River Moon, also known by her Instagram handle and occasional DJ moniker, Saint Deepthroat, has had a busy several years making music fit for the world’s hottest clubs. Known by many for her membership on the hugely popular, and wildly prolific, meme account Patiasfantasyworld, Moon has been making music for far longer than many know. Her memes are often the most chaotic and explicit the page has to offer, and her music sometimes features similarly bold celebrations of sexuality. Yet, her work cannot be defined as just one thing.
River Moon’s 2020 album, Martyr, demonstrated a far more contemplative, atmospheric sound than much of her previous work, and was born out of a darker period of the artist’s life; she credits the album as saving her life. Now, she is ready to begin a new chapter, musically and otherwise. The past couple of years have provided collaborations with artists like LSDXOXO, brands like No Sesso and a slew of vivacious live performances. Some of her most viral songs seem to have followed the logic of a meme post; an idea comes to her and an hour later a song is born, often playful and touched with her distinctive sense of humor. Her work is grounded in a heritage of Black electronic music pioneers, and she is the self-declared Rave Princess. Now, she has moved across the world, and has undertaken a new slate of projects.

Leaving her hometown of Cape Twon (South Africa), Moon recently moved to Los Angeles, where she quickly immersed herself, and is already working on a new album. Moving her production out of a bedroom and into a studio has allowed her a much broader set of collaborative opportunities. She tells us that River’s Revenge will arrive early next year and is different from anything she has released thus far; its alignment is “rapper sun, raver moon, rockstar rising.” In this interview, River Moon talks about her relationship to social media, the direction her music is taking, where she has ended up in the world and navigating the world’s club spaces.
You have moved between New York and Cape Town a bit. Where have you ended up for the time being?
Somehow, I found myself in LA. I was thrown into the deep end of Hollywood. My first couple of nights I was at some old Hollywood star’s house and everything felt so surreal. I was like get me the fuck out of here!
Your Twitter bio says, “no pronouns. don’t refer to me.” As someone who has such a broad digital footprint, and appears virtually so much, how do you navigate self-presentation and moments where people misrepresent you?
In the past, I would be really bothered by being perceived in a way that I’m not, but now I have an understanding that you really can’t change how other people see you. All you can do is just be you and be secure in who you are. I love being me because it took years of not loving who I was. I love who I am now, and I will make sure to never lose that love. I can do the online trolls because I have a very good sense of humour about that, so I love clapping back in a funny way just to make them look stupid… However, when it’s hate coming from your own community, it really hurts me sometimes. I don’t even be doing anything to anyone and people will make up all crazy types of things about you just because you’re on and poppin' and they’re not.
Many people were introduced to your work through your membership on @patiasfantasyworld. Can you tell us a bit about what constitutes a River Moon post?
Everyone always tells me I have the most chaotic posts on the page. The chef emoji. I think I just love posting things that I hear in my family a lot. A big part of my family is super conservative and every x-phobic under the sun, but I still have to deal with them… and to deal with it, I laugh at the crazy bigoted shit they say sometimes, because if I don’t laugh, I’m gonna cry or fight. So sometimes when I post crazy memes posted by old school uncles and aunties, people think I’m agreeing with it. No. I’m just laughing because me, and so many other people like me, have heard these things come from people around us. So, it’s funny in that way. The craziest thing I ever posted was a photoshopped butthole on Timmy Turner’s dad. I think that was our most liked post to date before it got deleted.
The patiasfantasyworld’s admin team has been seemingly everywhere over the past couple of years. What have these creative partnerships and friendships meant for you as you have developed as an artist?
We’ve all just been doing our own thing individually. Patia’s been doing work with fashion brands like Marc Jacobs and Mugler, Laina’s in medical school right now and I’m doing music full-time and touring the world. Most people don’t know that I’ve been doing music way before I joined patiasfantasyworld. People think it’s calculated posts, but we truly treat this page as some Finsta where we can just be ghetto and free. This has nothing to do with my creativity. I just love laughing and making people laugh.
Social media can be so connective, especially at times of isolation. Do you ever need to log off?
Never. I’m what they call ‘chronically online’ and I’m very shameless about it. I just always have something to say. I’m always ranting, posting my hot takes and random thoughts, tweeting some funny shit – shitposting. Even when I’m dealing with stress, social media is my stress relief. I’m always finding a way to entertain myself on it.
Are you in the rave gives quite the list of names to know. How did you come up with this collection? Is this a dream rave invite list for you?
This song was just born out of boredom. I literally tweeted “what if I made a track that just shouted out all my friends” and I opened Ableton, made a quick little beat in 15 minutes and recorded the entire song in one take and posted it the next day. It was inspired by the AceMo and John FM track called Where They At?, a certified club classic. Those songs where I have a stupid idea and execute it in under an hour always become my biggest songs. Kundalina Jolie was made in 30 minutes and born from a voice note that my friend Mistervacation (who runs patiasfantasyworld with me) sent me about her thesis on ketamine treatments for mood disorders. I was like “what if i turn this into a song,” and a couple of days later, it was coming out of club speakers in places I’ve never been or heard of in my life. Turkmenistan? Kyiv?
Can you tell me a bit about your work with No Sesso for their couture collection? Pia and Autumn are two artists so committed to radical inclusivity through their fashion, are there any other designers whose work you are excited about at the moment?
I love Pia and Autumn. No Sesso was one of the first people to show me love in the fashion world. Those are my day ones. Pia actually sends me memes every day. She’s the meme queen, quiet as its kept.
 I identify with No Sesso because I believe that fashion should be for everybody, and gender expression in fashion should be played with more. Right now, I love Area. I just did a campaign with them. Heaven by Marc Jacobs always shows me love. Telfar, Hood By Air always, Shayne Oliver is my goat, Luar, I love Martine Rose, Maximilian, Ludovic De Saint Sernin…obviously Rick Owens. I hate to admit it, but I really love fashion.

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The Rave Princess is such an anthem, the perfect way to kick off a rave. Can you speak a bit about the rave princess character? Who is she, what inspired her?
Another one of those songs that was made in under an hour. The Rave Princess was me breaking my silence and reclaiming the rave. I think for years, Black people have been shut out of that scene and the face of the rave was very white… I really just wanted to say “Hey, I’m the legacy of the many Black artists who originated techno, house and more forms of black electronic music.” If my OGs are the kings and the queens, then I’m the muthafuckin rave princess. Yeah, bitch!
Could you speak a bit about your remix of Sick Bitch? How did you approach such a tight track with your own style and spin?
LSDXOXO is one of my favourite producers ever. When I heard he was doing an EP with his own vocals and asked me to remix one of the tracks, I had to say yes! There was no way I wasn’t going to do it. I think that remix took me an hour to do. I laid down my verses in under three takes and reworked the beat into something a little more clean. The original beat was very gritty and nasty, but I wanted to bring some cunty element to it similar to the 90s Gillette tracks. Very sexy and fly. More runway than rave. As much as I loved my original mix, the Satisfaction mix that Estoc did is my favourite version of that song. I play it at the end of every set.
You made so much work during stages of the pandemic where gathering was impossible, yet it is of a style that is perhaps best experienced in community, with movement. What was the experience of making electronic music in isolation like?
It was hell. I had so much creative block. During the quarantine era I made a total of like five songs. I’m not the type of artist who creates from depression or a sad place. I have to be happy to be able to create. I made so much wack shit during that time because I was recovering from a major surgery as well.
Martyr represents a different sound in your discography, spiritual even. Can you talk a bit about approaching this project and what you were working through with it? As you have come out of this musical period, what kinds of styles have you been gravitating towards?
I still can’t listen to Martyr. I created it as a swan song type of project. I thought I was going to die on the operating table, and I wanted track one, Requiem, to play at my funeral. It was a very emotional project to create. Very tears in the club. I wasn’t listening to any music at the time, so everything I created on there is completely referenced from my own emotions and musical memories of times I was happier. I wasn’t a recording artist, so I made the music and synths speak for me. It was also a very psychedelic project in a way. I created the entire project on opioids because I was always in pain. Some of these songs I would create from just distracting myself from physical pain and my body deteriorating. Martyr saved my life in a way.
This next project, though… This is gonna be some next level shit. It’s giving sex and aggression. Everything on my next project is very different from anything I’ve ever done. It’s very hip-hop, too. Rapper sun, raver moon, rockstar rising. River’s Revenge.
You have spoken about Cape Town’s music scene being quite exclusive and racist. As you have made more of a name for yourself, have you found a greater queer Black community to share work with there, or do you still feel as if you need to go elsewhere to find more community?
I have to go elsewhere. Them bitches are haters. Besides queer Black people, nobody else respected me. Fuck them. I’m touring the world and all the haters over there who talked all that shit about me are still playing the same dive bars week in and week out. They tried to break my soul, word to Beyoncé. But I am not one of them. I’m going to always rise above. I’m no longer interested in being a hometown hero. I’m loved and respected all over the world. I do not need them. They can’t afford me now anyway. Price went up.
You play with various forms of vocal performance manipulation in your music. Can you talk a bit about this process, and what you have found through experimentation?
I mix my own vocals. I know engineers say it’s not good for a vocalist to mix their own vocals, but I know my own voice and I know my strengths and weaknesses – also many people do not know this, but I’m a Pro Tools certified sound engineer. I also love playing around with my voice. I can do anything. I love challenging myself and getting better at the things I’m not good at. Music is always about throwing paint at the wall and seeing what sticks for me.
What is next for River Moon?
An EP and an LP. I’m trying to have something out by the end of the year at least. Right now, I’m collaborating a lot and recording in actual studios as opposed to only recording in my bedroom for the last 2 years. It’s a great learning experience. I love working with other artists and great musicians because sometimes you can’t do a certain thing, but someone else can and that makes for richer music – and the other way around. I’m trying to have River’s Revenge out early next year, so I’ll be dropping singles and teasers. I’d also love to do more fashion stuff, music videos and live shows. Oh, and a vacation at the end of the year.
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