By: ANETTA NOWOSIELSKA
Bolstered by cinematic visuals, lush vocals, and social media fervor, Mojave Grey is doing it on its own terms.
To launch the new Mojave Grey sound, this California-based ensemble chose the recent Miami Art Week to test out its unique amalgam of sonic theorems. “I was working on a new direction for a couple of months, so when the opportunity came up to try it out I thought to do a soft launch here and see how it goes,” explained Mojave Grey’s vocalist Zander Bleck. The move was bold, to say the least, considering the astute palate of culturatis in attendance. The new tracks resonated so well that a two-night stint turned into three nights of gigs, cementing group’s belief in their new direction.
But to call that week’s feat an overnight success would be a disservice to the threesome’s collective journey that witnessed an evolution of an industry and birthed several iterations of their collaboration. “Technology has created so many opportunities
for artists. This ever-changing musical landscape has empowered musicians, thanks to streaming and technology,” Bleck explains. “But in a hyper-competitive space where every musician has access to the same tools that almost guarantee same reach possibilities, artists only have a moment to impress a world of fleeting listeners.”
Thanks to a staunch social media fan base and “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” kind of spirit, Mojave Grey’s stock is on the rise, even if the old formula for musical success and audiences’ attention span are footloose. “A few years ago, you had to have the right team to launch,” added Bleck, who was once signed by Jimmy Iovine to Interscope Records and toured with Lady Gaga. “Today, you’ve got to be quick out of the gate to grab attention. That changes how you present the material.”
Strategy aside, one can argue that Mojave Grey’s new musical chapter is, to some degree, a petri dish of sonic experimentation that dissects music down to science of adds and takeaways. This approach is not entirely new considering music labels have always test-driven material before release. The difference is the exasperated pace of delivery and reaction, thanks to Metaverse, which offers little space for a speculation. Yet, despite this engineered approach, Mojave Grey’s music feels bona fide and soulful. “We want the sound to be an evolution of electronic music, our rock roots mixed with a splash of dance to create something brand new,” explains Louis Middleton, the man behind synthesizer and piano. Inspired by Bleck’s fascination with the desert, evocative visuals, and EDM’s footprint, the collection of singles (currently on a mini tour) is anchored by chilled vim and Bleck’s singing chops. Those earned him praise from GRAMMY award-winning producer RedOne, who called Zander’s voice, “a mixture of Jim Morrison, Bono, and Freddie Mercury,” adding that, “there’s no male singer like that right now.”
Speaking of touring, Mojave Grey is planning an inevitable return to Florida, where its vocalist spent a good number of years growing up. “It’s such a fun place,” Bleck adds. “And the energy is just… beautiful.”