Moby is an American electronic musician. Moby's real name is Richard Melville Hall (born September 11, 1965 in Harlem, New York City) - he takes his performing name from his relative Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick.
Arguably most famous among his peers for the track 'Go,' a progressive track using the string line from 'Laura Palmer's Theme' from the TV show Twin Peaks, Moby is also well known for the singles 'Next is the E,' 'South Side' with Gwen Stefani, and 'We Are All Made of Stars.' Moby has released singles under the names Voodoo Child, Barracuda, UHF, The Brotherhood, DJ Cake, Lopez, and Brainstorm/Mindstorm.
Several of his songs have also found their way into major motion pictures, most notably the ambient piece 'God Moving Over the Face of the Waters,' which was featured in the 1995 motion picture Heat. Most recently, his song 'Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?' was used in the climax of the documentary film Peaceable Kingdom. Indeed, in 1997 Moby released a compilation of tracks used in and inspired by the cinema called I Like to Score.
Moby plays keyboard, guitar, and bass guitar, and expresses mild irritation at the assumption that everything on his newer albums is a sample. He used to be in a punk band the Vatican Commandos, but abandoned punk in 1989 for electronic music.
His first album for Elektra Records was Everything Is Wrong, which earned early critical praise and minor notoriety. He followed that up with a hard rock/electronic album called Animal Rights in 1996. In 1997, he released I Like to Score, a collection of music included in movies. Among those tracks was an updated version of the James Bond theme. However, both Animal Rights and I Like to Score were commercially unsuccessful and Moby and Elektra parted company.
After a decade's worth of music, Moby's breakthrough album was 1999's Play. Mainstream reviewers raved about his talents on the album (released on the much smaller V2 Records) though some early fans were let down. The album has 18 tracks on it and was the first album in history to have all of its tracks commercially licensed: 'Porcelain,' for instance, appeared on a TV commercial for Bailey's Irish Cream and Nordstrom; 'Find My Baby' was on a commercial for American Express featuring golfer Tiger Woods. The album's tracks eventually were accepted in various radio formats, but because of Play's extensive licensing, the album could have been financially successful even without radio play. In a 2005 posting on his web site, Moby theorized that his eagerness to license his music is a result of 'growing up in poverty.' 1 (http://www.moby.com/cms/viewdiary.asp?Diary_ID=2186&ViewType=Current)
In 2001 Moby also earned the ire of Eminem after calling his music misogynist and homophobic; Eminem later satirized Moby in 'Without Me,' calling him a 'fag' and questioning his relevance with the claim, 'Nobody listens to techno!' The two were in a confrontation at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, though Moby expresses respect for Eminem's musical talents.
As of June 2004, Moby, a vegan non-denominational Christian and self-proclaimed simpleton (for his often sincere and idealistic political assessments), lives in New York City's Little Italy, where he's lived for a decade in a small apartment in a five-story building across the street from David Bowie. He owns a small restaurant and coffee shop called TeaNY, where he occasionally waits tables.
This biography is published under the GNU Licence
Items to buy by Moby