Check out our exclusive interview with Short Moscato!
We recently caught up with up-and-coming rapper Christopher Michael Moscato, better known by his stage name Short Moscato. Short hails from Buffalo, New York and has opened for major talents like The Internet, Isaiah Rashad, Naughty By Nature and Freddie Gibbs. His sound genre bends between classic boom bap rap to trip hop and cloud rap. He’s been hustling and making music since high school, but decided to pursue the craft professionally once graduating from college. His musical influences range from Prince to Nirvana and it shows in his music. Short’s 11-track debut EP “The Colour of Air” dropped Friday along with bonus track “Love is Forever“. Here’s everything you need to know about the EP and artist:
Can you talk about the inspiration behind ‘The Color of Air’?
There was an exhibit at the Albright Knox Art Gallery here in Buffalo, it was Pablo Picasso, and I was in there just looking at the way he painted the air, and the way he used the sky and horizons and all of that, and I think that’s kind of where the inspiration started. And then I started thinking about music. Music is something that you can only really hear unless you can feel the bass trembling in your shoes or you can feel the vibration. It’s an auditory thing, right?
You can’t see sound waves, but if you could, I feel like the air would be colored. If you could see sound waves moving throughout the air, it would be full of vibrant colors. And that’s kind of like what I envision music, when I’m listening to it, I see colors, even though I can’t see them, I feel like my brain sees the colors of the music. The warmth, the coldness, the eccentricity, the eclectics, I feel like it’s all colors. So I thought that the color of air kind of represented sound vibrations that maybe we can’t see. I just wanted to say that this tape is, it’s my coloring of the air, like if I could paint the air, if I could paint sound waves with my brush it would be many colors. And the tape itself is literally a bunch of flavors. I mean, from front to back, you’re going to get every sub-genre of hip hop that you can imagine.
What was your favorite track off the EP?
‘Red Wallabeez’, I liked making that song because I love piano, and there’s a nice piano track in there, and I like talking about, you know, growing up and developing yourself, becoming yourself and developing your own style and when I was growing up I had this pair of Clarks Wallabees, they were highly stylized and mine were red and super vibrant and super flashy and it was really funny to me that I was just straight strutting at like 8 or 9 with those. I was like, “I’m gonna call this ‘Red Wallabeez’ and I kind of ran with it. It’s my favorite song, it means a lot to me, the lyrics and the sentiment of it, it’s kind of like a triumphant reflection of my childhood and growing up and becoming who I am.
What was the production process like, was it all in-house? Did you go to a studio?
Well, a couple of the producers on the album are from Buffalo, and they are friends of mine and I would say colleagues and people I’ve worked with before. A few of the producers I became acquainted with on social networking, like Soundcloud or Twitter or Bandcamp, and other than that I record everything at my best friends house, he’s my in-house engineer. He makes beats too but he hasn’t made any for this album. He’s actually the only speaker on the album as well, his name is WZA. So I go to his in-house studio to record, mix and master everything, that’s my ace and that’s who I’ll be working with as long as I’m making music it’ll be with WZA as my engineer and sound.
Would you consider ‘The Color of Air’ your debut project?
It is, it is. It’s my debut project for the world. I mean, I’ve made little tapes around the city, I’ve made tapes and kind of gave handouts and stuff here and there, but this is my debut commercial ‘hi world, this is me, Short’ project.
Can you tell me about your musical background, when did you first decide to start pursuing music?
I would say I started right around freshman year of high school, just messing around, writing rhymes, stuff like that. Downloading beats off Napster and just writing verses to it. Just having fun at first, so that’s how it started. Then once I graduated college I got back into it, and really took it as my profession. So since I graduated from college I’ve been doing it full time, for the most part, and just trying to perfect my craft.
I was influenced growing up by all types of music. I was very blessed to have a mom who loved Prince, and a dad who loved classic rock, so I had a really good mix of genres and really good influences.
Who would you say are some of your musical idols?
Prince, Nas. I really liked Pink Floyd, I really liked the Misfits. I’m an emcee through and through and I love hip hop to death, but I listen to all types of music so, I have a lot of hip hop people, Jay-Z, Wu Tang Clan, kind of like that East Coast stuff, because I was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, so I’m kind of like the East Coast hip hop, and then I go into more of the grungier rock stuff, Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, the Monkeys, classic rock stuff that I really like as well.
My influences and my idols musically are rock stars and rappers and I love artists, I love Jackson Pollock as far as actual artists go, Marina Abramović, all types of stuff.
What do you think was the most influential mix tape or album in your life, the one that impacted you the most?
‘The Blueprint’ by Jay-Z. It was 2001, I could tell you everything, like I remember the weather, I remember the type of disc man I had, I remember all of that. It was a really, really, transcendental album for me. I was a freshman in high school, it was just one of those thing that hits you at the time when you’re really growing as a person, and it sticks with you. I think that that album really, really did it for me.
Also when I really started to dive into hip hop, an album that I went back and learned about and really did it for me as well was ‘Low End Theory’ by A Tribe Called Quest. I had never heard drums like that until I had heard the organic drums with that album and I was like, “This is actually crazy.” Yeah, I think that those two albums right there, and actually I have to say one more just because I’ll kick myself if I don’t mention it, Mos Def, ‘Black on Both Sides’ as well.
Were you a fan would of the new Tribe Album, compared to their old stuff?
I liked it, I really did, like, I thought it was going to be really, really hard for them to put together a cohesive album with passings and all of that stuff, I thought it would be tough for them to do that, but it really was cohesive and well done, I was very, very impressed by how it came out.
What were some recent mix tapes or albums from 2016 that were your favorites?
Isaiah Rashad, ‘The Sun’s Tirade’ was without question my favorite album of 2016. Without any question, my favorite. I really loved that album, I think that he is phenomenal. That’s someone else I want to work with by the way.
I loved Cudi’s album. Kirk Knight, ‘Late Knight Special’. I’m a big fan of the Pro Era people.
So who were some artists that you would like to collaborate with, if you could?
Mick Jenkins, I would love to collaborate with. I’m a big fan. I would love to work with Kanye West, I would love to work with, oh man, Chance the Rapper. Man, there are so many people I would like to work with, it’s almost like a never ending list. Goldlink, Dave East, MGMT, Mos Def, Ben Staples, I mean, anyone. Lupe Fiasco … And tons of producers too that I’m not even thinking of right now, but like, I would love to work with, I don’t know, Q-Tip or The Roots, people like that, just like really, really different styles.
Thematically, what do you want people to take away from your music? What direction are you going in?
I think is important when it comes to my music that no matter what I do, no matter what music I’m making, it’s gonna be honest. It’s gonna be who I am, it’s gonna be brash, it’s gonna be graphic, but it’s gonna be exactly what I’m experiencing and who I am.
Check out the visual for Whisper (Disappear) / Suicide Hotline Bling: