When Val Mooty was about 6 or 7, his parents would hit mute during commercial breaks of American Idol, and he would sing like he was on the show.
However, it wasn’t until recent years that the Episcopal School of Dallas student began to sing and play the guitar for other people professionally.
In April 2016, he sang for the first time in front of a group of people at his dad’s wedding. After that, he started playing local shows and writing songs.
“Singing is very therapeutic to me,” said Mooty, now 18 and a senior. “I definitely wouldn’t do music if I didn’t enjoy it, but for me, music has been a level above even enjoyment. It really calms me down and helps me think.”
Mooty, the step-son of Troy Aikman and great-nephew of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, plays football and lacrosse at ESD.
That doesn’t allow for much free time, but when he does have a few minutes to himself, he enjoys playing video games and writing, whether that be lyrics or journal entries.
The most important lesson he’s learned about being a singer?
Take risks and stay true to your voice, Mooty said.
“Coming from a football family can be hard in some cases, but my dad always told me he wanted me to do what I love no matter what.” -Val Mooty
“The most success comes from making the songs my own, and singing them to my strengths,” he said. “Success comes from being unique, and if I lose that aspect of my singing, then I will sound very bland.”
Songwriters and singers should write/sing what they feel, be original, and not get distracted with what other people want/think they should become, Mooty said. “Music is all about making people believe what you’re saying in a unique, relatable way. This is a huge work in progress for me (and most other musicians) as well.”
While he has a whole group of family and friends who support him, Mooty’s most dedicated supporter has always been his dad.
“Coming from a football family can be hard in some cases, but my dad always told me he wanted me to do what I love no matter what. Since starting to do music, he has put in so much effort in his free time trying to get new contacts or book me new shows, and honestly, it makes me feel incredible. I know that no matter what I’ll always have at least one die-hard fan, and that’s an amazing feeling.”
Mooty had a ton of fun writing and recording his debut single “Love is Queen”.
“It was lots of trial and error, but I am so pleased with the end result,” he said. “Once we had finished making the track, I was so excited to write the lyrics, and it was an amazing experience, especially being my first up-tempo track. It’s catchy, bouncy, and a breath of fresh air if I’m ever having a bad day.”