© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY · WNPR
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
ATSC 3.0 FAQ
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

MoZella: Recording An Homage To The Motor City

Detroit-born singer Maureen McDonald, who goes by MoZella, says she wanted her new album to sound like the music her mother grew up on and loved.
Robert Carter
/
Courtesy of the artist
Detroit-born singer Maureen McDonald, who goes by MoZella, says she wanted her new album to sound like the music her mother grew up on and loved.

It wouldn't be hard to confuse Detroit-born singer MoZella's new album, The Brian Holland Sessions, with any one of the classic recordings to have come from the legendary studio known as Hitsville, USA.

That's no coincidence — the record was co-written by someone who spent a lot of time in that studio: Brian Holland of the songwriting trio Holland-Dozier-Holland.

Having penned hits for The Four Tops, The Isley Brothers, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes and others, Holland was instrumental in defining the Motown sound.

MoZella, otherwise known as Maureen McDonald, says she was speechless when Holland first invited her to write with him.

"I was walking across Santa Monica Boulevard and I lost my voice," she remembers. "I'm trying to talk to him above traffic — and he was just so nice to me.'"

McDonald says she couldn't have asked for a better mentor.

"I thought, 'What an amazing opportunity to learn from this legend,' " she says. "From the minute we met it was like long-lost souls — just the best of friends, instantly."

McDonald says that camraderie has produced a record that anyone from Detroit can be proud of.

"I want it to sound really old and dirty and kind of janky," she says. "I don't care if radio doesn't play it. I don't care if nobody plays it. I just want to make something that sounds like what my mom grew up on and loved, what she played me, what's in our DNA — for every Detroiter."

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content