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WPGM Commentary: Møya Rey Is A Journey Of Introspection On Her Debut EP ‘Lost In Translation’

My name is Shirley Reynozo and I go by the artist name møya rey. My name comes from my mother’s last name Moya and my father’s last name Reynozo.

I am proud to share my first EP Lost In Translation, a name that is evocative of a very diverse blend of sounds, not just because of the rich mix of genres, but because the EP is written in four languages, English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

The four track EP shows us how I translate my emotions not only into language, but music. The different languages serve as bridges between the verses and choruses and unify my many sensibilities.

As a multi-disciplinary artist who primarily works with the visual realm to tell my narratives, I found that music was the way to elevate my story. I feel that my music is hard to box neatly into just one genre because of the myriad of cultural influences riding shotgun on my debut musical journey.

My Afro-Caribbean roots and my experience as a world traveler wrap themselves around Soul, AfroTunes, R&B and Hip-hop in a harmonious explosion of flavors and textures that take my soulful and melodic voice to new heights.

The project Lost In Translation came to life at the start of the quarantine period. During this time, I was living in Paris, where there were very strict restrictions and lockdowns. Music was a way to find a balance and feel purposeful and my journey of introspection.

I wrote the first track, “Transatlantic Calls” in March 2020. Feeling isolated because of the quarantine in France, I had to stay sane by talking to those I cared about across the Atlantic. The song is specifically about a couple boys I was crushing over at the time. Ultimately the song shows the evolution of feelings where I went from being emotionally available to emotionally unavailable men, to finding my strength and taking my power back.

The second track “Open Letter” evokes a heightened sense of vulnerability because the song is written as a stream of consciousness, which aims to make sense of a number of emotions and experiences. The track came to life in September 2020 when my friend and producer Arty Furtado came to visit me in Paris.

I told him I wanted a beat that emulated music from Cape Verde, and since he is ethnically Cape Verdean, it was very easy to draw on the cultural reference. The melody of the song is what evoked the stream of consciousness. The song recounts the blending of surrealist dreams and lived experiences in a way that the lyrics are inseparable.

In the song, I wish for harmony and unity and to contest the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. The song was my way of coping with the Black Lives Matter Protest that had transpired globally during the summer of 2020.

I wrote “Dile” on New Year’s Eve and recorded the demo track as the fireworks marked the beginning of the new Year. The final track “Long Distance” was written line by line all throughout the year as my situationship developed and came to an ending. Both of these songs helped make sense of a situationship with someone I was talking to from London.

The cover art was designed by Janaya Blue, an artist from New York. The butterflies are very prominent in her work. I simply explained to her I wanted a visual representation of a spiritual release and in some ways to include a representation of the number four. She illustrated four butterflies as that representation.

The butterflies are also special to me because they are very symbolic to the region my family is from in the Dominican Republic; Salcedo. The butterflies are associated with the Mirabal sister who fought against the Trujillo dictatorship. It is a tribute to my history.

Lost in Translation is an all-encompassing project that aims to synthesize many cultures and emotions – to talk about the sad and ugly but to end with hope and aspiration for more. The EP and its atmosphere will transport you and you will want to loop this project for a while.

Listen to my Lost In Translation EP below and purchase it here.

Words by møya rey // Follow her on Facebook + Instagram

Photo Credit: Hélibert Fini

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