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River Moon aka Saint Deepthroat, No. 07

Get to know this 20-year-old Fuschia Pokémon gym leader who's transcended being misgendered.

Outspoken and authentic, River/Saint describes their music as ranging from experimental electronic tracks to sad-sexy R&B and pop songs. They're entertaining on Twitter in a Twitter entertainer kind of way (which entails friction - they've actually been banned from the site five times. If you know anything about the mercurial nature of Twitter bans, they're often left up to a fairly arbitrary, whimsically enforced, and ever-changing set of rules. Their current account is already flagged, but my scrolls through their Tweets were nothing but entertaining and educational: topics range from gender dysphoria to explicating the overshadowed trailblazing and artistry of minority musicians to dishing out love and libations to friends and followers. A takeaway that's stuck with me is that "house music really started with queer black and brown kids and the only people making money in house music are ugly straight wh*te boys. / electronic music makes 7 billion dollars a year worldwide and none of the top earning artists are black"). Their Instagram is an interesting and sunlit dichotomy to their Twitter presence (at heart, their social medias are fun. Serious and personal at times, but above all else, fun. This simultaneous personalness and playfulness additionally extends to their music: "Lonely or horny with your lover or best friend, under a waterfall, on a watery planet in deep space are the best physical locations or individual states of being to listen to my music in"). When I ask about preferred pronouns: "Any. I'm a bad bitch, you can't misgender me." In all of their confidence, contentment, and contention, here's River Moon (aka Saint Deepthroat).


Who are you?


I’m a 20 year old songwriter, producer, sound engineer, and Pokémon gym leader.


Do you consider yourself to be each of those four things equally, or some of them more than others (a songwriter more than a producer, for instance)?


Everything is equal, because I’m all those things at once.


Which Pokémon gym are you the leader of?


Fuchsia!


“What are you here for?” your SoundCloud bio simply yet stirringly asks. I’ll ask you the same: What are you here for? And where is here?


I ask my lover this question in the first demo I released. It’s the question I ask everyone who invests their time and love and energy into me, I guess. I feel like people want to know you for the wrong reasons sometimes, and I can be very naïve and allow everyone to have a piece of me because I put so much of myself out there. So asking “what are you here for?” is to know who is here for the entertainment and who is here for me, as a person. Those people can stay. The others - get the fuck out or sit in the corner and observe. Don’t say shit.


Has it proven to be an effective question so far? As in, do people mostly respond constructively and with honesty to it?


I don’t go out of my way to search why people are supporting me, but if I figure out they’re not real or genuinely love my shit, I really don’t care. There are people who do, and I’m grateful for them


Is your family supportive of your musicmaking?


No. They don’t know what I do. They think I’m a model.


Do they support your modeling? Are you a model?


I am a signed model, yes. I’ve never modeled before I got signed and I sort of got signed by accident. It was meant to happen because now I can use that money to make my music. My parents know that I’m really signed and they’re very proud of me for that. They just don’t know I make music.


Quarantine me to the corner if this is too much of a probe, but I see on your Twitter that your mom recently described your music as “runway music from the future.” That’s beautiful--the implication being that you recently reached out to her about it?


Yes! They know I make music, they just think it’s a hobby. I’m slowly introducing them to the stuff I do because I’ve been working with some cool people and the excitement was too much to just keep to myself.


Why River Moon and Saint Deepthroat?


River Moon is my name name, and Saint Deepthroat is the other side of me. Not an alter ego, because it’s still me. It’s just another part of me. River makes sad-sexy R&B and pop songs and Saint makes really experimental electronic music. It’s two different parts of my musical palette because I hate confusing people. Of course, I have a very broad range, but the reality is that millennials hate being confused, so I keep them separate.


What's the River Moon aesthetic?


Pop star from the future. I don’t have the budget to show this, but in my head, that’s what it is.


And Saint Deepthroat?


Sex doll with green hair.


What’s your favorite hair color?


Blonde.


Who and what have influenced these aesthetics?


Rihanna and Aphex Twin. Not many people influence me. I’m more influenced by textures and sounds and video game worlds. Rain and metal and the sound of rain on metal is something that I like looking like. I don’t know if that makes sense. I look like the sound of rain on cold metal. I really love Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2’s worlds. I pull from them musically and with my aesthetic. I’d listen to a song I made and it wouldn’t sound out of place in those games.


I understand perfectly. How would you describe Rihanna and Aphex Twin? What about them appeals to you to the point of personal influence? Do you remember when you first encountered them both?


In their own worlds of pop music and electronic music, they’re legends. Their sound influenced an entire next generation of pop and electronic music. Everyone on the radio sounds like Rihanna now. Pitchfork wrote a great article about “The Rihanna Voice." I think her influence is undeniable and we need to start giving her her flowers while she can still smell them. I’ve been a Rihanna and Aphex stan since I was a kid. I remember listening to Aphex Twin playing Spyro on Playstation. I didn’t like the game's music so I’d mute the TV and put on Aphex’s first album. With Rihanna, I’ve been a huge fan since Pon De Replay. I think her reinvention after each album is so important to stay relevant and introduce yourself to a new audience every time. Rihanna never does the same thing twice.


Your Instagram profile photo is a tennis ball, presumably to resemble your yellow/green dyed hair. Do you play any sports?


Fuck no. I’m too skinny and lazy.


You’re posed with a glass of wine in a handful of your Instagram photos. Favorite wine?


Red!


There’s a wonderful sunniness, floralism, and levity to your Instagram uploads, and the accompanying captions are thoughtful and often inspiring. I also appreciate the consistency of your triad uploads. Do you carefully cultivate your content, or do you mostly let it flow organically from your brainsoul?


I let it flow naturally. I don’t really care that much about Instagram. I mostly only watch my favorite accounts’ stories. The only time I post is when I feel I’m looking cute. The captions are a way to be a person and not a personality. A lot of these IG kids turn into personalities and when I meet them in real life, they don’t have any. It’s disappointing. If I talk my shit in the caption, no matter how ridiculous and crass, those are my real thoughts and exactly what I would say in real life.


I’m 20 years old,” you captioned a selfie on your 20th birthday. “i didn’t plan to live this long but i lived this long. so now what? because i was supposed to be dead, i now have to create new dreams and plan the rest of my life. i’m so grateful i’m alive bro! i have time now. i have time to turn myself into a superstar. all the odds were against me but now i feel like all the stars are aligning.” [Editor's note: God, I get goosebumps every time I read the caption, which has been 10+ times now.] And just before this post, you speak about your experience with drugs, bipolar disorder, a million other sicknesses, feeling suicidal, losing a friend, and losing money. You mention your near-fatal epileptic seizures in another post. And chronic insomnia in another. This sincere sentiment and holistic honesty (that accompanies your picturesque photos) is fairly uncommon on Instagram. I commend your openness.


I just feel like sharing parts of my life that aren’t rainbows and sunshine is a way to help myself and others. The cool thing about having a platform on the Internet is having an audience and a voice. I’m very loud and sometimes problematic on Twitter, but through everything, I want to give kids like me a voice and a space to share their darkest and brightest thoughts. I think it’s necessary and important to explore both. It’s important to not only share the good things because there are bad things. Not many people want to and that’s fine. Share what you’re comfortable with. I’ve helped a lot of kids get sober and take steps to go to therapy this way. People would DM me to tell me I helped them and ask me for advice and I didn’t plan to be that for people, but just by sharing, I became that. And I’m glad I’m inspiring people outside of my art.


You were permanently banned from Twitter. Why?


Because Twitter hates marginalized people.


Your SoundCloud banner photo is a close-up of soft pink blooming flowers, and your profile photo is you in front of a blooming pink flower bush, softly smiling in an orange hoodie, your buzzed hair dyed a tennis ball yellow/green. What’s your favorite kind of flower?



My SoundCloud is still that? I need to change that. That was my flower boy phase. My favorite flowers are plumerias. They’re kinda basic, but they’re so perfectly shaped and they smell like what I imagine heaven smells like.


Where do you live?


This is the part I’d like to keep a mystery. I’m really from Saturn or one of the gas planets.


How would you describe the Leo sun, Gemini rising, Aries moon experience?


I have a strong sense of self and that just means I know I have no sense of self. My opinions change in a matter of hours and sometimes I contradict myself, but I don’t see anything wrong with that...I blame it on my Gemini rising. Also, Whitney Houston and I are both Leos with Aries moons and we’re both bisexual. And I bet she had a Gemini rising! I’m literally Whitney without the vocal talent.


Favorite time of day?


Midnight til sunrise.


When did you make your very first song?


When I was 8.


How did you make it?


I had this radio that had a microphone and I’d put blank tapes in it and play a guitar and sing at the same time. It was very abstract and something a kid would do, but it was very soulful. It sounded like an 8 year old doing their best Tracy Chapman or Joni Mitchell impersonation. I don’t know how my young ass mind thought of doing some shit like that, but I’d kill to hear those tapes again. Maybe I could sample it on my debut album’s intro someday.


When do you anticipate you’ll release this debut album?


2020. Period.


How often do you make music nowadays, and how?


I make beats every other day. I’ll make about 3-6 beats a day and only 1 will actually be good. I record demos once every 2 weeks because I hate singing. I use Ableton, Logic or Reason to make my beats. I don’t use a lot of equipment. I use a midi keyboard and whenever I’m with my musician friends I’d use an MPC or some keyboards and synths they have. For recording I use my iPhone’s microphone or a regular SM57 because I just record demos. I don’t intend to sing them. None of my demos really ended up on anyone’s projects so I guess I just sing for me. So that’s why my shit sounds so lo-fi. Usually I just wake up, go sit in the closet, plug my mic in the interface and freestyle and call it a day. I never wrote a song a day in my life, everything is freestyled.


You do write poetry, though. Frequently?


Not anymore. I retired. I stopped writing after I came out of rehab and started channeling it through song.


Favorite poem?


The first poem I ever wrote called “Blossoming Black.”


How old were you when you wrote it?


15.


When do you remember first wanting to make music?


I saw The Neptunes documentary when I was 7 or 8 and I thought to myself “I wanna do that!” Right after that I saw Jay Z making The Black Album with my cousins and I really started doing it.


What else, if anything, do you do or consider yourself to be besides musician?


A lover.


Favorite memory?


Losing my virginity.


Do you perform live?


No, but I’d love to. I did 2 live shows and it was fun!


Where were these live shows? How did they come together, how did you end up on these two stages/in these two spaces publicly musicalizing to a crowd?


My first show was some ghetto ass party in some ghetto ass club and I wasn’t playing much of my own stuff. I DJ’d and I mixed some of my house mixes in with other songs. The crowd wasn’t feeling it because they wanted to hear hip-hop. The 2nd one was a thing I did at this bar. It was more of a listening party than a stage show. My friend Kalo (aka K-$) hit me up and told me about it. He introduced me to the organizers and they immediately liked me even before hearing my shit. That was the first time I played all my own stuff to a crowd. It wasn’t a big crowd, but everyone was feeling it and that made me super happy.


Favorite geographic location you’ve ever visited?


Dubai.


What are some of your dreams that you’ve already accomplished?


Living to see 20. Having some of my favorite artists fuck with my music and tell me I’m great. Falling in love.


Who are some of the artists that have fucked with your music? Do you directly send your tracks to them or do they find it themselves?


They come across it on Twitter or some people ask me to send them stuff. Kari Faux retweeted some of my music, FAKA are my literal aunties, Amorphous, Holladay,

Angelo Mota, Jesse Saint John, Amindi K Frost, Zuri Marley, Shug, LSDXOXO, Childlike Sound, Crystal Caines followed me on Twitter….Kiya Lacey, Azealia Banks, Angel Haze, Lotic, Angel-Ho, NEWBODY and Slayyyter recently liked some of my stuff and I really love them! These are all people I respect and admire and it’s crazy how they know my music. I would’ve never thought these people would hear my stuff, but thank God for the internet!


Holy shit. That's wonderful and congratulations. How do you hope to celebrate your 21st birthday?


Not dead and surrounded by people I love.


And your 37th, 43rd, 74th?


Alive, happy with my decisions, rich.



River Moon is on SoundCloud, Twitter, and Instagram.


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By Cloude