1. How would you describe your style? In fashion, music, overall.
Wow! That’s a really big question for me. Hhhmm… in fashion I like to have fun! I definitely think my sense of style is more refined as the years progress and I get a little older. But I love colors and I like to dress up thematically. Today I am going to be ethereal hippie or today I am feeling really punk rock or today I really don’t care what I have on as long as it’s comfortable.
My musical style is a bit more defined. I like dark music, I like writing dark music. Dark and ethereal sounding music has always been my thing.
2. What does authenticity mean to you and how does it influence your art?
First thought that comes to mind for me when I think of authenticity is “be yourself.” I think as an artist you have to become very aware of who you are, what you stand for (or where you find importance in life) and how you feel, how you react to life. A person has to really dig deep within their persona to identify with this and be able to translate it into whatever their art may be. So whether in writing or music, I always find it my personal mission to dig deep inside my soul and express the most authentic version of what I find there. Being authentic is the bases of creation for me.
3. Growing up, did you ever feel quirky, awkward or offbeat? If so, explain.
Of course! Who doesn’t?!? I always felt very quirky and like I didn’t really fit in. I never tried to “fit in” anywhere. When I was growing up, I just kind of fell in where people liked me- not really caring to change who I was to fit in with other circles of people. Naturally, I fell right in with the performing arts crowd where everyone is quirky, crazy and has a flare for the dramatic!
I never really liked popular fashion or things like that. When all the kids were listening to top 40 radio songs, I was playing my father’s LP collection including, but not limited to Jimi Hendricks, Santana, Mongo Santamaria, and Kiss.
4. You grew up in the Detroit area, how did your time in the Motor City shape you?
I can say positively that Detroit engrained a deep love for music in my heart. Whether it R&B, Techno or Mexican Cumbias I love music. My parents are both musicians and it was such a gift to grow up in a musical family and to witness how my parents’ art help to shape their lives and mine.
Detroit also made me tough! I think that I am a survivor and I have been fighting the good fight for a long time. Detroit has had some of the highest crime rates in the US over the past 30 years and I had to prevail over certain circumstances to really stand up and fight for my happiness and the dignity of human life.
5. Before ANTM, what core beliefs did you promise to stay true to, whether or not fame came into play?
To follow my one dream of inspiring people regardless of where I landed. I think when that is your goal you stay motivated forever and it has kept me very grounded in light of politics within any professional industry I find myself in. That and to love courageously.
6. What do you do to cheer yourself up on days when you don't get the gig or the deal doesn't go through?
I have actually made a physical list of things to do to pull me out of a rut! Some of the list including: listening to my favorite songs, writing music, writing anything, drinking tea, watching movies, talking to friends, doing creative things like taking pictures or watching documentaries on outer space. The documentaries especially help me to think about the bigger picture in life… that regardless of hardship, it’s a rare thing that I am alive in this enormously huge universe and that regardless of how small my life may be, I am a live!
7. What music do you listen to when you're in an introspective mood?
All my favorite dark female artists… like Bjork or PJ Harvey. My friend Christian (Christian Eric Beaulieu) did an album called “ANYWHERE” with some great players and one of them was a vocalist named Rachel Fannan. The tracks she sung on are so beautiful and that’s been in my rotation a lot lately.
8. What was the recording process like for Galaxy of Tar? How would you describe your bond when it comes to crafting tracks?
I have had the pleasure and fortune to work with Elias Diaz V., my musical counterpart in Galaxy Of Tar and the whole process is one of the most rewarding things in life for me. I love writing, I hate tracking and recording though… because of the demand for clean digital music esthetic now days, you have to use equipment that catches EVERYTHING! And as a technician you have to listen back to really rough cuts and determine whether your technical and artistic performance is up to your own standard. As a perfectionist, it never is… but I have learned to catch the good tracks. It really pushes you to grow when you have to dissect your work like that.
But I have learned to really appreciate the process and immerse myself in it. I like the growth, and it’s a vulnerable place to be recording. Much more vulnerable than live shows, because its permanent and it is only the music. No lights and laughs and costumes to distract from the truest form of a song.
Elias really works with me and he really knows how to bring out the best in my voice, but I have learned that I have to be willing to work hard to get to that place.
Elias and I work great together because we are always honest with each other’s performance and ideas. It always comes back to how the music sounds, ego aside. We just want to write beautiful music.
Also our new album should be available by December 2012 of this year!
Also our new album should be available by December 2012 of this year!
9. What epitomizes a great live performance? And what's your approach to performing on stage? How do you prepare yourself, does it all come natural, or is it a little bit of both?
I have been training to be a performer since I was a little girl. And I have been pondering on that question a lot. But it’s different for each artist depending on their own respective style. Lana Del Ray is going to give a complete difference performance than the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. If Karen O came out and stood in one spot, very lethargic and slow moving, her audience might consider it a fail. But that type of show works well with performers like Lana because it reflects her music.
So the more I define who I am as a musician, the more I learn what makes a great live show for me. It always comes down to the way you connect with people in the audience, but performing is an art in itself just like writing a song. It takes time and courage to show all that you are and be able to finesse that. I always try to be honest as to what I am feeling at the moment, become present and draw from that. Sing my songs and in that tell the stories that are written in the lyrics.
I think I am one of the most shy people on earth. But because I am so shy, I love performing! It’s weird, but I don’t think it comes naturally to me.
10. On a scale of 1 to 10, how awesome is it to have your book Model Behavior all finished and out for the world to read?
HAHAHA!!! IT GOES TO 11! (10 being the most awesome, 1 not being very awesome at all). I have been working on the book for a while. I wanted to translate my experiences in life and the fashion industry into something positive for people to be inspired by. I didn’t want to perpetuate the negative stereotypes of fashion and modeling. I wanted to create something for the new age of readers. The book is based on its color and graphic lay out, each chapter full of color and photographs giving to the visual experience we come to expect more and more in things we find entertaining. Each chapter has an audio option where I can read the book as the reader actually listens along. And the book has a video from my band Galaxy Of Tar. It caters to the new audience of readers, what they want and at the same time sharing my heart with them to follow their dreams and never give up! It’s pretty awesome!
Fans of the book can also submit their own stories of victory and courage and passion at our interactive blog. At the blog you can subscribe and become a Model Citizen. The idea is to become a world of people who inspire each other by sharing their triumphs, making the world a more compassionate place to live in filled with hope based on humanism and the human experience.
11. What do you hope people get from your music, your book, your fashion? From sharing your unique life experience through your various artistic endeavors?
Love, courage, faith , beauty, tears, joy.
12. Any plans to use your creativity in the filmmaking industry? Perhaps, a short film?
Well we have some ideas floating around for the visuals of Galaxy Of Tar… I guess we’ll see where that goes, but I am not saying no to it.
13: Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks so much for having me a part of ReelArtsy.com! Can’t tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity. Also for more info on my book “Model Behavior” please visit http://naimamoraonline.com And for more info on my band Galaxy Of Tar please visit www.GalaxyOfTar.com