Moneypenny is a Brooklyn based singer/songwriter and producer. Though classically trained in voice and piano, she chooses to explore and create music using a combination of sampling, looping, synths and live instruments
Interview by Tim Brown
When and why did you start playing?
I started playing music as a young child, maybe 5 or 6- violin was actually my first instrument but I soon switched to piano, voice and flute. Around 12/13 I started singing opera but stopped after high school.
Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD’s? Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
Aesop Rock has been the artist I’ve religiously listened to the longest. He’s a lyrical genius and my biggest influence. Self Defense Family, Death Grips, Amon Tobin, Nicole Dollaganger, Aphex Twin, Eminem, Radiohead and Ivy Lab are a few others I admire.
Do you perform in public? Describe those occasions? Concerts, radio, TV
I have performed in public, many times, though not always under my artist persona. In a different life I did musical theatre and was Belle in Beauty and the Beast at my high school. Performing for crowds of 800+ a night was amazing- it came so easily to me, to be on stage just singing my heart out. But the industry hasn’t been so kind to me- its difficult to book shows as a one person act. Promoters hear my music and assume I’m a band. When they find out otherwise, well, they change their tune a bit. It’s a bit disheartening to know I’ve got the chops but still have great difficulty booking shows.
What makes this kind of music “good” to you?
Good music is subjective, obviously, but to me, good music is emotional in some capacity. I’m quite picky about lyrics as well- I have a degree in poetry so cotton candy lyrics just don’t cut it with me.
Why did you choose to play this kind of music?
I’m not sure, really. The words and music just kind of…come out, I guess. Like I don’t have a choice in the matter. I’m just a vehicle. I’ve found that white noise helps my creative process- when given a consistent background, my brain generates melodies easily. It’s quite fascinating.
Let’s Talk about your music and your last work…
My last release was an accompanied poem about reincarnation and love. I really enjoyed the process of setting some of my poetry to music- its closer to scoring something than writing a song.
How do you feel about the internet in the music business?
I think it makes things strangely difficult, I don’t really like it to be honest. To make money you need to release music constantly and I don’t think that’s a healthy mindset. Eit