Interview with Jancy Rae of MØAA – Euphoric Recall

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Jancy Rae of MØAA creates a dreamlike atmosphere with the release of her debut album Euphoric Recall, eliciting the nostalgia of Lush, The Cure and Joy Division.  

Instead of Shoe Gazing, you will be looking upwards to the stars and they move out of the way to create a visual representation of the music.

Origin Story

Jancy’s earliest memory of music was a juxtaposition of music and visuals via the classic Disney film Fantasia from 1940.    

Like many other 6 year olds, she would beg her mother to play it over and over again.

“It hypnotized me.  Even today, I can have the same response of being captivated by the visuals and audio.”  

This may explain the highly visual aspect to MØAA’s music.  As you listen to it, a mental landscape is created and you being a journey, guided by Jancy’s voice.

“It’s very important to me to have it stir some type of visual and having music provoke that.  I’m into a very thick, dense atmosphere.”

Jancy’s mom, via her Seattle roots exposed her to Nirvana, therefore her fashion choice was grunge, with ripped jeans and baggy t-shirts.

Dead Can Dance was also a staple of Jancy’s home, with its atmospheric dark wave sounds. 

Later, Jancy was drawn to Led Zeppelin, as a pre-teen, watching one of the Zeppelin Live DVDs almost as a morning ritual before going to school.

Band Name

MØAA comes from the warrior gene MAO-A.

As a self-declared nerd, she studied Cellular Biology and Genetics at University. 

Genes are “part of identity, in a way”, explains Jancy.  “There is a powerlessness over your genes.  We cannot change them.”    

When we understand the biology of something like the warrior gene, it helps us to understand the negative behavior that someone might exhibit.

Yet, Jancy believes that behavior is mostly nurture, without discounting nature.  

We all have to tame the monster within, in some ways.  For Jancy, she found an outlet, like many others.  

“Writing music has helped me channel that energy somewhere, and not carry it around.”

Sometimes, the most beautiful art is created out of trauma.  

MØAA’s music often has this duality element to it:  Light vs Dark.  Does addressing the trauma in song allow one to better reframe it and maybe even let it go?

“I’m optimistic for that type of result.  Sometimes, the song still carries that same energy.  It just summarizes the feeling really well for me in such a way that I couldn’t do in any other setting.  The song allowed me to articulate it.”

When Jancy sings, she is living a moment in time, which brings with it a burst of emotions, that as a listener, we can feel.    

Maybe that’s why music exerts so much power, as it elicits a shared emotional response.  Once we identify with a lyric, or a mental image of where a song takes us, we form a mental bond with the creator of that song.

“That’s one of the best results, to have someone else relate to it and have it resonate with them.”

The powerful realization that what you are feeling is shared by someone else, that you are not alone.

Acceptance of Our Past

If Jancy could build a time machine and go back to stop a traumatic experience, which would in turn change the person she is today…would she do it?  Or would she go back halfway in time and tell her younger self:  It’s OK.  You will get through this. 

“I never seriously contemplate that question because it would change who I am today.”

Jancy is able to let go of regret, because “I so easily see it as something out of my control.”  

Just like a pearl is started by the aggravation of a piece of sand, we are the result of our experiences and we can become beautiful even we if we are broken and fragile because we have lived through something and learnt from it.

Seattle Life

Jancy lived in Issaquah, just outside Seattle, which she sometimes finds easier to describe as the forest to those outside of the USA. “Lots of Pine Trees.”  

“The environment affected some of the energy of the album”, for which much of it was writing in Issaquah.”

The rest was written in her new home, Venice Italy.

Venice Italy

Her first steps in Venice, was under the influence of jetlag.  Navigating the Calles (narrow streets), it was easy to get lost, but she could feel that she was in a different place. 

“Internally, my perspectives have changed over time, being here.”  

It’s easy to have a narrow perspective of the world, like the Calles of Venice, but travel has a way of widening one’s perspective. 

She was immersed in a culture that made it OK to slow down.

“It’s easy to focus here,” Jancy explains regarding the recording of the album in Venice.

Devoid of distractions, she was able to record with increased focus.

The Writing Process

When asked how she gets into the zone, she replied: “I don’t have to force it too much.  I just need a guitar in my hand.  I’m not thinking too hard at that point.  I’m just playing what feels satisfying for me.”

The band spent the better part of a year, recording the album.  

There was a sense of release, that Euphoric Recall, once she finished recording.  

Yet, euphoria did not come immediately.  

“I need to have space from the work and the final product to have any appreciation for it.”  

There comes a time, in an artist’s path that they have to define the project done.

As I see the artwork behind Jancy, I think about that moment when, as an artist, you say to yourself:  It is done.

You could do touchups for a lifetime or tell yourself that this is a snapshot of who I was at the time, being OK with that, and moving onto the next snapshot.

What’s Next?

For MØAA, more videos will be released to satisfy her visual hunger which will fit with the atmosphere of the album.  

She is writing new songs, the process she enjoys the most out of making music.

Touring

Her band is ready to tour, possibly in November 2021 if it is safe to do so, starting in Europe.

When asked what song will the first played live, after this crazy pause on live shows, Exist will probably the one she unleashes on the crowd.  

Conclusion

Jancy has a deep well of endless visual and auditory landscapes.  A major first step in the journey, as our guide, is Euphoric Recall, now out on streaming platforms.  I can’t wait to get the vinyl version and let it to fill my home with the MØAA landscape that Jancy created.


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Writer: Randal Wark is a Professional Speaker and MasterMind Facilitator with a passion for live music.  You can follow him on InstagramTwitter and YouTube. His Podcast RockStar Today helps musicians quit their days jobs with out of the box advice from Ted Talk speakers, best selling authors and other interesting entrepreneurs and creatives.

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