“Come outside,” up-and-coming R&B pop artist, Bree New Moon invites at the beginning of her latest music video. The artist, just ahead of her upcoming EP and on the heels of the release of her latest single, “Young and Reckless,” is more than ready to remind the world about what it means to live in the moment. Fusing together dynamic rhythm and blues with echoes of pop flair, “Young and Reckless” is a track that perfects resounding messages of fun, hope, and everlasting childhood. Bree New Moon, an artist with a voice well ahead of her time knows that it’s memories like these that need to stay cherished.
On a journey through self-discovery, self-love, and self-acceptance, Bree New Moon has chronicled her path through her new EP, A Flower Blooms. Check out our exclusive interview with the artist here to learn more about her vision, her calling to use her platform for positive change, and the story behind her new album.
What inspired you to choose music as your career?
I started playing piano when I was 8 or 9. From middle school, up through college, I learned a little bit of violin, drums, and guitar. I never really thought it would be possible to pursue it as a career until I became a music industry minor in college. I went to James Madison University and studied production and the business side of music, which really opened the door for me. I’ve always seen music as this universal unifying force that has so much power to do good in the world. If I could change the trajectory of someone’s day for the better through my music just once, that’s why I do it.
Your name — which is actually your given name — has come to mean a lot to you. Does it influence your energy and who you are?
My father was African American and my mother is Native American. My mom gave me “New Moon” as my Native American name because she says that a New Moon is special since it only comes once a month. I definitely feel super connected to the moon in a way I don’t know that I would have had I not been named after it. There are things about it that I hope to emulate at some point in my life for sure like the way the moon affects the ocean. It makes waves, and that’s what making music is. Physical sound waves that carry a certain frequency that you created. I also love the fact that the new moon marks the beginning of the moon cycle and sort of has this energy of new beginnings and a clean slate. I hope that that’s how people feel when they experience me. That they have a clean slate. That I’m not here to judge them, only to embrace them and to show them that even through the darkness of the new moon, the light is on the way.
What’s the story behind your single “Young & Reckless?”
“Young & Reckless” is like a handbook of everything I’ve learned about life as a young person who is learning what it means to be an adult! I felt a responsibility to share these bite-sized lessons with whoever they were given to me by the muses for. It’s easy to see millionaire 17-year-olds on social media and feel like a failure, but who cares what anyone else is doing, you know? You have your life, you have your 20s, you have something in your heart that you were meant to share with the world, so do that. Make good choices and have fun doing it!
The music video for “Young & Reckless” shows you having fun and being free in places that typically remind us of younger days! What was the concept or idea behind the visual for the song?
The video was shot in first-person because I wanted the viewer to feel like they were there with me. This day that we’re spending together in the video is meant to be reminiscent of that carefree time in your teen years when your biggest responsibility is doing the dishes or getting a good grade in geometry. It’s a look back at what it feels like to really be young and reckless. All of that is indicative of a time where throwing caution to the wind like that was the most liberating feeling. My walking away at the end symbolizes me leaving that stage of my life and moving into the next one, but being so happy that I got to experience it for what it was.
A Flower Blooms is all about growth. Why was it important for you to sing about your personal growth?
I strongly believe that I can’t be of service to anyone if I’m not right with myself first. I think it’s so important for me to look in the mirror at who I am and figure out whether or not I like what I see. I’m at a point in my life that I feel like no one really talks about. Everyone expects you to magically have everything figured out in your early to mid-20s and that’s just not a realistic standard for every single person. I hope that other people who are experiencing the same things will feel seen, heard, understood, and like they’re not so alone when they hear the EP.
You wrote, produced, and performed this record on your own. How do you switch from being a songwriter to a singer to a producer?
I don’t have a system that I always stick to when I’m making a song. It can be pretty messy. Sometimes I start with the lyrics, sometimes I start with the melody, sometimes I start with the beat, and sometimes I write and produce at the same time like a wild woman. Writing definitely comes the most naturally to me, so I’m always happiest when I’m writing. If I have a strong melody and I’m creating a beat around it, I’ll usually record a piece of it so I can listen and try to place sounds around it that make sense. Being able to tell the story both lyrically and sonically is really important to me. It’s why I started producing in the first place. I usually track on a separate day to get the cleanest vocal I can.
Who are some artists that influence you and that we might hear echoes of on your new EP?
I was listening to Frank Ocean a lot while working on this EP. “White Ferrari” had a big influence on some of the mixing decisions for the background vocals on “If I Lose It All.” I was listening to alternative bands like Bleachers when I was making “Young & Reckless” because I was going for that modern ’80s feel and I think they do that very well. The ’80s are probably my favorite decade of music. There’s a purity, an excitement, and comfort that that sound incites and it’s something that pop music seems to be coming back to. I was also listening to electronic-leaning pop artists like Chelsea Cutler because I love playing with vocals from a production standpoint and love the way electronic songs are structured.
You’re an artist who holds advocacy for social causes pretty seriously. One of the things you love to focus on is environmentalism. What made you want to ensure that things like your merchandise were eco-friendly and giving back to the planet?
I have to put my money where my mouth is. When I say I want to make a difference regarding the environment, I genuinely do. My merchandise, which will be released in 2021, is made using sustainable fabrics and will be packaged using biodegradable materials. I wanted to provide people with the tools to make a change in their own lives so I will have bamboo straws and cutlery available for purchase on my website as well. A lot of people don’t know how these small changes will be SO big in the not-so-distant future.
What inspired your EP is your relationship with yourself. What is the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself during the process of making this record?
I’m learning how to fully love myself and I’m learning how to trust myself. I used to think that making an EP wasn’t that big of a deal. There are plenty of people nowadays who know how to do that, but after doing it and seeing how much work it took, I’m so proud of myself. Writing it caused me to do a lot of reflecting, to right a few wrongs, and to face parts of myself I may not have been ready to before. As artists, I truly believe it is our duty to carry out the visions that we are gifted with. Our perspectives are what make art unique and if you can’t trust yours, you can’t carry out the vision.
What do you hope listeners will take away from A Flower Blooms?
The message I want people to receive is that growth is tough, but it’s so necessary. All of the triumphs and disappointments make us better and we can’t rush the process. Flowers don’t bloom on a schedule. If you planted two flowers next to each other and gave them the same amount of water and light, they may still bloom at different times. That doesn’t make anyone more or less beautiful than the other. Just like a flower blooms in perfect timing, so do we. I believe in the divine timing of it all in that things happen exactly when they’re supposed to; exactly how they’re supposed to. There is no such thing as being late to being you. I talk about the trials and tribulations of what feels like a blooming season for me and I hope that it speaks to listeners in their own blooming seasons too.