Moon Boots and Pete Dougherty are technically the same person, but in many ways, the two couldn’t be more different. The former is a globe-trotting extrovert whose genre-hopping (but always funky) DJ sets reliably fill dancefloors around the world. The latter is a relatively shy dude with a studio tan who has been geeking out on synths since he was a teenager.
Pete was born in Brooklyn and spent his adolescence in the suburbs. Early formative musical memories include hearing MFSB’s “Love Is The Message” at block parties. Cut to high school years jamming along to Daft Punk in the barn with a blacklight on.
After college Pete moved to Chicago, the birthplace of house music. The city transformed Pete and after a few years playing in the band Hey Champ, Moon Boots was born. The alias began taking shape with a series of releases for French Express. The label provided Dougherty with a platform, and he quickly leveled up his craft, eventually signing with Anjunadeep and moving back to Brooklyn.
The first Moon Boots album, First Landing, arrived in 2017, and was followed two years later by Bimini Road. Emphasizing melody while blending elements of house, disco, soul and R&B, both records were widely embraced – with over 100 million streams – and as they picked up steam, so did Moon Boots’ DJ schedule. Over the years, the versatile selector has found himself playing everywhere from dimly lit clubs to massive festivals, but regardless of where the DJ booth is located, his objective remains the same: to keep people dancing, preferably with a giant smile on their face.
A third album is currently in the works (and will surface on Anjunadeep next year), as is a revamped Moon Boots live show, one in which Dougherty will showcase his musical chops while touring and performing with a full band. In a way, those shows (which are slated to begin in 2023) might be what finally puts the Dougherty / Moon Boots split to bed, allowing the timid musical whiz kid to step into the spotlight and assume his rightful place as the life of the party.