Star Spot with Mo Dinka, talented gospel and soul singer
From Struggles to Success: Mo Dinka’s Journey on Overcoming Adversity and Finding Inspiration in Faith
Welcome to this episode of Star Spot! I’m Merry, and in this series, I interview InterContinental Music Awards winners and insiders, bringing you exclusive insights into the music industry. Today, I’m thrilled to have with me Mo Dinka, Our brilliant winner of 2022.
Mo Dinka is a talented gospel and soul singer who is just getting his career started in the music industry. He has been passionate about music since his elementary school days, but it wasn’t until 6th grade that he started taking it seriously, thanks to the attention his voice was getting from the ladies. Since then, he has written his own music and performed in various capacities throughout high school and college.
Now at 24 years old, Mo is taking the next steps in his career and preparing to release his own original songs. As he navigates the music industry, Mo is increasingly aware of the different ways that music can be marketed, and he approaches his career from an entrepreneurial perspective.
His musical influences range from Michael Jackson to Childish Gambino, and he credits his African Christian roots and Texas upbringing for his musicality. So, let’s dive in and learn more about Mo Dinka and his experiences in the music competition and contest scene.
Let’s dive right into the interview summary and tap into Mo’s vast knowledge and experience. The full interview is available on Instagram – click here to check it out.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself for those who are just tuning in?
Sure, I’m a musician from Texas, born and raised. Music has always been a part of my family, with multiple generations involved in singing and playing instruments.
I come from a very religious and spiritual family, and my faith has always been a strong foundation in my life. As a preacher’s kid, I grew up in a choir environment with my mother and older sister as choir directors. I’ve always had a passion for singing, and now I’m pursuing my dreams in the music industry.
How’s everything been for you? What have you been up to?
I’ve been busy working on my music as always. I’m actually in the process of finishing up my debut album, called Ground Zero, which I’m really excited about. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so it’s taken me longer than expected to get it just right.
I was originally planning to release it a few months ago, but I kept making changes and improvements. My producer has been getting impatient with me, but I want it to be perfect before I put it out there. As for a release date, it’s not set in stone yet, but I’m aiming for late March or early April.
Was being a musician always your passion?
Funny thing about that is that my initial passion growing up was sports, especially American football. I played all throughout elementary school, middle school, and high school. Although I sang in the school choir, I didn’t want to focus too much on music as a kid because I didn’t think it was cool enough.
However, people always told me to keep doing music because that’s what they liked more. Eventually, as I got older, God changed my path for the better and I’m now grateful to be a musician.
What inspires your music?
The source of inspiration for my music varies, but at the root of it all is Divine inspiration. God puts certain songs in my heart to write and sing. It took me a while to get in touch with my musicianship side, but with my latest album, especially the song that won an award, “Never Will I Be Alone,” a lot of it was birthed out of trauma and tragedy.
People think that writing a song takes a certain amount of energy, happiness, and joy, but for deeper songs with deeper meanings that preach to people’s Souls, it takes a lot of heartache, tragedy, and trials and tribulations to really train you into being an artist and to speak to people through your music.
What kind of music do you produce?
I mainly produce, sing, and songwrite gospel music. It’s my passion and my calling. However, I have dabbled in other genres in the past. If I had to choose a second favorite, it would be R&B, followed by reggae. Although, I hesitate to mention reggae because people often associate it with being a “pothead,” but that’s not the case for me.
There is Christian reggae music out there that I listen to and love. When I play my reggae songs for my friends, they often ask me if I like smoking weed, but I assure them that I just enjoy the music.
Could you tell us about your creative process for working on a new piece of music?
I believe that the creative process for working on a new piece of music varies depending on the song. Sometimes, when I am going through hardships or experiencing depression, I tend to write songs that reflect those emotions. Other times, when I am feeling joyous, I want to share that with others through my music.
Primarily, I start by evaluating the song emotionally and thinking about the lyrics. Being a preacher’s kid, I know what it means to preach the word, so I try to write lyrics that have a message that can help people. Usually, I start by writing down the lyrics, and then I try to transform it into a song that can resonate with people and save souls. My process involves first writing a poem and then transforming it into a song.
How do you approach the creative process of making a new piece of music?
It depends on the song. Sometimes, when I’m going through a tough time, I’m inspired to write about that experience. Other times, I’m feeling happy and want to share that joy with others. My process usually starts with evaluating the song emotionally and thinking about the lyrics.
As someone from a religious family, I know the power of preaching and want to use music as a way to connect with people and hopefully save souls. I start by writing down the lyrics first, almost like writing a poem. Then, I transform it into a song that resonates with people.
How did you hear about the InterContinental Music Awards, and what was your experience with them?
I saw an ad on Facebook for the InterContinental Music Awards and decided to try my hand at it. As someone who wants to get my music out there, I’m always looking for ways to share my art with the world. While I have a competitive side, I try to remember that this isn’t war, and I’m not here to destroy others or the competition.
As a gospel artist, I’m extra careful and watchful of myself and my intentions. Overall, my experience was similar to other songwriting contests, but I appreciate the opportunity to connect with other artists and share my music.
Can you share with us some challenges you have faced throughout your career?
I’ve faced several challenges throughout my career, many of which were external. One of the most significant challenges I encountered was before I even started writing music. I was in an acapella group in college, and while it started out great, eventually, the success went to some people’s heads, and it turned into a darker situation.
I felt accomplished initially, but it quickly turned into depression and suicidal thoughts. I had to leave that group and reflect on who I was as a person, what I was doing with my life, and whether I was making God happy with my choices. I lost some loved ones, friends, and band members to declining health, and it forced me to self-reflect and turn tragedy into triumph.
God trained me through those situations to shape me into the artist I am today. While I do have some regrets about being in those groups, I know that they were blessings in disguise because they shaped me into a stronger artist.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received regarding your music career?
I would say that the best advice I’ve received wasn’t necessarily verbal, but rather a lesson learned by observing others. However, my mother did offer some valuable guidance. She emphasized that as a gospel artist, I would be under a microscope, and people will test and try me.
But just because people may challenge me, it doesn’t diminish my worth. As a minister of the Word, I need to be ready to receive some heat from people who may take offense to my Christian beliefs. But even then, throughout all the adversity, I need to lead by example in the best way possible.
How has this advice impacted your music career?
This advice has helped me stay grounded and remain focused on the bigger picture. As a gospel artist, I’m not just a performer, but a messenger of God’s word. People may test and challenge me, but I must stay true to my beliefs and lead by example.
This has allowed me to remain authentic in my music and connect with my audience on a deeper level. I believe that this advice has helped me navigate through some of the more challenging moments in my career and stay true to my purpose as a gospel artist.
Do you have any last words you’d like to share with your fans and our viewers?
Yes, I want to thank all my fans for listening to my music and for coming across my work. Winning awards is humbling, and I appreciate everyone who took the time to listen to my music and press play. I am grateful for the recognition and support. I also want to thank InterContinental Music Awards for this award and for acknowledging my music.
It is surreal to think that a few years ago, I was depressed and suicidal, and the song “Never Would I Be Alone” that I won the award for was written on the same day that I left a group and went through some tough times. Writing that song was my way of coping, and now fast forward a few years, it is being recognized with an award.
It is a testament to the power of music and to God’s grace in my life. So, thank you again to everyone who has supported me, and to you for taking the time to interview me.
Mo Dinka’s Contact Info:
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mo_dinka_music_/
Click here to watch Mo Dinka ‘s full interview on Instagram
InterContinental Music Awards Team