Music and Art In Your Backyard


I'm going to have to give praise to Hakeem for turning me on to Mobley's music. His sound is both eclectic and addictive, leaving you humming the chorus days after hearing it. That for me is the ingredient of a great song and an even better artist; the ability to hold an audience captive with your word and beats effortlessly. It would be hard for me to categorize his sound because he is such a versatile artists. You get the feeling that he draws his inspiration from all around him, and produces work that is honest to the ear. The best part, was meeting him in person, and understanding that the personality that comes across in his music is very much the way he is in person: candid, honest, and humble. Read more of my interview with him.

TEO: The first track I ever heard from you is “Swoon” so I apologize for being a late bloomer but I just got... all caught up in the snare beat and how you layered each section to create a beautiful tune. It’s hard for me to describe it to someone. How would you characterize the music you make?

Mobley: Thanks. Honestly, I’ve made so many kinds of songs that it’d be very difficult to categorize them broadly. Right now, though, what’s interesting me the most is finding ways to marry my favorite things about R&B and rock music by re-contextualizing them in electronic productions.

TEO: Was it always clear what musical path you were going to take, genre wise or brand wise? What was the turning point for defining who Mobley is as an artist?

 photography by Meg Seidel

photography by Meg Seidel

Mobley: I can’t really say that the path is clear to me, even now. I follow my ear and, so far, it’s taken me to some places that I find interesting and exciting.

TEO: So curious as to where the name Mobley came from? Is it a secret or can you give us the back story?

Mobley: There’s no good story behind it, I’m afraid. It’s been following me around for the past few years.

TEO: With Austin so saturated with musical talent and more gigs than time to see them, how do you stand out? how do you go about setting yourself apart?

Mobley: I’m only doing what comes naturally; trying to make music and put on shows that I’d want to hear and see. For one reason or another, I haven’t really encountered anyone else approaching things in exactly the way I do.

TEO: What has been the most challenge aspect of being a musician in Austin?

Mobley: Maybe it’s gauche to say so, but I think the hardest part of being a musician most anywhere is figuring out how to make a living.

TEO: Is there one concert or gig you’ve performed at that was your all-time favorite? What was it about that performance and atmosphere that kept it rooted firmly in your mind?

Mobley: Concerts are usually a bit of blur to me. As soon as we hit the first note, I go into this heightened state — it’s trance-like. Generally, though, I think I like shows in small towns: the people are often so hungry for entertainment/artistic engagement that shows can be really meaningful experiences for everyone.

 Photographer, Meg Seidel

Photographer, Meg Seidel

TEO: Are there any other local musicians we should be paying attention to/ you highly recommend listening to?

Mobley: I’m hesitant to list anyone for fear that I’ll leave out someone else. I’ve heard that this guy Lonely Child is pretty good, though.

TEO: Finally, is there a new song or record on the horizon, when should we look forward to hearing it?

Mobley: Yes. I’m releasing an EP of new music in April, with single premieres beginning as soon as February.