Angela Moyra is a Dutch singer-songwriter - living in California for the past 5 years, she has now returned to the netherlands to finish her new album. Her first album Fickle Island (2014) got a great deal of recognition in both the U.S and the Netherlands. her latest singles “You, Me & the Sea” and “aine” have more then 2 million streams on Spotify. We visited her hometown Zaandijk - where she showed us the home she grew up in and a few of her favourite things.
What brought you back to the Netherlands?
I’ve been living in California for the last 5 years and (been) missing life in the Netherlands since I became a mother last year. So I’m here for the rest of the year to enjoy family/friends time with my little girl Delphi. And in the meantime I’m (still) in the process of finishing my album in L.A. Hoping to release it next year spring.
Tell us about the home you grew up in
I grew up here with my 3 brothers. My brothers all shared a room, but I had a tiny room with a big window that had a view to a tree. My room was big enough to fit a bed and a desk (it’s the laundry room now). It was my little space where I would write stories, poetry, sing songs and no one else could hear me. My parents divorced when I was about 13 years old when my walls were covered with Leonardo DiCaprio posters (fun fact: I saw Leonardo DiCaprio in Hollywood at my fav restaraunt Le Petit Trois, but he left because he didn’t make a reservation). Shortly after my parents divorced, we would only go here in the weekends because we lived with my mom somewhere else. Playing here with Delphi is bringing back a lot of memories - she plays with the same curtains in the kitchen and keeps wanting to break the shells that have been lying on the window sill for at least 20 years. My dad still lives here and keeps asking if one of us wants to buy the house, but we’re all kinda hesitant because we think (especially my brothers) that there’s a ghost in the attic.
What are your favorite things in your home?
I love the artwork on the walls. There’s this painting that my mom made. She painted me on the beach in the Netherlands when I was Delphi’s age. I always wanted to bring it with me to America but I’m glad I didn’t, because it belongs here on the walls of this home. And there’s this art print that my parents bought in Indonesia in the 80's - a hand drawn traditional Indonesian dancer. My dad is kind of a hoarder, so things still look the same as when I moved out. Probably my fav thing outside the home is the willow tree next to the water. We used to hold on to the branches and swing. Everytime I see a willow tree it reminds me of home.
What items do you always bring with you when you return from America?
I always put my ukulele in a suitcase and hope it won’t break. So far so good! I used to travel light when I would go back to Holland, so I could bring stuff with me to America. But that’s now completely changed since I have a kid. In July I traveled with Delphi to Holland with 3 suitcases, a stroller and a carseat. Really wild.
What things do you miss about Hollywood?
The palmtrees and the sunny weather. And there’s amazing healthy food all around! Even though I miss my family terribly when I’m there, I do feel at home in California. There’s just something about the Pacific, all kinds of different nature and the magical energy. I kinda miss it, now I’m back in Holland. That’s my problem in my life - always having to miss a place and people.
What is your new album about?
I wrote all the songs in California. The last 5 years a lot has happened, on a personal level and in my music career. I was married, divorced, fell in love, got pregnant and had a baby. I moved from San Francisco to Hollywood. A rollercoaster of emotions and now I’m back here I’m finally catching my breath in the Netherlands. You can definitely hear California in my songs and the last few songs I have written are inspired by my little girl.
Any advice for aspiring singer-songwriters?
Learn to play an instrument. Don’t feel bad about writing stupid crappy songs - they will lead you to your best song yet. It’s gonna be a journey - be patient, believe in yourself and practice.
Lastly, in what ways did your childhood home shape you to become the person you are today?
I’ll always stay soft, humble and ready to change directions in life, because there are many ways to happiness. And every once in a while I think of the little timid girl that grew up here and made it all the way to Hollywood.