Brooklyn comedian Moe Singleton talks new mixtape and doing stand-up during COVID-19

moe singleton
Photos courtesy of Moe Singleton

A local comedian is finding the funny in everyday life in his new mixtape that was recently released on Spotify.

Brooklyn resident Moe Singleton has been in doing stand-up for about four years or so. Singleton was influenced at an early age by the comedians that he would hear his mom listening to while he was supposed to be asleep.

“I grew up on stand-up. I remember this vividly, my mom would watch stand-up like ‘Def Comedy Jam’ but she would put me to bed, but i could hear it,” said Singleton. “Stand-up was raw, it was for adults. I would just remember listening to Bernie Mac, Martin Lawrence, and Chris Tucker and thought, wow this is crazy.”

He relocated to Brooklyn in the summer of 2019 and went through a pretty tough breakup before landing a spot in a show at the borough’s Cherry Tree bar in December. Singleton credits the breakup as part of what pushed him to step out on the stage that night.

“I just took the leap. It was something that I always wanted to try and once I went through the bad breakup, I thought I’m going to try this, and it turned out really good,” said Singleton.

Singleton recorded that performance and turned it into a comedy album entitled “Organic Mixtape.” In the mixtape, Singleton discusses topics surrounding his breakup, toxic masculinity, the hit sitcom “Seinfeld” and more.

What sets the album apart is that Singleton added in some of his own music in between the comedy to help pull the whole project together.

“I felt like it was a great way of introducing my music to people just in case they didn’t know I did music, or to my comedy, if they didn’t know I did comedy. You kind of get both of them, but you don’t get too much of the music — I didn’t want to overdo it,” said Singleton. “I never came across a project like this — I’m not saying I’m the first to do this, but when I go back and listen to people like Chris Rock, he always had parody songs in his stand-up. I’m an artist, and I wanted to give people an introduction to my music without overdoing it.”

Singleton hopes that those who listen to “Organic Mixtape” can see feel what he was going through at the time when he performed the material, many of which was off-the-cuff.

“That was my first long set in New York. I wasn’t expecting to get on the show, but I got booked and going through the process of the breakup,” said Singleton. “It was very special to me, very raw and real, some of it was on the spot when I recorded. I talk about the breakup, it was a learning process and I want people to see if they can feel that I was going through something and learning on the way.”

As a comedian, Singleton loves the immediate feedback you can get while you’re on the stage. If the material is being received well, the audience will show it, wherewith music Singleton finds that there are more hoops to jump through to get feedback.

“What I love the most is being able to share a thought that I thought was funny, and see the audience’s reaction. I felt like with comedy you have a voice and you get the response you are looking for right away,” said Singleton. “With music, it gets saturated. There’s so much music out there, you could say listen to my music and you could hear back oh so many people told me already. And with comedy, it was great because I could do the same thing that I’m doing with music on stage and get a quicker response. Being able to talk about situations that I deal with in my everyday life and find the funny in it, and people can say, oh I can relate to that too, that is so interesting to me.”

Prior to the shutdown in 2020, Singleton was a regular at Tiny Cupboard in Brooklyn. Naturally, like many comedians at the height of the pandemic, Singleton had to shift gears in order to keep comedy flowing in New York City.

Singleton joined in with many comedians who took to outdoor shows during the pandemic, doing comedy in parks and on rooftops. 

“We were keeping comedy alive. It’s one of those New York sorts of stories, we’ll think back and say, ‘It was a crazy time, there was a virus going around and we were doing comedy on rooftops!’ When we started doing them we got so much flack for it,” said Singleton. “It slowly started spreading and more and more people started coming outside. And we started doing outdoor open mics and rooftop shows. Outdoor comedy began to explode. When the weather gets nice, it’s going to continue.”

For Singleton, it solidified that if you are a comedian, you don’t necessarily need a comedy club or traditional venue to promote your comedy. Those who were going to Manhattan to the comedy clubs, Singleton says, were going to their own boroughs for these outdoor shows to see the comedians they love.

“If you’re not a club comic, this time has shown me you are the commodity, you are the product,” said Singleton. “The clubs don’t make the artist, you are the artist. The clubs are a space they can get people there, but people are coming to see you. So if you have a following or if people like you, you can go anywhere. That’s what it showed me, you can be your own producer, you can manage yourself, you can create your own club.”

As for Singleton, there may be more music to look forward to, but he is continuing to write more comedy.

“I write all the time, I write music all the time. Being a writer in general I kind of just go with what I’m feeling as far as if I’m in the music mode, I write some songs, if I’m focusing on comedy, I focus on that,” said Singleton. “I’ve definitely got some ideas, but I wanted to focus on the comedy for now.”

“Organic Mixtape” is available on Spotify. For more information on Singleton and his projects, visit moesingleton.carrd.co or follow him on Instagram @moedinero.

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