MOTIV105’S GUIDE TO CONQUERING ARTISTIC ANXIETY
Motive105 is a jack of all trades who holds all the cards as he climbs the ranks of national notoriety, traversing the realms of recording artists, cinematic script writer and actor simultaneously and with equal ease. Like a line cook under pressure, Motive’s method may appear like madness from a distance but up close he brews a better broth when stirring multiple pots – finding a footing in the anarchy of artistic anxiety by believing any venture is possible when the right team is coupled with a creative willing to experiment without fear of failure.
After bursting onto the relevancy radar in 2021 with his Drive Downtown E.P, Motive’s life has been anything but tranquil – balancing the duties of fatherhood, new found national fandom and the nature of tour life as he prepares to open for Kojey Radical across the country this November. His latest single D.R.O.P is the driving tune of dreams that comes in advance of sultry single titled F.I.R.E. His proclivity for late night booth sessions has clearly not been diminished or dwindled by the draining duties of a director as Motive steps into a new lane to direct and star in a new feature short film titled Unbreakable.
We sat down with Motive105 to discuss the intricacies of breaking into multiple new industries at the same time, analysing the turmoils and triumphs of being your own boss and testing treatments for tackling the anxiety of releasing a project to the world.
Now, after five years, Raury has returned with a tantalisingly trippy project titled Strawberry Moon. This time we wander with Raury as he purges and sheds the surroundings and sound of his last album, setting sail for new land with new inspirations at its core. We sat down with Raury on the eve of its release to learn a little about the album’s evolution, breaking down the beats, bars and basslines that form the bedrock of what is sure to be a seminal album in his career.
You are a busy busy dude, how do you stay grounded and focused on the task at hand? Have you always thrived when stirring multiple pots or is this a new experience as more opportunities pop-up?
Yer man, very busy, I’ve got a new single dropping today and another coming at the end of the month. But, do you know what it is? I try to treat making music like its work and dedicate set hours to it so I’m able to have points of balance throughout the day that will allow me to recharge from it all. Whether it’s hanging out with my sons or going to the gym, as long as I’m able to do something that is so away from music, by the time I’m back in the booth I feel rested and fully charged. I have a good balance at the moment. You can’t block the blessing of creativity coming to you but if you are constantly in overdrive all the time you can get anxious and overwhelmed by everything – I try to just let the waves crash over me.
Your latest single D.R.O.P is a perfect driving tune and leans into a slightly darker style of beat than we heard on the Drive Downtown E.P. To what extent are you still experimenting and finding your sound & are you always working with the same producers or are you searching for new sounds from new sources?
So Drive Downtown was done solely with one producer, which set the sounds and tone of the project in one direction in terms of production, however, more recently I’ve been bouncing between producers and experimenting again. I bumped into a producer called Parked Up who produced a smash called ‘To The Moon’ by JNR CHOI, when he put that out his management hit me up and asked if I fancied a session with him. Most of the time sessions that are set up like this can go either way, but within one session we whipped up the most next project! It was so natural and within a six-hour session we clocked in five tracks.
The music video drew inspiration from Guy Ritchie’s film Snatch. How hands-on do you like to be with visuals and do you tend to draw inspiration from more than just music?
From the first moment I’m making a song I’m trying to understand how I can represent it visually, it helps me piece together a track if I can visualise the mood, setting or style I’m trying to create. Then when it comes to creating the visuals, I have an excellent 15-man team around me that I initially just surrounded myself with because they are all amazon creatives but now over time we’ve developed our own production company. As the visuals started offloading, people started to ask who was making them so we thought it was crucial to put a name to it and form an umbrella to unite all our different productions.
F.I.R.E. is set to drop in just a matter of days. Do you get nervous before a single drop or are you more excited to get it out there?
It’s pure anxiety man haha. I wish that I could say it was a happy moment, which of course it is, but because I self-manage everything I still have to think and worry about the roll-out, the marketing, or the other parties and collaborators involved. So I never get to truly indulge in the release of a projecting coming out. The only time I get a release is when a video shoot is done and we get to sit down as a team to watch it for the first time and we realise we’ve done what we needed to do but after that, it’s go time.
It’s constant, I’ve only been doing this full time for just over a year now and I can tell this isn’t for the weak-hearted. Music, the lifestyle and the industry are just savage. Then you also have to balance it with your personal life. I think the part of it all that I’ve found the hardest is having to portray yourself as this confident guy that’s constantly getting everything done or feeling like you’re moving forward all the time. In real life, shit happens, but in this industry, you can end up stuck in this place where you have to act like this guy who has everything solidified whilst balancing the reality of your situation. The good part of the actual music part is that you can take all those thoughts and feelings and invest them into a piece of art by reflecting – which is the sweet spot of creativity – when you can take all the pain and frustration and put it somewhere positive.
It was recently announced that you will be performing & opening for Kojey Radical on tour this November! How did you find out? Have you guys run in similar circles before or crossed paths?
To be honest, it was really fast! People might think that we have been friends for a while but it happened super quick once he reached out because he loved one of my records called No Secrets and from that we started speaking as men about our experiences being young fathers whilst being musicians, speaking on straight human terms rather than bonding over the music. We connected from there and the business unfolded later on. It was all very organic.
I was pretty straight up with him when we met, he mentioned that he was about to go on tour and I said “Bro…I dunno what I gotta do but I’m opening for you” haha. He said he wanted to make it happen which I assumed would never actually come to fruition but a couple of days later he gave me a call and confirmed. I feel like a lot of people wait for opportunities to come to them but the reason my career is going so well at the moment is that I’m not afraid to put my pride aside and go ask for what I want. It’s the same in a lot of other industries, if you’re in an office you have to speak up if you want to get that promotion or raise. Music works the same way but too many people put their egos in the way and that stops them from elevating.
Is he someone whose music career progression you would like to emulate? Particularly as a young father?
It’s funny because I was talking to him about my struggles and frustrations in my first year and a half of experience doing this all and he was literally like “Bro, I’ve been doing this for 11 years, you need to remember what you’re standing up for, things aren’t always going to go your way but you need to know how to position yourself in small or big increments to get where you want to gradually”
Talk to me about writing and acting in your new short, Unbreakable! Have you always had a love of cinema? Was acting something you envisaged for yourself or has it come as a total surprise?
Yer man, it’s all a learning experience for me, it’s not something I’ve been doing for years, it just sort of happened and people started to say “oh shit man you can act” haha.
I think when you are creative you don’t typically have any idea of boundaries, it’s almost like a superpower where you think you can do anything. Some days you feel useless and others it’s like you’re unstoppable, I never really thought about it but when the convos started brewing around me I was always game and felt I would be able to tackle it. I’m writing a lot of it and my team is directing it alongside me.
How different is the process of being on set and writing for a short compared to being in a studio and writing a single? Is it the same part of your brain that writes music and shorts?
I think the pace of the writing is different with a short or film. When you’re in the studio you have two or three hours to get an idea and say what’s on your chest but with a short, you have to constantly tweak and tinker with everything. For example, the use of language is so important within the context of a short but when you are in the studio you never really think about your use of language, it’s all expression. They are two different feelings but it’s the same process if that makes sense?
What’s the Motive105 guide to West London bro?
So for good food, it’s subjective but for me, it’s got to be JD’s in Notting Hill which is a great Caribbean spot. To be honest, if it was a date thing I would just say meet me at JD’s, get some wholesome food and just go walk through Portobello and see all the different parts of the culture because Portobello is a bit like West London in a nutshell. So many different cultures come together to cultivate this hybrid space and the West is a bit weird like that because you can get million-pound houses across the road from estates- there’s a communal understanding of the area. Also, there’s so much great music on the streets in that area.
Lastly, finish the sentence: “When my career is over I hope I’m remembered for”
Doing it my way.