March Feature: Project Moses

Photo Credit: Zach Adam

In a time when music and culture are converging in a wild form of performance art, Project Moses is here to bring music beyond the music. Personal and dark at times, but with an upbeat sound focused on positivity, Moses makes you want to move, even when he’s singing ballads. Project Moses is a talented singer who feels most at home crafting artful songs out of simple lines and momentary emotions.

Raised in Israel by conservative parents, Moses’ musical talents were initially discouraged. He was driven by the need to express himself lyrically, sonically, and visually. In pursuit of this dream, he left for Los Angeles. There he experienced a totally different world where art and self-expression, rather than being marginalized, were central to daily life. Now, resettled in New York City, he’s ready to taker over the world with his powerful songs and inspired performances.

Photo Credit: Sailey Williams

JRK: Before we get into the interview can you tell readers a bit about Project Moses, where you are from and all that good introductory stuff?

PM: Project Moses’s Real name or birth name for that matter is Moses Romatki. I was born in Israel to a very conservative family, my dad was an immigrant from a holocaust survivor camp family and my mom was born in Israel, in Jerusalem, with a dad that was a Rabbi in Jerusalem and his name was Moses, I was named after him. Growing up in such a conservative family made me realize I’m even more creative than I would have anticipated, since I had to paint at such a young age all over the house or sing while my dad was playing Pink Floyd, or my mom was listening to Paul Anka records, even without actual words at the age of 2, I was able to mumble the melody and make up my own words. Till decided to move to NYC at the age of 17 and peruse my dream of being a singer.

JRK: You just released your first single and music video release from your newest album entitled, “Better Man.” Can you tell us about that?

First Release: Missing Half

PM: I have just released my new single “Missing half,” is the 1st single off my new album name “Better man” which represents different moments in my life, different struggles, different opportunities, different people that helped me shape, figure out, and navigate myself towards who I am and who I w inspire to be, and how I make this life count, no matter what obstacle I have in front of me, therefore I would be a better man.

JRK: Many people experience the same feelings and tumult over the loss of a loved one who was not as loving and caring as they would have liked them to be while they were alive. What advice can you give to those whose difficult parents or loved ones are still here, that would help them deal with and accept the difficulty they experience in relating to them?

PM: This question is very surreal to me since I took a class in the psychology of dying but I always believed, as cliche as it may sound, that these people that hurt you have a deeper problem then you can understand, they came from pain as well and may be ignorant to it, you have the power to break that cycle, you either forgive them or you try to make your own future with the people that are important to you, better, stronger, happier, and you probably will make mistakes as well, but make sure to remember those painful moments and those challenges you endure, whether you were a child or a grown-up, and try not to repeat them, as everything happens for reason, it’s a teachable moment, just learn to forgive, it’s much easier to love than hate.

JRK: While we can never change what was in terms of our interaction with difficult loved ones, there is always a sense of regret and loss. What advice can you give to those in this situation where the loved ones are gone, and regret is eating away at one’s soul for not trying to change the course of the relationship?

PM: Though we can never change the interaction with loved ones whom we lost that we had challenges with, we can change the action that we take as a result of that, to learn from it and paid forward in a positive way and cherish the ones that we do have around, so they can pass it forward and create a better life for their off Springs and their surroundings. Of course, the idea of losing somebody who you didn’t have closure with may seem painful. What great is to take that energy and focus it towards something positive that may seem completely different then what you have anticipated in regards to what have you lost and create something so powerful, once you grasp on that ideology, you will keep alive and in some aspects and it will feel like a closure as you paid it forward. Believe!

Photo Credit: Sailey Williams

JRK: While growing up in Israel in a conservative family environment, your musical interests were berated and frowned upon. How did you deal with that and forge ahead to overcome that non-acceptance of what motivated your soul and empowered you?

PM: I did grow up in a family where any art form as a real job was not encouraged, though I was sent to school at the age of 6, to learn to play the flute and I did receive a tape recorder with a microphone from my dad for my 4th birthday. As a teenager, I would always get asked what I wanted to when I grow up? and I always replied, a songwriter, musician, and a singer, that was always followed by question, “OK but what do you wanna do for a living for a job” I never understood that I always compare it to a bird that is asked not to fly today, it’s just impossible, even if I don’t do it professionally, I have notebooks and scrap paper and unfinished songs and lyrics. I dreamed in melodies, I see things in lyrics, I like to construct things visually and musically in colors, as I smell things sometimes I can hear the melody. I just can’t fix or escape it, I feel like this is in my DNA, and I can’t deny it. I just have to do it, and I cannot stop. Every day I need to create and the reward isn’t monetary, the journey itself is. And as I work while I’m walking this path with no end in sight.

At this point in my life, I really do not look for acceptance, I just do what I do because I need to release my thoughts, and if anyone else likes it, it’s just a bonus.

JRK: What suggestions do you have for those struggling with the same experience in order to empower themselves to succeed and become that which they envision themselves to be and achieve?

PM: I think that whatever you struggle is, in order to succeed, you need to understand what does success means to you, where are you in your life that you can say I’m doing it for the right reasons, and what are the right reasons to YOU, to do whatever you want to do and why is it that you’re envisioning yourself that you’re trying to achieve, would it truly make you happy?

If you really understand these things, then anything that you can do will be great, because it’s truly about the journey, in any kind of creative format. Professionally or not, the path that you’re taking, that you need to feel the drive and the willingness will lead you there, to do it with no breaks and without the worries that someone may not like, I truly believe that this is success!

JRK: What would you say is the most difficult challenge you need to overcome at this point in your life now that you have progressed somewhat past the regret and loss of your father? However, does one ever really get past the regret and loss?

PM: No one ever really get past their regrets and lost, it’s just the way you handle it and what you make of it, and like every difficult challenge in life that you need to overcome, you just go through it, even in moments of darkness there’s always a light beam and you have to grasp on that light beam and give it time, not to be hard on yourself, you have to be patient, that is definitely the key and to be able to forgive, especially to yourself.

Regrets always going to be there, look at those regrets as a lesson learned and a moment to rise out of the ashes to become bigger and stronger because you’ve been through it you had experiences that nobody else but you experienced, therefore consider yourself so lucky.

What is a man who has never endured pain, anyway?!!!

JRK: What is next for Project Moses now that the new album is out?

PM: Project Moses album “better man’ will be released in the summer, followed by my next single and video, followed by a whole visual concept movie with 6 of my songs. make sure to follow on social media.

JRK: Do you have anything else to add or any parting words of wisdom to leave readers?

PM: I would like to add that whatever it is you’re doing, make sure to do it all the way or don’t do it at all. Don’t expect any reward, don’t expect any applause, don’t expect validity, just do what you feel in your heart you need to do to express yourself in any creative way and everything else will follow.

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