Exclusive: Cheri Moon on “Ain’t I A Woman”
Cheri Moon took over our Instagram today in support of her latest single, “Ain’t I A Woman”. The woman’s empowerment pop anthem which was released on International Woman’s Day 3/8 is already gaining tons of buzz. We got to chat with Cheri on the track, her alter ego, and all the special women in her life, including her two daughters!
Stage Right Secrets: What’s the story behind your song, “Ain’t I A Woman”?
Cheri Moon: Writing and recording ‘Ain’t I A Woman’ is kind of full circle for me because I learned about Sojourner Truth and her speech as a kid through a punishment given to me by my high school teacher, who told me to learn the speech overnight, and come back to perform it in front of the whole class. Through the process of learning it, my grandma told be adamantly that I must be true and convey what this speech meant because it was too important. So, after re-thinking it I put together a performance and the class performance led to me performing it all around Memphis, TN. When going through my transition of becoming a mother and struggling with my identity as a woman, artist etc. I often had thoughts of inadequacy. I had to rediscover myself – thinking of words my grandmother used to say and also being inspired by all the accomplishments of many women of today. I went back to that moment of doing this speech and how that made me feel. So, I wrote this song as inspiration to other girls and women around the world to celebrate who they are and inspire them to be who they want to be no matter what it is and never feel like it’s too late!
Who were your biggest female inspirations growing up?
A lot of women in my family: My Grandma of course, my aunt Sweetie, my mom, but also Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Josephine Baker, and Diana Ross..I also used to watch Janet Jackson’s live concerts and videos on repeat.
Do you have a preference between singing, songwriting, and acting?
Singing and performing music is definitely my top love. I enjoy songwriting when I’m not having writer’s block and I’m having fun with it and no pressure. I like the process of acting too though, but singing is still #1.
Do you have a dream role?
I’d love to play a female artist in a movie to tell their story like Donna Summer, or actually, it would make me so giddy and happy to play a role like either Carol Burnett in Annie or Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins! OMG!!
How did your children’s music alter ego ‘SNOOKNUK’ come about?
I had to make it through Motherhood somehow. [Luaghs] Being a new mom is NOT easy, especially when you are still in the middle of trying to be an artist. I turned all of the whoas into a new song. I got so tired of repeating myself when teaching them to do basic hygiene and everything, so I just made it into a song, and we would just sing every day. I made the melodies super catchy and fun that they caught on and would sing it themselves. It made life so much easier for me, so I thought I have to get this out as a tool for parents and teachers etc. for them to use to teach kid’s life lessons and mindfulness. I started by just doing little music sessions at my girl’s schools, but then it just kept growing from there and I eventually opened up a Kid’s Performing Arts Cafe in LA, where myself and other amazing musicians and artists would teach music, host classes, and workshops etc. It was super-duper cute! Families really loved it. We had members that would come almost every day!
You’re also a songwriter for Timbaland and Missy Elliot. Do you have a favorite song you have written?
I wrote and sang background vocals with Tim’s team, artists, and producers he worked with and my girl group was one of the groups that Missy Elliott tried to break back then. Songs we wrote were mostly for our group and there are quite a few that I still love even though they haven’t been released. That process is definitely where I credit my songwriting growth and skills. Just being in the studio with them and watching them through their writing process was an amazing experience.
You have two daughters. What do you hope the future looks like for them?
I really hope that they choose to go into the field that speaks to their hearts the most. Life can be so tough, so I want them to try and enjoy it as much as they can even with their career paths. The only way to do that is to choose what you love, not what someone else loves for you. I am excited about the change that’s happening for women. Women’s accomplishments and women’s rights are evolving so much that it really opens up a whole new echelon for them. So, I’m excited to watch their journey.
What have you been reading, listening to, and watching during quarantine?
TV: Before quarantine, I never had time to watch TV, but I have been binging like crazy!! Big Little Lies, Ozark, The Undoing, Peaky Blinders, Self Made, Emily In Paris, Fosse/Verdon, Unorthodox, and there’s more I can’t wait to see.
Books: I’m reading more biographies like The Many Faces of Josephine Baker, and Meaning of Mariah Carey.
Music: I really love just playing either Oldies or Disco like Bee Gees, or Doo Wop, but then I’ll throw on some Dua Lipa or Lana Del Rey! That Dua Lipa really gets me going!