Sitting across from country singer/songwriter Niko Moon, the words "GOOD TIME" are inescapable, peeking through the threads above his knees. "Good Time" is a track on his forthcoming genre-testing debut EP, a moment he wanted to benchmark with tattoos: "GOOD" on his right leg, "TIME" on his left.
"I always wear holy jeans," Moon explains, "and I’m starting to run out of real estate."
"GOOD TIME" deserved permanent ink, since the phrase is more than just an album title. It’s also a way of life for Moon, an adventurous artist, writer and musician with an enduring optimism and a flair for challenging boundaries. That attitude is apparent in the EP, a judiciously layered synthesis of his Georgia roots, pairing Atlanta-bred hip-hop and rural-fed traditional country, two genres that were considered incompatible not that long ago. The EP will be released later this year, but for a sneak preview, "Good Time" and "Drunk Over You" are available now.
Moon’s relationship to both makes the cross-pollination a natural one. Douglasville, Georgia, where he spent his teens, is 30 miles due west of downtown Hotlanta, the epicenter for OutKast, T.I. and The Ying-Yang Twins. Douglasville is likewise 30 miles north of Newnan, the home of holy-jeans wearing country singer Alan Jackson and the birthplace of "Seven Bridges Road" songwriter Steve Young. Adding to Moon’s musical upbringing, his father was a part-time musician with a penchant for smart country artists – such as John Prine and Kris Kristofferson – and all those influences blended into Moon’s artful persona: a mix of hooky melodies, shrewd wordplay and edgy, electronic beats.