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Interview: Willy Moon

You’d be wrong in thinking this is a still caption of Pat Boone in the 50s – with that slick white suit, the pristine quiff and those cheekbones contoured like stone. But this is where the parallels between separate characters from separate eras end because you are in fact ogling at 21-year-old crooner Willy Moon. Signed to Island Records, Moon pens inimitable songs which fuse rock’n’roll guitar riffs and hip-hop production techniques. And his retro vocals, killer jiving skills and irreverent humour have placed him on our ‘Ones to Watch’ list for 2012. So without further ado, readers, meet Mr Willy Moon.

PlanetNotion: Where does the name ‘Willy Moon’ derive from?

Willy Moon: It’s the best name ever created.

PN: You’re originally from New Zealand, so why would you want to flea such a glorious country for London? What’s your favourite part of living in Spitalfields?

WM: My favourite part about living in Spitalfields is side-stepping vomit on the footpath at weekends.

PN: Is there anything you miss from home?

WM: Just the small things like the fresh air and the horrible sense of loneliness.

PN: How old were you when you wrote your first song and what was it about?

WM: I remember it vividly. I was nine-years-old and had broken my arm falling off a wall – like Humpty Dumpty but smaller and thinner. My parents refused to believe me that it was broken so didn’t take me to the doctors for a whole week. Every night I would lie awake singing this sad little song named ‘Nobody Feels My Pain (Nobody Knows)’. From that moment I knew that my true calling in life was to entertain others with music.

PN: What was the first record you purchased and how has it influenced you to be the artist you are today?

WM: ‘The Fat of the Land’, by Prodigy. I was very young and it totally blew apart my understanding of what music is.

PN: For those who haven’t already heard it, how would you describe your sound?

WM: The aural representation of Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase if she weren’t a nude at all, but a hip-hop robot carrying a backpack filled with cutlery.

PN:  Your lyrics are seemingly old fashioned – where did you learn to write like this and will you continue recording with this ‘retro’ theme for your album?

WM: I’m not wholly sure what my album will sound like at this point, only that it will be brilliant.

PN: Both your songs ‘She Loves You’ and ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ are just under a minute and a half. Is this a deliberate effect you’ll maintain?

WM: It is the song that dictates its own length, both of those worked best in that form. My next single is actually going to be a thirty-three minute long ambient piece entitled ’Drifting Leaves (Part 1)’. As you can imagine my record label is really excited about it, they think it has ‘hit’ potential.

PN: The videos for them are awfully similar too – both involve you dressed up to the nines in a black and white film dancing away like it’s 1955, why did you want them to be similar?

WM: I felt that they were the best visual representations of the songs themselves, plus they were cheaper than any of the other options.

PN: And where the heck did you learn to dance like that?

WM: When I was younger I used to work for a company called Timpkin & Son varnishing and polishing wood floors, I guess it kind of rubbed off on me. Old Timpkin only ever had one son so he tried dressing his daughter Martha up as a boy but she ran away and joined the army.

PN:  What can we expect from you in 2012?

WM: A tabloid news sensation centring around my illicit affair with Hillary Clinton. Pictures will surface in the spring of me, her and a cigar. And some music – my next single will be out in March with live shows beforehand.

PN: Have you any New Year’s resolutions?

WM: My New Year’s resolution is to become a better man.

- Caroline Jackson

For more from Mr Moon check out his website here and have a gander at the ace video for his new single ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, which is available now on Luv Luv Luv records.


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