Lily Moore: In Conversation
Lily Moore started writing songs at three years old, which is probably why, at 21, she sounds beyond her years when it comes to the depth of her lyrics and her mature sound.
Her soulful songs are clashed with quirky and personal words; making her stand out against the landscape of young artists in the industry right now. If that wasn’t enough incentive to give her music a listen; add a refreshingly honest approach to singing about love to the mix, making her music accessible and relatable to anyone.
Following her first full-length release, the More Moore Mixtape in 2019, Lily has just dropped her latest single Now I Know, a bittersweet tale of missed opportunities and lessons learned. Before tuning in, keep reading to find out what Lily told us about her influences, confessing her feelings to the world in song form, and her infamous cocktail-making skills...
You started writing songs when you were really young, what is your first memory of this?
Me and my brother used to have a pretend band: he was on drums and I would sing. We had a song called Rock ‘n’ Roll Badger. I remember he tried to sing one time, and I screamed at him ‘drummers can’t sing'! I was probably about three years old and that would be the earliest memory I have.
How has your music evolved since then?
I think it was better then – no, just kidding! I’m only 21, but I definitely have more of an idea of what I want to sound like and who I am now. Over time, I’m getting to know more about what I want to say, and I’ll keep evolving.
How would you describe your sound today?
At the moment, I would say I sound like someone very British. I’ve grown up with a lot of old soul references and listening to a lot of Motown records. I think I sound like a young, old lady. And I want everything I do to be honest.
Do you think growing up in Brighton and now living in London has influenced your sound too?
I’d say so. Brighton has been a helpful place to grow up in, in terms of having places to play. There were always gigs just around the corner from me. In London, there’s so much going on and so much to see and do. You do end up getting excited and inspired a lot easier in a big city.
What attracts you to soul music?
I think it’s just very honest music. Aretha Franklin, for example; she was one of the first women to do this and she’s really honest. It’s proper love music and they’re just saying it as it is. A lot of the soul music I listen to is love songs and I like that honesty and being fearless with how these artists feel. And it just sounds good too: I love brass, the beats, all of it.
Your songs and lyrics are super personal and confessional, does it sometimes scare you to share your thoughts with the world like this?
It is a bit scary, but I love it when I do a gig and the front row is all other women who know all the words because they’ve all felt it too. That makes it all worthwhile. Everything I sing about is something everyone can feel and that’s how I can connect to people.
Most of your songs start with voice notes on your phone, how does that process work?
Sometimes I’ll listen to something back a few days later and decide it’s rubbish, but sometimes I find something special in there. Then, I start putting a melody to it and lyrics, which are my favourite bit to do. It’s usually just a tiny burst of an idea that turns into something bigger.
Can you tell us something about your latest track?
My latest track Now I Know is a song about when you fancy someone and then they end up getting a girlfriend that isn’t you and you’re still sad about it.
What song would you recommend people listen to first, if they want to get to know your music?
I Will Never Be because it’s got the most funny bits in it.
Your cover of Blondie’s Heart of Glass features on the new Four Weddings and a Funeral television show – how did that come about?
I don’t really know how it came about to be honest but I’m very glad it did. I’ve always been a fan of the film and I love the song; I’ve always been a massive Blondie fan. I think the best part of the film is quite sad, so I thought ‘let’s make this bloody sad’. I didn’t expect them to pick it, but they did!
How did your club nights at Portobello come about?
Moore More – yes, those started when I left Brighton. There wasn’t much in London for people my age to just go and have a fun gig with no pressure and just get to perform. I was looking for places to put it on and I live in West London, so the place is pretty local to me, and I like the vibe as it’s all a bit seedy and silly.
It was also a way of me meeting other artists. When I first moved to London, I was a bit lonely and through it, I have met a lot of amazing people. It’s been a really good thing to get to do and I hope I can continue doing it.
Can you tell us about your famous drink combination at the club nights?
It’s lethal. I don’t really know why I decided to do it, I just thought I quite like the idea of a cocktail so let’s do it. They’re not really cocktails though. I thought it would be funny to do a cocktail that would just turn out to be them handing you a beer and a shot of tequila.
People did complain, but they complained to me which was the wrong thing to do because I just thought it was hilarious. Also, it’s a bargain. London is bloody expensive so if you pay a fiver and get two drinks out of it, that’s smart!
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
So far, probably playing the Royal Albert Hall supporting George Ezra. That has to be the best day ever.
You’ve been named one to watch for 2020 – how does that make you feel and how will you live up to it?
Excited and very grateful. I’m working on a couple of exciting singles, that’s what I can say. I’ve also got my tour coming up, so I’ll just take it as it comes.
What advice would you give to anyone starting out?
Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing or what you think you should be doing. Just enjoy it and do as many gigs as you can. Everything else is pointless.
What is a crazy dream you have for the future?
To do the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, that would be the dream.
What’s your favourite song right now?
Dead Celebrities by Easy Life.
Now I Know is out now and Lily Moore is set to tour the UK in May – including her biggest London show to date at Village Underground in Shoreditch.
Writer Cailin Klohk
Editor Dylan Weller
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