Miles Mosley Shares The Sounds Behind “Uprising”

An artist in the ascendency describes the songs that shaped his debut album

Miles Mosley Interview

Miles Mosley’s debut album Uprising was released in April via Verve records. The collection confirmed what close-watching music fans have known all along, the producer, composer and songwriter was ready to step out into the light. Having worked with everyone from Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, Lauryn Hill and Gnarls Barkley fans wanted to hear what Mosley could accomplish out on his own.

With his double bass in hand Mosley created an album that took the formative sounds of his historic influences and twisted them with modern sounds and contemporary themes  the results were fresh and challenging – they demanded to be played, and were easy to share.

ARTISTdirect caught up with Miles to ask about his influences, and to gain a little insight into the sounds that shaped his approach to craft. Here’s what he said…

First single that I bought…


was Digital Underground – “The Humpty Dance.” Thinking about that song now makes me realize that I was infatuated early on (way before I played music) with dope bass lines and funky horn parts. That song has so much swagger, I suppose it’s embedded in the back of my mind at all times.

First Live Show that I attended…

was the McCoy Tyner Trio. My mother always felt it was really important to surround me with the worlds greatest artists as often as possible, even if I didn’t understand the music as a little boy, or fell asleep midway through the concert, she felt that the impact on my cultural upbringing would be significant. My parents knew a thing or two.

First song I learned to play….

on my own was Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Grunge had a huge impact on me as a young kid. The expression of aggression found in 90’s grunge is in a lot of my bass solos. It’s a way for me to channel and relieve my angst.

The song that encouraged me to learn…..

Upright Bass was Miles Davis’ “All Blues.” That was one of the first times I realized how powerful and Iconic a bass line could be.

The Song that reminds me of home….

is Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell singing “Aint No Mountain High Enough” My father would play that most Sunday mornings while he cooked breakfast for the family. There is a “Whooo!” in that song that Marvin does after the bridge that I consider one the greatest moments in recorded history.

My guilty secret track… 

ABBA “Dancing Queen” I think that’s one of the best produced and arranged songs EVER. The counter melodies and vocal arrangement blows me away every time.

The song I wish I wrote is 

“Answer Me, My Love” written by Gerhard Winkler and Fred Rauch but made most popular by Nat King Cole. That’s one of the worlds’ finest melodies.

The Finest song from my all time hero…

is Peter Gabriel “Washing of the Water.” I’ve got a lot of heroes in music, but Peter Gabriel combined music and visuals in a way the few others were able to accomplish.

The song that should be played at my funeral….

is The Temptations “Wish it Would Rain.” It’s a song about crying, but it’s uplifting. Many people close to me throughout my life will be able to remember me singing along and dancing like a fool, this should bring a smile to their faces while The Temptations give them permission to cry AND dance.

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