by Sade Hawthorne
Are you a fan of jazz or blues? Do you love listening to music with positive messaging that’ll take you on a nostalgic whirlwind? Well, look no further and allow Moon Newbill to give you something that’s uniquely her but would resonate with women of all ages. With her debut single “Come Through Mother” that released in January 2018, following with her premiere EP a few months later in April, Moon takes her listener through a journey filled with empowering stories. From relatable accounts depicting a woman clinging to her beloved while praying to a higher being for the sake of keeping the family together is one of the many personal stories you’ll hear. With the resounding idea that we are made to love while questioning the process is one that plenty can connect with. However, it doesn’t stop there.
Throughout her multidimensional EP, she continues to go into further details surrounding restless nights, feeling like an invisible lady and particularly with “The Table,” she introduces electronica elements that make you want to dance. Her eclectic musical tastes are evident through the entirety of her project, and you hear elements of jazz, electronica, hip-hop, and other genres interwoven together.
The self-proclaimed singer, songwriter, and stage wrecker was born and raised in Washington, D.C. Her musical journey took a life on its own be it that she came from a family of musicians and visual artists. In her own words, she didn’t really have a choice. Before she could talk, music was her first language. Her father trained her to sing in the church while her mother kept jazz music playing in the house and made her children learn how to sing for entertainment. Delving further into her musical roots, her grandfather was a famous doo woo singer, so music is genuinely in her DNA.
Anisha Newbill, the person behind the public persona Moon Newbill, works a full-time job at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, all while giving full energy to her goals and dreams. A typical day consists of getting her family ready for the day whether that’s making sure her children are out of the door for school at the appropriate time or meeting her husband at the metro. On top of being a wife and a mother, she’s also an artist. She goes to rehearsal or a gig regularly, and on top of her individual artistry, she also sings with a blues band as well. Every day is an adventure for her, and it changes daily.
Her inspiration for her music can be found everywhere, but she bases it on life. Whether it’s from things she saw in a dream, a silly statement made by her kids, Moon is always picking up verses from observing. She notes that when you observe enough, you can get inspired by a raindrop on your forehead. When asked about any major goals for her musical journey, Moon Newbill’s main objective is to make good music. She elaborates, stating that she wants to create music that people can feel. With her love to perform, she wants to continue to do so and get out there more so her destiny can come full circle. She dreams of one day making exciting music with the likes of Missy Elliot, Pharrell, and Cee-Lo Green.
Be it that HERA Fest is for women of all ages coming together and supporting one another, but also placing special emphasis on the younger generation, Moon Newbill has a special message that she wants to share with the crowd. “It’s never too late to manifest your dreams. People put a time frame on women to accomplish things before they become mothers, spouses, or before they turn a certain age. Then it’s over for you. When it’s your time, no one can take it away, disrupt or destroy it except for you. I was told to stop performing when I became a mother. I went into labor after a show with my first child, and I do what I do because of them. They need to see me keep going.”
Moon Newbill is the epitome of dancing to the beat of one’s own drum. Her music has been years in the making because Moon wanted a sound that was unequivocally hers. Her message aligns with ProjectHERA perfectly since at ProjectHERA, they “show girls that there are no limits to what they can play or do and teach the importance of listening to and supporting each other while providing a creative outlet.” Moon Newbill will be one of the dozens of acts included in the all-ages female fueled music festival. In a traditionally male-dominated industry, HERA Fest is all about celebrating, promoting, and empowering women and girls and Moon Newbill will do just that. Get ready to dance and to be inspired and in the words of Mrs. Newbill, baby come through!
Sade Hawthorne is a freelance writer currently working for multiple publications with a particular love for Hip-Hop. Currently finishing up pharmacy school at Howard University, Sade plans to take her writing to the next level in the years to come.
Flow-bending artist aSanTIS discusses art, culture, and whether sound can solve the world’s problems in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
My interview with Amy Santis aka aSanTIS began in the most unexpected way. The Maryland-based flow-bending artist and lyrical storyteller came prepared to engage in conversation around questions I had posed – and she also brought one or two of her own thoughtful prompts based on her curiosities around my view of learning.
This practice of taking in her surroundings deeply through observation and inquiry has come naturally to aSanTIS ever since she was a young child. In terms of her early starts in music, she notes that she began as a discerning listener. “Just listening to music from my mom, on the radio, just being a consumer in the world of sound. But I think mainly, my mom has always loved dancing and listening to music, so that was sort of like second nature. We play music at gatherings, we play music in the car, and these songs are sort of like diaries that take us into a specific place.”
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