Irish singer-songwriter Fia Moon pens the sort of soulful, heartfelt lyrics which call to mind the likes of Jhene Aiko, Banks and The Internet. Growing up, Fia trained classically and began performing from the age of 5. Despite these classical leanings, she was heavily influenced by her parents — who were both jazz and classical musicians — and grew up listening to the likes of Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.
Her break-through came after catching the attention of London-based producer Dan Dare (who has worked with the likes of Charli XCX and Marina & The Diamonds) and Ryan Keen (associated with Ed Sheehan and Nina Nesbitt). Since then, Fia relocated from Ireland and has been based between London and LA ever since. She first came to our attention in early August after she released her second single, ‘Settle Down’, but she’s been gathering an online and IRL community of fans since the release of her debut track ‘The Fall’. We sat down with the talented musician to talk about national identity, creative process, and what we can expect to see from her in the second half of this year.
How would you describe your music to someone who had never heard it before?
Honest, soulful pop.
You were classically trained from the age of five – how does this feed into your music now?
Looking back, I had no idea how lucky I was to have people believe in me from such a young age. Going to singing lessons taught me the importance of looking after my voice and, I know everyone says it, but to practise. I used to sing all day every day – at school and at home. People would forever be telling me to shut up!
Who are your primary musical influences?
I love artists like Dua Lipa, Jhene Aiko and Banks. I think their music is so powerful and empowering for women. I grew up listening to a lot of jazz and classical music as well.
How did you first break into contemporary music?
As soon as I left school, I started gigging across Dublin. I would call up these venues and have to sell myself, convincing them to let me play. I knew that once I had my foot in the door, I could prove it was worthwhile to have me again. I’d have to learn 30+ covers for a gig which I didn’t know at the time would really help me write my own original material.
How would you describe your creative process as a songwriter?
Just to feel free – no boundaries. It usually starts with a beat and I start singing melody ideas and random words. The first thing that comes into my head is usually what I end up going with. It’s all very natural.
You’re originally from Ireland, but currently reside in London and Los Angeles — is your national identity important to you?
Of course. I am so proud to be Irish and really miss home. It’s so important to know where you come from and, for me, my roots have helped shape who I am as a writer.
How has your relocation impacted upon you as a musician — in terms of both career opportunities and your musical direction?
I think I always knew I needed to spread my wings at some point. It was one of the hardest decisions to make, but I’ve grown up so much and experienced a lot more than I would have if I had stayed at home. I feel I have lots more to write about now.
The lyrics on your two singles ‘The Fall’ and ‘Settle Down’, both released earlier this year, are honest and heartfelt. Is it difficult to be this emotionally honest in your music, or does it come naturally?
I feel it’s important, especially in music, to not feel like you’re constrained to only talk about certain things. When I started writing, I really never intended on being so honest. The more I write, the more I realise that I just can’t help it. It’s just who I am – definitely a blessing and a curse.
Where do you hope to see yourself in five years?
I would love to be doing music full-time, with a band, touring the world and having released a few number ones.
What are your plans for the rest of 2018?
2018 is all about building. I was asked to play a few amazing festivals but it was too last minute and I wasn’t prepared well enough to give it my best shot. The rest of the year is going to involve releasing some more new music and working on developing my live set. I’m very excited!