Moya is looking to improve on her incredible 2012, after her first single ‘Making Me Fall’ got her onto the Radio 2 playlist and her debut album was met with critical acclaim last year.
Now she’s back with her new single ‘A Little More Love’ and a duo of nationwide tours and we grabbed some of her time to talk about hearing Rod Stewart wanted her, sharing desserts with Mick Hucknall and getting over a million views on YouTube.
So, the new single’s out now, so tell us a bit about ‘A Little More Love’.
It was written last year (I think, it’s all blurring into each other at the moment) with a guy that I’ve written most of the album with called David Blair-Oliphant and I’ve known him ever since I really started out doing this seriously. It’s about a guy and girl situation and how fame and fortune can really make a relationship difficult.
When I was writing it, I thought that there has to be a deeper message here, it couldn’t be that one level of things. In the end, it really is just about how we don’t need that in our lives, all we really need is a little bit more love.
I’m a sucker for that kind of thing really. I think the world at the minute is rather unfortunately based a lot around fame and fortune and people think it makes them a better person, but it really doesn’t.
Do you think writing with the same person for a while helps?
Yeah, it does. You get to know what each of you wants and how each of you work. At the beginning it’s always difficult as you’re sitting with someone and you have no idea about what they think about you or how this is going to work. You just have to take that deep breath and just go with it. With me and Dave, it’s really quite simple now, we know how each other thinks and we can be honest with each other in the writing process. It becomes easier and easier the more sessions you do with a person.
You just avoid situations of someone just blankly looking at you and just shaking their head at everything then.
Yes! It was kind of like that when I first started co-writing, as I’d never really done it before. I’d written a load of songs on my own, but it’s quite difficult as I’m quite an honest and open person and would like to think that people can be open and honest with me as well. You can’t have a good writing relationship if you’re not open with each other. I’ve been lucky enough to write with people that have been the same though.
You released your debut album last year on the quiet, what has releasing it like that been like for you?
It’s nice; I liked releasing it like that, etching it in slowly. In terms of sales it helps that I’m touring right now, as we’re selling copies every night. I didn’t just want to drop it and go “Hey, this is me!” because I wasn’t really sure if it was going to be the same me this year. Slowly but surely seeing it sink in has been more enjoyable for me, I much prefer this organic process.
Did something major happen to change you then?
I think after a debut album, people say that you change a lot and grow a lot. I definitely have, even in a year of being in the business; I’ve met a lot of people and learnt a lot professionally. I think at the moment, I’m going through a little bit of a transition.
Not that I’m throwing away the old stuff, I love ‘Lost and Found’ and it’s got me all over it, but it’s time to start evolving with what’s happening right now. All while keeping my Moya sound of course, just evolving that sound as I’m evolving as a person.
You've just finished touring now with Mick Hucknall, so what’s was that like?
Incredible. I feel very, very lucky to be doing what I am right now, especially from doing a club tour with Andy Burrows to a theatre tour in what must have been just a couple of months. It’s been heaven sent really. I’ve loved every minute of it so far. He’s just an absolutely wonderful man to be supporting as well, he’s just so nice and it’s a great dynamic behind the scenes.
Some of the venues I’ve been playing have been absolutely beautiful. I played the Birmingham Symphony Hall and it's just the most stunning place in the world. The acoustics are to die for.
I’ve just been unbelievably lucky with the places I’ve been able to perform in over the last few weeks. It’s an incredible opportunity to be given so early on and to be able to support someone I listened to as a child, it’s weird how it all goes full circle.
No insult to Mick, but he’s not the biggest name you’re touring with this year. What was it like when Rod Stewart came knocking for you?
I did actually have a bit of a cry for two hours. I might have hyperventilated a bit and couldn’t work out if I was really scared, or really, really happy. I just couldn’t catch my breath! My mum was just there going “You need to calm down” and I was just running around going “I’m so happy, but I’m also really nervous!”. It was one of those ‘Oh s***, I’ve got to go onto the O2 stage and sing’.
I mean, I’m going to see Beyonce in May and I’m just going to be sat there thinking ‘That’s going to be me in a month’. So that’s going to be a little weird (laughs).
This has been such an incredible rise, but what’s that been like for you?
I don’t think anyone, especially me, thought I’d be doing three tours in the order of club, theatre, arena, all in the space of six months. I think they think I’m superhuman and hopefully I’ll be able to prove that to them and not let anything phase me, but truth be told I am absolutely wetting myself.
But it’s OK, because this tour’s really helped settle me right now and it’s a good thing that I’m not just going from club to arena. That would just be horrendous. So it’s good that I’m working my way up the auditorium ladder.
You’ll just have to have someone there with an adrenaline shot to keep you going.
This is the first time I’ve actually had to look after myself. The tour I did with Andy Burrows was very low key and I didn’t really have to worry about myself as they weren’t huge gigs. Now I come off stage and into hand is thrust a vitamin drink and I get this throat soothing tea and I’m just there going ‘Whoa, I’m sure I could do this on my own’ but they’re really strict about me being good.
It’s a complete step up and I can see why touring can take it out of people. I mean, I’m only doing half an hour sets and I can’t even imagine doing a 14 day, hour and a half set right now. That just seems ridiculous.
I’ve heard rumours that you’re already working on album number two, are those true?
Your guess is as good as mine at the minute (laughs). May for me before the Rod tour is going back into the studio writing and I’ve been doing that between the last tour and this one. So, we have a selection of material to record, but whether we do a deluxe album and do a Lady GaGa esque re-release or we go full blast on a new album, I don’t know yet.
I really just want to see how ‘A Little More Love’ does and I’ve got another single that will potentially be dropping in the near future. I don’t think there’s any rush, artists tend to rush a lot. That’s great if you just want to get on the ladder quickly, but I want some longevity in my career and I think by doing this slowly and really thinking about what I want to do is going to be the way forward for me. Si I’m good with taking a back seat right now and seeing what happens.
Your videos have been so successful online. What was it like when you saw that your Vevo channel’s gotten over a million views on YouTube?
Look, I was really happy when I was putting them up myself when I got to three thousand views. I was just there going ‘Whoa, three thousand people have watched this! That’s so amazing’ and then used to count the views I got each day. Now I’m having to kick myself and not get too complacent about it and be like ‘I’ve only got a thousand more views today’ and instead be like ‘No Emily! Stop being an idiot’.
It’s mental to see the views going up so quickly and when I look at some of the videos next to me and some of the other Vevo videos have the same amount of views as me and I just think that nobody even knows me yet people are still watching my video! It’s just one of those things that happens I guess (laughs).
Don’t think you can say that though after getting on the Radio 2 A Playlist!
You would be surprised! The people who are coming to see Mick’s shows are the Radio 2 listener group and they’re just there saying ‘I swear I’ve heard that song before’ and I’m just there going ‘playlist, Radio 2’ and they just go ‘Oh, you’re that girl!’.
All I can say is ‘Well great! You listened to the song and didn’t even bother to look me up! Thanks so much!’ (laughs). You’d really be surprised, there are a lot of people that listen to the song but don’t actually know who sung it.
You’re a rather prolific blogger too, so what fuels that?
I think it’s just another way of people knowing me. I didn’t want to be one of those people that just don’t bother and it also helps getting as much out there as possible so that everyone can know about who you are. It’s not like a hardship or anything, I like doing it. It’s not like a full blown three page essay, it’s more ‘Here’s what I did today and look at some of my pictures’.
I think people like to know about the artist and if you do it this way, people aren’t going to make up stories about you. If you’re quite open with what’s going on in your life, it’s quite hard for people to say something else is going on.
Bit better than just ‘OMG, totes amaze, best sandwich ever!’ though.
(laughs) Me sharing a pudding with Mick Hucknall was quite a highlight though, so that went in the blog. It was a really nice pecan and sticky toffee pudding. Its little things like that that I think puts a bit of a personal touch to it which I think is the way to do it.
Is it true that your mum sing’s Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ to you on your birthday?
Yeah! Every birthday! This year, because I wasn’t with her, we did it over Skype. When we’re at home, she puts it on really loud, comes dancing into my room, sits on my bed and sings it to me. It’s like a tradition. I think it started five or six years ago.
I went to boarding school for a really long time, so she couldn’t do it. She might have done it when I was little, but ever since I started living at home again, she keeps doing it. It’s the best thing in the world, I love it. This woman on my Facebook page told me she sings it to her daughter as well, so it’s not just me who gets it.
So, after these tours, what’s next for you?
A lot of writing I think. I could potentially be on my travels in May writing with people. After the Rod Stewart tour though, I would like to think I could do my own headline tour. Hopefully, I will have built up enough of a fanbase to go out there on your own. It’s what every artist really wants.
I mean support tours are great, but there’s nothing like doing over an hour set where you can do what you want. A headline tour would just be fantastic, but other from that the writing’s the main thing. I miss writing quite a lot, so it will be really nice to go back into the studio and get the creative juices flowing once again.
Which do you prefer then? Performing or writing?
It’s really funny, I go through stages. When I’m on tour, I love the performing side because it becomes just an amazing part of your day. When I’m off tour though, I love the writing. Honestly it just keeps changing. What I really love about the writing is meeting new people, it been really exciting getting e-mails from people wanting to do a session with me or do some writing.
Moya’s new single ‘A Little More Love’ is and her album ‘Lost and Found’ are also out now.