Catching Up With Mobley At Hangout Fest

emilytreadgold #8, Features

When our editor here at the New Nine told me to check out Mobley at Hangout Fest, I said “Mobley Who?”

Mobley, an Austin-based one-man show, just came out with “Fresh Lies, Vol. I,” an enticing upbeat musical jolt of energy that catches you by the ears and has you dancing from start to finish. Mobley refers to “Fresh Lies, Vol. I” as a song cycle rather than an album, because it’s a part of a story project that he will continue for the rest of his career.

Mobley claims this project is “better and bigger” than anything he’s ever done, and it’s the first time he’s done something like this.

Fresh Lies will be an ongoing series as it releases. And the song cycle views my relationship with America; I use a romantic relationship and the form of love songs to break that down into manageable pieces.”

When I saw Mobley perform on the Mermaid Stage at Hangout Fest, I had listened to his music and knew a little bit about him, but I had no idea what the showmanship that was truly in store for me and all the others in the crowd. I was blown away by his ability to play every single instrument on stage- at one point he played the guitar with his teeth! His timing was perfectly in sync with his sample pad, and he engaged the audience by having us play a drum and even hooking four of us up to a contraption he built himself; he high-fived us to play the beat of the song!

You never could’ve guessed he was exhausted from a twelve hour drive to Alabama straight from his brother’s wedding. He told me he had literally no time in between the reception and his arrival at the festival.

Since our last talk with Mobley in January, he’s been “grinding;” working on production and marketing.

“We’ve done a bunch of cool finishing touches to the music videos and we’re in production for a third. Trying to get the music out to as many people as we can.”

I asked him where he picked up all his skills: he writes, produces, makes his own art and- like I mentioned before- builds instruments for his shows. He’s a multi-talented machine. He told me he’s not really sure from where exactly all those skills came from, but did have this to say:

“I think whatever the thing is that happens to people where you are convinced that it’s too late for you to learn something or you need somebody to teach you or show you the way, I just never internalized that, so I’ve always been really eager and enthusiastic about teaching myself things and picking up new skills. So basically, every time I’ve needed something, if I’ve felt like it was in the realm of possibility I try to learn it and incorporate it into my wheelhouse of things that I can do as Mobley.”

And while he’s not “adverse” to working with collaborators, he believes that doing it on his own adds a certain “integrity of vision and voice to everything across media.” His style is so unique, but he added that he doesn’t know if it was influenced by Austin, the staple music city from where he hails. However, it has influenced him “as a person and the content” of his work.

“You can’t help but be shaped by the people and things around you.”

Mobley’s new record, “Fresh Lies, Vol. I” can be found below on Spotify!

Find out more here.

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