10 Questions with Moophs
Moophs is a digital producer and musician with a strong passion for #tropicalbass. He also runs Tarsier Records, an RnB label that brings local Manila artists to the world stage. With business and music running strong in his genes, he carved out a distinct sound that’s about to take the world by storm – presumably a tropical one.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself
I am half Filipino, half British, but I grew up in California near San Francisco. I also lived in LA for 9 years which helped shape my music career. I have been a musician my whole life, having picked up the guitar at an early age thanks to my dad’s incessant playing. I love the tropics, so moving to Manila almost 4 years ago has been a wonderful experience. I also love snowboarding, so I do miss that about home, but having access to the insanely beautiful beaches of the Philippines more than makes up for that.
2. What first inspired you to become involved in music production?
I didn’t get into music production until about 16 years after I had already been studying guitar, during which I was playing classical, jazz and rock. I started listening to trance in high school and really loved it. I always thought it would be fun to try sequencing, but it wasn’t until my band broke up in 2009 that I got a copy of Ableton and really started putting time in. It wasn’t until maybe a year or two ago that I felt my production ability (comprising composition and audio engineering) was allowing me to make the music I really wanted to make.
3. What is your favorites Filipino food?
I love barbecue sticks! The one’s from Andok’s are off the hook. I also enjoy pancit canton and of course, chicken adobo (especially adobo flakes!).
4. What are some of your favorites things to do or sights to see in the Philippines?
Hands down my favorite thing to do here is go to the beach. That’s something that always trips me out about people who grew up here; they’re so used to the natural beauty of their country that it doesn’t really surprise them anymore. For me, growing up in Cali, where the beaches have their own rustic beauty but are usually cold, visiting to the Philippines was all about the ocean. I would spend all day in the water, be it swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, wakeboarding, scuba diving, or just relaxing. It’s as warm as a bathtub. Being in eyeshot of the ocean just sets me at peace so I naturally gravitate to it.
5. What’s the most awesome thing about being Filipino?
The best thing about being Filipino is the love you get from other Filipinos. There’s an automatic bond I feel from other Filipinos when they realize I am a halfie – a love and support that is quite nice. This concept ties into the music scene here in Manila. It feels so much more warm and welcoming than the scene in LA. I feel the love from listeners and fellow musicians here and it drives me to reciprocate that support, which is how it should be.
6. What were some of the musicians you listened to growing up? What influence have they had on your music?
I listened to a whole range of stuff from all different styles. Beyond my classical repertoire which includes pieces from Antonio Carlos Jobim, Isaac Albéniz, Roland Dyens, Andrew York, and Mateo Carcassi (which I listened to ad infinitum as I was learning them), I also enjoyed the jazz artists my dad listened to, such as Earl Klugh, Spyro Gyra, and Acoustic Alchemy. During my rock phase, my favorite bands included Muse, Incubus, Dredg, Porcupine Tree, Sublime, System Of A Down, and Breaking Benjamin. I was also into soul/funk acts like Stanley Jordan and Soulive. Entering my latest and current electronic phase, my influences include Boombox Cartel, Wave Racer, Vindata, and Lido. All of these acts have shaped me as a musician, composer and producer. Add my love for the tropics and you have the self-proclaimed genre I create in, #tropicalbass 🙂
7. How would you describe your personal style?
Tropical bass! It’s bass music with a laidback, tropical twist. I used to be heavy into hard rock and dubstep but moving to the Philippines has chilled out my vibe considerably, which is definitely a good thing. Crowds here want music they can groove and relax to, not high energy headbangers. This is more in line with my own vibe nowadays too. I dunno, maybe it’s just part of getting older 🙂
8. Where do you find inspiration today?
I find inspiration in my surroundings, in nature, in my girlfriend, and in the multitude of animals that live at my house. One of my favorite things to do is bring my laptop and headphones on a beach trip and go outside at sunset just to see what I come up with. Even if nothing good comes out, it’s still a nice experience. This is why I highly recommend a mobile production rig (laptop) over a stationary desktop that lives in your studio.
9. What do you like to do for fun that isn’t related to music?
Beyond music I enjoy basketball, any kind of board sport, exercise in general, any kind of experience in nature, good food, good live shows, good company, and video games 🙂
10. What are the top 5 places to visit on your bucket list?
Galapagos Islands, Raja Ampat, Palau, Jackson Hole, Maldives.
ABOUT TARSIER MUSIC
Tarsier Music is a Manila-based electronic/RnB label focused on collating the best of the local scene and bringing it to the world stage. With a deep roster of producers and vocalists, Tarsier is reinventing the traditional relationship between label, artist and industry. Powered by the creative vision of its young talents, the sky’s the limit for this fresh collective.