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Kelly Moneymaker talks Blue Aeries, ‘Joy’ album, VAKA documentary (Includes interview)

Joy is a mix of original and classic songs across multiple musical genres; moreover, it is a community-building project between New Zealand and international music artists featuring celebrated musicians and up-and-coming artists. “Blue Aeris is a creative media and events company here in New Zealand, and they hired me to come on as the creative media producer and director,” she said. “I’ve been embraced by the music community here. I feel very grateful that I moved to Wellington.”

“We decided to do a whole album, where we brought all of the people that we really love, adore, and admire, to be a part of it,” she said. “We made it a community-building project with musicians from the UK, the US, and other communities. We reached out to everyone that we loved and invited them to come on board.”

“It really was a labor of love and we worked really hard on this for the past two months to get this going,” she admitted, prior to complimenting Nick Granville for coming on to be their engineer and mixer. “Nick is a dear friend of ours and we were able to use his studio,” she said. “Nick was such an amazing team member and that made things so much easier. It was a lot of fun and we were really proud of the body of work that we came up with. The artists gave so much love from their hearts.”

The song “Under The Mistletoe” features her husband, Days of Our Lives alum Peter Reckell on lead vocals. The song garnered a rave review from Digital Journal, earning Reckell comparisons of Jimmy Buffett and Willie Nelson, and rightfully so. “Peter is my ultimate muse,” she said. “I’ve written so many songs for Peter over the years. I really love the cards that he writes to me, I collect them and I keep them. They are sacred to me. This song was inspired by all of the cards I have from Peter over the years. Those inspired the lyrics for the song. I am very proud of Peter.”

Joining Moneymaker, Reckell, and Granville, on this project are such diverse artists as Nikau Te Huki, ELK, Erna Ferry and Rodger Fox, Kehan Miller, Lisa Tomlins, Rusty Halo, Mike Krompass (Mike K), Caii-Michelle, and Bella Kalolo. “We had such a blast recording this and it was such a passion project,” she said.

The musicians on Blue Aeris include Gregg Bissonette on drums, Darren Mathiassen on drums, Johnny Lawrence on bass, Herman Matthews on drums, Michael Mennell on bass, Gabriel Moses on guitar, Lance Philip on drums, and Nick Tipping on the bass.

“We are about the launch the CD release party on Tuesday,” she revealed. “Everyone from the album will be performing, so we are very fortunate.”

Moneymaker revealed that five percent of the proceeds from the sale of Joy will go towards the nonprofit organization, Futures Without Violence. For over 30 years, Futures Without Violence has been providing groundbreaking programs, policies, and campaigns that empower individuals and organizations working to end violence against women and children around the world. To learn more about this charitable organization, visit their website.

“Since the COVID-19 lockdown, domestic violence has gone through the roof, especially for women and children. We wanted to be of service and give back to the community and we partnered with Futures Without Violence and they are the most incredible organization. We are very proud of this partnership as well,” she explained.

The Joy album is available on digital service providers by clicking here.

In addition, Moneymaker directed VAKA, which is a short documentary about the energy and resilience of the Tokelauan people as they weave their customary-wisdom regarding the environment with modern eco-technologies to respond to climate change. “I just completed my degree in creative media production and I am pretty new to being a director. It was cool to use the new tricks I learned to help me produce the videos,” she said. “This film won several awards and we are on our fifth nomination for ‘Best Short Documentary’.”

The Tokelau people were the first to aim for 100 percent of their electricity to be generated from solar as a result of the New Zealand funded Tokelau Renewable Energy Project in 2012. VAKA is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The film premiered at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Madrid, Spain.

For more information on Blue Aeris, visit their official homepage, their Facebook page, and follow them on Instagram.

To learn more about Kelly Moneymaker, check out her official website.

Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 15,000 original articles over the past 15 years. He is a consecutive five-time "Best of Long Island" winner that has won such categories as "Best Author," "Best Blogger," "Best Poet," "Best Twitter Account" and the coveted "Best Long Island Personality" twice.

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