Exclusive: MOONZz Talks Her New Love-Centric Single, "Navigator"
MOONZz is no stranger to taking the plunge (both personally, and professionally), and now, she’s detailing the journey in a new track: “Navigator”. Extra intimate and exactly what you need to hear post-plunge, MOONZz is instilling hope in those that take the risk, go the distance, and keep driving; even though they’re often not sure what lies at the end of the road (and if it’s nothing, MOONZz has a word for you, too: give priority to the journey, not the destination).
It’s this penchant for instinctual, spur-of-the-moment decisions, coupled with love that knows no bounds, that fuels MOONZz’s lyrics, and pushes her above the pack. If it wasn’t obvious, this west coast darling has us hooked; here’s betting you will be too. Peep the brand new track below, exclusively on Milk, then keep scrolling for our full interview with MOONZz.
Congrats on releasing “Navigator”! How did it all come together? What was the inspiration behind the song?
Totally. So we were working on this song that a really great producer on the east coast had sent over as a collaborative opportunity, and it really resonated with me, the chord progression was just really something that resonated, like I said. But the lyrics that I wrote for “Navigator” were so sincere to where I’m at right now in my life; the main line, the tagline of the chorus says, “If you were my navigator we could take the long way home, cause home is everywhere we go.” And the concept kind of came together about the trust that comes from really jumping into something with someone, even though you don’t know where you might end up with them or with a new experience. You know there’s so much hope, and excitement in that leap of faith with someone, that it doesn’t matter where we’re going because I feel like the same kind of home wherever we are. Every time I sing it, to this day, I’m just overwhelmed with true and utter love, so it feels good.
So do you feel like this is some of your most honest work so far?
Definitely. I think as songwriters, our biggest challenge is creating a storyline that is consistently authentic, you know? And I think that this song especially is the most authentic one I’ve done…and it just came out so quickly—we wrote it in what felt like an hour and a half, maybe. And I feel like that doesn’t happen that often, and when it does happen, you know, there’s something to be said for how easy that is. Love, to me, shouldn’t be this hardship, and it shouldn’t be all these ups and downs and struggles; it should really be this easy thing. Even when I’m just driving and listening to [“Navigator”], it always takes me back to that first moment when I felt that way. And that’s always the ultimate goal of a song; when you listen to it, you’ll always be reminded of the first time you heard it. It’ll always bring you back to that moment. “Navigator” has that power for sure, and I’m really proud of it and excited for what I hope will definitely resonate with my audience.
So last year you debuted a single and an EP, both of which were really well received. What was the creative progression from there to now, with “Navigator”?
I think my EP, Trust Cycles, was a really big realization for me—just how much I’d grown, after a few really destructive relationships. It was kind of a really old, destructive relationship that I had suppressed for a long time, that I wrote about for the EP. These were really hard bumps that I didn’t want to go over, so when it was released, I really felt a breathe of relief, as if I had shed like layers and layers of skin to get me to this point, where now “Navigator” just feels so true to where I’m at right now.
So the creative process from last year to now has really been rediscovering a lot of my strengths, both as a songwriter and producer, and learning how to combat negative talk, which is just a part of any career path. But specifically I think just being in this industry, you deal with a lot of opinions and a lot of criticism, that you asked for or didn’t. I think this year has been a really new high experience for me, you know, taking everything with a grain of salt and really learning how I want this to go, and listening to my inner moon guiding me through this. I think I’ve really learned a new whole process of this creative growth. Instead of [the criticism] cutting off flow, I was like, “Maybe this isn’t right,” but I never let it totally shut me up, any of the criticism. You know, it used to be really hurtful for me to hear some opinions, and obviously not everyone is going to love everything, but sometimes it’s a lot. It’s heavy. So I’ve learned to really take everything lightly and stay really focused and keep my head up. That’s been the biggest part of the creative process this year.
As an artist, do you feel like that process of making music and putting it out there is a really cathartic experience?
Yeah, definitely. I think the most cathartic part is finally letting it out. It’s such a personal process the whole time, of always wanting to change little things, but honestly if I released it six months ago, I’m sure 90% of people wouldn’t hear those things, it’s just that I get super particular about certain hits and certain parts. I also feel like my graduation from last year to this year has been cathartic as well. I feel like that’s all you can hope for, as an artist, is to keep shedding layers.
Since you’re always evolving, how would you describe your sound and what makes it unique?
Well I definitely think I fall into pop, just because structurally I feel like that’s where I am. But I take inspiration from, you know, neo-soul, and I grew up listening to a lot of R&B, so I feel like the harmonies I gravitate toward are often more urban, R&B. I try to bring in sub-genres that I really love, and so I’ve kind of tried to coin it as “neo-tronic”—electronic-infused neo-soul. It’s a little of a lot of things, but all under the umbrella of pop.
What’s in the pipeline for the rest of 2017?
We’re gonna be releasing singles pretty regularly for the rest of the year, I’d say three or four total, with a good amount of space in between. But yeah, we’re definitely working on some exciting visuals to go along with the singles, and we’re going to be launching my merch line sometime later this spring, which is so exciting. I think merchandise is a whole other side of me that I can showcase, I really conceptualized a lot of it. I want the merchandise to have a lasting impression, so whether that’s a sensory experience that I imprint on someone or not, I think that’s a really powerful, successful merch item. More than just having a T-shirt, I’m trying to make it like something you can live without. Something that really enriches your daily life. I definitely like to set the bar high!
What about more long term—what’s the vision?
I see this as a really empowering, inspirational project, if I can say that—empowering women is a huge part, and I want to involve myself in bigger philanthropic opportunities, for sure. But I mean, grand scheme, definitely bigger festivals, I’d love to have some film scoring opportunities, and obviously to keep growing as a writer and keep working with bigger writers and bigger producers. Honestly, just being able to open more doors with excitement and fresh perspective is really important, for me. Yeah, just being an artist to watch for next year and creating this empire of positivity and empowerment. Lots of exciting things in the works for sure.
Images courtesy of Annie Moses
Stay tuned to Milk for more out-of-this-world artists we love.