With the ability to smash different sounds together and create something interesting, New Zealand-born singer Willy Moon has undoubtedly impressed many as of late with his filthy, grimy indie rock creations. And with his latest record Railroad Track, he’s heading for another successful chapter.
If you happen to be a regular visitor of online clothing shop Asos, the above track must sound familiar while you were looking for a new outfit. The filthy indie rock gem was used as background music on the website and is probably another source of success for the 21 year old artist. Speaking of which, the commercial below of Apple’s recently launched new iPod model will do him no harm either.
Willy grew up in New Zealand. When he was 12 his mother died of cancer. His father lost his job due to the time taken off caring for his mother, and was forced to find work abroad in Saudi Arabia, leaving 12-year-old Willy and his 16-year-old sister to raise each other. “I was always getting in trouble at school and they’d say we have to get your parents in. I’d say, well that’s difficult.”
Formerly a gifted student, he effectively gave up on school, attending occasionally only to see his friends and read science fiction novels. He was thrown out of one school, then another, and dropped out of formal education all together when he was 16. “I thought what’s the point? I am allergic to authority and besides, I have always been more of an autodidact anyway.”
Eventually he decided that something had to give so for his 18th birthday he saved up and bought himself a one-way plane ticket to London, where he found hedonism, strife, financial insecurity and a surprising musical breakthrough. When Willy met his girlfriend she played him an album by 1940s forces’ sweethearts the Andrew Sisters, which triggered an obsession with pre-1960 pop music. “I still listen to jazz more than anything, like Woody Allen!” he laughs.
After losing his job and being kicked out for not making rent, Willy and his girlfriend bought the cheapest available plane tickets — to Valencia, Spain. From there they jumped a train down to Morocco. “It was ridiculous,” he says. “Who knew what we were meant to do once we got there?” They eventually made their way to Berlin, where they would live for the next year, and crucially where Willy’s music would begin to take form. There he began writing primal rock’n’roll songs but found it too constricting. “There was a whole revivalist scene, but it felt a bit like locking oneself up and throwing away the key.”
Returning to London, he worked on developing his own sound, the first fruit of which was I Wanna Be Your Man. He posted it online and acquired a record deal. “I’d hate to be in a band, too many opinions,” he says. “I’m a dictator at heart.”
Now, finally, he is relatively settled and secure and working on his debut album for release in 2012. It promises to be extraordinary. “I’ve always been ambitious,” he says. “One day, no matter what, I’m going to be successful.”