There are prolific artists, and then there is Moka Only. The BC-based hip-hop songsmith who found fame as a member of Swollen Members has just announced plans to release an album every month in 2016.
According to a press release from his label URBNET, Moka Only “aims to include new recordings, mystery albums with exclusive unreleased music from the vaults of 2002-2003, as well as collaborative projects from Torchlight Commission crew members including Illa-J, Jon Rogers, Tanya Morgan among others.”
URBNET head Darryl Rodway tells FYI that “from what I know, a majority is new original material, plus some music from his archives. He is restoring a number of old recordings that were stored on ADAT tapes that were never released. He finally found a ADAT machine to export these recordings, so there will be a mix of older material as well."
In the press release release, Moka Only is quoted as explaining “this is not coming out of a place of competition but simply a desire of uninhibited expression.”
Rodway tells us that “Moka presented the idea to us late last fall. We were thrilled about it. He has always made more music then we have normally put out, and this will be a game changer for us. This is a whole new level of artistic productivity, for I’m not aware of this been done before. I believe people have tried, but never actually completed this number of record in one year. “
Most of these Moka Only albums will only be available in digital form, but select titles will be available on vinyl LP, cassette and CD.
Rodway says the number of releases to be offered in more than a digital format “is yet to be determined. Manufacturing schedules can easily delay the release process, so we are now working with our suppliers to work out a game plan. We always work as partners with Moka so that decision will be something we both will be part of. “
Moka Only has gained an international audience with his solo records. “Japan and Germany are his strongest markets outside of Canada,” says Rodway. “The US is his largest market though, accounting for at least 60% of his sales.”
The first release of 2016 will be a 13-track album entitled Brutal, to be released on Jan. 2.
This burst of creative output is not new for Moka Only, as he’s already released over 50 recordings (some under such pseudonyms as Ron Contour, The Durable Mammal and Flow Torch. He has also collaborated with such influential US artists as J Dilla and MF Doom.
As part of Swollen Members, Moka Only earned three Juno awards for Best Rap Recording, while his solo work has brought him multiple MuchMusic Video Awards.