Images - Denai Moore
Denai Moore is one of the most exciting artists that sits within a flourishing British Music Community. Scrolling through the prestigious artists list of independent record label Because Music, you can totally see why she is there. It has been such a joy to watch her growth since her 'Gone' days back 2013. I first came across her when living in Hackney and I knew that she was one of those artists that will be in my playlist for years to come. Denai's compelling sounds have been played on Radio 1, 2, and 6Music. She also has a stunning debut EP, has appeared on Jools Holland, has collaboration with SBTRKT, and the list just goes on. Her recent album 'We Are In Bloom' is a refreshing relationship with the vulnerability of growing up, self-image and exploring who she is on a deeper level.
We sat together in the sunshine in East London with our green genie juices. We talked openly and authentically, as fellow travellers on this earth, about the importance of establishing and maintaining assertive boundaries in the service self-compassion, mental wellbeing, creativity and meaningful living. At 24yrs old, Denai's self-awareness and willingness to talk about the difficult things in life through her music demonstrates deep courage. She has her feet firmly on the ground and her heart gently open. It is so evident in her commitment to supporting her friends, learning together and sharing as part of larger music and vegan communities. Here's what she had to say on the day!
Catherine Moore How is life and what are you feeling grateful for today?
Denai Moore Excited to explore different parts of myself. The biggest thing for me in music, or with anything, [is] the ability to push myself in that field and explore new sounds or anything. Umm, I guess I am feeling grateful about the community of support I have, people I work with and the love I have around me and the people that kind of see me. It's great, I think the internet is an amazing way to connect with people that wouldn't have been able to connect with in any other way.
CM For those who don't know you can you give me a bit of background of the key musical moments that have shaped where you are at today?
DM I'd say the massive pivotal thing for me was seeing Lauren Hill unplugged. It was the first time that I saw someone perform in the most human way possible. She cried on stage and forgot new lyrics and played a random new song that she wanted to play. I quite like it because performances before I had seen it were, not perfect, but so rehearsed and I love that side of performance too but seeing her like that made me realise I can be whoever I wanted to be in this format.
CM You are very much shaping your own path in terms of being a genre free artist, you produce, you have a huge input to your visual and how you gig etc. What do you value about having your voice and taking risks?
DM The thing about being creating is self validation, and there is something really amazing to really look at yourself, and making music is the only place where I have really faced myself. I confront what I want to talk about and it is very insular so it's very therapeutic. Being genre free for me was about stepping out of the gaze of other people and really understanding the importance of making the music that I want to make, as opposed to attaching myself to different genres or feeling the pressure to create something that other people may want me to make or hear me as. This is something that I have always done. It's just my way of kind like to dismiss the boxes I tend to be put in.
CM What drives you to be the best version of yourself?
DM A moment of me being excited and exploring something new. I think it's something that always keeps me inspired. It's always the pursuit of the ideas in your head, it's very child like. It's something you think of and go for it without the means of ambition, maybe, it's the feeling and expression that makes you feel good. So, I think that's what drives me to make music for sure.
CM Connected Lifestyle Design is all about being mindfully present so we can live with greater compassion and life purpose on a deeper level. Embracing the universality of human suffering helps us to bring a compassionate resilience and courage to how we creatively take risks and embrace uncertainty of our individual values. We believe everyone has the right to learn how to cultivate and maintain their own connected lifestyle, rather than getting caught up in the 'hamster wheel' of society's values to do more and be more. What's your thoughts on that?
DM I think it is important that people continually self-assess - if that makes sense. I don't know, I think a lot of people are disconnected from the idea because people don't like confrontation but then what is confrontation when it is coming from yourself? Can you easily pick out the parts of you that you don't like? Lots of that comes up when making music and you have an ongoing conversation with yourself about it, how it feels and about what's going on in your life for example, mental health, or a mental block. People are really afraid to confront that in themselves and don't talk about it with friends or family and become so insular that they are too afraid to talk about it.
CM Loving one's self is a ongoing process as we journey though life. What has helped you deal with your own internal critic and to learn how to bring a loving compassionate approach to your individual quirks and differences?
RM I think it is important to experience the entire human spectrum. There's a strong obsession with happiness that is unrealistic and just no human. It's about understanding that there are many things we are meant to experience and we shouldn't demonise certain parts of ourselves to conform with what is socially acceptable, I guess. I definitely don't have any guilt in cancelling things if I don't feel mentally here for sessions. I think that is so important to remember to protect the head space more that anything.
So without further a do, here is the lady herself in action in Berlin as part of the COLORS SHOW. I hope you have enjoyed reading this and if you can spare a few seconds to give some comments as feedback that will bring joy to my heart. It also means that we can tailor any suggestions for our future blog features. Thank you in advance and feel free to have a wander around the website and explore other resources at your leisure. Catherine