Osmond Wright, better known as Mozez, is a singer, producer and composer. His career starts with a gospel band. When he moved to the UK he was part of the duo Spirits and then of two famous band, Zero 7 and Nightmares on Wax. In 2006 released his first solo album, So still; the second one in 2011, is a remix album, Time Out. The experiences, his emotions, his diversified musical taste and much more influence and inspire his work. Important collaborations have contributed to his growth. He’s a complete artist with a personal music character, we can see it in the last compilation, The Absolute, out in June 2013. The album will be preceded by an EP the 24th of May and the first single, Wings (remixed by Filippo Clary from Gabin), is already a video.
The Absolute shows like an album with varied influences, a mélange of soul and jazz-funk, a fusion of blues, rock, elettronica, folk, reggae, hip-hop, dance. It tells stories of the joys and pains of life, love and loss. Meanwhile in the EP is also present the track Be Like Water, an extract from the documentary about Bruce Lee, No Way As Way – A Discussion on Self-Mastery, that celebrates the 40th anniversary of Enter the Dragon.
Mozez has written the soundtrack of this important doc, dedicated to a figure so important and strong, still now. Mozez founds Numen Records in 2010, a new label with talented and interesting artists. Some of his tracks was used for movies and TV series.
What follow is my interview with him.
How and when your career started?
My music career started as a gospel singer in the church where my Dad was the minister. I was one of four brother who formed a gospel band called Channel Of Praise. After moving to the UK in the ninties, I was part of a duo signed to MCA called Spirits. I later was involved with the bands Zero 7 and Nightmares on Wax. In 2006 I realeased my first solo album, So Still. In 2010 I started my Record label called Numen Records. In 2011 I realeased a remix album called Time Out. I am currently in the process of releasing my new album The Absolute.
Is there someone who has contributed in meaningful way to your musical choice?
I grew up listening to music of Marvin Gaye, The Beatles, The Carpenters, Bob Marley, Curtis Mayfield, The Police, The Cammodores to name a few, so my musical taste was very varied in truth. I can’t name a specific person of such as I love so much different styles and flavours of music. However a feel musically drawn to Marvin more than any other musician.
Tell us about the fundamental phases of your career and your previous two albums So Still and Time Out
The most successful part of my career was during the years with Zero 7 and Spirits however I deem the years of working with my brothers as a gospel singer a very important stage of my life that set the ideals that I believe in and essential formulated my views of life. I regard this as a very successful period as essential– those experiences gave me things to write about. I am now feeling fulfilled as a Composer, Producer and Singer and believe that this is another important stage in my career.
By the end of June will be released your new album, The Absolute. Tell us about the influences, the feelings and sensations that you put on it and about the technical aspects.
I wanted to be able to create the sound I wanted to hear accompanying my vocals as I recognise the need to be able to do this myself, so over the last five years while producing my album I have been studing the art of sound engineering. This has assisted me in creating the sounds I think that work with my vocals, It has not been the easiest thing however I think the album says what my thoughts are. It is my view of the life from my perspective, it speaks of Life, Love, Freedom, Escapism, God, Peace, Destiny etc. I hope the album is something the audience can listen enjoy but also leaves you thinking..
The first single of new album is Wings, remixed by Filippo Clary from Gabin, here we can watch the video. What can you tell us about your collaborations like this and the previous with Sigsworth, Nightmares On Wax and Henry Binns?
I like working with good producers, artists and singers. I have been very fortunate to be able to work with Henry Binns, Guy Sigsworth and Gabin. I have a lot of respect for the above named people as essential they are people who love the art of music not only for its benifits but also for the artistry emotion and power. Music is a powerful vehicle and these guys are very good drivers.
The 24th of May will be released an EP with two tracks, Broken Toy and Be Like Water, announcing your album. The second is an extract from the documentary about Bruce Lee, No Way As Way. Why did you choose these songs and only two?
Initially we intended to release Broken Toy as a single however when the opportunity came up to do the Bruce Lee documentary, we thought it would be a good idea to include it and make it into an EP instead. The EP will include these songs plus a number of remixes.
You have just completed the production of the soundtrack for the documentary No Way As Way-A Discussion on Self-Mastery celebrating the 40th anniversary of Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon. How borns this project, what has given you, and what do you think of Bruce Lee?
I was contacted by the management of Bruce Lee Enterprise to write the music for the project. I was very happy to do this as I was and still I am a lover of martial arts. Growing up as a kid you seek for heroes, people who brings something different. Bruce Lee for me was one of those people not only for the art but also his philosophy. For me its an opportunity and an honour to work on this project.
You’ve launched your record company Numen Records recently. Why have you chosen to do it and what kind of artists you promote?
In the ever evolving nature of the music business it is very important to have some form of control over your art as I have had numerous occasions which I wish I had. Numen Records is my attempt to go straight to the public instead of going through other means. It is an attempt to assit other artists to find their way through the difficult waters that is the music business. We have a number of artist who loves the art of music. We seek to assits these artist regardless of style to get on the ladder and effectively help themselves.
Who is Osmond Wright aka Mozez, musician apart?
This is a very good question as sometimes it’s hard to seperate the two as effectively my life is music. I like to see myself as someone who believes in beauty of human nature and have a distinct desire to promote beauty, love and truth. And if given the opportunity I will speak, talk or sing about these things .
Do you follow other musical projects, or into different fields?
I like bands such as Coldplay, Prince, The Rolling Stones, John Legend…..Projects to do with Climate Change, The Rain Forest and Amnesty International. I am also involved in a Music Festival called Heritage of Ska which is a celebration of music influenced by Ska and it will be held in July 2014 in London.
What are your plans for the future?
I have layed the ground work for a few projects which I hope to come on stream in the very near future however my hope is to be back on the road touring very soon. I am currently working on another album and hope to establish Numen Records as a strong label so I guess a number of things line up.
If you could return on yours musical scores, which chord would you change?
I would probably change a number of things however that would not necessarily improve anything as I write according to my emotion feeling and experience. So yes, there are things I think I could improve but I cannot be sure it would arrive at anything. better.