BioBorn into a musical family Moschella's father was perhaps his first musical influence. “My dad sings and plays guitar. He started out in the choir and singing doo-wop in the Bronx,” explains Moschella. “My mom sings lullabies, I had a great uncle Nino who played the violin and my grand folks were always singin'. You know, typical loud Sicilian folks always carrying on.” Nino Moschella now lives with his wife Mia and recently born daughter in Friant, California, close to Yosemite, in a round house his father built with friends in the late 1960s. They also built a music studio on the property which is where most of his album is being recorded. There’s nothing much but trees, creeks, coyotes, the sun, moon and stars to keep them company.
When Ubiquity Records first made contact with Moschella, propping up the bar at local East Bay haunt The Ivy Room, it was clear that he had not previously heard of Ubiquity and was someone with musical influences that didn’t include the typical list of current funk and soul faves. He even suggested we might file his records between Caruso and Louie Prima, “In with the other Italian soul singers," he joked. Of his influences Moschella says, “In the last couple of years I discovered Donny Hathaway’s music and voice. That dude was incredible,” and added, “If I find myself getting clouded or too heady, I’ll put on some Miles or Oscar Peterson or the Montgomery Bros. or Jimmy Smith. That seems to help center me on why I do this. You know, to play, express, communicate, and have fun. It seems like every other day something blows my mind even if I've heard it a thousand times. If American culture is blessed in only one way it is definitely the depth and richness of our music.” <
Playing the demos to a few label friends earned Moschella comparisons to everyone from classic soul artists like Michael Jackson to Little Beaver, and new acts like Little Barrie or Amp Fiddler.
A new addition to his family, a bouncing baby girl called Estrella Icilda Rosemary Moschella Birdsong (!), has helped shape his recent recordings. And when he’s not in the studio, or playing Poppa he confesses he’s probably carrying out other Sicilian traditions either “Making love or making food.”