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Moon rising

Popstar Fia Moon told David Hennessy how her breakout success of 2020 remains ‘bittersweet’ due to coming in times of coronavirus and how her latest track Falling for You was recorded in one take because she had a bus to catch.

“It was just something that fell out,” Dublin popstar Fia Moon says of her latest single Falling For You, a song which explores the memories of past loves.

Fia explains that the song was written and recorded very quickly while taking a break from working on something else.

“I had started working with this guy Oscar Bell and we had written a song that was quite upbeat and I really loved it. But when we got to the studio and I got to the microphone and I’m reading the vocals for some reason I just couldn’t focus or concentrate on that song.

“It just did not feel right and I turned to Oscar and I said, ‘Can we just take a break from this? I need a distraction’. So we sat down and he started playing random different guitar riffs and things like that. Then eventually it kinda comes around to him playing this beautiful chord progression and then I start singing the melody for Falling for You over and over again.”

The song was then recorded that night in just one take so Fia could still catch her bus.

“We weren’t like, ‘Let’s sit down and write another song’. We had written the song in about 40 minutes and I lived so far from him in London and I said, ‘Okay, I love this song so much but I have to run to catch my bus’.

“So we just put down a really rough demo just so I could listen to it back. We hadn’t fully finalised the structure or the melody or even some of the lines. We did the whole thing with one mic, guitar and vocals in one take. It’s kind of like a live recording from the first time that we wrote it and some of the melodies and lines are ones that I just made up on the spot. He sent it to me on the bus home.”

Although it was meant to just be a rough demo, it is this raw recording that is on the track as it captures the emotions while the imperfections add to the song’s character.

“It’s so funny, It wasn’t even a studio. It was his bedroom and the studio was literally the bottom of the bunk bed. You can hear the cars passing by, you can hear the rain at times and you can hear my sniffles because I’m emotional singing it. It’s one of my favourite songs for that reason because it could not be any more raw or real from my perspective.

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“I couldn’t listen to that song without crying because every time I would listen to it I would feel the same emotions. It’s just so lovely to have it out in the world finally because it has been such a long process.

“And I’ve had so many lovely messages from people sharing their perspective and their experiences and showing support and love and it’s been really heartwarming.”

2020 was a hugely successful year for Fia. She was the third most played independent female Irish act in 2020. Her first single of the year Better Days reached No.13 on the Official Irish Homegrown Chart, was the 4th most played independent single by an Irish female act on Irish radio and featured on Love Island USA.

Like Falling for You, Better Days came out of the bitter experience of a relationship breakup. Released during a pandemic, it seemed to sum up the feelings of many who were just looking ahead to brighter days.

The Irish World interviewed Fia back in August.

“Better Days came from such a difficult place. What was such a deeply personal feeling turned into one that was far more universal because of Covid and all the anxiety everyone was feeling about the future. I think in a weird way the timing worked for it.

“I think songs have two different lives. One is when I write it and it’s personal and I’m living with it and then when it’s finally released out into the universe it’s not really up to me what happens to it anymore. It’s up to whoever listens to take what they want from it.

“I think all I can associate with that song now is positivity. It’s really lovely to have that support and to hear people saying that it makes them feel better.

“It definitely turned a negative into a positive.

“I still pinch myself that people are listening to my music. Honestly, I don’t think it will ever get old. It’s so cool. I’ve had people saying, ‘Oh my God, you’re song is on’. It could be in Starbucks or the 3 store or Supervalu, the randomest places, in their car as they’re driving.

“You put on the radio and there’s like Ed Sheeran and Gavin James and all these huge major label artists and then there’s little old me in the mix somewhere. It’s very cool especially as I’m completely independent.

Her follow-up singles XX and Let This Go were also positively received with XX being included in Hot Press’ Tracks of the Year at number five and featuring on Channel 4’s Made in Chelsea.

Furthermore, Red Bull included Fia in their Top 5 Irish Women Pop Stars and she has graced the cover of two Spotify editorial playlists for ‘New Pop UK’ and ‘A Breath of Fresh Eire’ while also passing 1 million combined streams.

Fia says the success of the last year is somewhat ‘bittersweet’ due to global events.

Fia made the move to London from Dublin three years ago when she got offered a job here that had nothing to do with music. Although she wasn’t sure if it was what she wanted, it led to her breaking into the music industry.
The singer-songwriter returned home from her base in London early last year expecting it to be a short trip but has remained there while the crisis has dragged on.

“When I moved from London to Ireland, I only packed a bag for two or three weeks and really did not anticipate being here nine, ten months later.

“2020 was an extremely challenging year for everyone. It’s been a really challenging rollercoaster of emotions because it was a bad year and then, in another way, it was one of the best years of my life because I released this music that I had been working towards for so long. And to have had the response that I’ve had is just so humbling and I’ve been so so grateful for every little bit of support so that’s been incredible and I think for everyone who’s experienced any level of success in 2020 it’s all so bittersweet because you can’t help but sometimes think, ‘I wonder what would happen if we could be booking festivals or if we could be touring. Would things be moving forward quicker? How would life be different then?’

“But I guess I have to remind myself of the reality of the situation that we’re all in the same boat.”

Fia was honoured to be recently included in Hot Press’ Hot for 2021 list alongside performers like the Liverpool-based Lucy Gaffney, Dea Matrona, Laoise and Robert Grace who have all been featured in the Irish World.

“I admire Hot Press. It’s always been a dream of mine to have support from them and they have been so supportive. It’s always amazing to get any kind of nod from people in the industry who are saying, ‘We are looking forward to what you have to come in 2021’. Having that support means so much. There’s so many amazing artists on that list.

“Also in their top songs of 2020 they had listed XX as number five. That was especially surreal as well.

“I’m collaborating with more people, I’m writing new stuff, I’m excited about the music that’s going to come after the mixtape.”

With her debut mixtape ready for release, not knowing when she’ll be playing for an audience again is not easy for Fia.

“I try not to talk about live performances because I would love to tour the mixtape, I can’t wait to play it for an audience but I guess that might be cruel to myself to get my hopes up with that because no one knows unfortunately.

“My main goals are just to continue releasing music that I’m proud of, that I believe in and that are true to my story. Anything else that comes along with that is all a bonus. It’s just to keep going, to keep moving forward, to keep releasing and to not stop because I think that’s all we can do. All we can do is keep doing what we are capable of and making the most of what we have in front of us as hard as that can be right now.

“This time last year we had no idea what was to come and you can have all the most amazing plans and you can be so hard on yourself that you need to achieve x,y and z by this time of your life but you just don’t know what the world is going to throw at you. As human beings we are actually at the mercy of something we don’t have full control over.

“I think for someone who is so organised and planned things, I think it’s taught a lot of us that we just have to live in the now and try and be as present as we can and not worry too much or be so hard on ourselves in the future. We don’t know. All we can do is be positive.”

Falling for You is out now.

For more information, click here.

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