28-year-old Swedish indie-rock music producer Francis Moon is a solo project, playing under several different names and bands throughout the years, he decided to turn all his creative energy into an independent project in 2015. Francis Moon’s music can be described as a potent blend of indie-rock combined with a special dream-like atmosphere, fresh off the reverberated strings. Influences are many and include bands like Valley, Mew, The 1975, Bibio, Coldplay, Bon Iver, and Veronica Maggio to mention just a few.
Francis Moon had gained many new listeners since his single ‘In Colour’, which was released earlier this year on alexrainbirdRecords and has amassed over 420,000 streams. This brings the total streams on his unique take on cinematic indie rock to a staggering 2.5 million on Spotify alone.
Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?
When I was young I always stood in front of the TV or the mirror and “performed” as famous artists such as Michael Jackson, Roxette, The Beatles. My dream was to one day make music and perform in front of thousands of people. However, the first real impact music had on me was a deeper emotional level was through 2 bands. One band was Beatles and their song “She Loves You”.
My friend Pontus had been talking about a song his brothers had shown him earlier for weeks. At that time we did not know much English and he more or less pronounced the title as “Schlafsa” which didn’t make any sense to me. However, he then let me hear the track and I understood it was called “She Loves You”. That song activated something in me, even though it is not one of my favourite Beatles songs!
The second band that got me deeper into music was Bon Jovi.
My uncle gave me the CD “Bed of Roses” on Christmas one year, and somehow, Bon Jovi stuck with me until their release of “It’s my life” which unfortunately is catchy but horrible song haha. But I have to admit I love the 80’s version of Bon Jovi. From there on it just exploded. I love many different types of genres and I believe I can find something inspiring in all (almost) of them.
My first entry into music production took place when I was 11 years old. A couple of friends of mine had just started jamming together/recording songs and for some reason the thought out singer had gotten sick. So instead they asked me and I joined as a singer/guitarist. Nerve-wracking to say the least!
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
There are a few things that I always do to get the songwriting process going. Over the years I have been trying different approaches and discovered what works best for my creative process. Most of the time I start with creating the music, which can be a riff on the guitar, piano chords e.g basically, anything that comes to mind that represents how I am feeling at the moment. Once I have an idea of music, I start to look for photos/images online where I would love to be at the moment while listening to this specific music. It could be putting up images for inspiration on the wall and then putting all ends together to finish the song. I always finish with the lyrics. Not sure if this is something common, but works for me so that’s why I am continuing to do so.
I do see my music as therapy, since I have always had a hard time opening up to people, to talk about feelings and what I am feeling at the moment. With the music, I can get all my feelings out and see it from another perspective. Some people write a diary, go to a therapist, while I just found my peace in music.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Oh, that is so much actually. I learned over the years to tackle life with an open mind and to live in the moment as cliche as it may sound. But it gives me so much back in return thinking that way.
So what comes first to my mind is meeting interesting and inspiring people that plant different ideas in your head simply by just being themselves and with their stories.
As I also touched upon earlier, images/photography is something that triggers my creativity in a good way. It can also be that I hear a specific synth sound in a song on the radio that is so amazing that I just have the urge to create something. So yes, a lot!
As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?
Oh my, don’t remind me about it. However, I do think it is somewhat a great thing that musicians are “forced” to step up when it comes to marketing and promotion. I’ve seen and heard a lot of bands that think by simply releasing a song they will get famous overnight. I would say that happens to a lucky handful of individuals but it is all about consistency and taking action to promote yourself, be out there and be fearless in the approach without being too cocky. It is all about balance! Self-confidence, “hard work” (work hard but most of all work SMART) are my keywords in all of this.
At the moment I can’t think of something that I would like to personally change in the music industry.
I tend to do a lot of PR myself in combination with my releases and that can take a few weeks to squeeze as much as possible out at the moment. So, I would say to make it easier/more affordable for musicians to get in contact with PR agencies and get their music out. It shouldn’t be the size of the wallet that decides which artists that make or break in the market, which is somewhat the feeling I have now of the music industry.
Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?
I do love both! Studio work for me is therapy and is a safe place where I can fully let everything out and surprise myself. Playing in front of a live audience is what adds color to all of that. It is great to get the adrenaline going and to see the impact the songs have on other individuals. One can sit weeks/months or even years with a song but playing live is all about being in the moment.
What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?
One of the moments must have been when I played as a pre-show to “Walk the Moon” at Debaser Slussen in Stockholm some years ago. They were nervous and didn’t know what to expect in terms of the amount of people that would show up and so did we. However, the place was completely packed when we started playing, and hundreds of people were dancing, singing and just making that evening a very special one for me.
What’s on your current playlist?
I would say everything from heaven to hell, haha. This month my playlist is so diverse, it must be the autumn season playing a trick on me! But artists/bands that currently are on repeat a bit more than others are Thomas Dybdahl, Valley, The Blaze, and Estraden.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?
At the end of November, I will release a remix for ‘In Colour’ that I am really happy about. I got contacted by 2 great DJs ( to be announced) that wanted to give the song a new electronic twist and it turned out amazing. Now we will throw the song out into the world and hopefully straight into dance floors across the globe. Going further on the topic, I just started to record what will become an EP/album that hopefully will see the light of day within a few months. All depending on how it goes! And then take the EP/Album on tour across Europe as well sometime next year.
Famous last words?
Stay true to yourself and don’t settle for less! ✌️
Follow Francis Moon online