Spotlight on: Mo'Green

March 10, 2017

Hailing from Lagos, Nigeria but based in Cape Town, producer and musician Mo’Green fuses African melodies with Western soundscapes to create tracks that feature elements of dancehall, r&b and afrobeat while still feeling like they’re made in Africa. Having just released his album “Lagos to Mzansi” featuring collaborations with upcoming local talent, he visited the studios to work on some new material. We spoke to him to find out what music inspired him, his move to Cape Town and the fusion of African and Western sounds in his music.

Growing up what music did you listen to?
I grew up listening to a whole lot of reggae music, r&b and afrobeats - like Fela Kuti the pioneer of afrobeats - my dad was a big fan of afrobeats.

Which artists inspired you to start producing music?
The artist that really inspired me to get into music and made me feel that I really could do this was Tupac. Listening to Tupac gave me a lot of motivation. I realised there was something within myself that could push to do music.

You’re from Lagos, what made you decide to move to Cape Town?
I actually moved to Cape Town to study at SAE Institute, I studied sound engineering in 2010. After my graduation I moved back home to practice a bit. I was working in the film industry, doing sound design for film. After a while I decided to move back to Cape Town, just to explore the country a little bit more.

You have an album called ‘Lagos to Mzansi’, is it a project with local artists?
Yes, I’m working with a whole lot of South African artists. My project is basically trying to fuse sounds from the West with that of the South. That’s why I called it ‘Lagos to Mzansi’. So I’m collaborating with mainly upcoming artists, because I know that there’s a lot of great artists out there that are still coming up. I’m not focused on the guys that are already there. Yes, I’d like to work with them,  but for now I’m just trying to build my own thing.

Your sound has influences from dancehall to r&b. How would you describe it?
I’ll say my sound is afrocentric. It’s a fusion of Africa and the western sound. It’s electronic so that allows me to be flexible enough to bring in a whole lot of elements into one.

In terms of your lyrics, what do you like to write about?
I find myself writing a lot about love, women, dance. The party life most of the time. I hardly get serious with my music, lyrically. I find that music now is about making people feel a little lighter about the issues and problems. People don’t really want to dwell on the pain and misery that life has. People want to get out of that space. So the music I make is tailored to help people get out.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I’m just making music videos now. I just shot a music video and I’m just releasing them to promote the album and the singles. The album is out on iTunes.

Find Mo’Green online:
Juju Records