May 18th, 2012
Who on earth is Willy Moon? The 21 year old New Zealand raised crooner manages to fuse melodic guitar riffs over hip-hop production – a sound that recently landed him a deal with Island Records (Moon wouldn’t look out of place in any John Waters film, with his contoured face frame and pristine 50s inspired dress sense). Wonderland caught up with the man just after his sold-out show at London’s Madame JoJo’s last night.
Willy Moon. Surely one of music’s best man-band names. Discuss.
A desire for a new identity. When I was young I wanted to be an astronaut. In fact, I still do…
How would you describe your sound?
I find it very difficult to describe sound; it’s akin to describing colour for me. People can find it online if they want to hear it.
You relocated from New Zealand to Britain to kickstart your music career. What is it about London that you love so much?
The chance to be the real Willy Moon… There ain’t no place like the big city.
What was your route into music? Do you have a first memory of playing an instrument or writing a song?
My guitar teacher had two fingers on one hand, like Django Reinhardt. He was brilliant and I thought; if he can do it, so can I.
You’re playing Bestival and Secret Garden Party this summer. What can we expect from your festival performances?
Come and see for yourself…
You have a very unique image, which seems to be heavily inspired by 1950s pop culture. What is it that you love about the particular era?
Nice clothes. Sweat-pants are for the gym folks, same goes for hoodies and t-shirts. People used to have pride in their appearance, but folks are so lazy now.
You sample artists as diverse as Bo Diddley and Wu Tang Clan. Who else influences your sound?
Everything, I listen to a very diverse range of music. Also, there is no discounting the influence of life itself.
How much Brylcreem or hair gel do you get through in a single week?
I have a three-part strategy – wax, then gel, then hairspray. It spreads the burden.
Your videos prove that you have some serious dance moves. Who choreographs Willy Moon?
Willy Moon, of course…
If you could collaborate with another artist, either dead or alive, who would it be?
I’d like to get Orson Welles to do a music video for me, but my connections with the underworld are few and far between. (It ain’t like the guy is in heaven…).
What does the rest of this year hold for you?
A lot of hard work – anyone who thinks that this is an easy job would be in for a surprise. As for my record, it will arrive on the day that it’s ready. I can’t predict the future…
Words: Shane Hawkins