Things work best if Willy Moon isn’t told what to do

Big-time: Willy Moon’s catchy “Yeah Yeah” is hot due to an iPod commercial. The New Zealand native took his first steps toward stardom by buying a one-way plane ticket to London.

On the road promoting his introductory, self-titled EP, 23-year-old Willy Moon has been meeting immature folks who puzzle him — “people who are supposedly adults, who still haven’t really allowed themselves to grow up and become responsible for themselves as individuals,” says the New Zealand-born, London-based techno-rockabilly cat whose song “Yeah Yeah” was snapped up by Apple for its new iPod commercial. Then again, maybe it’s just him, he adds, “because I became responsible for myself as an individual at a very early age.” The sharp-suited kid has a full-length album on the way.

#link_box { width: 150px; height: auto; margin: 0; padding: 0; margin: 10px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 10px; background-color: #fbfade; /* ecru – light yellow */ border: 1px solid #343a25; /* green – for summer arts */ float: left; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; } #link_box img, #link_box a { border 0px; border-style: none; outline: none; } #link_box h1 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #8A0808; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 14px; text-align: center; } #link_box h2 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #000; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 10px; text-align: center; } #link_box ul { list-style: none; margin: 0; padding: 0; border: none; } #link_box li { margin: 0px padding: 0px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; } #link_box li a { display: block; padding: 5px 5px 5px 15px; /* Padding for bullet */ /* border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; */ color: #000; width: 100%; width: auto; /* height: auto; */ /* border: 1px solid blue; */ margin: 0px; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; line-height: 14px; text-decoration: none; } #link_box li a: before { /* background-position: top left; */ } #link_box li a:hover { background-color: #ddd; color: #000; }

Your mother died and your father moved out of the country for work, leaving you and your older sister in Wellington when you were only 12.

It was a conflation of circumstances whereby I ended up living with my sister, and at the time, it was very stressful. But we managed. My sister worked at a restaurant for a while, and my dad did send us some money. Occasionally. And my mother had some savings that we lived off of until they ran out. But we scraped by somehow.

Did anyone notice that there were no parents around?

Yeah. Especially at school. I would get into trouble at school, and I’d be sent to the headmaster’s office. And they’d say, “We have to get your parents in for a meeting to discuss your bad behavior.” And I’d say, “Uh … they’re away at the moment!”

You were constantly getting kicked out of school?

Yeah. I wasn’t really showing up to class that much, and I never passed any of my exams, never did any of the work they were asking. I used to just sit in the back of class and read books. If I was in class.

Then you spent all your money on a one-way ticket to London?

Yep. I thought I had to do something with my life, I had to make some drastic change. So I decided to do the most drastic thing that I could possibly do at the time — catch a plane to the other side of the world.

That’s where you met your girlfriend and eventually found your cool retro sound. But even when you were broke, did you ever consider going home to New Zealand?

That was just never an option. I mean, never. Now my sister moved over here quite recently, too. It’s strange because she’s my sister, but she’s also like my parent, even though she never really succeeded at being an authority figure for me. People telling me what to do has never really worked.

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

Market Street goes car-free Wednesday — but can the new law be enforced?

Officials say simple rule will keep autos off SF’s main artery

Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna among 9 dead in helicopter crash

Kobe Bryant, 41, the legendary basketball star who spent 20 years with… Continue reading

Don’t confuse exhaustion with lack of political might

2020 San Francisco Women’s March proves inspirational

‘Mad Mob’ aims to influence SF City Hall on mental health policies

They are fed up with City Hall telling those who need the services what’s best for them

‘Trump chicken returns to SF Bay with new companion

The Trump Chicken will return to San Francisco Bay on Saturday, but… Continue reading

Most Read