An Interview with Mobley

An Interview with Mobley
Who is Mobley and what can he bring to the table?
An Interview with Mobley
Who is Mobley and what can he bring to the table?

Last month I covered Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, AL and got the chance to witness Mobley perform. Google labels Mobley as an indie/alternative artist, but the Austin, TX native has a diverse catalog that offers multiple tastes to listeners. Take a look at our interview with him for further insight on Mobley and what he brings to the table!

Mandel: So I saw your set at Hangout Fest and you performed with multiple instruments. In total, what instruments can you play? Do you have a favorite instrument?

Mobley: I’m not sure exactly how many instruments I can play. In my live shows, in addition to vocals I mostly play guitar, keys, drums, a sampler, bass, and then a couple of custom instruments I built. When I’m recording, I’ll usually just play whatever the record calls for. As far as my favorite, it changes based on my mood at any given time. Right now I’m enjoying playing the drums, because it’s really physical, and I’m still learning, so it’s a challenge. I only started playing drums live about eighteen months ago.

Mandel: How’d you get into making music? Did you have any specific inspirations that guided you?

Mobley: It’s hard to say exactly how it all started. Even before I played any instruments, I was always coming up with melodic ideas and jotting them down in notebooks. In college, one day after class, this guy followed me back to my dorm, and before we knew it, we were starting a band together. College was when it really crystallized for me that I wanted to be a musician; I would sneak into the music department after hours to play the instruments, and then slip out in the mornings before faculty or staff arrived.

Mandel: How do you describe your sound? How are you working to develop your sound more as time goes on?

Mobley: Whenever possible, I like for people to encounter my music with fresh ears and open minds, so I first try and point people to my website, mobleywho.com, where they can listen and decide for themselves. But if pressed, I’d say that my style places a premium on (hopefully) memorable melodies and ear-catching rhythms. I try to use pop conventions in both expected and unexpected ways, to create a mood and build to an emotional climax. I call it post-genre pop.

I’m always looking for new sounds and experimenting to keep things exciting for myself and my audience. I do a lot of field recordings of sounds I find interesting, and many of them show up in my finished tracks.

Mandel: I noticed at Hangout Fest that you have creative ways to interact with the crowd. How important is fan engagement to you outside of people just listening to your music?

Mobley: It’s really important. I think art is made by the artist in conjunction with the audience. It’s important to remind people that the whole exercise is absurd without their participation.

Mandel: Is Mobley part of your government name or does it come from something else?

Mobley: Something else. :)

Mandel: What are 2 of your proudest accomplishments?

Mobley: I don’t know yet. Hopefully they’re still ahead of me!

Mandel: If you were to put someone on to you as an artist what would you introduce them to (music wise, outfit wise, what you’re known for, etc.)?

Mobley: If they have 35 minutes, I’d tell them to listen to "Fresh Lies, Vol. I," my new record.

Mandel: What are you currently reading?

Mobley: Stamped from the Beginning, by Ibram X. Kendi; and No Is Not Enough, by Naomi Klein.

Mandel: What are you currently listening to?

Mobley: I haven’t had time to listen to much lately, aside from the music I’m working on.

Mandel: What can the world look forward to seeing from Mobley in 2k18?”

Mobley: After I finish this interview, I’m headed to a music video shoot, so be on the lookout for new videos and other content to come. And all summer, I’ll be running around the country touring my new record; you can find tour dates here. Lots of other exciting stuff in the works — stay tuned!

Mandel: Migos or The Beatles?

Mobley: So glad we live in a world in which we don’t have to choose.