Albany, NY-based singer/songwriter Moriah Formica may only be 18, but she has already opened for Joan Jett and become known across America through her appearances on The Voice. Now, New York’s brightest rising Rockstar talks to AntiHero Magazine about what inspires her writing, and her hopes for the future.
ANTIHERO: Welcome Moriah! How old were you when you gave your first public performance?
Moriah Formica: I was 11. I played ‘Eye of The Tiger’ on guitar for my 5th-grade chorus for all the parents in the high school auditorium, haha.
ANTIHERO: Did Rock music play an important role in your childhood? What inspired you to pick up the guitar?
Moriah Formica: Definitely! My Dad raised me around Rock. He loves bands like Guns ‘n’ Roses, Skid Row, Poison, etc. He always had the ‘80s pop-up videos on the TV in the morning and I remember thinking the Guitarists were SO cool and I wanted to be like them. Plus I obviously loved the music. My ‘first love’ music-wise was Aerosmith and that was the band that eventually inspired me to pick up the guitar at about five or six.
ANTIHERO: Tell us about your experience on The Voice – was it a positive one for you?
Moriah Formica: My experience on The Voice was absolutely incredible! The environment on-set and off is extremely warm, loving, and caring. I also got to meet some pretty unforgettable people – my best friend Ilianna Viramontes and one of my other friends Janice Freeman (who recently passed away). Team Miley was also a VERY close team! We all had so much fun together. And the exposure from the show really helped boost my career and get my foot in the door. It’s given me amazing opportunities such as getting to play all over the country and getting to open two shows for Joan Jett! One of the shows was with one of my favorite bands and biggest inspirations, Halestorm!
ANTIHERO: You’ve just released your new single, ‘I Don’t Care What You Think’ – what lies behind the lyrics?
Moriah Formica: Yes! ‘I Don’t Care What You Think’ came from a place of frustration. When I was in middle school and even some of high school, I constantly had teachers and even some of my own family telling me that my dream of being a known artist was “unrealistic”, that I wouldn’t go far without college and that I should give up and pursue an education. And I just felt the need to write a song to all those people.
ANTIHERO: What other themes have you written songs about?
Moriah Formica: I’ve written songs about things like heartbreak, fighting through life or any negativity, songs about my faith, and my ongoing battle with mental illness.
ANTIHERO: Who do you most often get compared to vocally?
Moriah Formica: Most people compare me to Ann Wilson (because I do ‘Crazy On You’ and ‘Barracuda’ hahaha), Lzzy Hale, and sometimes Amy Lee.
ANTIHERO: Have you ever toured outside of the US? If not, where would you most like to tour and why?
Moriah Formica: No, I have not toured anywhere outside the US yet! But I would love to. Honestly anywhere outside the US would be cool because I know Rock is huge in a lot of other countries!
ANTIHERO: If you could support any band, who would it be?
Moriah Formica: Definitely Halestorm. They’ve been one of my favorite bands since I was 11 and I was very inspired by Lzzy as a young girl. Also when we played a show with them and Joan Jett I just remember them being such nice and genuine people so I would wanna tour with them for sure!
ANTIHERO: What are the biggest hurdles you’ve faced so far in your music career?
Moriah Formica: Some of the biggest hurdles I’ve faced in my career so far have been perseverance and trying to write hits.
ANTIHERO: What’s ‘The Dream’?
Moriah Formica: ‘The Dream’ in my mind is to just be able to travel the world playing music and to become a household name and be able to help people through life.
Watch the official music video for ‘I Don’t Care What You Think’, here: