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Meet Moana Tela

Today we’d like to introduce you to Moana Tela.

Moana, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
When I was young, I use to challenge other kids to song competitions. I was never shy growing up, and anytime someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I always said a superstar. As far as I can recall, music has always been a part of my life. I can still remember living on the islands of Fiji and Samoa wanting to be a queen of pop music, something about pop at the age of 9 just hit right. The girls back in the islands weren’t as fascinated as I was about hip-hop.

My taste of music is based on different places I’ve been in life. As a child of a veteran, my dad knew we would all be in America one day, and I knew I would get to catch up on more of the culture of different styles of music. In Fiji, you would expect me to have picked up a Fijian vibe, but instead, I was dancing to Indian Bollywood songs with my cousin, which added another sound to my music. I didn’t get into rap until I came to America, which has made a great influence on me.

I made sure that performance art was always on my schedule because I knew it would help tremendously with my speech, stage fright and overcoming new obstacles. I also took on dance as well as cheerleading to help me with my balance, voice, smile and confidence. I sang at homecoming, performed in various plays and talent shows.

Sometimes I feel the beat, and I start rapping other times I go off singing, it just depends on what emotion I’m feeling at the time. I love being a “No Genre Artist” because I feel comfortable choosing multiple styles that my sound may mix well with. I love the idea of expressing myself in all kinds of music and having people relate to what I am going through.

I took it amongst myself to finally pursue music as a career three years ago and decided to pay a studio to record my first few songs. After putting a few songs on SoundCloud, I realized I was already branding myself as an artist by investing in myself.

In addition to my first single titled Coffee, I love drinking coffee. So, it was only right that my plans would include launching my Coffee brand with an Indigenous Native American roasting company.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I believe some new artists are challenged by the behind the scenes work, bookings, coordinating schedules, learning the business side of things, and some of these are a new challenge for me. The music is the fun part we love, but everything in between, getting to the music can be challenging. I’m starting to branch out and work on features with other artists; this isn’t an obstacle, yet challenging as I like to connect with an artist to focus on their genre and sound to ensure I deliver their vision. I live for these music challenges.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I am an artist who creates music of healing and relation. I specialize in the way my sound is projected and what message is given. Besides music, creating new ways of promoting myself like collaborating with a coffee company based off of my first song, “Coffee.” I am known for my visions. I bring to the table, ideas of what I want my product to look like in all aspects of music and anything else I indulge in.

I believe what sets me apart from others is I am not seeking to be seen; I am seeking to be heard. I know that I have to continue to do my best in all angles of my craft. I am not your real flashy sex-symbol of a rapper/singer. I’m talking about feeding the poor and helping women empower other women in my songs. Awareness is what sets me apart from the trend.

What’s the local music scene like in your area?
I like how the state of Texas is filled with music. In the city of Austin, live music is appreciated and local artists are supported. SXSW is one of our most famous festivals in Austin because of how many different opportunities are available around that time. I wish those in higher positions would do more for our people who stay under bridges of our city with no homes and food.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Images with the black and gold dress by Donald Luna

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