Moose Mota: the Man, the Myth

By James White

Moose Mota is one of the newest rappers emerging in the underground rap scene in North Georgia. This story covers every angle of the rappers multi-faceted lifestyle. We get a sneak peak at Moose Mota’s personal life which includes his wife Jasmine and his unborn baby. We also get to follow the Kennesaw State Alumni as he headlines at a music fest in his new promising career as a rapper.

Kennesaw, Ga.–Since Moose Mota graduated from Kennesaw State University he has married his college sweetheart and is finding success in his new career. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Professional Writing and has written three fiction novels but his education is going towards his passion, making music.

Moose Mota, Watkins’ stage name, has earned a reputation as one of the best indy, or independent,  rappers in North Georgia since he began his career last summer when he was 23-years-old. Before he started his dream career Moose was a waiter at La Parilla in Acworth, Georgia.

“When I was eight-years-old my mom played me ‘Gettin’ Jiggy With It’ by Will Smith… and then I immediately started practicing rap for six hours a day and started recording myself on my boom box,” said Moose. His favorite rapper is Eyedea who tragically died in his sleep in October 2010.

By the time Moose was 12-years-old his rap skills were polished enough to start rap battling with other students at school. He cut his teeth at Shiloh Hills Christian School in Kennesaw, Georgia by luring people into freestyle rap battles for money. “I hated every minute of that school. I was like a walking punch line” Moose said. “They were like there’s that kid who wants to be a rapper.”

Moose Mota’s dream became a reality when he signed with Beat Made Entertainment and began his professional rap career.

Family Man Mota                                                                        

It wasn’t until Moose, a Cobb County native, attended Kennesaw State University and married his college sweetheart Jasmine Varela-Watkins, 23, that his rap career began to blossom. “He’s very determined, he knows himself and I completely believe in him 100 percent.” said Varela-Watkins.

They met in November 2013 in University Place, now called Austin Residence Center, in the recreation room of the on-campus leasing office. Since they have been together Varela-Watkins has fully supported her husband while trying to minimize the amount of exposure she receives from Moose’s career.

They also just recently announced they are expecting a new addition to their family in September when Valera-Watkins is expected to give birth to a baby girl whom they have named Luka. “If anything I feel like [the baby] will make him work even harder,” Varela-Watkins said.

While Moose is in the studio, making videos and performing for his fans his wife works at Carfax and is currently still attending KSU.

The two got married in July of 2015 and are getting prepared for when baby Luka is born. “Rap doesn’t go away… if I have to work two jobs to support my kid I will,” Moose said.

Mota’s Music Making Process

            Thanks to the network and support of Beats Made Ent. Moose has had connections to freely make music with full creative license. When he’s not making appearances he can make an album’s worth of songs in a short amount of time. “I make most of my albums in like a day or two,” Moose said. “I have maybe 1,000 beats on my computer that producers have sent me over the years. I’ll just shuffle them and freestyle and ill hit one and… boom done, one song.”

Moose Mota is now able to make music from home thanks to a donation which included an entire home studio set-up. His album Hicks, which is a five track extended play album, was made in five hours and released at midnight of the same day. “I treat everything that I do like a live album,” Moose said.

Stockpiling music is a key tactic that is utilized to keep a fresh arsenal of songs ready for production in a moment’s notice. Now that Moose is a signed artist he is required to do 60 hours of promo a week.

Moose also makes music with other artists in his arena. That coupled with merchandising provides another source of income and adds to exposure in other cities. “I’ll charge other rappers in Georgia to be on their tracks because their fans are my fans too. I did a song with a guy from Canada for free because I didn’t have any fans there and now I got fans in Canada,” Moose said.

Moose Mota in Action

Moose Mota was a headliner Saturday, March 19 at the Home Grown music festival at No Man’s Land Skate Park in Atlanta, Georgia. The music festival featured indy artist from the underground scene who play in punk rock bands or who are rappers.

The skate park was an accurate depiction of its name. In the parking lot was a bonfire surrounded by makeshift benches which were constructed of cinderblocks and wooden planks. In between the benches were people who came to perform or are fans of the artists they came to see. Adjacent to the bonfire was a huge garage door which featured a stage that was crudely crafted on a ramp.

Colorful graffiti graphics tattooed the walls of the park as well as the ramps and support beams. The crowd which was approximately 15 feet away from the artists performing was full of energy and would on occasion break out into a mosh pit which featured intoxicated individuals flailing their arms wildly.

In the middle of the excitement is Justin Burd, 26, who is the man who signed Moose to Beat Made Ent. “What he sings in his music is real… [Moose] is the one artist in Georgia that has the drive that’s his style,” Burd said. Along with Stevie Miles, Burd manages six other artists in the region and organizes everything from booking shows to handling merchandise.

When midnight rolled around fans that travelled to Home Grown music festival got to see a 15 minute slot where Moose performed his most popular songs which included “Evidence”. The two-day festival is an advantage for the artists who performed.

Devon Glover, 22, spearheaded the efforts to organize the music festival for the third year in a row. “The first Home Grown fest we had Moose made an appearance and this time he’s headlining. He’s gotten better as an artist for sure,” said Glover.

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