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#PopularPlay: Mothica


Sep 23, 2020

Messages of self-love and struggle are what Mothica brings to her newest album “Blue Hour”. With songs about mental health and lyrics that delve into her battle surrounding drugs and alcohol (Hungover, Blue Hour, sober interlude), Mothica turned Blue Hour into a diary and serves as an inspiration for her fans and young people who have already gone through or are dealing with similar situations.

“Following that incident, I sought therapy and wrote lyrics detailing my journey into sobriety. I am now 13 months sober at the time of writing this, and have never been in a better place emotionally.”

The Oklahoma-born, LA-based artist started her musical career when a teenager, by her real name McKenzie Ellis. Inspired by her difficult adolescent years, Ellis molded her pain into art by channeling her life experiences through writing music under her new alias, and in 2015 debuted her first EP as Mothica, called “Mythic.” The album was written, produced, and performed by Mothica herself and was the beginning of a very beautiful and successful career.

Since then, the singer has reached over 100 million streams and currently maintains a monthly Spotify listenership of nearly 1 million. Today, she is here with us to chat about her most recent EP, the creative process behind it and how is it to face and turn her pain into music!

1. So, we know the story behind your album “Blue Hour”, but what is the story behind creating it?

It was written over the course of a few months starting when I was still drinking heavily, and ending when I finally had a few months of sobriety under my belt. I recorded it in studios and bedrooms with my friends in both Los Angeles and New York.


2. You wrote a release date statement about the album sating that ‘choosing sobriety and self-care is the most rebellious thing you’ve done’. What’s the second?

Share it online.


3. Your entire album talks about struggles with addiction and mental health. In regard to your lyric ‘forever fifteen’, you’ve told fans that you like to think about your younger self. Is there any specific memory you think back on that you can share?

Yeah, forever fifteen is a really important lyric because that is what my next project is based on. Talking to my younger self. I wish I could say that younger me dreamed about this moment, but honestly, she didn’t think she’d make it this far. 


4. What do you feel is your most personal song and or lyric to date?

Probably “everything at once” – and my lyric about wanting to hurt myself but not wanting my mother to see. I’m not sure what my mom thinks about that lyric, but it definitely wasn’t an easy one to release.


5. Was there a pivotal moment that made you realize you wanted to pursue music full-time?

I took a “leave of absence” the second I got an email from a record label when I was 18. I thought that meant I had “made it” but I didn’t make money to sustain music full time for several years after that.


6. Do you think that growing up in Oklahoma has an effect on the way you create?

Growing up in Oklahoma has an effect on everything about me. I feel like I don’t relate to kids who grew up in big cities and always had the entertainment industry around them. There’s a certain drive that was instilled in me when I was trying to leave my hometown, and the hunger never left.


7. The album itself became the No. 1 Pop album on iTunes all through the power of TikTok (and talent)! What is that like as an independent artist?

Incredibly surreal! It’s easy to make up excuses on why it’s not a big deal, but I have to admit that it’s a big deal for an indie artist! It was on my vision board, too!


8. Speaking of TikTok… Tattoo Check?

a) What’s your biggest tattoo?

My back tattoo, which is based on a painting called Lucretia

b) Most personal tattoo?

“Forever fifteen” on my wrist

c) Most recent tattoo?

Moths swarming a lamp on my inner right arm

d) Most random?

A matching tattoo with an ex-boyfriend

e) Favorite tattoo?

A hawk still flying with an arrow through it


9. You shared the video of your 11-year-old self-expressing her love for Tim Burton and The Nightmare Before Christmas. What is now your favorite Tim Burton production?

‘Big Fish’ for a tearjerker. ‘Peewee’s Big Adventure’ for my most watched. And ‘Edward Scissorhands’ for the cinematography!


10. What is the story behind your stage name?

I felt a kinship to moths when I was younger because they are self-destructive and nocturnal like me.


11. From your debut ‘Mythic’ how have you changed or grown as an artist?

I still don’t love my singing voice but I feel like I’ve grown into it a lot. I feel like I was trying too hard at that age, and now I have a clear vision of what I want to portray emotionally.


12. You performed in over 50 healing shows across the US. What is a tour misconception?

Not every show looks as good as it does on Instagram… my headlining tour was super empty. I can’t wait to go back to those cities and hopefully have more than 10 people in the room!


13.What is something most people don’t know about you?

I think I’m still getting used to showing my sense of humor. I love a good dad joke and my live show is full of them.


14. What do you wish you got asked more?

I wish people asked about the visuals for Mothica more. I love design so I spend a lot of time on photoshop, premiere, editing colors, and making a really cohesive visual identity.


15. What has been your favorite fan gift?

The paintings I’ve received are amazing and I’m going to cover my kitchen wall with them!


Well, your next task is to go listen to “Blue Hour” ENTIRELY and follow Mothica all over social media: Instagram, Facebook, and Tik Tok.