I recently sat down with young singer/songwriter/guitarist Moriah Formica, someone I’ve been raving about for a few months now. She’s been doing a lot of great things this year, from releasing her debut EP Bring It On, to opening some shows recently for the mighty STRYPER. In fact, it was frontman Michael Sweet who first made me take notice of Moriah, and I’m sure glad he did. It’s also safe to say she’s nowhere near done yet, and has a lot more songs to sing. Check it:
Amps: Tell me about Bring It On. I cannot believe these songs were written at such a young age.
Moriah: Well, I wrote them from fifth through eighth grade. I was going through some difficult times and I guess music was my outlet so I kind of just wrote.
Amps: Did you have people trying to dissuade you from pursuing music? Is that where some of the positive, take on the world messages come from in your songs?
Moriah: I didn’t really have anyone say I couldn’t do it. It was more personal things within myself, issues I had that wore me down personally.
Amps: We live in a time right now where young girls are fed into a corporate machine like Disney and Nickelodeon. I look at someone like Demi Lovato, who broke down because she never got a minute to just be a teenager, or sleep. I really feel that your music has a strong message of empowerment for young women today. Do you want to be a role model for them?
Moriah: Oh, of course I do. I just wanna help people through music, regardless of age or gender. I’ve had 40-year olds come up to me and be like, “Dude, I really love ‘Broken Soul’. It reminds me of tough times I went through.” But as far as young girls go, yeah, I definitely wanna be a role model for them.
Amps: I’ve been around a long time and it takes a LOT to impress me. And I could tell your music is genuine, real, and from the heart. Now that the EP is out, when’s the next one?? Let’s go!!
Moriah: (Laughs) thank you. I’ve been doing a lot of writing but I haven’t gotten into the studio to record anything yet. We’ll probably put out some singles soon.
Amps: How often do you find yourself writing?
Moriah: Sometimes I just fool around with my guitar and I’ll find something that I like that gets stuck in my head. School is a huge part of my writing process because what’s better than writing a song in the middle of class when you’re supposed to be learning things that will help you throughout your life (laughs)? I actually wrote “Slave” in school. The other day I was bored and wrote a verse in the middle of law class, so it’s anywhere and everywhere.
Amps: What made you pick up the guitar and how old were you?`
Moriah: My first guitar was one of those Walmart $20 ones with the built-in amps when I was five or six. My dad is a huge 80’s metal guy, so he would always have Pop-Up Video, Totally 80’s, and That Metal Show on. I saw these guys on TV with long hair and guitars and I was like, “I wanna do that!” Plus, I love the music. My dad raised us on that. Another thing is that my aunt got me Guitar Hero, and then I was like, “Alright, now I really gotta start playing guitar!”
Amps: Who from that era sticks out to you most?
Moriah: My first love with music was AEROSMITH who goes way back before then. Even though they were a part of the 80’s era, too. I just fell in love with their music and before I knew it I was playing along to whole AEROSMITH albums. They helped me to get into music.
Amps: What’s in your CD player or iPod right now? Old stuff, new stuff, metal, rock, polka?
Moriah: IN THIS MOMENT is a huge band I love right now. The three bands that are on my iPod who I listen to the most are IN THIS MOMENT, KORN, and BUTCHER BABIES. HALESTORM, too. I was able to meet Lzzy Hale and she was so sweet.
Amps: What would you like people to take away from Bring It On?
Moriah: I want to have an effect on people and I want people to know, and kids around my age in particular, that things get better. When you’re 15-years old, it’s a critical time in your life. You’re thinking about college, boyfriends, girlfriends, you could have a bad home situation, which thankfully I don’t, but it’s like, one little thing and it’s the end of the world for a teenager. I just want teenagers to know that it’s OK and it gets better. Wherever you are in your life there’s a reason for it. I don’t believe that anybody is ever in the wrong place. And if you face failure, get back up and try again. I guess that’s what this album is about. And I also want people to know that I’m here and I wanna be heard (laughs).
Amps: Away from music what do you do to unwind?
Moriah: I love to hike, and I LOVE to fish. I love it so much. I love the outdoors. One of my favorite things is my dad will take me to a trail or an island and I’ll go out and catch snakes.
Amps:….SNAKES?? Oh no. No, no, nooooooo thank you!
Moriah: (Laughs) oh yeah, that’s another thing I love to do is take care of my snakes and my animals. I have three snakes and three lizards. That’s a daily part of my life, taking care of my new lizard.
Amps: What does the future hold for Moriah Formica?
Moriah: I honestly see myself writing more music and evolving. I’ll be coming up with some funky riffs and there’s just a lot more to come. I wanna be heard, and hopefully that’s what my future holds, and one day the world hears me and knows my name.
Amps: What do you want to say to all your fans out there?
Moriah: Thank you is the biggest thing I need to say. I hope to have everyone continue to walk with me through my journey and I hope that they spread the word and rock on!
As you can see, the future is very bright for Moriah Formica. She writes, sings, and plays with a vigor people twice her age couldn’t muster. Be sure and pick up Bring It on, check out her website for all things Moriah-related, and go see her if she’s ever in your neck of the woods.