Moonchild are a dreamy neo-soul / jazz-trio from Los Angeles. In a whirlwind three years Moonchild have self-released two albums, and collaborated or toured with highly-respected names in the soul-jazz crowd including Stevie Wonder, Jill Scott, India.Arie, Leela James and more. They’re finally hitting Berlin in October with an October 3rd gig in Kantine am Berghain. We asked them some questions, they answered some questions…
indieBerlin: How did you come up with the name Moonchild?
Andris: The three of us bonded one evening while stargazing, so when it came time to think of a name for the band we tried thinking of outer space related names. The words “Moon” and “Child” stuck out. Hopefully one day we’ll actually get two perform on the Moon haha.
indieBerlin: How does the songwriting process work for you?
Max: Our songwriting process changes for each track, but it’s basically a combination of working on our own and starting beats or ideas and then bringing in the group to collaborate. We each have home studios where most of the ideas start. For this last record we did a few writing retreats at a cabin in lake arrowhead where we all work together on the songs.
indieBerlin: How do you feel about covering a song?
Amber: I like it when artists I love cover songs in their own way. It’s really fun to see what they do with it and which songs they choose. So we like to cover songs for that reason. We always try to mix it up and do something different with it.
indieBerlin: Do you see your songs in color or black and white?
Andris: Color! I feel like that’s what is so rad about music in general. There are often so many different instruments, emotions, and textures at play, that it’s kind of impossible to see it as just black and white.
indieBerlin: Do you prefer playing big festivals or smaller club gigs?
Max: Playing festivals and clubs are both amazing, but if I had to choose I would say that playing clubs is more fun. The intimacy you get when everyone is packed in and dancing is hard to replicate at a festival, and we really feed off that energy from the crowd when we are on stage.
indieBerlin: Do you want to greet somebody?
Max: We love greeting people after the show, and always make an effort to hang out by the merch table when we’re done playing. We couldn’t do what we do without our amazing fans, and it feels great to give back taking pictures and just hanging out.
indieBerlin: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Andris: Other dope music. I’m in love with Spotify’s discover weekly feature because its algorithm allows me to instantly hear songs I probably haven’t heard that might inspire me in some new way. Outside of music, id say my biggest inspiration source is nature. If I’m feeling stuck creatively, I’ll go on a hike or watch a nature documentary and see if something beautiful inspires me.
indieBerlin: What music do you listen to on tour?
Amber: We always start with Earth Wind and Fire, D’Angelo, Bon Iver, and Stevie Wonder, Gretchen Parlato, and Erykah Badu. This time we were also bumping Noname, Kiefer, Tom Misch, The Roots, Vulfpeck, Bruno Mars, and so much more. We have such long drives that we end up listening to a ton of music.
indieBerlin: What was the last concert you went to?
Amber: Michael Mayo did a show in LA recently – that’s the last show I saw. He’s an insanely talented vocalist with the most beautiful buttery voice, creative songs, and a great band! He lives in NY now.
indieBerlin: In ten years I look back today and think?
Andris: Man, how did I live my life without self driving cars before.
Featured image by Meeno Peluce – used by permission
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.