Mooning over “Modern Ritual” EP

Singer/Songwriter MOONZz

MOONZz is a dynamic singer/songwriter who artfully blends sultry R&B vocals with inventive lyrics to create moody tracks that err on the side of supernatural. In the span of two EPs, Trust Cycles (2016) and Aftershock (2018), she has formed partnerships with world-renowned companies like Sephora and Spotify, joined the stages of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Electric Forest Festival, and participated in multiple campaigns by Victoria’s Secret.

MOONZz finally unleashed her new EP, Modern Ritual on March 6, 2020. We were fortunate to catch the LA-based vixen for an interview about the development of this new release.

About the EP

IBG: Hello and thank you for taking the time to talk to Indie Band Guru about your new music! Tell us a bit about what’s in store for us with Modern Ritual. How does it differ from your other two EPs?

MOONZz:I definitely think I’m in a much different headspace. Sonically, I feel like I have a better sense of what I want to be within the sonic space, so that all feels a lot more cohesive on this record. I’m also in the happiest place I’ve been in my life, which is reflected in the music.

“I think that’s the power of music. It kind of timestamps a moment in your life, which is really powerful.”

IBG: Modern Ritual is comprised of seven songs. Do you have any plans to perform these tracks on tour once the EP comes out in March?

MOONZz: For sure! I have some shows coming up in LA and we’re looking at doing some shows in NY, too. But of course, I’m so excited to perform all the new songs and see how everyone reacts. 

Inside the mind of MOONZz

IBG: Are there any tracks off the new EP that hit especially close to home for you?

MOONZz:“What It’s Like” is probably that song for me. I wrote it about my now husband, and I think that every time I sing it, I’ll be reminded of the feelings I feel for him on the daily and how I can just be completely myself with him. I think that’s the power of music. It kind of timestamps a moment in your life, which is really powerful. 

IBG: Your new single, “Runnin’,” is about working hard and keeping that drive even when faced with constant let downs and disapproval. Is this a direct allusion to your experience in the music industry or are you referencing hardships you’ve faced, perhaps from childhood or adolescence?

MOONZz: “Runnin’” reflects struggle and breakthrough but not one specific moment in my career or life. I think everyone can relate to the concept of “Runnin’” – whether you’re in high school or younger, or even going through a transition in your life, everyone can relate to that concept of pushing through, and that’s what I wanted to do with this song. 

I am, you are, we are MOONZz: Influences and Collaborations

IBG: You mention gathering inspiration from artists such as Erykah Badu, Death Cab for Cutie, Tom Petty, and Frank Sinatra but many of your tracks have a distinct electronic element to them. Are there any artists that fall within the EDM genre who have influenced your work?

 MOONZz: Definitely! I’ve always been a huge fan of Tyko, Four Tet and Maya Jane Coles. I also like Glass Animals even though they’re not straight EDM. I’m a huge lover of Zed’s Dead. They’re super EDM but I love how melodic and kind of melancholy some of their songs can get, so that definitely inspires my writing. Garden City Movement is a huge influence as well!

IBG: There are quite a few collaborations featured on your website. Can we expect any collabs on Modern Ritual? If so, can you tell us how you go about selecting partners for these tracks? What is the writing/producing process like?

 MOONZz: There aren’t any collabs per se on the EP, but I did work with new producers. I worked with Tyzo Bloom and I was just featured on his EP that came out a couple of months ago. I also worked with Opia. They produced my song “What It’s Like.” I think that for me, it’s always really important to find people that want to creatively collab and not just fully take over on production because I definitely am a part of the production process. I’m a part of the conception of the song and getting it to a sonic space where I feel like it’s cohesive with all the MOONZz records. It’s really about finding someone who believes in me and wants to work collaboratively. I feel like I successfully did that on this EP, and it reflects that, for sure. 

Playing favorites

IBG: You’ve played all over LA at intimate venues, not to mention Coachella and Red Rocks Amphitheatre. What type of venue do you like performing at best?

 MOONZz: You know, I love them all but there’s something really special about a smaller venue when you can sing your songs a bit more stripped down. People can hear the lyrics better and I feel like they can let go a little bit and not feel like they have to dance or anything. They can really just sit there and listen. I guess it all just depends on my mood as well, but I love both equally and I look forward to performing at bigger and bigger venues! 

IBG: Finally, what’s your go-to karaoke song?

MOONZz: Probably “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse. That’s my favorite!

 Listen to Modern Ritual now and visit MOONZz’s website for upcoming tour dates.

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