10 Questions with ... Moe
November 16, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Maureen Frances Torraco (aka Moe) began singing at the age of three. She has appeared on the Katie Couric show (originally as a model filmed on Madison Avenue, and then spontaneously a live appearance on the show). Later that year, she appeared in an episodes of NBC's show Smash. Moe is currently collaborating with award winning musician, songwriter, and producer Joe Vulpis on her forthcoming release.
1) What was it that got you interested in music?
Music has always been a part of my life ever since I was a little girl. My dad would play the piano, and I would sit up on the piano bench beside him and sing along while he played primarily Sinatra, but also a lot of Broadway favorites. I continued to have a real love of music from that point on. I learned to play the piano and I took voice lessons as a young girl. I knew very early on that I wanted to share my talent with the rest of the world.
2) Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Sara Barielles is a huge influence not only in my songwriting, but also the way her melodies stick with you long after hearing her songs. Mayday Parade is another inspirational band that motivated me to write music because their lyrics are so powerful.
I experience a wonderful sensation after listening to their songs, especially, "You Be The Anchor That Keeps My Feet On The Ground, I'll Be The Wings That Keep Your Heart in The Clouds". That feeling cannot be described, and I want to create that musical magic for my audience.
Because of my Dad's influence, Frank Sinatra has been an important element in my musical foundation. I grew up singing his songs, and his style and charisma transmitted an unbelievable energy to each audience that was so fortunate to see him in person.
3) Please tell us how you got selected to appear on the Katie Couric Show?
I was so fortunate to be a part of the Katie Couric show. After submitting my headshot and actor's portfolio, I was selected from a large pool of applicants to come in and meet with the producer of the show. I was filmed on the streets of New York, first wearing no make-up and wearing very plain clothes, and then fully made up and dressed in stylish clothing. Shortly after, I appeared on Katie's show to talk about my experience and to meet the author of a book she wrote detailing her story of wearing no make-up for a year.
4) Later that year you also appeared in episodes of NBC's show "Smash." Please tell us about that experience?
"Smash" was a great experience because not only were the actors very talented, but most of them could sing very well and could dance. All of them were legitimate triple threats, and to be a part of that production was just a fantastic experience!
5) Please tells us about your new Christmas single 'I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day/Starbright"?
"I Heard the Bells/Starbright" is a mash-up of two of my favorite Christmas songs. Both have been performed by Jim Brickman, who is another inspiration of mine. Recently, I was interviewed by Mr. Brickman on his radio show about the release of my Christmas song. He will be playing it on his radio show all throughout the holidays season! I hope that my contribution to his terrific annual show will bring his listeners a lot of joy and happiness.
6) Please tell us about the recording process on your new album and what it was like working with producer Joe Vulpis (who also worked with Lady Gaga)?
Working with Joe has been incredible experience. When we sit and brainstorm about which songs of mine we would like to record, we always agree on the same ones. The recording atmosphere is invigorating, and the positive vibes lead to a certain quality and spontaneity for me as an artist. You know, we both share a really productive passion and vision for music, which makes the recording process an amazing experience.
7) What is your approach to songwriting? How do you capture the inspiration when it comes?
I have a few ways of songwriting actually. Creating the lyrics is usually the first step. Lyrics can come from any idea that is in my head, or any emotion that I may be feeling, and are also inspired by situations in which other people have experienced.
I usually start by writing the chorus first, and then I build from that theme. When it comes to the melody, it can spring up at any time. One of my songs, "Not This Time", was inspired by a fire truck blazing past my apartment. I usually record ideas on my phone because when I get these enlightened moments I am not always by my piano or guitar. It's just not a predictable process, and that is what makes music and lyrics something uniquely creative and different for each artist.
8) How are you using social networks to market your music and keep your fans involved?
My website, www.moemusicone.com is a great resource that I update daily to keep my fans involved. I use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for ongoing updates and new music that I am producing. I also post the venues and times of where I am performing locally each week.
9) What are some of the artists we might find on some of your playlist now?
On my playlist I have Adele's new single "Hello". The build up in that song from the verses to the chorus always gives me chills. I have some Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift on there along with Katy Perry, Mayday Parade, Goo Goo Dolls, Coldplay and Nat King Cole. Let's just say my taste in music is expansive, and continues to grow every day. I guess I have sort of an insatiable appetite for the wonderful world of music.
10) Is there anything in particular that you'd like people to take away from listening to your music?
I want people to be moved by my music, and to "feel" it in a personal way. It's very important that every lyric line is treated carefully and with respect, and is clearly placed exactly where it belongs in the song's message and tone. I want to create that special feeling that I can't describe when I hear songs that just will not leave your senses. When you're at a concert and you hear a song, and everyone is happy and enjoying it letting all their fears and worries go away just for that moment in time. I want to create that special something.
What do you do in your spare time? When you aren't performing or recording new material, what do you all like to do for fun?
In my spare time, when I'm not working or performing, I love to write music. I also love watching the TV show "Friends." It always makes me laugh, and is good background TV for when I'm home relaxing. I like to go to the gym, going for runs, and doing spin classes. I also enjoy hanging out with my friends here in Hoboken. We have a pretty great group, and being together is always fun.
Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
I like to drink tea with honeyand I also do the vocal exercises from my genius mentor Don Lawrence. I also say a special prayer just before going on stage.
What other songs on your new album are you excited to share with your fans?
I'm really excited to share two new songs: the complete versions of "Red Dress" and "Beautiful", with full instrumentation. I am really pleased with the lyrical development of these releases and the personal messages they convey. In addition, I have a song called "Close the Door" that I'm very excited about.
Who are some of the newer musicians that you think are incredible and are really breaking ground today?
I think Rachel Platten is an artist that has just hit the big time. She writes music that everyone can relate to, and her voice is beautiful. I also feel she has a great heart, because she uses her music to help and heal others, and that is just what I plan to do. I'm so happy for her success and her dreams coming true.
Besides music, what else is important to you?
My family is really at the center of my universe. My mom and dad, and my sister Lauren are all an important part of my life. They have been a tremendous support my journey and I know I can always count on them to be there for me. In addition, I have my loving grandmother who just turned 90 years old. She is my #1 fan!
So far, what experience has really stood out to you as a performer?
It was an amazing experience when I got to open for Jeff Timmons. My friends came from all over to see me and the place was packed! My mother came from Boston and she facetimed with my dad, so he could also get to see me perform.