By Noe Gutierrez
When it comes to reggae in the desert there is little doubt that the crusade has remained fluid thanks to artists like Desert Rhythm Project, Higher Heights, Irie Junctions and Tribe-O. Concurrently, the Coachella Valley music scene has become its most vibrant and reggae will once again be at the forefront Friday October 19, 2018 when Roots Reggae ringleaders’ moZaiq release their first single “Rootsy Roots” featuring mega-producer E.N Young and Polynesian Reggae artist Innavision. moZaiq is composed of Marc Diaz (lead vocals, harmonica), Noel Morin, Jr. (drums background vocals), Daniel Torres (guitar), Dub Wallace (bass), Thomas Ebert (keyboards/synthesizer), Ryan Kerr (keyboards), and Brandon “Taco” Jones (percussion). Starting this Friday 10/19/18 you can purchase the single, “Rootsy Roots”, on all major music platforms.
Coachella Valley Weekly sought out moZaiq to find out more about their new music and upcoming EP release.
CVW: How is the band feeling about the new moZaiq music that’s about to be released? First Rootsy Roots” then the rest of the EP.
moZaiq: “We’re definitely very excited and eager to see how well our music is received. We’re very proud of these songs and the work that went into writing and arranging them. The message in the music is always our main focus, and these songs ALL make a very strong statement about who we are, and what we want to say.”
CVW: How would you define the moZaiq sound to new listeners?
moZaiq: “Honestly, that’s a hard one. While foundationally we try to keep our beats and rhythm flows straight up “roots” i.e. traditional reggae rhythm; drums, bass and rhythm “skank,” it’s the other sounds that we layer on top that I think set us apart from other reggae bands. We’ve heard that we have a “Cali-Reggae” sound, “fusion,” “alternative reggae,” “Reggae Soul” and even “Island Reggae”. We really don’t know how we’d describe or categorize our music, all we know is that it is 100 percent us and truly organic. We really just write and create music that sounds good to us, without restricting ourselves to fitting in to any particular category.”
Mozaiq has become one of the premiere and pure reggae artists in the Coachella Valley. What has and what will it take in the future to move your music beyond the windmills?
moZaiq: “We’re very grateful and happy with where we are at the moment, but we have maximum respect for our brothers and sisters of the local reggae bands here in the Coachella Valley and ALL the musicians and artists from here. We are so beyond proud just to be a part of this amazing music scene here. As far as getting our music out, we’re hoping the reception to our EP in December is strong and we have a lot of shows we’re lining up out of the valley in early 2019 to promote it. Stay tuned!”
CVW: We’ve had conversations about the “Desert Reggae” movement and the way the CV music scene is diverse yet a continued struggle. What do you feel has to happen for community members to step up their support for desert artists?
moZaiq: “I think it’s getting a little better, and I do see a lot of devout music and art lovers across the valley coming out and supporting local art. But, I just think perhaps people in this community are so accustomed to the Coachella Valley being the venue and destination for the world’s biggest names in entertainment, from the music and film festivals, to the huge concerts and performances that the casinos pull in, perhaps it’s easy to lose sight that there is an amazing, thriving music and art scene right here in our own backyard.”
CVW: What are the short-term goals for Mozaiq?
moZaiq: “Short-term goals for us are to promote our upcoming EP and really hone our sound and live performance. We have a lot of work to do, to play at the high level we’re setting for ourselves. Additionally, we’re currently writing our next batch of songs for a full-length album we’re looking to get out by Spring 2019.”
CVW: Tell us about the recording process, E.N Young, Roots Musician Records and having your music forever etched in history.
moZaiq: “Working with Brother E.N has been an amazing experience every time we’re in the studio with him. He just gets us and is so in tune with what we’re trying to achieve with our sound. He has truly been a mentor and provided us a great deal of guidance about the industry. Roots Musician Records feels like a family to be honest and we’re humbled to be a part of it.”
CVW: Any final message to your fans?
moZaiq: “Love and Grace to our family, fans and supporters! And ALL Glory to the Most High Almighty Father. One Love from moZaiq.”
“Rootsy Roots” Review:
“Rootsy Roots” is absolute roots reggae. The band is at its best with its soulful sway and polymorphic instrumentation. At its essence, ‘Roots Reggae’ represents the spiritual side of Rastafari honoring God/Jah and the struggle that people go through. moZaiq have found a home here and the hours and days invested in the music can be heard. The bass line renders you unconscious so that the other elements of the song can be liberated. The vocals of E.N Young and Innavision accompany Diaz’s vocal triumphantly and flow flawlessly. “Rootsy Roots” is all-encompassing and is quintessential moZaiq music. It includes all the qualities moZaiq have become known for and the privilege lies in the paramount part they play in creating the new sub-genre, Desert Reggae.
For more info:
10/19 – Tack Room Tavern – Indio, CA (11th Annual Concert for Autism)
11/16 – Neil’s Lounge – Indio, CA
12/1 – 710 Beach Club – San Diego, CA