By Lindsay Emery
The name for the band MOSA came from the frequent mispronunciation of its lead singer’s name – Melissa Frabotta.
It would be consistently garbled by the tongue-tied, somehow mixing her first name and last name together.
Even though the name was developed through miscommunication, it has also taken on alternate meanings. Some people often think that Frabotta’s real name is MOSA, but she doesn’t mind.
“So MOSA, people used to misunderstand that as my name and I like the sound of it, so we figured, let’s just call ourselves MOSA,” Frabotta said.
MOSA is one of this year’s Pleasantville Music Festival’s Battle of the Bands winners, an annual competition open to young musicians and musical groups throughout the metropolitan area. They will kick off the festival on the Main Stage at about 12:25 p.m.
Frabotta, who lives in Yorktown, and the band met each other either through the Westchester music scene and in college. Even though they’ve been playing with each other for a while, MOSA is a more recent project with a focus on playing original music.
Their debut album, “Who We Are,” is described by Frabotta as Americana. But she said she wants people to think of their music as a combination of multiple genres.
“I think my music is definitely a blend of all music that spans out of rock, folk, blues, country music,” she said.
She has been influenced by many artists, including elements such as pop, although Frabotta doesn’t see much similarity to their songwriting style.
The band has spent its share of time recording and released one of their new songs called “Mama’s Got Brand New Shoes” in April. They recorded the song live in a studio in Nashville.
“We did live takes,” Frabotta said. “We didn’t do any edits. Everything you hear is from one real take.”
That method of recording has become very rare as technology has advanced, but Frabotta said that it showed the band the importance of compromises. Frabotta is still learning about recording in studios, but she has heeded some advice she received in the past.
“Someone told me once (in a) live performance, you need to almost refine it while you’re performing live and pretend like you’re in a studio so it sounds articulate,” Frabotta said. “But when you’re in the studio recording, you need to perform as if it’s a live experience and let loose more because you want the energy to translate.”
After the festival, MOSA has two weeks in August booked in the studio to record new music, something that the band is passionate about.
When the band started playing gigs at weddings and bars doing covers of other artists’ songs, Frabotta said she thought about all the effort she put into performing and how she didn’t feel as satisfied as she does with original music.
“I just feel more satisfied when I do it, so I’m trying to focus on that more,” she said.