Exclusive Q&A With Sam Mooney

The release of Sam Mooney's new single “Time Bomb” was a classic soulful pop hit that has a timeless effect that will make this song be remembered for days. We had the chance to interview Sam Mooney to talk about his music journey and what we can expect from him in the near future!

Listen to Sam Mooney's single "Time Bomb" here!

Hi Sam! Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Sure! My name is Sam Mooney and I’m an independent Singer/Songwriter from Mississippi. I’m twenty-two years old and a recent college graduate just starting my full-time career in music. I love traveling, making new friends, and making music. Thankfully, I get to do all three of those things a lot with this job. I’m currently releasing the first few singles from my upcoming record, which comes out soon! 

Can you give us a history of your musical career?

There’s so much I could say! I’ll give a SparkNotes version. When I was nine years old, I distinctly remember being shown a Ray Charles song while riding in the car and it sent me spiraling into a huge phase of listening to old blues and jazz music. I was taking piano lessons already, but I got a keyboard for Christmas a couple years later and that’s when my playing really took off. I started writing songs in junior high and eventually broke through my stage fright and started playing and singing as often as I could!  In early 2014, I got the opportunity to record my first EP and that was a great learning experience for me. That record ended up making the Top 10 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter Chart when it released! I then moved to college at Ole Miss and spent most of the next two years playing everywhere that I could and living the busy college student life. In 2016, I made another EP called Find My Way that also made the Singer/Songwriter Chart Top 10 but more importantly, really helped me figure out some core lessons about who I wanted to be as an artist. It’s really cool to see how well that record has been received! The band and I then started to get some really cool shows and opening slots, and the crowds started to grow even more. All the while, I was writing new songs.  That brings us to this year! It’s been by far the most I’ve ever worked on music, but I’ve loved it. This spring was an insane workload cause I was finishing my last semester of college, recording this record on the weekends, and playing a ton of gigs. Thankfully, I got through and got my degree in May! Since then, it’s been full speed ahead working on the album and making music! It’s been a challenging but amazing year. I’ve got a lot to be thankful for, for sure!

Do you write your own music? Can you tell us a bit about your writing style?

I write all my own stuff! That being said, my first collaboration just came out! It’s a song called “Coffee” that I worked on with a really great indie hip-hop artist, Wes Writer. Of course, I’m definitely open to more collaboration and co-writes! I do them from time to time already, but so far I’ve been pretty independent in my songwriting.  I think the most important thing about my writing process is that I never rule any song or genre out. I love all kinds of music, so I’m down to write in pretty much any genre if I believe in the song. It keeps things exciting for me. I don’t think I could ever pick one lane and stay in it. For better or for worse, I’ve got too much creative energy and love for music to just do one thing forever!

Love the new song Time Bomb!!! Can you tell us a bit about it?

Thank you! So glad you dig it! Time Bomb is a personal favorite of mine. I love a good R&B slow jam, and it feels so good to have one of my own now. There were so many moments in the recording process where I just remember thinking “I can’t believe this is MY song!” because I felt like even if someone else had written it, I would still objectively feel like it was next-level work. It blends pop, soul, jazz, and R&B in a way that feels timeless but still really fresh. Plus I love playing it live!

Where did the inspiration behind Time Bomb come from?

Well, it’s important to note that I want everyone to find their own meaning in this song! I want that for all my songs. My meaning isn’t any more important than any other listener’s interpretation. With that said, for me, Time Bomb is one of the more emotionally complicated songs I’ve written because it touches on so many different feelings. There’s conflict, honesty, doubt, determination, fear, miscommunication and more all in one song. It’s such a jumble of emotions and I think it’s very real because that’s how relationships can feel sometimes. You’re not always just working through one challenge at a time. Sometimes you’re working through twenty different emotions and obstacles at once, and navigating that can be super challenging.  One of the main messages in Time Bomb is that it’s always an uphill battle to be totally honest and transparent, no matter how strong your love is. The song expresses how hard being vulnerable can actually be and shows that there are consequences to not communicating well. That’s why I love the bridge, because it’s almost like this breakthrough where you’re finally being totally open and admitting how scary it all is. To me, it makes the last two choruses feel that much more meaningful because you’ve finally put it all out there. I think the song lyrically and musically feels very open-ended, which is really cool and exactly what I wanted. It’s kind of like a “choose-your-own-adventure” book for the listener. So I’m excited for people to hear the song and deduct their own meaning from it.

What are three things you’d love your fans to know about you?

I’m getting deep into the music, so let’s go with some fun facts! 1. I’m a huge fan of The Office. At least 5 times a day something happens that reminds me of a scene from the show. And I’m pretty much always quoting Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute.  2. I’m a big sports fan. Especially basketball and football. I go to a ton of games when my schedule allows. I made it to every home Ole Miss football game when I was a student! Haha 3. I’m a born and raised Mississippian! While it’s not a perfect place, I still love it so much. I’ve spent the last 4 years in Oxford, Mississippi for college and I think it’s one of the best towns in the country. Mississippi is full of hidden gems and the regions of the state have really cool subtle differences and unique things to offer. I think it’s a state that everyone in the country should visit at some point in their lives! And they can message me on Instagram (@sam_mooney) if they want help with a travel schedule! I’d love to be a Mississippi trip advisor for somebody.

Any upcoming shows? 

Absolutely! I’ve been traveling for shows this whole fall and we’ve got a couple shows left in the fall run. Like most indie artists, though, I pretty much play year round, so I’ll be hitting it hard again not long after the fall run ends. 2019 is gonna be an even bigger year for shows, I’m hoping!

For someone who hasn’t seen you live yet, how would you describe your performance?

Depends on the night, honestly! For one thing, since I’m a solo act, my shows take many different forms. One night the show could be me with my full band, me doing an acoustic show with a couple band mates, or a solo show. Each type of performance is pretty unique and I love doing them all in different ways! Whichever it is, though, I believe that the common threads of the show being energetic, musically enriching, fun, and all about human connection are always there. 

Another reason that it depends on the night is because I try to change the set list at least slightly every show. I’m a big fan of artists who strive to make every show special, so I love to mix in different things so that each crowd gets something totally unique.

What’s next for you?

Finishing the rest of the record is the first thing! We’re super close to being done, and the singles have been really well-received which has been so appreciated and exciting. I can’t wait for everybody to hear the rest! After that, it’s gearing up for 2019! Being full-time has really been great because it’s caused my mentality to change in some ways. During school, I worked on music a whole lot, but I had to pick little windows of time (usually the breaks of the school year) to really push forward with either recording or playing heavy amounts of shows. Now, I’m able to push the ball forward more consistently and take on so much more work than ever before, so that’s really exciting. In 2019, I’m hoping for a year full of playing shows and writing and recording as much as I can!

Connect with Sam Mooney on social media:

Instagram: @sam_mooney

Twitter: @sammooneymusic

Facebook: Facebook.com/sammooneymusic

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4o4XLs7H4j0rFrd7eZ3My6?si=9wgJqdLIRHOT1vGcE1K14w

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