Moby – “The little idiot”

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Who is Moby

Richard Melville Hall, better known as Moby, is a songwriter, musician, DJ and certainly one of the most famous names in the field of music called techno. This fast electronic music is heard in many night clubs, at parties and especially on “raves,” and it creates an atmosphere in which dance and entertainment last for a long time.

Moby practically presents a synonym for this subculture of music, and many of his songs that marked techno music are inevitable at all techno parties. He is also known as a great fighter for human rights and humanists.

Richard Melville Hall was born September 11, 1965 in New York Harlem, and grew up somewhat to the north in Darien. Shortly after giving birth to his father, he received the nickname Moby that he uses to date-according to the novel Moby Dick, written by Herman Melville, who is his direct ancestor.

From early childhood he showed interest in music, and the first beginnings of his music engagement are related to the punk band Vatican Commandos, with whom he released three EPs. For some of them, Rob Zombie (White Zombie) made the covers. The Vatican Commandos performed in well-known Manhattan punk clubs such as Great Gildersleeves and CBGBs.

An interesting life-carrer

After finishing high school in 1983, he began his philosophy studies at the University of Connecticut, after which he dropped out after less than a year to dedicate himself to a musical career. During the mid-’80s, Moby worked hard to start a serious musical career and did various jobs. He played in bands such as Gin Train and Caeli Soul, worked in the record store in Darien and started working as a DJ at night clubs and just as a DJ he achieved his first major successes.

By 1987 he performed under the names Barracuda, Voodoo Child and Mindstorm, and in 1989 he moved to New York and signed a contract with Instinct Records. The first single “Mobility” is released by Moby in 1990, but only his second single “Go” presented it to the general public. The song was actually a remix of the Twin Peaks series and quickly entered the Top 10 Most Popular songs in the UK and in some ways represented a milestone in the development of Moby’s career.

After Go came a number of club singles, and 1993 Moby signed a five-year contract with Elektra and publishes the EP Move, which mainly related to an audience that had not previously preferred dance music. In 1995, Moby released the first full-length techno album (second in line) called Everything is Wrong, which quickly achieved great success. This album originated from the Moby’s philosophy of the world. The following years were marked with the albums Animal Rights (1997) and Play (1999). Album Play was marked by the singles “Porcelain“, “Natural Blues“, “Why does my heart feel so bad” and “Honey“.

These songs are undoubtedly known to audiences around the world, even to those who do not listen to this kind of music.

In 2001, Moby made a musical project setting up the Area: One Festival. It is conceived as a mixture of different genres and performs on it for the first time: OutCast, New Order, Nelly Furtado, Incubus, The Roots, Paul Oakenfold, The Orb, Karl Cox and of course Moby himself. In the next few years, Moby remixed David Bowie, Beastie Boys, Nas and Metallica, together with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, “Is It Any Wonder”, produced and co-wrote the track “Early Morning” for Britney Spears’ fourth studio album In the Zone, he wrote the song “Extreme Ways”, which is used in all five films about Bourne. After that came the fantastic music albums Hotel, Wait for Me, Destroyed, Innocents and the latest from 2016 These Systems Are Failing.

“Why does my heart feel so bad”

Although Moby is a world-famous musician with lots of hits, when you ask someone which Moby’s video came up to his mind, the answer would probably be “Why does my heart feel so bad”. This is the most famous Moby’s single in mass culture, although the background behind the creation of videos is less known to the world. (Palladev, 2017)

The history of this video relates to the very beginnings of Moby’s music career and the time he moved to New York, and began to learn about what was going on in dance culture. In the afternoon he worked in an underground shop called ‘Johnny’, which was located in a very picturesque part of the city. Then he began to draw the cartoons on the bags because, among other things, it was part of his work at the store.

I started drawing cartoon characters in the mid 80s when I worked in an underground record store. Every bag that left the store had a drawing on it, and one of my jobs was to draw the cartoons on the bags. And since then the little cartoon characters have just taken on the lives of their own.

A main character, a lonely and abandoned person, Moby called Little Idiot. Drawing was actually a great support for Moby during the decade of ascent and fall, and it reminded him of his origin. About Little Idiot Moby said:

Little Idiot illustrates the sad single Why does my heart feel so bad and forms the whole video style.

The end result of this video from 1995 is a phenomenal work that has won a number of prizes.

Little Idiot identifies Moby’s creation in its own way. Moby created a publishing company called Little Idiot and also released a CD with the same name. Later he founded a label to release the music of his friends. He signed his albums and posters with drawings of small figures of men. This caricature is so well known today that if someone did not hear about Moby (though it is almost impossible) or does not listen to his music, he must have met at least once with the Little Idiot.


‘’Moby’’, https://www.biography.com/people/moby-20799757 Web 7. 11. 2017

Palladev, George, ‘’Moby — What does my heart feel so bad? Story behind the little idiot character’’, https://medium.com/12edit/moby-story-behind-the-little-idiot-character-899a80826c07 Web 7. 11. 2017

Kostas Deroukakis
Love to search, to try, to give, to learn. Knowledge, is the road for this achievement
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