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Local ‘R&Bass’ Singer, Molia, Dropping New EP

In Music
South Side Soul: Local vocalist Molia aims for R&B stardom with her new EP, out this week.

South Side Soul: Local vocalist Molia aims for R&B stardom with her new EP, out this week.

Delivering a vulnerable vocal performance that humanizes the song’s complicated perspective, Molia sings “Does it matter that she told me everything? Does it matter that you purchased her a ring? All that matters is you.”

She echoes the mantra once more, searching for self-acceptance: “all that matters is you.”

“Does It Matter,” the most recent single from her eponymous EP, has racked up 175,000 plays since its release on SoundCloud two months ago. And Molia, born Brittney Molia Schwenke, is humbled by the positive response.

“It feels like it’s a hit song now,” Molia says, seated inside San Jose’s Red Wall Studios, where the locally bred singer crafted the eight-song set and hosted a listening party this past weekend. “It’s really inspiring. I’m hoping that this project can do the same.” She’ll know soon enough. Her release officially dropped digitally yesterday. You can pick it up on iTunes.

The EP falls in line with R&B’s current it-sound, a wave indebted to ’90s and early 2000s acts and a serious love of heavy bass. They call it “RnBass.”

These sonics fit Molia’s personal tastes well. She cites Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill as key influences—which she discovered while growing up part of a vibrant Polynesian community on San Jose’s south side. It was there that she was exposed to reggae, hip-hop and soul from an early age.

American Idol fans may recognize her voice from a few duets she released in 2013 with season 11 favorite, DeAndre Brackensick. The two met at Oak Grove High School—he would bring his ukulele to school and the two would jam on the steps. The fun partnership led to two retail singles, including an incredibly soulful performance from both on “Fuss and Fight,” an original released in 2013.

MoliaBlack

All About That RnBass: Molia.

After an introduction through Oakland vocalist Rayven Justice, who worked out of the same studio, Molia met producer Cisco Cortez—one third of production trio Dreem Teem. It proved a potent combination.

“I wasn’t expecting the whole project to be just Cisco, but I’m really glad,” she says, explaining that everything turned out fine with just a single producer. “There’s something different about [every beat]. That’s what I’ve always wanted.”

“She makes it look so easy,” Cortez says, chiming in from an adjacent couch in the studio. “I’d never heard someone sing like that from my area. That made me want to push that much harder to break her out of here. I just want to see somebody from my city win.”

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