Willy Moon Loves Buddy Holly and Space

Photo courtesy of Willy Moon/Facebook

Hive Five: Our Daily Listicle of Musical Musings

With equal affections for rap and ’50s rock, which add up to some short high-energy songs, singer-songwriter Willy Moon has found a unique alchemical blend of genres. The 23-year-old’s three original songs on his self-titled EP total a little over six minutes, yet tracks like “Yeah Yeah” and “Wanna Be Your Man” have a depth to them that longer songs by other artists aspire to; there’s just something about the way the London-via-New Zealand singer sells his songs that makes it work (as the latest iPod commercial can attest). We recently interrupted his breakfast in Los Angeles to find out just what inspires such a mix. Even though he hadn’t prepared his list in advance, he felt good about it when we were done talking. “At first I thought this would be absolutely excruciatingly painful to come up with five influences but I really enjoyed it,” he said. “I get to have my orange juice and have a cigarette now. Things are good.”

1. Moon’s Mama

“She taught me to believe in possibilities,” says the singer whose mother passed away of cancer when he was 12. “She taught me to believe that everybody else’s point of view quite often was absolute bullshit and that you should follow your own path in life. She was a remarkable woman.” But that wasn’t the only way she influenced him. “She bought me my guitar when I was 8 or 9 years old,” he says. “I begged for a really long time and finally got me a guitar. It was one of my first experiences with music, really, intertwined with my relationship with her.”

2. Movies, movies, movies

“I probably watch about at least five movies a week,” Moon declares. “It’s the most captivating thing because it allows you to escape into another world. That’s something that is very important to me: the ability to escape and to dream.” Two films that stand out above the rest are the poetic 1964 drama Soy Cuba and Orson Welles’1958 film-noir masterpiece Touch of Evil. “I’ve spent lots of my life watching movies, probably far too much of my life,” says the singer. “Whenever I’m not making music, I’m just watching movies. I feel that they’ve given me a sense of theater that I try and bring that when I perform. I try and bring to life something that’s larger than reality and something that’s more fantastical and more exciting and beautiful.”

Stream “Yeah Yeah” below: 

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