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Niko Moon

Niko Moon

At a time when the border between country and pop became narrower than ever, vocalist and songwriter Niko Moon found fame with a savvy blend of country lyrics and tunes that incorporated elements of country, pop, R&B, hip-hop, and reggae, all with a distinct Southern accent. Moon got his foot in the door writing songs for Zac Brown and collaborated with him in his electronic side project Sir Rosevelt before debuting his eclectic sound as a solo act with the 2019 hits "Good Time" and "Drunk Over You." Both songs later appeared on his 2021 full-length Good Time.

Niko Moon was born Nicholas Cowan in Texas, and his family moved to Douglasville, Georgia when he was ten years old. His father was a truck driver who also played music in his spare time but turned down an offer to play drums with a touring band when he learned his wife was expecting a baby. Growing up, music filled the house, and Moon spent plenty of time listening to his parents' favorites, especially John Prine and Patty Griffin. Inspired by his dad, Moon first learned to play the drums, and then borrowed his father's guitar (which was deemed off limits) and taught himself to play by watching instructional videos online. Moon was a track star and ran cross country in high school, which led to a scholarship to Sanford University in Alabama. He was more interested in music than academics, though, and dropped out to move to Atlanta, where he played out as often as he could, supporting himself by working in construction and installing insulation.

In time, Moon became friendly with Zac Brown, another Atlanta artist with his own take on country music, and the two began writing songs together. Brown recorded a number of tunes he wrote with Moon (credited as Nic Cowan), including the hits "Homegrown," "Keep Me in Mind," and "Loving You Easy." He also helped write "Heavy Is the Head" -- Brown recorded it with guest vocalist Chris Cornell, and it crossed over to the rock charts -- and "Back to Life," recorded by Rascal Flatts. When Brown was interested in experimenting with electronic dance music, he recruited Moon and Ben Simonetti and they formed the group Sir Rosevelt, whose self-titled debut album appeared in December 2017. Having established himself as a tunesmith and behind-the-scenes figure, Moon felt the time was right to step out on his own, and he struck a deal with RCA Nashville as a solo act. In July 2019, he released two songs, "Good Time" and "Drunk Over You," which found a welcoming audience; "Drunk Over You" received over 1.3 million streaming plays, while "Good Time" did even better, racking up more than 2.1 million plays. With his profile on the rise, Moon presented his fans with a third track, "Way Back," in October 2019. These songs were collected on the Good Time EP, released in 2020; that year also brought the single "Dance with Me." Moon released Good Time Campfire Sessions, a digital EP collection of alternate versions of his earlier singles, in early 2021. A new rendition of "Good Time" with Shaggy followed, and Moon released "No Sad Songs." Finally, in August of that year, he issued his full-length debut, Good Time, which peaked at number 12 on the country charts and cracked the Billboard 200. ~ Mark Deming

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