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Home » Lyricist Lounge

Moka Only keeps the tradition alive with Martian Xmas ’10

Submitted by on December 25, 2010 – 1:44 amNo Comment

Sending his love and Christmas spirit from the West Coast is renowned producer and hip-hop artist Moka Only, with his newest instalment of his Martian Xmas annual holiday release.

Martian Xmas 2010 features 19 new winter themed tracks with everything from jingle bell beats to smooth, by-the-fire jazzy guitar licks. Above the underlying theme of Christmas, Moka says he’s trying to establish a broader view of the holiday vibe.

“I’m just trying to paint an audio picture of a North American winter and how it coincides with the holidays,” he said of what inspired the collection album.

In a conversation with Martyr this week, Moka explained the significance of Martian Christmas and the genesis of the annual tradition. It all started in an airport restaurant with a drawing made on a paper place mat and complimentary crayons.

“I was travelling with my boy Mad Child (of Swollen Members). Our flight was delayed, so we were chillin’ in the airport restaurant and while I was waiting for my food, I decided to draw on this paper,” Moka explained. “I drew this Martian character with some trees around it. Mad Child stated that it looked like a martian Christmas and that I should do a martian Christmas album. He was just joking, but he didn’t know that I took that picture home and I made that happen.”

The first album started as a conceptual piece about an alien coming from Mars to Earth during the holiday season, and having no idea what it meant and trying to figure out what the whole Christmas thing is all about.

“It’s a concept I did not stick throughout the duration of doing Martian Xmas,” Moka said. “After a few years of doing the album now, I have the formula down. I feel that over the last few instalments, it’s about picturing the season, regardless of your race or religious background.”

Moka spent his Christmas’ growing up in Victoria, B.C. He had a small tightly knit family, and they traditionally spent the holiday with his grandparents, he said.

“We we’re all at the grandparents’ at Christmas time and that always made it fun,” he said. “Nobody does Christmas like grandparents. They live for it and for their grandchildren. Being out west, we never had snow really, so we didn’t get to experience the ‘white Christmas.’ It was always a dream.”

Producing the Martian Xmas album has become a custom for him and he intends on doing for years to come. The tradition continued this holiday season, and after three weeks to a month of working on this record, he tends to feel like the season is already over. Yet he still makes time to get home to spend time with family.

“I’m travelling to the island (Vancouver Island) to be with family. We’re going to eat roast beef and Fig Newton’s. It’s what people do at Christmas,” joked Moka. “When it’s over, it’s back to work.”

Story by Devin Size

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