InTheMusic: Mourah, interview

Mourah is a musician, lyricist, composer and producer who is trying to make a living from his passion. He started to take an active interest in music at the age of 8 when his brother introduced him to the music of Prince. Later he felt the need to express his inner self into music. The composition process became as natural as singing. He’s back with a new album, “Euphony”.

Stage name: Mourah
Age: 38
City: Geneva
Nationality: Portuguese, Swiss
Released tracks: J.Butterfly, Breakup 28, Icarus 101, Streams, No Sour Days, Tightrope Walker, Vagabond, Hashtag Notalways, This is the Day
Released albums: From One Human Being To Another, The Breakup Sessions EP, Kardia, Euphony
Genre: Indie Pop, Trip-hop, Drum’n’Bass
Platforms: YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon Music

Who is Mourah?

I am a musician, lyricist, composer and producer who is trying to make a living from his passion, although the music business is rough. To break through does not depend only on talent and hard work. You need a bit of luck too, the right contacts. So aside from my musicianship, I studied linguistics and currently teach French. I am also involved in humanitarian work, which allows me to visit developing countries and sink in fantastic cultures. 

How did you choose the name for your artistic project?

Moura is simply my surname to which I added the first letter of my first name (Hugo). I wanted to keep an authentic relationship with who I am, so it is not really a stage name. Also, it seems that I have Arab blood from centuries ago, and Mourah has an oriental spelling. I feel like I come from everywhere and nowhere. It acknowledges that.

You are a son of music lovers, but how did you personally get passionate about music and when did you decide to become an artist?

I started to take an active interest in music at the age of 8 when my brother introduced me to the music of Prince. The genius of Minneapolis became a sort of musical father to me. Later in my teens I played a lot with my friends who had the same interests. We were then fascinated by the trip-hop. I felt the need to express my inner self into music. The composition process became as natural as singing.

Your background is full of different music genres: jazz, classic, drum’n’bass, electronic, trip-hop, pop. Which are your most influences?

I have always admired artists who take risks and seek to reinvent themselves, such as Prince, Bowie, Radiohead, Miles Davis. I think that curiosity should be at the center of the creative process and for that I am open to all styles and artists. James Blake, Joan As Police Woman, Caribou, Bonobo, Floating Points, Charlotte Day Wilson, Nils Frahm, Curtis Harding, to name a few, are often on my playlists.

Let’s talk about your music now. What are the main features of your productions and how have you managed to find your uniqueness? 

My productions usually revolve around my voice, which is usually the starting point in the arrangement process. After that, I like to work on the balance and the mix between acoustic and electronic elements. Perhaps what makes my music unique is that I don’t try to follow trends or emulate other artists. My pieces require several listens before they can be fully appreciated.

After “Kardia”, released in 2015, you are finally back with a new album, “Euphony”. What could you tell us more about this project?

Euphony means “a pleasing or sweet set of sounds”. This album comes at a time when the world is experiencing a lot of “dissonance”, and I wanted to offer something that puts the listener in a kind of a safe zone. Euphony is a journey that tries to avoid obstacles, which is not to say that it is simplistic or uninteresting (I hope!). It could have almost been called Pacifism, for example. As for the lyrics, in short words, they evoke a sense of closure with the pain of the past. And forgiveness, to others and to oneself.

How did you work on the production of this album and what is the connection between the tracks of the album?

On this album, I basically did everything myself, except for the mixing and additional production (Yvan Bing) and mastering (Mandy Parnell). I felt the need to make a solo journey. Also, I’ve saved on the use of effects, with the idea that the album could be played as is on stage with a small band. The album starts slowly and then in the middle offers more dynamics before dropping back down. Then the last track starts off stronger, as if to announce a future journey.

How does “Euphony” relate to your past productions and how does it anticipate the future ones?

With the infinite possibilities offered by today’s recording techniques, I wanted to go back to something simpler and minimalist, compared to my previous album. I restricted myself to using a maximum of 16 tracks per song, as to try and focus on the conveyed emotion. I also simplified the arrangements, which are more straight-to-the-point. For a future album, I will go for something more electronic, upbeat, recursive and experimental, and less indie pop. 

What are your plans for the future?

Give up the music! More seriously, with the pandemic we’ve gone through. I need to rebuild a band to start touring and share my music in front of an audience. I really miss this beautiful experience. Besides that, I am starting a project in Portugal, in a dry country area, to plant a small forest that would serve as a sanctuary for the fauna and flora

Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?

I see that our society has become enslaved to the social network and sometimes lame posts that distract us from more essential things. We should all spend more time to really listen to music, but also to really enjoy nature, spend real time with the people we love. We should take the time to focus on things instead of scrolling down our lives on a screen. 

Mourah for Siloud

Website: www.mourah.com
Instagram:@mourah.music
Facebook: @MourahOfficial
YouTube: mourahmusic

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