Delivering a more indie-acoustic approach than his previous electronica-infused releases, US artist Mokita joins forces with emo/folk legend Mike Kinsella of American Football and indie artist Owen to add a brand new addition to his sonic collection, with the release of his recent single ‘Sleepwalking’.
Taking to music from an early age, Mokita – born John-Luke Carter – began his 13 years of classical piano lessons at the age of six, before truly honing his artistry in his teen years when he picked up the guitar and turned his hand to songwriting. After relocating to Nashville when finishing college, John-Luke took on the Mokita moniker, a name adopted from Kivila, a language native to Papua New Guinea. A perfect reflection to depict his approach to songwriting and music, Mokita roughly translates to “the truth we all know but don’t talk about”. As he explores relatable, universal and poignant themes within his writing and lyricism; the narratives we hear throughout his music span across depression, anxiety, the joy and stress and uncertainty of budding and fading relationships, and other personal themes.
With an ambient acoustic-indie soundscape, the track begins with a gentle and melodic guitar-lead instrumental; creating an emotive and immersive sonic atmosphere. Above the stripped-back instrumentation is a gleaming expanse of soulful and honeyed vocals, that blend in perfect harmony with the poignant and delicate sonic landscape; adding a new element of candour and emotion to the song.
“‘Sleepwalking’ is about wrestling with purpose and is more a song about questions then it is about answers. I think everybody struggles with purpose and asks a lot of these deeper questions, especially as they get older. I was playing with this open baritone guitar tuning, and the guitar riff that happens throughout the song was the first thing that I wrote. I had the title, and some rough melodies, and a general idea about the lyrics, but once I showed the song to my buddy Trent Dabbs, we ironed out the rest of the song. I didn’t necessarily intend to have the track be so minimal, but it just didn’t feel like it wanted more in the production. It started with this droning note that floats throughout the whole song, and then I did a one take of the entire guitar part, which gave it this imperfection that made it feel more real. I had been talking to Mike Kinsella of American Football about possibly collaborating on a song, so I had sent him ‘Sleepwalking’ and the guitars just gave the song exactly what it was missing. I’m a huge fan of his guitar playing and just a fan of his in general, so needless to say I was so pumped to have Mike involved. I’m really proud of how the song turned out.”
Having garnered over 200M+ streams, and received praise from the likes of Billboard, Wonderland Magazine, and Ones To Watch; Mokita is undoubtedly an act to keep an eye on for 2021 and beyond.