. I started writing poems and then trying to come up with chords and melodies that fit what I wrote. Now, I do not have rules to follow. I try to let my creativity just flow. Sometimes I start singing melodies over a few chords and then the lyrics come to me, sometimes a beat or a backing track gives me the inspiration.
Where has been the best place that you have played and what made this experience so special?
I played in the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire and it was mind-blowing. I really enjoyed the experience of singing my own music in such an iconic and big venue. The fact that I shared the experience with my band members, who are also my friends made it very special. It was so touching to see the audience enjoying it so much and dancing and singing along with me. I love the fact that there is always a different energy from the audience depending on where I’m performing.
Which song of yours is your favourite to perform and why?
I do not have a favourite song to perform. I really like writing and performing different types of songs that would work in different situations. For example, I really like performing ‘Gold’ or ‘Superwoman’ to make people feel empowered and full of energy and positivity. I love performing ‘Say’ and ‘Sólo soy un animal’ toward the end of my performance, as both are very catchy songs to dance to. But I also like to connect with the audience on other levels by singing ballads or emotional songs like ‘Volaré’. It is all about connecting with my fans on different levels.
How would you describe your music for someone who may not have heard you before?
I am an artist who enjoys mixing pop with Soul and RnB, plus Spanish and Latin influences. I sing in English and Spanish. I really like mixing contemporary elements with my roots because it represents who I am and it gives more dimension and variety to my sound. In the past, people have described me as ‘the Spanish Pink’ or ‘a mix between Pink, Shakira and Camila Cabello’, of course, that is just a reference, as my music is different from all those examples. With my music, I want to give strength, energy and positivity. I sing about courage, joy, dreams and love.
You write songs for other artists, are there any of these songs that you wished you had written for yourself?
It is always difficult for me to let go of these songs because I consider them a part of me. Lately, though, I’m writing songs without thinking about who will end up singing the song, it helps me expand my creativity and take different risks that I wouldn’t take if I was within the mindset of composing my own projects. I really like two songs I wrote for other artists called ‘Music stopped for us’ and ‘Peak at you’.
Following from the last question, which artist have you enjoyed working with the most and why?
I recently worked as a vocal and pronunciation coach for Cher helping her record the Spanish version of ‘Chiquitita’. I really loved working with Cher and Mark Taylor in the studio and via Skype. They are super friendly and hard-working professionals. I met her the same day I shot the music video of ‘Gold’! I was supposed to shoot the video during the day and meet her at the studio in the evening. The meeting time changed and I did not have time to go home and change, so I decided to just go straight to the studio with my face and hair covered in gold flakes. I know it is crazy but I did not want to be late!
You can watch the music video here
As you have played shows in Spain, The USA and The UK, how would you describe each music scene? Do they have distinctive differences?
I have always enjoyed travelling and playing shows around the world. It is my passion. I think every scene is special and significant in its own way. I always learn something new from every place I play in. What matters the most is to make people enjoy, feel the songs and have an unforgettable time. In Spain, though, people tend to dance more and shout louder, they are very passionate about music.
Where would you say you like playing the most and why?
I will always love playing where my fans are. As I said before, the connection between the artist and the audience is what matters the most. I would love to go on tour in the near future.
Do you have any upcoming releases? If yes what are your plans for release?
I released ‘Gold’ a few months ago and I am very happy with my fans’ reactions. I wrote this song because I wanted to make people feel empowered, positive and ready to fight for their dreams. The song has an overall energetic and positive vibe that pays tribute to my Spanish roots and my message as an artist.
Because of the coronavirus, I had to push back my releases. But I am still working on a few collaborations with other international artists and producers. I will start releasing new material this Autumn. I would love to organise a release party, too. Many surprises to come and I couldn’t be more excited! You can follow my journey on Instagram, Facebook and Tik Tok (@mariamossofficial).