Practically born singing, Mo remembers not only lots of classical music but also lots of jazz by Cleo Lane of which her mom was a big fan, Sarah Vaughan, Cole Porter, Nat King Cole, Burt Bacharach, Karen Carpenter, but also chanson française (Gilbert Bécaud, Louis Neefs (with the latter hearing Mo sing, asking her to promise she would never ever stop singing) Rock (Alan Parsons Project to which her sister introduces her), or Rhythm ’n Blues and derived styles as Soul, Funk and Gospel with Earth, Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Rufus & Chaka Kahn, Ike & Tina Turner, Bonnie Raitt, Ruth Brown, Al Jarreau, Diane Schuur and many other artists to which her DJ’ing brother introduces her.
Born in a family of broadcasters, musicians and sound engineers in Hilversum (home to the Dutch national radio, television and entertainment industry), Mo’s dad, sound engineer and musician, was one of the pioneers behind the foundation of Radio Netherlands Worldwide (1949).
Little Mo was taken along to work whenever possible.
She recalls : « I spent many hours hanging around whilst orchestras were installed for recordings or radio programmes my dad would engineer, or I came along in the truck in which he recorded or broadcasted live concerts or programmes from somewhere in the country.
He’s 92 today, but I still see him installing, testing and re-adjusting mics, or behind a huge mixing table. When I started in radio and music myself I realized these tables were not that big, but that I’d been simply watching them through the eyes of a little girl. »
Dutch classical pianist Bé Benrath-Bolmann nurtured Mo’s talent from the age of 6 despite the small size of her hands.
The concert pianist noticed a high degree of musicality in ‘the little girl that was always singing on the playground’.
Mo starts crafting her art concretely at the age of 12 in theatre plays in school and sings in the underground circuit of Hilversum and surroundings at the age of 17.
She orients to a media career (sound, radio, writing, photography and TV) ending up international, living a triple life before shifting to full-time music and coaching.
To grow up in such an environment may seem like a blessing, but there’s quite a dark side to it in terms of expectations, pressure and identity.
Mo: « People don’t realize how schizo growing up in this environment can be. My dad was obsessed with what people were thinking of us.
He wanted me to be exemplary and performant in everything, drifting me away from myself. In school I was taken for an alien, class mates came along out of curiosity, so my dad told me to stop bringing people home, which turned me into an isolated child. »
« It took time to authorize myself to exist the way I do today » says Mo in the first ever Guide to Artist Psychology written by Dutch expert psychologist Daisy Gubbels (to be published shortly), to which she collaborated.
Given her unique track record added with the required training, she specialized herself over the years in a multidisciplinary way.
She writes, composes, performs and is a highly respected voice & hearing professional, vocal & artist coach, stress & performance coach, educational coach, speech & presentation coach and media trainer.
Over the years Mo collaborated with many people, including Italo-Peruvian drummer & percussionist Luca Solari (also a gifted photographer, composer and sound engineer), Nicolas Wetzell Jr, Jennifer Weatherly, Willy Wainwright, Jose-Luis ‘Sartén’ Asaresi, Julio D’Santiago, Maria Angeles Cuevas, Christian Asmussen, Pontus Engborg & Confusion, Johann Frank, Gudrun Solja Jacobsen, Laila Rong Hanna, Guy Nickels, David Barker, Richard Spooner, Soraya Berent, Sito, Bridge Bria. etc.
Currently working on the release of her own music and poems in collaboration with her musical buddy Christian Asmussen, Mo plans to record in Scandinavia soon, whereafter the new project will be presented.