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Center Ice -- Moi Navarro

by Jeff Moeller / Los Angeles Kings

Moi Nararro, who was featured on the third season of NBC’s The Sing-Off, this past season sang the national anthem prior to a Kings home game at STAPLES Center. Immediately following the experience we asked the singer-songwriter the following questions in a new summer series we call CENTER ICE.

Q: You’ve got the anthem under your belt. How did it go out there?

A: It was a blast, unbelievable moment, feelings and a million thoughts going through my head. Getting through one word and thinking inside my head, ‘What’s the next word? Okay, okay, we’re here.’ The next section, ‘Alright, this is awesome. I think they like it.’ It was a blast, man.

Q: Have you done this in Dodger Stadium before?

A: No. Actually I’ve performed my original music at Dodger Stadium but this is the first time singing the national anthem.

Q: Now how about the fact that you’re on ice, so obviously you seem a little more bundled up from a vocal standpoint. Do you have to prepare or warm up any differently because in essence the building is cold?

A: Not that I know of. I know somebody could show me or explain to me what I could have done differently and all, but I didn’t warm up any differently. I feel like for me once the adrenaline gets kicking in you just put that aside and even though it is cold you just kind of forget. It is fight or flight and I wanted to get through the moment.

Q: Obviously you don’t do national anthems for a living; you have your own career and whatnot, but when you think of the anthem in sporting events, what makes a good anthem? What do you listen for when you hear someone sing the anthem?

A: What I listen to, as far as the anthem, I think people want to hear most of the melody, they want to hear some sort of uniqueness, but people want to hear at the end of the day that it’s the melody the way that it was created with a little bit of a twist in passion. As far as I’m concerned as an artist, I want to deliver some sort of passion and a believable performance. Maybe you want to tweak a few notes here and there but you want to tweak them in a way that people know that when they hear them, that you believe what your singing.

Q: I’ll be honest, I’m not familiar with the “Sing-Off,” but how does a show like that have an experience? It’s still going, right?

A: It’s still going, yes. We’re getting into the finale here in the next few weeks.

Q: How does something like that, that sot of big stage, help you as an artist? I would assume you are learning a lot from the experience and getting a lot out of it.

A: Interestingly enough, the whole ‘Sing-Off’ experience, for those of you guys who don’t know what it is, it’s acapella. So you’re listening to the music and you’re hearing a track just like you would on a radio with drums and bass and guitar. You hear the track and it sounds just like that; you hear the drums, you hear the bass, you hear the guitar, but it’s actually voices singing those instruments. It’s vocal band as they call it. The ‘Sing-Off’ is competition where you gather together with voices and you create these track-sounding songs. So on the ‘Sing-Off’ I got to be part of a group and I got to sing some of the solos and performances that we did and I think it absolutely helped me in the sense of being able to listen for pitch and tone and what note you’re going to start a song on. Before this I didn’t even know what a capella music was. I’m just kidding, but a process like this teaches you what it is to kind of really hone in and listen to just the voice. You don’t have an instrument pre-tuned that’s going to sound the same way every time you hit it, whether you hit it with your finger or however you are playing it. You’ve got to go off memory, you’ve got to go off your ear, and then deliver in tune

Q: I assume you are going to stay for the game or at least some of the game. Have you been to a Kings game before or have you been to an NHL game before? Are you a sports fan?

A: Yeah, I love sports. I played sports growing up in junior high and high school. I remember going to a hockey game as a kid so it’s really cool memories. I think we’re going to hang out here at least to get some hot dogs and popcorn. I’m just excited for it. Thank you Kings.

Q: Finally, your long range goal; what’s the dream job? What’s the one thing when it’s all said and done that you’d love to accomplish in the music business, what would one thing be that you call the climax?

A: The climax would be to be able to continue to deliver passionate melodies, the right songs that mean something to me and that people can connect with; and the opportunity to go on the road and share that with people, whether it be a coffee shop, a club, or an actual television. Wherever they take me, I’d love to share my voice and my song with whoever will listen. That’s the goal.

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