Kat and Alex talk with Moriah Formica about finding strength in faith, forging your own path, the amazing people she met on The Voice and bringing her genuine voice to her art. We talk a lot about breaking out of the mold and not letting certain parts of yourself define your entire being. A wonderful conversation with a lot of ground covered in just a little time!
Moriah is a local to the Capital Region here in New York and studied at Clifton Park's Modern Day Music. We caught Moriah shortly before she and another Shaker High School and Modern Day Music Alumni Madison VanDenburg (American Idol) teamed up for a show at The Times Union Center, an arena venue not far away in Albany.
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Albany, NY native Moriah Formica represents what many had thought to be the end of an era. A member of Generation Z who grew up on Aerosmith, 'That Metal Show', and other precious relics of the rock purist ilk from the time she was 7 years old; Moriah discovered the world of rock n' roll music through her father and quickly thereafter picked up a guitar, then the drums, and eventually pretty much any instrument that she could get in front of her. The message was clear; what had started as a source of joy was quickly developing into an undeniable passion for creating music. The future singer/songwriter would go on to write and arrange her first song, "Lovestrong" when she was only 11.
At the age of 16, Formica decided that she was ready to put her talents on the biggest stage that a teenager could dare to step on. She auditioned for NBC's 'The Voice', leaving fans around the world (and four judges with very successful careers) awestruck by her booming, declarative rendition of Heart's "Crazy On You." In that moment one thing became apparent: just like with many other great performers, it is impossible to separate the powerful, unapologetic delivery of Moriah's music from the image of the person who's performing it on that stage. For someone in the often turbulent teenage years, the excitement and nerves of being viewed on national television can't be quantified. But those watching around the world could see something more in Moriah. She wasn't just grateful for this moment, she was ready for it. Years of songwriting, honing her craft as a musician, and performing for audiences in her hometown and beyond had made sure of that.
Perhaps what new fans will find most striking about Formica's still budding career is the intersection at which her music lies. Staying true to the ethos of tried and tested rock, she weaves a seemingly effortless thread between the gnarled, firebrand voice of acts like Joan Jett, Halestorm and The Pretty Reckless ("I Don't Care What You Think", "I Will") and the soulful blues of Heart, Fleetwood Mac, and City & Colour ("Here's My Heart", "No Regrets"). Even fans of everything from Queensryche and Armored Saint to Shinedown and Evanescence will find qualities to marvel upon on tracks like "Time". And lyrically, she'll be the first to admit that her songs don't have many hidden meanings or lofty subtext. The message behind the music is always loud and clear.
2019 marks a pivotal moment in Moriah's mission. Once an eager 7-year-old drawn to the swagger and emotion of rock music, the now 18-year-old Formica yearns to make the kind of music that inspired her all those years ago; all while forging a sound that speaks to both the new generation and the ones before it. Her resume now equipped with accolades and live shows accompanied by t