We had the good fortune of connecting with Mo Yates and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mo, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Music has always been a part of my life. As a child I sung in the children’s choir, my first solo was around the age of ten. I remember how nervous I was but I also remember the self-confidence I had inside me to sing in-front of a church full of people. I think the song was “This Little Light of Mine”, once I finished that solo performance the crowd gave me a standing ovation. From that point on, the candle was lit inside me and my passion to create music grew into a full blown inferno. I played all types of instruments and continued to sing in the church and school choirs throughout my childhood and early teenage years. My friends would pay me to sing their favorite R&B songs and once I found out that the girls liked me more because I could sing it was game over! Ha ha ha That passion to be a singer grew even more once I went to college and met other like minded musicians. We converted our dorm room to a recording studio and started to write my own lyrics. I used to sing at the open mic nights all around town, perform at the university talent shows and was even the lead singer of a live band that traveled to other schools up and down the East Coast. Those early experience’s helped prepare me for a music career, I always knew that it was my life’s calling.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My fan’s often tell me that I have a unique voice, I have been told that I have an old school sound that reminds them of Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendergast or Marvin Gaye. It’s an honor to be compared to the great’s, I’m just looking to add my musical legacy to the long list of great singer/songwriters that came before me regardless of the Genre. My musical journey has been a long and difficult road. Just like all the other stories you hear about your favorite musicians, the challenges they faced and let downs they endured before they got their big break, I experienced them all. Those experiences humbled me and taught me that only hard-work, determination and belief in myself is the only path towards a successful music career. I just want the world to know that I make music not for the fame or fortune but because of the passion and love I have for my craft and I am here to share my talents with the world!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My friends are big sports fans so I think I would have them visit in the peak of Arizona’s sports season. We would see a D-Backs game on Monday. Catch a Suns game on Thursday and the Cardinals on Sunday. We would catch a live bad performing at Chars Has The Blues in central Phoenix or the Blue Martini in North Scottsdale. We would catch a day Party at the W in Old Town Scottsdale on Saturday and Sunday lol.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to credit my Parents for pushing me to be creative and always think out of the box. They paid for all of the piano instruction classes, vocal lessons, time spent driving me back and forth to recitals. They helped instill the confidence to share my talents with the world. I hope that my story and my music serves as a little encouragement for those that are struggling to follow their heart no matter how many roadblocks that life throws at you along the way. Self doubt has held people back since the beginning of time. Once I realized that I was the only one holding me back, I got over that self doubt and kept pushing forward towards my goal.