The many faces of Moka Only 

A versatile Canadian artist’s journey through the hip hop industry

click to enlarge Moka, Only? Moka Only is set to take the stage at the Beagle this weekend, alongside Canadian hip hop artists D-Sisive, DJ Law and Manafest
  • Moka, Only? Moka Only is set to take the stage at the Beagle this weekend, alongside Canadian hip hop artists D-Sisive, DJ Law and Manafest

Who: Moka Only

Where: Savage Beagle

When: Sunday, Nov. 16, 9 p.m.

Admission: $6 in advance at Billabong and The Circle

Moka Only’s real name is Daniel Denton, but he can’t seem to shake his nickname – it’s stuck for about 18 years now.

“Its like a shoe, its like a very, very comfortable shoe,” Moka reflected.

Over his years in the Canadian hip hop industry you’ve probably heard music produced under many other names. He’s worked under the aliases of Flow Torch, The Martian, Durable Mammal, and Ron Contour, just to name a few of the musical personalities of this multitalented MC and producer.

“In hip hop, it seems there are boundaries and people get all wimpy and silly when you cross the boundaries,” he explained. “I think the bottom line is, a creative challenge is always a good thing, and it’s fun doing other characters and coming from other angles.”

On Tuesday morning, Moka had just returned from the U.S. leg of his most recent tour, and was up until 8 in the morning working. But an all-night session of writing and recording is pretty much the norm for this artist.

“I don’t get a lot of sleep, to tell you the truth,” he said.

He plans to spend the next three days wrapping up his annual Christmas album – one of his many side projects – before he heads back out on tour, making his way to Whistler this weekend for a show at the Savage Beagle, where he’ll be performing alongside D-Sisive, a Toronto-based rap artist, and DJ Law, another Toronto based hip hop turntablist.

A long-time fixture of the Canadian hip hop scene, Moka is constantly busy making music. He recently released a new 23-track album entitled “Carrots and Eggs” through Urbnet Records – unbelievably his third record of 2008.

“That’s what I like, right. I don’t really have a social life or anything else like that. I’m just a music nerd,” he said.

Originally from Langford, just 15 minutes north of Victoria, Moka didn’t exactly grow up in a hotbed of hip hop culture. Instead, he was introduced to the multifaceted scene through the vibrant graffiti art and music through mainstream media.

“Graffiti can exist on its own fine without the rest of hip hop, and always did. It’s its own thing. And I was always an artist as a child, and it just appealed to me,” he said, adding that he amalgamated the visual representations with other aspects of hip hop.

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