Songs have always been there for Moorea Masa (pronounced More-ray-uh Mah-sa), being raised in the musical mecca of Portland, Oregon. The daughter of an Italian immigrant father and an African-American mother born abroad, this singer/songwriter/guitarist has been making music for as long as she can remember. At fifteen, she was already looking for chances to perform by sneaking into local clubs, where she was lovingly adopted into the vibrant community of Portland musicians. Moorea then left to study at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in England, and spent time living in a cave and soaking in flamenco music in Granada, Spain.
Returning home to the Pacific NW, Moorea began her music career in earnest. Not just writing and performing her own original material, she recorded with El Vy and The Decemberists, sang with soul legend Ural Thomas (who appears on her new album), and toured with Allen Stone. As a solo artist, she's garnered major praise from Emily King, Corinne Bailey Rae, Nick Waterhouse, and many more. Now 25 years old, Moorea has been touring with crooner KD Lang, and released her debut album to much praise this past May.
Shine A Light, the new record from Masa, comes from the depths of a sometimes-troubled childhood and expresses a belief that the unexamined life is not worth living. "I'm really sharing my whole heart in this album," says Masa. "This year I've really been digging deep into my history, my own learning lessons, and the state of the world. I feel like I took a light and shined it into all the darkness and beauty that I was too scared to look at." At times bright and hopeful, other times dark and mournful, the record (co-produced by Jeremy Most of Emily King fame) is an exquisitely-crafted gem that reveals a new gleaming facet upon every listen. Topics such as love, loss, hidden pain, and the politics of being a woman are all explored with deft musicianship, clever production, and Masa's flawless voice carrying the songs into our hearts and souls.