Music is London-based artist Motive 105’s release and connection to the world. His mature relationship with his sound is reflective of the multiple years he has spent studying his craft and presents profound messages of realisation to his audience. And this can be seen in his debut album The Drive Downtown: Part One, which showcase songs like Conversation with Kings, invoking an intimate conversation about brotherly love and the importance of being present, and his latest single No Secrets, about sharing a life with his lover and being vulnerable with each other. He takes his listeners on an emotional journey with his project and the authentic nature of the lyrics.
A name can be a powerful thing, what is the meaning behind Motive 105?
There is one hell of a story behind the name and I’ve left it for my first studio album, for now, all that needs to be known is that I didn’t pluck a random number and word together and run with it.
Can you tell me a little bit about your inspiration for pursuing your musical career?
Music started in the playground for me... strapping a sixteen before bed and bringing your best to the playground at lunch with everyone watching was the start. Back then, we weren't rapping about money, girls and cars because we had none to be quite frank, but this is where I started to develop wordplay and a knack for controlling the picture painted.
Can you tell me a bit about your process for songwriting? Do you draw from your personal life?
Music for me is free therapy, it is the easiest way to life dump and move on. It’s a blessing to be able to even have this outlet. However, it’s not just to have access to be able to do it but it’s to do it at a level where it’s relatable and magnetic to those around me, whether they are within my community or from another.
You are of Caribbean heritage and I’m curious to know how that background, especially it being a culture with such strong musical roots, helped you to evolve as an artist and capture your sound?
My father is from Jamaica and my mother is from Indonesia, somehow two people from two places from opposite sides of the world decided to find love in London. Different humans, different upbringings but two things in common – same taste in music (reggae and R&B) and a son that was just soaking in the vibes on the weekends.
You’ve mentioned that “Real role models aren’t always the ones in front of the cameras or in the limelight,” did this sentiment contribute to your decision to take your time to grow as an artist before your debut?
I kind of had a backwards approach to how I wished for my career to pan out, I knew I wanted to figure who I was as a man before working on real projects I wished to gift to the world. Right now, I’m walking into the game fully aware of who I am and what I wish to accomplish. I’ve found a balance that works for me and I found my peace away from the madness.
In the opening of Conversation with Kings, you are depicted exercising with other men and then standing side by side with them, which is quite impactful as the song feels like a direct message to the Kings mentioned in the title. Is this representation of masculinity, one of brotherhood and support, one you wanted to make an example to your viewers?
I wanted to display moments where I have conversation with my brothers normally, the same brothers I see as kings for the battles they have overcome on whatever scale. The only place me and my boys can destress and communicate freely amongst each other is when we are working out. The first scene is a real-life depiction of what we do on the daily and it being in the garage related to how we were still getting that work in with Covid.
The video later shows you looking downwards and reciting your lyrics in the passenger seat of a cruising car. This felt like a way to represent the speed of life versus your truth. How do you challenge forces that seem to value speed/quantity from you?
Me and the director (Timothy Ogu) wanted to play on the idea of curating a trance feel whilst driving. The idea of manipulating speed and being immersed in the moment, appreciating the importance of now instead of thinking ahead so fast. We felt slowing the scene down and dragging it could allow people to digest the lyrics correctly and take in each line.
What impact do you want to make with your art?
I’m just expressing myself at this point, how it’s perceived or how the art itself makes an impact is out of my hands. My only job as a creative is to continue to keep inspired and developing the art and product as a result.
You have stated that you want to “take your listener through several emotions on the spectrum.” How do you express that in your unique way?
The music I’m releasing at the moment is a mixture of different parts of me I had to let go of. Even though the production and my cadence has a consistency throughout the project, the topics I’m covering are all different. Listen to the project from top to bottom and you’ll understand what I mean by taking a listener through different emotions.
In an Instagram post this past June you posted a picture of you and your son with the caption, “shout out the fathers changing the landscape for the generations ahead." How has your role as a father influenced you (personally and artistically)?
I don’t lack drive or inspiration when I wake up to a son everyday full of life. Having a son inevitably enforced positive change and growth for me, however, in the same sentence, the growth allowed me to be at peace with letting go of some demons. That being said, the music I just released, The Drive Downtown: Part 1, is 3 years old so, I’m happy it can still resonate with myself and people years later.
What can we expect to hear from you in the future?
A whole load of music, I’m on some Griselda shit this year... B2B projects and product all year round. Me and the team are calling it ‘The Undeniable run.’ I signed up for a season and I’m here to play the game accordingly till a break feels needed.
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