Thursday 30 October 2014 19:00. Viewed: 572 times
TV3 signs Willy Moon and Natalia Kills to complete The X Factor NZ judging line-up
TV3 has added more international star-power to The X Factor NZ judging line-up with the signing of Willy Moon, the Kiwi born, New York-based recording artist, who took the world by storm when Apple took his track Yeah Yeah for their iPod campaign and made him a household name. In a first for The X Factor format, Moon will be joined by his wife, internationally successful singer songwriter Natalia Kills, who is famed for her gritty, autobiographical lyrics, to complete the judging line-up. The announcement was made at MediaWorks TV’s star-studded new season launch event, held last night in Auckland.
Moon, who originally hails from Wellington, is a writer, musician and producer who shot to prominence in 2011 with the release of his stunningly original homemade song I Wanna Be Your Man. Subsequently, his track Yeah Yeah, was picked up by Apple for their international iPod campaign and in the process made the talented Moon a worldwide star.
In 2013 he released his debut album Here’s Willy Moon to critical acclaim and set about touring the world. His music caught the attention of American musician and producer Jack White (White Stripes, The Dead Weather) who released Moon’s Railroad Track on his record label and then invited the Kiwi artist to support him on his UK tour in the same year.
Since 2014, Moon has been resident in New York City where he’s been working on his next album.
"After my guest performance on The X Factor NZ last year I understand the thrill and the pressure that the contestants experience up on stage,” he says.
“I’m looking forward to being a judge and I'm excited to discover the true talent that New Zealand has to offer. We’ve always punched above our weight creatively in many fields and have shown especially in recent years a capacity for producing world-beating music and film. It's a real thrill to finally return to my home country after spending so much time away and to get the chance to find and develop a genuine home-grown star. Can't wait to see you all soon! "
Natalia Kills (real name Natalia Cappuccini) was born in Bradford in the UK. By the age of 18, she’d moved to Hollywood to start a music career and it was there she chanced to meet the internationally-renowned performer and producer will.i.am who instantly recognized Kills’ talent, and signed her to his imprint at Interscope Records.
She released her debut album, Perfectionist, and subsequently toured the world with Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and B.E.P. eventually headlining on her own in Europe.
Her album Trouble, written and recorded in collaboration with renowned producers Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Jay Z) and Emilie Haynie (Lana Del Rey, Kid Cudie, Eminem) followed in 2013.
Kills’ music has spawned several top 10 hits in Europe and well over 750,000 singles sales. She currently lives in New York and is working on her third record.
"The new season of The X Factor NZ is going to be wild!” she says. “I’m delighted to be a judge and mentor to other aspiring new artists. New Zealand is full of undiscovered talent, and I'm excited to find a diamond in the rough. Last year when I released my album Trouble I had the time of my life in Auckland. I never knew there was such a dynamic creative scene there. Besides, ever since I married Willy Moon I've had a burning curiosity to find out more about where he's from and what makes Kiwis so irresistible!"
Andrew Szusterman, MediaWorks Group Entertainment Content Director says signing the husband and wife team is a huge win for The X Factor NZ, completing the all-star judging line-up and adding a new level of intensity to the series.
“Willy and Natalia are the first husband wife mentoring combo that we’re aware of globally, which adds a whole new dynamic to the panel this season,” he says.
“Arguing about who turns off the heater in the apartment is going to be the least of their worries.”
Willy Moon and Natalia Kills will join fellow judges Melanie Blatt, Stan Walker and host Dominic Bowden on the 2015 series
Pre-auditions for the series wrap up on November 2nd in Auckland at Alfriston College, Manurewa from 10am - 5pm.
The X Factor NZ is a SYCO owned format and will be co-produced by MediaWorks and FremantleMedia Australia.
McDonald’s is the Broadcast Sponsor, with Fruttare, 2degrees and VO5 as programme partners. MediaWorks is also proud to have funding support from NZ on Air for the series.