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MOON CHILD

ka-os|theory talks exclusively to singer and dancer Moonchild, who is performing live on stage at tomorrow's London Pride 2009.

"I'M READING THIS really interesting book on the law of desire," Moonchild tells me as we dodge traffic crossing Charing Cross Road on our way to Soho.

It's one of the hottest days of the year and I've arranged to meet 24-year-old singer and dancer Michael Anthony Moonchild for a chat ahead of his performance at Saturday's London Pride festival. I meet him in Borders, and find him sitting in a window reading intently by himself. He looks younger than his pictures suggest - it's all in the eyes - and he radiates serenity.

I later neglect to ask him about his choice of reading material, and can only imagine that he's trying to discover why mere mortals might want to ravish him.

Moonchild exudes a slightly disconcerting mixture of innocence and worldliness. Combined with his unusual looks (his father is Nigerian and his mother Cuban) he had already seemed somewhat unearthly before I had even met him. Although he's dressed plainly today - dark jeans, a dark green wife-beater and cap - I wonder if he gets a lot of attention.

"It's quite embarrassing. If I'm walking down the street, especially if I'm dressed in bright colours, people always stare at me. I used to find it extremely irritating, I still do sometimes. Some people look at me like I'm crazy. Some people send me messages saying I'm a freak, how I'm weird. I had someone say to me 'why are you trying to be white, why are you trying to be a white boy, your music sounds white'."

It doesn't surprise me. Moonchild is truly unique, a genuine individual, and that threatens people.

"I get more positive responses from people than bad," he adds.

In Soho we pass three identical muscle Marys. "Gay people annoy me," he says wearily. "They're all 'Look at me! Look at me!' It gets on my nerves."

It's an interesting comment. Despite being strikingly good-looking, an impressive 6'2", and possessing the physique of a... er... dancer, Moonchild completely lacks conceit. That's refreshing in a beautiful London boy, and unheard of in Soho, where one can't move for boys checking their reflections in any reflective surface they can find.

I ask Moonchild to talk about Indigo children, a concept he's professed an affinity for. "How do you know about that?" he exclaims.

He had mentioned it in an email some time ago. "You told me," I remind him.

"Oh yeah..." he smiles bashfully, before becoming deadly serious. "Indigo children are basically people with very strong spiritual... not powers, but awareness. They're very connected to the moon and the stars and the colour indigo as well, and they're really creative and sensitive, quite mysterious people. I don't call myself an Indigo child but I feel like I have a connection to them 'cos I feel like I'm kinda similar to them."

I wondered what had led Moonchild to see a connection with Indigo children. "I've got a friend that's an Indigo child, and she sees things. She's amazing actually."

Moonchild's eyes are wide. The notion of an otherness clearly chimes with him.

Listen to Moonchild's music and you'll get a strong sense of that otherness. He studied dance in college and later performing arts in university, but the strict regime they entailed was unsuited to his quest for the Moonchild style. "School, college, university - actually, I dropped out of all of them. I never ever finished any of the courses."

He's unapologetic, and justifiably so. Moonchild is charting his own course.

"I've been dancing since I was young. Dance and music to me is one thing. I've performed with Chris Brown, I've performed with Jamelia, Sugababes, Keisha White..."

Moonchild's goals might sound like those of any muso, but there's also a charming sense of altruism in his dreams, "My ultimate ambition is to be a touring artist, I wanna travel the world and perform shows and go on tour and just make albums that people like. I think my ultimate achievement would be if I inspired someone through my music. If someone's going through something, like a bad relationship, if my music could touch them, help them... for me that would be so good."

So just what is the Moonchild sound?

"I would describe my music as funky, a bit edgy... I've kind of used like old school classic pop with modern electro. Tracks like Traffic, 'cos when I was young I grew up listening to quality, not to sound bigheaded, but quality pop tracks like that that have substance you know? And kind of given it a little bit of a modern feel but still kept it quite... not old school, but just timeless in a way. And Candy Raindrops is very modern and things like Love 2 Love which is very much my own style, it's just me, I can't really put a... I dunno, I'd just say it's Moonchild."

With the music industry in turmoil (when was the last time you bought a CD, or paid for a download?) I ask Moonchild what his thoughts on the subject are...

"I feel the music industry is going through probably the hardest time it's ever gone through, because of the whole downloading thing and the recession. Artists ain't selling as much albums as they used to sell, but it hasn't really affected me because I'm not signed yet. I'm an unsigned artist, I'm okay. But what's out there now... not much artists are doing it for me. It is what it is I suppose."

Seems to me Moonchild's hit the nail on the head - what's out there is homogeneous (how many more "kooky" girl singers do we really need?) and uninspiring. Moonchild says that labels have told him they just wouldn't know how to market him. I wonder if he's a child out of his time. His inspirations are Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Prince, James Brown, Gloria Estefan, Simply Red... "They're my main influences - that made me wanna dance, especially watching Michael and Janet."

It's a relief not to hear the names Beyonce or Mariah.

"I'd love for everyone to hear my music. But at the same time I am enjoying - I know it sounds weird - but I am enjoying where I am now because I know I'm going to be a successful musician, I just know that. And I'm just kinda living the place where I am now in my life, going through the struggles, and really appreciating all the steps that I'm taking to be where I wanna be."

Those steps include recording an album - Love 2 Love - and assembling a band. For now, Moonchild is enjoying his creative freedom, "I haven't got any labels telling me what to do and what to wear and stuff."

Would he consider adapting his persona to fit the mould the men in suits use to cast recording artists?

"No. I'd rather be unsigned. I'm never ever gonna change myself. No, I mean I will compromise on certain things 'cos obviously the label has to make money and that's just the way it is. But I'm gonna always going be Moonchild and that's just me."

What does he think about the TV reality shows that appear to have so much influence over the music industry? Would he ever consider using them to widen his exposure?

"I have thought about it, but I just don't think I'd fit in to that. Because I'd be going on TV trying to be someone I'm not. All the songs they sing, it's not me. The way they perform, it's not me. It's too toned down, number one. Everyone's watered down completely and I can't do that. I can only be myself and I just don't think I could fit into a reality TV show. Unless they were willing to accept all the things that came with me as a performer."

Have shows like The X Factor choked the creativity of artists?

"I think for music in the UK, yeah, definitely, because the things that they put out there people listen to it and kinda think that's what music's meant to be like, they're not really giving artists like myself space to introduce something new and fresh into the UK. The mainstream music in the UK is manufactured music, watered down, and I don't like it."

So what does the future hold for him?

"I'm going to be in the studio next week and I'm going to do a song called Feels So Good, it's quite ballady and airy and it's Moonchild. They'll be up soon."

Moonchild will also be performing at tomorrow's London Pride. He'll be on the Urban Stage on Carlisle Street with his dancers at 5.45pm.

"I'm going to perform two of my tracks, Candy Raindrops and Electric Eyes and I'm also going to do a Michael Jackson track as well."

Any last words Moonchild?

"I think music's a gift and you're there to share it with the world. Just because I can sing music or record music or I'm a musician, doesn't give me an ego at all. I like to share it with everyone I'm close with. It's my lover, but it's everyone's lover..."

MOONCHILD ACCORDING TO MOONCHILD: A TRACK BY TRACK GUIDE

ELECTRIC EYES
"That track is about seeing someone out somewhere. As soon as you kinda see them they have that connection, and it's all in the eyes. I'm attracted to eyes. It's basically about seeing someone that has eyes that really capture you, and draw you in."

UNFAITHFUL
"That is about being in a relationship with someone and them cheating on you. You know, if you meet someone, and you think wow, this is amazing, this person's really really different. And then you slowly start to see the hidden agenda, people's characters, and the monster that's there..."

LOVE 2 LOVE
"Do you know what, that is super super super personal because if you listen to the production, it's got quite an eerie feel to it, like sinister... It's not your typical love song in terms of production. Like the cords, and the instruments are not very very nice, they're not sweet, it's got a slightly dark feel to it. I hope that it takes listeners somewhere else. I want people to listen to it and think a little bit more. That whole track is a journey."

CANDY RAINDROPS
"That song's sexual. If you listen to the lyrics..." Moonchild breaks off and smiles bashfully. "You're going to make me embarrassed now!" he protests. "It's basically saying... It's sex. I can give it to you good and I can be the best person to give it to you. You know what I mean!"

TRAFFIC
"That track is about being in a relationship where you feel trapped. Where you have feelings for a person but at the same time you know that person's not good for you and you need to get out of the relationship. Just being stuck in traffic, waiting for the green light to signal, 'Okay, I'm gone!'"


ELSEWHERE - Michael Anthony/Moonchild (Official MySpace)

Moonchild was lensed by Urban Shotz Photography and presquevu photo

6 comments:

Urban Shotz said...

You did a great job - you've really caught the flavour of Moonchild. Looking forward to more features like this.

Dusty Boot said...

very, very nice write-up!

mackson said...

Okay,I liked the article but I must say that I agree with Moonchild about gay boys they can be extremely narcissistic at times.That is why I like them southern boys .I like the way they can just put on a white T-shirt and some jeans and look so Damn Good...

Langston Baldwin said...

I enjoyed that.

Anonymous said...

how much did he pay you to do this? Michael Moonchild is the most phoney person on the scene, a bitchy closet case who acts like his shit dont stink. truly horrible individual!

kaos said...

I neither sought nor received payment for this interview. I'd be so lucky!

With regards to your comments Anon., my subsequent dealings with Michael revealed him not to be the person he portrayed on the day!

 
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