“Everything I write about has to come from something I’ve been through or felt,” Lily Moore tells What We Seee. “I just want to make people feel something when they hear it, so if I don’t feel something when I’m singing it then it doesn’t mean anything.” The music she’s creating certainly does mean something. From busking in Brighton to supporting the likes of Tom Grennan, George Ezra, Vance Joy, and James Bay — along with successful EPs and a round of sold-out solo shows — Moore’s soulful style and self-assured sound have shaped her career. Her latest track, Why Don’t You Look At Me, has her signature raspy edge, emotive delivery, and witty lyrics as she explores a relationship that has faded into complacency.
“I wrote the song out of fear that the person I was with for a long time didn’t fancy me anymore,” Moore explains. “It’s kind of a jokey song and not to be taken too seriously, but it’s about the moment of realisation when you see that things really aren’t how they used to be and, before you know it, the honeymoon phase is over — you’re eating beans on toast on the sofa watching catch up telly.” As ever, Moore has an irreverence and knack for seeing the humour in the situation. “I do love beans on toast on the sofa and catch up telly too though.”
A Rite Of Passage
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Moore’s down-to-earth style gives an authenticity to her lyrics, something that you could attribute to her days as a busker. “I feel like, in Brighton, busking is a bit of a rite of passage when it comes to getting confidence on stage,” she says. “I’m lucky to have grown up there, I think, because there are so many places you can just show up at and play and test out a new song.”
Though where she is now is a far cry from the streets of Brighton, she’s still a performer who knows what she loves with a passion for putting her music out there and connecting with audiences. “I think my style hasn’t changed too much,” she explains. “I still love the same old soul records and want to make the same type of music, it’s just that now I have a lot more confidence. I think those early days in Brighton gave me a hunger to be on stage as I realised very quickly there’s no feeling quite like it. The buzz it gives me when I do a gig is the best feeling in the world — like a little happy adrenaline bubble that lasts for days.”
You’ll See Something Happen
Though her passion for live performance is strong, Moore has an innate urge for writing that keeps her busy. “I write every day just out of habit and have done for years, whether it’s just writing something silly on my iPhone notes at the end of a night out, or playing my guitar in the morning before I go out.”
Even when she’s not writing, she’s finding inspiration — and her ability to draw from so many different things, from nights out to modern art, keeps her music rich and varied. “I went to see Tracey Emin’s exhibition at White Cube recently on a day off and I found that really inspiring. I love her work. A good night out also always sparks ideas or you’ll see something happen that becomes a story,” she explains. “I do love a night out it has to be said!”
What Feels Right
Part raw talent, part perfectionist, Moore strives to find the balance between the two — especially when it comes to her records. “I think I can be quite overly critical of myself, especially when recording vocals, so I normally end up being annoying and having to go back and do them again and again and again,” she explains. “But that’s not a bad thing, it’s just because I want everything I put out to be just right.”
But above all, she’s committed to her authenticity and being herself — something that she hopes other young women in the industry will feel comfortable doing. “I would say just be you and do what feels right. Wear what makes you happy and don’t worry about what other people think too much or you will drive yourself mental.”
Beyond that, it’s all about supporting each other in a cut-throat industry. “Also help other young women out,” she adds. “I know so many wonderful supportive female artists who all help me out and I would do the same for them and I really think there’s something to be said for being supportive of each other rather than competitive…” she explains. Even as a breaking talent, seeing the need for collaboration rather than competition shows what a grounded, assured artist she is. With Why Don’t You Look At Me, her list of hits continues — and her future looks brighter and brighter.