‘Scorpio Moon’ artiste wants others to tune into their emotions

By Hanan Redwan Published on November 19, 2023
‘Scorpio Moon’ artiste wants others to tune into their emotions

For an album titled, ‘Scorpio Moon’, the cover of a starlit Saturday evening sky proved the most apropos of scenes for a listening session. 

With loved ones, friends, and well-wishers assembled, and all eagerly expectant, the artiste Moon gave a sneak peek of tracks from their 13-song debut album two Saturdays ago at Backpackers Hostel with a live-wire performance that brilliantly showcased a melding of folk, new-wave reggae and rock influences.

“The album is named after my moon sign, which references the moon being within the constellation of Scorpio the minute I was born,” the genderfluid-identified artiste shared with Loop Entertainment in a post-show interview at the launch event held at Grosvenor Terrace venue in St Andrew. “Scorpio is a water sign, and anyone who knows me knows the intense relationship I have with water.”

They explained that their artistry “go[es] below the surface, always seeking the deeper meaning of things.” 

“Scorpio Moon reflects that depth and vulnerability, whether it’s talking about love or spirituality. I want people to listen to it and tune into their own emotions,” they added.

The creative journey for the 32-year-old, who grew up in North America and attended Notre Dame Secondary in Canada, took shape in their youth with a penchant for poetry before a return to local shores to enrol at Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts, where they studied music and goldsmithing.

“I began performing at rock shows and yoga events in 2016, then in 2018 I started frequenting Kingston’s weekly event ‘The Jam’, where I’ve performed often over the years and met many of the musicians who worked on this album,” the artiste revealed. 

Turning to thoughts on Jamaica’s alternative music space, Moon opined that the idea that Jamaicans only listen to and create reggae and dancehall offered a very narrow and one-dimensional perspective.

“From Edna days, I encountered several rock and alternative musicians/lovers of music,” they noted, adding “we don’t tend to get the same push as the reggae and dancehall industries do.

“There is so much talent here that deserves to be witnessed, and we must remember that there is growth in diversity. I think for some there is fear that can overpower curiosity, because musical genres like rock are often demonised, but if we can get past that, then the phrase ‘Jamaican music’ would no longer be synonymous with reggae and dancehall alone, through both a local and international lens,” Moon shared.

As to the behind-the-curtain process in recording her debut album, studio sessions began in 2019.

“There were some breaks in-between, and we released some singles from it along the way. Having the right instrumentalists on it to cultivate the sound I wanted was important, so we took the time to coordinate with everyone and make sure it wasn’t rushed,” they noted, adding that songwriting was a transient experience in itself. 

Working with producer Jeremy Ashbourne on the album, they said: “The songs themselves all happened at moments of intense feeling or change. Music is emotion translated into sound, so once I take something to the studio, the goal is to capture that feeling in the recording. We used many different techniques and instruments people aren’t accustomed to hearing together or at all in Jamaican music, and when I listen to the final mixes I feel like we accomplished something beautiful.”

Speaking to Loop Entertainment, Ashbourne detailed that in producer-mode, he was keen on capturing the subtleties in the music, Moon’s singing style and acoustic instruments used to create the recordings.

“[I wanted] to translate the honest and raw elements present in the material, keeping it natural and not over producing it,” he said. “[I was] trying to translate the gentle aesthetic of the compositions authentically with a memorable style.”

The multi-instrumentalist Ashbourne, offspring of well-regarded musicians Rosina Moder and Peter Ashbourne and assistant musical director of Television Jamaica’s Rising Stars, described Moon’s recording sessions at Portal Studios as being “very fluid”.

“All the musicians are very talented, and the process was very open, allowing for everyone to tap into their streams of consciousness, tracking them in the freedom of their expressions and then editing and curating it all afterwards,” he explained.

On the heels of the intimate launch, Moon divulged that while there are no immediate plans for further scheduled performances, album promotion will continue in earnest.

With an artistic background that encompasses jewellery-making and poetry journalling, they refuse to be identified within any fixed parameters.

“Who I am as an artiste is who I am in real life, everyday,” they declared. “I am genderfluid. Beyond the binary in art and in being. All of my work, be it visual or auditory, is multidimensional and largely experimental. I consistently seek to push my own boundaries and create outside of my comfort zone. If it scares me, I’m probably doing it right.”

Hanan Redwan

Hanan Redwan

0 Comment

No comment found. Be the first one to add comment on this article.

Leave a Comment