Interview: Moyka Finds a Moment to Breathe in Debut ‘Circles’ EP

Moyka © 2019
Moyka © 2019
Emerging Norwegian artist Moyka dives into the pulsing depths of her debut EP ‘Circles’, a bustling electropop record full of stormy tension and youthful passion.
Stream: ‘Circles’ EP – Moyka

It’s important to know for your own sake that it’s good to listen to yourself and your emotions, and don’t be afraid to feel.

Moyka’s powerful electropop catapults the familiar and insular into massive expressions that dazzle the ears and tickle the mind. Cold synths burn bright as the Scandinavian songstress dwells in the deepest crevices of her soul in the pulsing debut EP Circles.

Circles EP - Moyka
Circles EP – Moyka
if this is what you had in mind
just to leave it all behind
they say that love makes people blind
but i swear i lost my mind
feels like I am frozen in time
like I’ve fallen into the night
if this is what you had in mind
just to leave it all behind
– “Bones,” Moyka

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Circles, the debut EP from 21-year-old pop artist Moyka. Hailing from “the forests” of Norway’s Hallingdal Valley, Monika Engeseth debuted her musical project earlier this year with the song “Colder.” Ever since, Moyka – a self-produced singer/songwriter – has been teasing a steady stream of immersive, vibrant pop content that carves out its own place in the electropop universe. Circles marks the culmination of her initial foray into the music world by neatly packaging five intense left-of-center pop songs into a single palatable bundle bursting with edgy charm.

“For me it’s a glimpse of my life both sonically and lyrically,” Moyka says of her EP. “It’s about being lost and confused and even sad, but also finding those moments where you can breathe a bit. I hope that people feel they can relate to the songs, or to find something in them they like so much they want to live in it for a bit.”

Akin to the likes of Robyn, AURORA, and Son Lux, Moyka’s fresh music unquestionably paints a distinctive world all on its own. Songs like the anthemic “All the Things We Forgot” showcase a young artist’s coming-of-age challenges and successes: Moments of doubt and uncertainty, hope and wandering, pain and love, all pushing against one another in a stormy coalescence of sound and emotion.

Stream Moyka’s Circles EP exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and dive deeper into this emerging artist in our exclusive interview below! Raw yet indisputably refined, Moyka has a bright and exciting future ahead of her – and we can’t wait to join in on the adventure!


Atwood Magazine: Hey Moyka, thanks so much for taking the time to chat! First off, how would you describe your own sound, and what do you think it is about this style of music that drew you to it?

MOYKA: When I first moved to Bergen to create music and learn more about music production, I got really drawn into synths and this kind of electronic world. It was something magical about it sonically but also visually. There are no clubs or places for only that kind of music where I am from in Hallingdal, but here in Bergen there are often places you can go and dance and get inspired and listen to different electronic genres of house and techno, and I love that. That kind of music to me wakes up something inside my head and heart and I’m really happy I’m beginning to find my place with inspiration of that kind of landscape. That’s what I really want to do, at least.

Listening to your EP, I hear whisps of Robyn and even Ellie Goulding. Who, are your musical inspirations, and how have they shaped your art over time?

MOYKA: My musical inspirations vary a lot. I go through really intense phases where I only listen to one thing or very few things at the same time. But I’m really drawn to things that are really themselves, if you know what I mean? When you feel like the artist or band have just found their very own thing and evolved in that. You mention Robyn, and she is of course one I look up to and one of those I feel really has her own thing. At the moment I listen a lot to Vampire Weekend, Foster the People, André Bratten, Kelly Lee Owens and many others. I find a lot of inspiration in other genres and I’m always looking for sounds that wakes something inside me.

You debuted with “Colder” earlier this year; what is special about this song for you? Why did you make it your first release?

MOYKA: I felt like it was the right move to start with “Colder.” First of all – it was winter and cold, haha, and second of all – it’s a very clear statement in that song. It’s really powerful for me to kind of use it as an armour. I love when it hurts, so it can’t hurt me, you know? And it could be motivating words to tell yourself when you go through something. It’s important to know for your own sake that it’s good to listen to yourself and your emotions, and don’t be afraid to feel.

It’s colder now
That out hearts not on fire
Whisper it louder
When you call me a liar
It’s colder now
but we’re filled with desire
we’re getting lighter
soaring higher and higher
Everyday blends into nothing at all and we’re blinded
By all the things that makes us broken
Every day looks the same anyway, try to find the
Things that makes us feel alive

“Colder” has also been your most successful release to date. Why do you think people are drawn to this song?

MOYKA: Maybe it’s because of just that – it’s a statement. Maybe people feel they can relate to it, or likes the sound of it? It got a lot of support, and help to get it out there in the world and I think that has a lot to do with it also.

How has your environment shaped your music? Do you feel inspired particularly by Norwegian artists and composers?

MOYKA: The environment has a lot to say about how you feel about music and sounds, I think. I really got to notice it when I went to Berlin now to write new music, how where you are has a lot to say. What you listen to and the impulses you get from a new place. Now that it slowly becomes winter, I think it’s important for some people to disappear into a world you build yourself. And it will get shaped by the impulses you get from what you do, where you are and what you feel.

How would you describe your EP as an overall statement? What is this record setting out to accomplish, for you?

MOYKA: This EP is important to me because it’s the start of this musical journey. When you go through it from start until the end, it comes back to the top. For me it did for a long time, at least. But since it has been done, I’ve learned and experienced so many new things. So for me it’s a glimpse of my life both sonically and lyrically. It’s about being lost and confused and even sad, but also finding those moments where you can breathe a bit. I hope that people feel they can relate to the songs or to find something in them they like so much they want to live in it for a bit.

It’s about being lost and confused and even sad, but also finding those moments where you can breathe a bit.

Moyka © 2019
Moyka © 2019

What is your favorite song off this record and why?

MOYKA: It’s hard to say. I have a very personal relationship with them all, haha. But right now it has to be “Circles.” It was the start of this EP and it made so much sense working on it and that the EP would be called Circles. It means a lot to me and it’s kind of the start of everything.

How did you get into songwriting?

MOYKA: I got into songwriting by having this urge to write down what I felt. And by doing that, it helped on what was going on inside. And I love that, so I will keep on doing that for as long as I can.

Diving a little deeper, what drives you to create? Why are you drawn to music?

MOYKA: It’s a really hard question, ‘cause I’ve always been drawn to it. And it’s very weird that you don’t always know why some art forms appeals to you, but I guess for me, music is something that surrounds me. In almost every sense. It’s the most abstract art form and at the same time it fills me, surrounds me and keeps on creating inside. It’s so precious. I can’t not do it. I get depressed if I don’t create. Creating empties me (in a good way), but it also fills me up with everything I need.

When you are writing a song, what comes first, melody or meaning? Do you hold each with equal value or favor one over another?

MOYKA: Often it’s a melody that appears first. It’s important to me to make a place for the song to step it’s feet on first. It’s very nice creating some sort of melody or laying down sounds and create a soundscape first. I try to hold both melody and meaning equal always, but I’ve come to hear that I’ve written very introverted songs, so it’s not always easy to understand what I’ve meant. But I hope that it bring a meaning to someone anyway.

Moyka © 2019
Moyka © 2019

I can’t help it; I’ve got this feeling that tomorrow never comes,” you sing in “All The Things We Forgot.” What do this line and the song mean to you?

MOYKA: The song is really about an existential crisis. And when you have these kind of moments of panic or hopelessness, it feels so overwhelming and you forget to zoom out, and you forget the fact that it actually is a tomorrow, you know? And you would love to run from it all, but it’s hard ‘cause you wouldn’t know where to. It’s a stubborn song that catches a moment where it feels very hopeless. And it helped a lot to dive into it, ‘cause I found my way through it.

You end your debut with the dramatic “Circles.” Why do you finish this way; how do you feel it creates closure on the EP?

MOYKA: For me the closure was putting together all the songs and placing them in this order. It made the most sense to me because it’s a journey that I’ve been through the last year or so. Circles was the first song me and Eirik (that I’ve created the whole EP with), created together.

With this EP now released, how do you hope to continue to grow and develop musically? What are your goals as an artist at this moment?

MOYKA: I feel like something has opened up for me when I’ve shared this music. Suddenly there is room for so much more, and the last year, I feel like I’ve expanded and grown very much both musically and as a person. I wish to continue diving into that and make more music that feels like I get to say what I have to say, but also grow and develop more as a producer. I’m just very hungry for learning more, and that’s what I want to continue doing.

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:: stream/purchase Circles here ::

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Circles EP - Moyka

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