Emerging country artist Niko Moon joins Michael Franti’s Stay Human podcast to chat about Moon’s early musical roots growing up in Atlanta, meeting his wife, releasing his first EP Good Time, and much more.
Finding a fascination for music at an early age, Moon explains that it was his father— who was a drummer— who initially got him hooked.
“Just watching him play drums as a kid, I thought it was magic. I couldn’t figure out how all this was happening at the same time. How he was making all his arms and legs do all that at once,” Moon tells Franti. “I just always knew I wanted to do music. I wasn’t really sure in what way, if it was an artist, or musician, or producer or songwriter— I just knew I wanted to be a part of music in some way. So pretty much as soon as I learned how to play guitar when I was 15, I was never interested in learning how to shred on a guitar, as soon as I learned G, C, and D, I was off to the races on writing songs. That was way more interesting to me.”
Fast-forward to Moon’s move to Nashville after messing around in bands throughout high school and college. He was promptly offered a publishing deal with Warner-Chappell Music and has since collaborated with A-listers like Zac Brown, Morgan Wallen, Dierks Bentley, and others to write country chart-toppers.
Even with the natural talent and tenacity he’s had from a young age, Moon credits his wife, Anna Moon, who is also a musician, for helping him take his career to the next level. Anna helped teach the musician how to treat his craft as a serious job.
“She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me, man, she saved me. Because at the time, I was partying really, really hard. I was drinking heavy, I was smoking heavy, and I’m embarrassed to say this because as a singer. I’m supposed to be serious as a professional singer. I’m supposed to be serious about my voice, not smoking like two packs of cigarettes a day. I was drinking like a fifth a day and just partying really, really hard, just living that life. And she’s who really encouraged me like, ‘Hey, you’re really good and you should take this more serious.’ I was like, ‘I am taking it serious.’ You know, I thought I was taking it serious, but she kind of helped me to grow up,” Moon says.
Working as creative partners and not just life partners, Moon also shares that she helped as a second opinion for his solo work— which he didn’t want to share publicly yet until he felt the material was ready. His EP ended up doing incredibly well for a debut release and the title track “Good Time” has become a Platinum-selling debut single.
Nevertheless, Moon never lets success get the best of him. To him, he says, staying human is all about being true to yourself and striving for your best every time.
For the rest of their conversation in which they talk about Moon’s time as a construction worker to serendipitously opening for Zac Brown, how he will perform alongside Franti on the Soulshine at Sea cruise, and more check out the Stay Human podcast.