Liana interviews: MoonyMoony is an ambitious young producer/ DJ from the south coast, already with some fantastic records to his name. Having started to DJ at 11, producing soon became a fascinating hobby and by the time he was 16 he found himself regularly making music of his own and by the age of 20 he was releasing his own tracks and Djing in clubs.
Moony music is primarily built for the dance floors and he quickly established his name within the Grime scene with his sound system smashing Grime and UK Garage. Its stylish and totally soulful blend of music has made this young man stand out from the crowd. As both a DJ and a producer his roots are in UK Garage and his taste for bass driven up beat House and Dub cannot go un-noticed, the Brighton based artist draws influences from Grime, Bassline, UK Garage, UK Funky, Dubstep and all types of underground music and this comes across ever so well in his music.
2011 was a great year and saw Moony release the 'I’m a UK G' EP which came out digitally on the Gobstoppers label, the lead single off the EP 'I’m a UK G' received heavy rotation on BBC 1Xtra, Kiss FM and Rinse FM. Since then he released a free Moony - The Remix E.P via band camp, which included remixes of remixing Delilah – Go, Champion & Ruby Lee Ryder – Sensitivity, Aaliyah - Rock The Boat as well as Teedra Moses - Just Wanna Be.
Moony is supported by DJ Q, DJ EZ, Spyro and Marcus Nasty as well as having regular airplay on 1Xtra, Kiss FM, Rinse FM, Deja Vu FM and other pirates, Moony’s appeal is broad and stretches far beyond the UK.
I caught up with our very own production-extraordinaire to find out what he’d been up to recently. Already having made a big mark in the scene, 2012 is set to be Moonys’ year.
Yes Moony darling hello. How are you?
I’m very well thanks Liana how are you?
Yeah good thanks. We’re going to start with your influences. How would you describe your musical background and main influences?
Ok Ill start at the beginning I began DJing at youth club in year 7 so I must have been 11, they had some decks in a cupboard which no one had used for ages so I just asked a youth worker if I could set them up, they had a stack of random Drum & Bass and a few House records and over the course of a couple months every Thursday night I taught myself how to mix. I already liked Garage at the time (1999/2000) so I started buying Vinyls, gradually built up a collection, got my own decks and went on from there. Anyway Influences… how Im feeling, stuff that’s happening in my life be it negative or positive always has an influence on my music, but musically speaking my influences have always been people like Wookie, Sticky.. I remember literally buying anything with a Social Circles label on it without even listening…, Zed Bias, Ed Case stuff like that. At the time I gravitated towards that side of Garage because it was more gritty and hard sounding but still had a musical element with melody etc. Then came a time, from my point of view, that Garage started to sort of polarize to either bait commercial sing song happy chart stuff and on the other side you had the darker more minimal stuff which would later become known as Grime (and Dubstep) naturally I stuck with the grimier side of the spectrum. Now with the benefit of hindsight and age I see that all these Genres like Bassline, Dubstep, Funky & Grime are all just different branches of the same UKG tree so this is what I try to reflect in my DJ sets and production.
What got you into production? DJ’ing got me interested in how tracks are put together; instead of hearing them as one solid wall of sound Id try and break them down in my head to hear the different elements and how they fit together. I got hold of a copy of Ejay and got bored of that quickly, then someone at school said I should try Fruity Loops, which after a lot of searching and messing about I managed to successfully download and install on our family computer. Bare in mind this was before Youtube and the whole concept of forums and message boards was completely beyond me so, there was no video tutorials and step by step guides, it was literally trial, error and a whole lot of frustration. It was worth it in the end though.
What studio set-up do you have? I have a PowerMac G5 which I’m running Logic on, and my Laptop which I run F.L Studio 10 on. Wharfedale Diamond 8.1 monitors and a Radium49 midi keyboard, I also have about 10 keyboards of varying condition and spec but I never use them in my tracks I just seem to accumulate them ha ha. But yeah the vast majority of my music is made with F.L 10 on my laptop, I really only use Logic for mixing/mastering tracks and recording vocals. I know a lot of ‘professional’ producers like to talk shit about Fruity Loops but for me the drums, sample and vocal manipulation is a massive part of my ‘sound’ and its something I just can’t achieve with any other program I’ve tried. .
If you had to describe your sound in 3 words:
Id politely decline because it would sound pretentious and cringe worthy ha ha.. no I have seriously thought about it and I can’t. That’s the thing people, myself included; have trouble trying to put my music into a category or genre. I’m not bothered I just make the music I’ll let the listeners and critics worry about that stuff.
Why are you called Moony? Did you used to flash your pants a lot? Ha ha, if you knew the amount of times I’ve been asked this. I guess it’s to be expected but still... I’m afraid it’s a boring answer, my Mums last name was Moon, I used to play football, team mates and school friends called me Moony and it stuck. It used to really piss me off if I’m honest but I’ve learnt to live with it now.
How long have you been with Nasty FM?
I’ve been there from the start, As a DJ I’ve always rated and played Exo’s music so I knew him like that, he’s a cool guy, we where working on some projects together and he told me him and Mak where looking to start a station and would I like a slot. Obviously I said yes and that’s that, it’s been really good to see the station grow and have been a part of it from the ground up.
You’re always busy constantly sending out zips full of your new production to djs and you always get a great response. Is there something in particular you have enjoyed working on the most?
Thanks, that’s actually something I’m gonna have to slow up on a bit now. It was really a case of reaching out to more DJs (other than the handful that where supporting me) and trying to show what I can do as a producer. Now I feel I’m at a point where I’m working on proper releases and remixes and compared to this time last year the amount of DJs wanting tunes and listeners paying attention has increased a fair bit. So as much as the DJs probably won’t agree, I don’t think sending out 4-8 tracks to shit loads of people every month is particularly productive or helpful to my overall career. Having said that I will still keep people up to date with new music and make sure everyone has stuff to play, but instead of zip files it will literally be 1 or 2 key tracks a month. To answer your question there is no 1 tune in particular I’ve enjoyed working on more than others I just enjoy the whole process of making music, but generally speaking I do enjoy doing remixes especially working with a decent vocal.
Tell us about your recent Allstars EP with Spooky , Deset and Teeza:
Yeah that was Spooky’s idea, from what I understand he wanted to release an e.p of some of his favorite tracks.. so he did. This included one of mine, a tune called ‘Music 4 U’ which isn’t really your typical Moony beat but he liked it, people seem to like it. I’m not sure if he still does but I know Mista Jam used it for a while as his bed music to talk over which is cool, nice bit of PRS ha ha. So yeah big up Spooky and the other producers involved they are all people I support and play regularly on my radio show.
Favorite garage throwback tune if you had to name 1?
Easy.. Sticky – Golly Gosh, I still remember being so gassed when I first heard it, and the excitement when I walked into Rounder Records back in the day and see the yellow label sitting there in the rack ha ha.
Favorite drink in the club?
Dark Rum & Coke.
Who in your mind have been the breakthrough grime/bassline producers of 2011 and who should we be watching out for this year?
I think most would agree in 2011 people like TRC, Preditah, Flava D, Faze Miyake and Spooky have all made a big impact. Aside from Grime I think Woz, Hackman, Mosca, Redlight and Champion have done well last year I understand they are not exactly ‘breakthrough’ producers cos they have been about for a little while but still… Ones to watch this year I’d say Mr Mitch, Exo Remedy, Swifta Beater, K1 and Trends for the Grimier stuff then UK Garage/Bass music in general I think Disclosure will smash it, I’m fully rating the 4x4 bumpy garage revival stuff they are doing also Woz, DJ Pantha, Fabian, Champion and I’m always hearing good Garage/Bassline stuff from the Sheffield based Project All Out Producers. As far as up and coming guys I know and support on my show I’d like to see Nrky, Sebbadee, Dubloke, A.C, Mr Sleepz, Kyro, DJ Platform and Freddo get some more recognition as well.
What is next on the horizon for you Moony what can we expect?
More of the same really, I’ve got a bunch of Instrumentals lined up for release, more remixes more radio hopefully a few guest mixes and bookings.
If you don’t already know, you can catch Moony’s show Monday 6-8pm GMT on Nasty.fm
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