Pushing Creative Boundaries with Mogli

In May 2022, Mogli released her first album in five years titled Ravage – a project that propelled the artist’s music across the globe. Consisting of 12 tracks that embodied the German singer-songwriter’s most personal storytelling to date, Mogli touched listeners with her empowering message that turned her initial fear of being vulnerable on its head, instead embracing it as a form of strength. The album rather uniquely came accompanied with a 60-minute cinematic film, which was created and scored by the artist, that visually portrayed a dystopian journey that eventually saw Mogli overcome her demons. It’s a piece of visual art that has since led to the artist’s growing image as a fearless creator unafraid of pushing creative boundaries.

At the end of last year, Mogli decided to head back into the studio to recreate a raw, acoustically led version of four tracks from Ravage, making for a totally new listening experience by going against the original electronic production style. A particular highlight is ‘Animal’, which is transformed from its original dance inspired bop. Now we see Mogli’s soft vocals pushed to the forefront, adding layers of emotion atop subtle instrumentation. Building on top of her reputation as a complete artist, Mogli followed up the track with another visual journey, this time starring the Ebinum brothers. Set upon a beautiful backdrop, the Nigerian duo encompass the complex, vulnerable feelings of the song through elegant movement. It’s yet another concept that’s proven Mogli to be an artist moving solely in her own lane. 

After what’s been a monumental year for the artist, that’s now seen her monthly listeners average close to 600 thousand a month on Spotify alone, we sat down with Mogli to discuss her journey to date, the inspiration behind her visual projects, as well as what we can expect to come later this year. You can read our chat below. 

You’ve built a sonic identity that’s full of raw emotion, which blurs the concept of traditional genres. How did this sound originate? 

I don’t restrict myself in any way, the only thing that matters to me as an artist is to convey what is inside of me with intention and truthfulness.

You recently released an acoustic EP that rethinks songs on your album Ravage, which was released last year. What was it about this stripped back style that inspired you to head back into the studio? 

When I recorded the album I was really particular about everything . Every little detail is there for a reason. For this Ep I wanted to create something in the moment. We recorded live together to really capture the magic that happens when people make music together.

How did you choose which songs to feature on the EP? Are the four tracks featured those that mean the most to you on a personal level? 

I loved the sound of Bones and the Current when we played it acoustically live to promote the album so those were a no brainer. From those concerts I knew how the stripped back version showcases the DNA of Ravage so wanted to add that as well. Animal, I had always wanted to do acoustically because it was a challenge and I loved finding acoustic ways to express the intention of the song.

‘Animal’ has just seen its story evolve with the release of a stunning music video that features the Ebinum Brothers. Through elegant movements the dancers bring the song’s message to life. How did you settle upon this concept? 

For the cinematic album Ravage it was hyper important to me to be involved in every single department because I wanted all the different outlets to express my message. Now that I have said what I wanted to say the way I wanted to say it I long for collaboration with different kind of artists 

How did your paths cross with the Ebinum Brothers? Did you immediately know they were the right fit to translate such emotion in a unique manner? 

I first saw a video of them dancing and immediately connected on a deep level. They are so magical! We are all artistic communicators – we communicate emotions no matter the outlet and I’m so happy that they felt this as well when I contacted them and fell in love with the song.

The aspect of film has become a key part of your creative identity, with Ravage coming with a dystopian cinematic visual that made quite an impact. Where did your love for the artform originate? 

People connect with songs emotionally but music is still kind of personal. I sing about myself. Film is a very strong medium for me because l visuals open up a lot more room for identification. I want people to feel like the heroine in my story.

Your profile has exploded over the last year, seeing your number of Spotify listeners up to 600k and your followers on Instagram rising to 127k. How has this journey felt like to you?  

To be honest it didn’t feel like “exploding” to me at all because it is so disconnected from my daily experience. I had years in my career where I felt a lot more “public” because I was on numerous red carpets or on tour for three months. I have  had a pretty introverted year and spent lots of time with my little family. Numbers are not felt. What I really loved though is sharing my work with my fans and connecting with them through live Q&As, concerts and messages. Creating the art is always my favourite part though…

What else can we expect from you throughout 2023? 

There will be more collaborations coming and I’m writing a lot of music for film right now. It’s refreshing to me to work with other people’s intentions.

I’m changing a lot (as always) so this will definitely influence my art. I don’t know how yet but I live to create and need new outlets to express myself frequently.

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Photographer: Giulia Daley

Words: Jake Wright