Frankston South psychology student Molly Wainwright has an angelic voice, meaningful lyrics and guitar skills to be envied. Molly — or Sunny Moo when she’s on stage — has just released her EP and we couldn’t be more excited. We caught up with this passionate 23-year-old singer/songwriter just before a gig to delve deeper.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Sunny Moo. I’m an acoustic singer/songwriter aiming to share my music and mental health journey with those that might need it. My roots in music trace right back to when I was dancing around to my father’s country music as a kid, but my journey in writing and performing original music began just a year ago.
When did you first discover your love for music? And did the guitar come first or the singing?
I’ve had a strong passion for music since I was very little, but it came out solely in shower singing sessions ‘til I was a lot older. After going through a hard time in my late teens, I grabbed a guitar and decided I needed a healthy outlet for my feelings — and voila! The journey began. It took years of confidence-building and practising before I could show anyone, but eventually I got the courage to show the world my stuff and Sunny Moo was born.
How would you describe your sound?
It’s got a folky sound without quite being folk, an indie feel without being fully indie and a country vibe without quite being country. I’d say my sound is a mixed bag that sits somewhere in the middle.
Do you write your own songs, and if so where do you draw your inspiration?
Yes I do. My inspiration has ranged from my heartbreaks to my favourite TV shows and everything in between. I find my writing helps me capture and remember the beauty in life, even at the worst times, and reminds me to search for a silver lining.
Congrats on your EP coming out late September. What can we expect?
Woo-hoo! Thank you so much; I’m so excited for everyone to hear it. The EP features five original songs. The title track, Blue Box, is about the cult classic show Doctor Who and David Tennant’s regeneration. It’s a lot of fun. Some heartfelt songs circling around heartbreak, betrayal and moving on follow the title track. “That’s a strange mix,” I hear you cry. Trust me, the regeneration thing fits the heartbreak theme — just ask any Doctor Who fan.
Where’s your favourite place on the Peninsula to perform? And how do you find our music scene here?
It’d have to be Panda in Blairgowrie. From the moment they greeted me with “Why didn’t you bring your puppy along?” I was in love. Nothing beats getting to serenade dogs all day. I’ve been absolutely loving the Peninsula music scene. I’ve made so many new friends along the way and every single gig has been a beautiful experience.
What do you find most rewarding about what you do?
The feeling I get when someone says they relate to my lyrics or my story is indescribable and probably the most inspiring part of this whole journey. When I get to meet the people who struggle like I do, who get to tell me their own stories of triumph and beating anxiety, it all becomes more worth it and I myself get tougher in my battle against my fears.
Where do you hope to be in five years?
Wherever I am I hope I’m still sharing and creating honestly and openly. Ideally, this will be on stage with a bunch of like-minded humans singing along with me, but if it’s not like that, that’s OK too. I’ll keep writing and playing no matter what happens.
To hear Molly’s out-of-this-world sounds, check out @sunnymoomusic on Instagram.