Just as his dreams of breaking into the entertainment industry started to slip, Malcom Moon tightened his hold on the reins.
The 26-year-old West Hall native planted himself in New York City in 2015 for a purpose — to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter. But Moon said as time passed, he felt trapped in his day-to-day work environment.
“I got used to my job and forgot why I moved here,” Moon said. “Living here for three years, I realized that I hadn’t done anything that I felt was significant. I think at that moment, I was like, ‘something has got to give.’ I felt like I was failing.”
Moon said he turned his gaze toward his journal entrees and voice memos from over the years, which addressed memories of insecurities, pain, sex, growth and self-love. He said he used those confessionals as inspiration for song lyrics featured on his first record, released recently.
His introduction into recording music came after meeting a couple of producers in Brooklyn in 2016. One of them, who is a part of the producer duo Bird Language, took an interest in Moon.
“I started working with them (Bird Language), and we started recording songs and developing music,” Moon said. “They introduced me to my main producer, who is Chris LaBella.”
As Moon collaborated with LaBella and Bird Language, his first extended play record began to take shape in early 2018. He eventually released the eight-track EP, titled “Conversations in my Driveway,” in late May.
Moon said the record tells his story — a young Black boy trying to find his sense of self in a new environment.
“When people listen to my music, I hope they find a sense of comfort knowing that it’s OK to make mistakes,” Moon said. “It’s OK to go through changes. It’s OK to sometimes feel lost. Given the current pandemic and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, I hope my music can inspire anyone who feels or has felt defeated.”
Moon said the name of the EP encompasses his moments spent hanging out in cars with his West Hall High School friends.
He remembered sitting at the top of his driveway and talking with his friends about personal subjects they wouldn’t dare speak of at school.
“We’d open up about our homelife, our dreams, our aspirations,” Moon said. “That’s what this record feels like. It feels like I’m putting the listener in the passenger seat, and they’re riding along with me.”
Moon describes his sound as “dream&B” — a “mix of dreamy pop sound and R&B vocals.”
He said he draws most of his musical influence from American singer-songwriters Aaliyah Dana Haughton, Frank Ocean and Brandy Norwood who inspire him to become more versatile.
While growing up in the Oakwood and Flowery Branch area, Moon said he always dreamed of being an entertainer in every sense of the word. Now that he has taken the first step in his music career, he plans on continuing that journey, and building upon it.
“I want to sing,” Moon said. “I want to go into acting. I want to write for people. I want to be an advocator for social good. I want to dive into fashion.”
For now, Moon says he will continue working at his musical production marketing job in New York City, while pecking away at more songs.
“I wrote it (the EP) for myself to prove that I can do this,” Moon said. “Now that my friends are listening to it and other people are connecting to the music, I know it’s something deeper, and I can go further with this.”