AFTER being A-listed by Radio 2, fast-rising singer-songwriter Moya was thrilled to get the chance to support two music legends.
Not only did Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall sign her up but Rod Stewart also selected Moya for his return to the UK’s arenas this year.
Described as a female Bruno Mars, Moya can be seen this weekend at the V Festival in Staffordshire.
She says: “V is really exciting and I get to play on the same day as Beyonce, which is the most awesome, incredible thing in the world.
“I went to see her at the 02 on her world tour and then a month later I was playing the same venue myself and now I’m on the same festival stage as her. I still can’t quite believe it.”
Moya’s career began to take off after Radio 2 picked up on her single Making Me Fall.
She says: “After that things started moving really quickly and I’m sure that’s why I got the tours at the beginning of the year. We had such good reviews from Radio 2 that it was definitely the turning point and people started to take notice of what I was doing.
“It was also the listenership I wanted to reach. For me, Radio 2 plays a lot of excellent music – good singer-songwriter stuff. That’s the kind of music I want to be associated with, not one-hit commercial wonders.”
After that exposure, first Mick and then Rod signed her up for support slots on their tours.
“Yes, what’s going on,” she laughs. “I obviously have a calling for the old rockers. But wow, what can I say about that, it’s an achievement and a half.
“I used to grow up listening to Simply Red so the Mick Hucknall thing was bigger than Rod Stewart for me.
“I got a little bit starstruck when I met him. I kept babbling on that I listened to his music as a child, it was all very awkward. But it was a major opportunity to open for such a legend and hopefully I did myself justice in the arenas, which is what I needed to do.”
However it was, at first, a daunting experience for Moya.
“Oh, yes,” she says. “Try opening for Rod Stewart, that’s ridiculous. According to lots of people, Rod Stewart’s fans are very difficult to please in terms of support acts.
“But there were messages through the fan club saying that for once they liked the support act so thank god I managed to please them. All round goodness really.”
Moya also got some useful feedback from Mick Hucknall.
She says: “After the first show, when everything had gone so well, he came up to me and said, ‘I just want you to bottle this feeling. Everyone at some time has rubbish shows, but if you keep this feeling now you will know its worthwhile and you can carry on through any tour’. It was sound advice as I know that it’s not always going to be hunkydory. It was a nice sentiment to start the tour.”
Moya’s aim is to forge a career that will give her the same kind of longevity as Rod and Mick.
She says: “Hopefully the kind of music I’m writing will take me along that path. I want to write music that will last a lifetime.”
On August 26, Moya returns with her new single Come and Get It with her sights set firmly on breaking the UK charts.
She says: “It’s soulful and laidback, but still packs a punch. I wanted to write a song that matched the soulful parts of my voice and I think Come and Get It achieves that.
“It’s about manning up, realising you have something good and facing the error of your ways, before it’s too late.
“It was written about an ex, as a lot of music is. It has a lot more attitude than my other music, I wanted to show that I’m sassy inside and that I’m not going to get walked over. It’s a little bit different so I’m excited to see what people think about it.”
Hailing from Poole, Moya grew up always wanting to be a performer of some sorts.
She says: “I originally wanted to be in musical theatre and went to a stage school in Poole. That was my dream and it was only when I didn’t make it in drama school that I re-thought my life and I figured out I really enjoyed writing. So I honed in on that aspect and it has all stemmed from there. It was a blessing in disguise that I didn’t get into any drama school. It was a good deal I think.”
It’s obviously paid off as she’s quickly becoming the go to support for some of the biggest names in music, with another invite to open for Blondie at Camden’s Roundhouse – there’s also numerous talks of other big tours later this year.
With all this going on, it’s no surprise critical acclaim, press and YouTube views continue to rise. With recent support coming from the likes of The Independent, Q, Metro, and The Daily Mirror, Moya’s video views have continued to climb, with her last single, A Little More Love, now at well over half a million views.
At only 22 and less than a year since Making Me Fall hit the BBC Radio 2 A List, Moya has had the busiest six months of her life.
She says: “It has been an unbelievable learning curve. I never thought I would be able to play arenas so early on in my career.
‘It’s also made me realise I’m much more comfortable playing arenas. In small venues everything is so intimate that it’s actually quite daunting.
“But in arenas there’s that distance which enables you to get lost in the music. I’m in more control now. And it’s let me become the performer I want to be.”