Born Jacob Horenburg, but known in the music industry as Mogli The Iceburg, Mogli is a producer and rap artist, and also part of a collective called the Indie Tribe. Mogli recently released a new album, Tumultu (read the TBAP review), full of questions that will burn in the heart of every listener, advocating for love and acceptance, and taking a stand against hate and stereotyping. Mogli is a bold artist with a heart for God and His Word, reminding the Christian (through Tumultu) not to be afraid of who God has called to be (the core message of TBAP!) and to show God’s love to all.
Mogli The Iceburg took some time to answer some questions in this interview. Follow our chat and be inspired!
Miranda ~ Hello Mogli! Delighted to have you visit TBAP today. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Mogli: Thanks for having me! I’m a rapper, producer, believer, entrepreneur, and critical thinker.
Miranda ~ How did you become a Christian? Is there a story?
Mogli: Well, I grew up in a Christian home with parents that were kind of first generation believers themselves. That didn’t mean they were ignorant in any way. In fact, quite the opposite. It meant they were very passionate, and their beliefs were more than just a cultural default to them. So I had been around it all my life. But it wasn’t really until I went to college that I found my faith for myself. I could always tell you Jesus died for our sins, but it wasn’t until I really made the decision to follow Christ for myself that I could tell you what that meant.
Miranda ~ How would you describe your journey into the music industry and, your experience so far? Also, why did you decide to go indie?
Mogli: My experience has been gradual immersion. Everything I do, I taught myself—from recording, to writing, to producing and mixing, to marketing. I’ve had to make a lot of really bad music and spend a lot of money in some really stupid ways to get to where I am now in terms of skillset and knowledge, but that has all made me very independent and self-sufficient. Indie became the route originally out of necessity. But now, it’s more of a leverage thing. Someone would have to offer me quite a bit more than someone else to warrant a piece of my pie at this point.
Miranda ~ Your latest album release is titled Tumultu. It’s quite an unusual name. Why did you choose it?
Mogli: I was in the shower thinking about life *per usual,* and I was brainstorming titles and concepts. I kept coming back to the word ‘ tumultuous ‘ as something that described both the state of the world, the state of my life, and the aesthetic of the album. So I shortened it to its Latin root because it sounded cool to me, and because nothing came up when you googled ‘tumultu’.
Miranda ~ A lot of the songs in Tumultu center on a message of love and acceptance, and preach against racism and stereotyping. Why pick this theme?
Mogli: It was really a response to the climate of the world at the time. A lot of it was written during the 2016 presidential campaign, and I kept seeing issues like racism being addressed in really unhealthy ways. Being of a mixed ethnic heritage, I have a unique perspective that I wanted to share.
Miranda ~ Your choice of lyrics can be termed “bold and fearless,” reflecting a period of growth that may have led you to the place that you are now. Would you like to talk about this?
Mogli: For me, the hardest part about writing is figuring out what I want to say. I can write raps easily, but I’m not really content with just rapping about nothing. I feel like I’m wasting my potential when I do that. So I just try to be really honest in addressing things that I feel the need to address, and I think people aren’t used to the level of transparency that I bring, sometimes.
Miranda ~ Who would you say are the people that have influenced you the most—generally and in music?
Mogli: In life, definitely my dad and my close friends. A lot of my close friends, like Nobigdyl, also make music, so there’s a lot of overlap there. Musically, though, I’m really influenced by a lot of stuff that’s not hip-hop. Indie alternative like Daughter and Billie Martin, post rock like Sigur Ros and M93, electronic music like Chvrches, and hard rock/metal like Underoath.
Miranda ~ What would you say is the difference between the mainstream and the Christian music industry? Also, what would you like to see change in the Christian?
Mogli: As far as the industry goes, the live market is wayyy different in Christian music. Mostly driven by soft ticket sales (conferences/church events/free events), whereas in mainstream you have a lot of hard tickets where artists are selling out clubs/theatres on the strength of their own name alone. Not a lot of Christian acts can do that. Other than that, the biggest thing is market size, obviously. So far I’ve had a pretty good experience dealing with Christians in the industry, but every now and the,n you have someone that’s trying to get a bunch of free stuff under the guise of mission work. That’s not cool. Definitely needs to be more professionalism.
Miranda ~ What are you most grateful for—generally and right now?
Mogli: Man, its an endless list. But primarily, for privileges such as my health, and being raised by parents that really loved me, sacrificed for me, and prepared me to not get eaten alive in the world.
Miranda ~ What advice would you give to an artist who’s just starting out—indie or non-indie?
Mogli: Non-indie. There are tremendous opportunities available for anybody that is patient enough to diversify their skillset and be self-sufficient. I wouldn’t recommend anybody pursue working with a label unless you are in a situation where you don’t need them. That’s when the right label can offer something that is the most mutually beneficial.
THIS OR THAT (The Fun Questions!)
Breakfast or Dinner? Dinner, I rarely eat breakfast with my schedule.
T-shirt or Collar shirt? T-shirt, black, long fit.
Boots or Sneakers? Sneakers, Vans preferably.
Spring or Fall? Oh man this is tough. I’d say Spring. In the Fall I spend so much time dreading Winter that I can’t even fully enjoy it.
Coffee or Tea? Coffee. I’m dependent, unfortunately.
Snow or Rain? Rain
Gym or Outdoor? Depends on the season, but typically gym.
Shakes or Juice? Juice
Movies or Magazines? Movies
Vegetables or Fruits? Fruits all day
Leather jacket or Blazer? Leather jacket, but that doesn’t mean you neglect the fit!
About Mogli The Iceburg
Mogli the Iceburg is a rapper and producer from Middle Tennessee, and part of the Indie Tribe collective made up of Nobigdyl, Jarry Manna, and himself. Blending a diverse sonic pallet with ambient and alternative rock, that is fused with industrial cloud rap, and tied together through precision vocal technicality, Mogli seeks to redefine hip-hop with not only his sound, but with his message.