In addition to being Jones’ grandnephew, Mooty is also the stepson of Troy Aikman. Despite coming from a line of football greatness, Mooty’s passion lies in music.
“It’s nice to have one foot in and one foot out,” Mooty says of the sports industry. “Obviously, my last name isn’t Jones, so it gives me the freedom to make a name for myself, but at the same time, I get advice from two very successful people. Their support means everything to me, but it’s also nice to have that separation.”
Mooty began playing guitar at 11 years old, under the guidance of Norman Pangle from The Sound Foundation. He began songwriting at 16, which is when he began recording in studios and performing live. Now 18, Mooty has built an impressive résumé, having opened for Ty Herndon and played a set before Taylor Swift at AT&T Stadium.
As a senior at Episcopal School of Dallas, Mooty is in the process of applying to college and is also on the football team. While he's still not entirely sure what he wants to study after high school, he does plan to incorporate music into his academics.
“It’s been tough to balance school, sports and music,” Mooty says. “It can be challenging to find time to do the things I love, while studying for tests and applying for college, but it’s very rewarding to work hard on something and it turns out well.”
Perhaps the most notable track on One Touch is “Love is Queen.” On the EP’s opening track, Mooty sings “Let me be your king, your love is king,” in a falsetto reminiscent of Justin Timberlake circa 2003. The instrumental track is groovy and bouncy. Mooty believes that One Touch represents a happy, carefree side to him.
“Obviously, my last name isn’t Jones, so it gives me the freedom to make a name for myself, but at the same time, I get advice from two very successful people. " — Val Mooty
“I wrote [the EP] after spring break of last year,” Mooty says. “It was a blast and I had all of these emotions flowing in my head when I was writing, and I just wanted to convey that more upbeat, fun, teenage side of life.”
Despite being very young, Mooty has a good sense of pragmatism, one rare among his peers. On One Touch’s closing track, “Not Afraid of Alone,” which is co-written by Sarah Jaffe, Mooty sings that he’s going to learn to “take care of me, tell myself ‘let it be, let it be,’” regardless of whether or not he ends up feeling lonely.
During his winter break from school, Mooty plans on writing more songs, with plans to put out a new EP by spring of 2020. He also hopes to begin doing live performances around Dallas before the end of the year.
Despite having connections to Dallas royalty, Mooty credits his inspiration to his friends, who have shown him love and support without knowing of his relatives.
“My childhood was pretty normal,” Mooty says. “Nobody ever treated me differently, which I’m thankful for. I’ve had the opportunity to make genuine friends and relationships without people knowing who I’m related to.”