In Conversation With:
Our breakout star of the year has to be Lily Moore. She’s headlined Omeara, supported George Ezra at Brixton and released two stunning EPs. Philip Giouras caught up with the soulful singer to talk all things music, eggs and what surprises she has in store for an exciting 2019…
It feels like no one has had a busier 2018 than 20 year old Lily Moore. The soulful singer-songwriter from Brighton has released two stunning EP’s, sold out multiple dates on her UK tour (including a headline performance at Omeara in London), supported acts such as George Ezra, James Bay and Tom Grennan at prestigious venues like Brixton Academy and The Roundhouse and then last week she featured on ‘The Descent’, a track from Bastille’s surprise mixtape ‘Other People’s Heartache Part 4’.
If you’ve been reading this site at all over the past year, you won’t be surprised to hear us praising Moore. Her first single ‘Not That Special’ caught our attention immediately and she has only continued to impress since. Whether that be at her live shows, where it really becomes apparent how talented Moore is, with her astonishing vocals and electric personality. Or whether it’s through her ever-growing discography, which contains some of the biggest and best pop songs we’ve heard this year such as the soul drenched ‘Lying To Yourself and the heart-wrenching ballad ‘Do This For Me’.
A few weeks ago, I caught up with Lily for a cup of tea and a chat to discuss her crazy year, what it's like moving to London and what sort of surprises she has in store for 2019….
What a year! I’m not even sure where to start but let's kick off with last months headline show at Omeara, What was it like playing with a full band compared to the early acoustic shows?
It makes all the songs sound better I think. It’s all very well me singing my heart out with my guitar, the songs still say what I want them to say but when everyone else is on stage as well, it feels like a proper show. And like a step up from when it was just me and my guitar or just me and my keys player, yeah I love it!
So what was the reception like back home when you played the Brighton show?
Awww, Brighton was really, really good. Having my whole family and friends come was amazing, I think I knew probably 80% of the people in the room which was pretty mad. My mum sold like 50 tickets or something crazy which was really funny. Yeah it was actually really lovely and I haven’t ever felt like that before. I was really nervous but I just felt really safe at the same time because I knew everyone there was kind of rooting for me as well. It was great, especially because the first night of the tour was there and I had a couple problems using in-ears for the first time so it was a really good first show to find my feet.
How are you finding living in London now compared to back in Brighton?
I struggled a bit to start with, its just a completely different place. Like I still think I have to get out of London every couple weeks or I’d go a bit nuts, but yeah, it feels a lot more like home now. I had my first day the other day where I actually felt like a Londoner which was really nice. I got on the tube and I had my sunglasses on and a coffee and I was like “This is what living in London’s all about”. Music wise I think its a bit more intense up here, in Brighton there was so many open-mics and little nights that no one knew about where as up here I feel like everyone knows about it and its a huge thing or no one knows about it and it doesn’t exist.
So how did you find playing venues such as The Roundhouse and Brixton Academy so early on in your career?
That was amazing, both of them. Brixton was crazy as well because I ended up doing the George Ezra tour straight afterwards, so I literally ended up playing it twice in a week, before that I don’t think I’d played in front of more than, I don’t know but nowhere near that amount. Then suddenly it was like “oh you’re playing Brixton” and i’m like “ohhh right” (chuckles) then a couple days later i’m playing it again. It was amazing though, I think Brixton meant more to me because i’ve been there to watch so many gigs growing up and i’ve always thought “imagine one day you could do that”.
What’s been your highlight of the year? It doesn’t even feel like a year does it?
It feels like its gone so quickly, do you know its been wicked. My highlight of the year would probably be… the Brighton show from my tour, it was just in the Komedia, but I think that was a really lovely night for me. I always feel a bit sad if I haven’t done a gig in ages, I was just on the phone to my manager like “please can we do a gig!”. It’s all starting to wind down for Christmas but I start to feel a bit weird if I haven’t done one in a certain amount of time.
Yeah I can imagine there’s a big difference between spending time singing in the studio compared to a gig, you must miss that atmosphere of having a live audience
I love being in the studio and I love writing and all of it but there’s something so different about actually doing it. being on stage, it’s a different thing.
Do you have a process when you go into writing a song or does it depend on different factors
I think it depends on different factors, I’ve no idea how the songs get written in my head which is quite nice. I know some writers I work with are quite methodical and they’ll wanna talk about it for a long time before they do it, but then sometimes it just comes out on its own which is really nice. I prefer those sessions where you don’t have to think about it and the song writes itself, they’re always the good songs, you don’t have to try too hard, it just happens.
Can you tell me about More Moore at Mau Mau’s in Portobello Road? How does it work, do you do DJ’ing behind a deck?
That’s quite a good idea, but no I started it just after I moved to London because like I said about the open mic nights. There wasn’t anything really similar to Brighton going on in terms of like little gigs, so I kind of started it so I had somewhere to play and practice songs, and then other people who I thought were cool I’d ask them to come down. I’ve had two really lovely special guests that just surprised everyone which was really cool, Tom Grennan the first time and then Will Heard. Its just a fun little night really, I’m really trying to do another one before Christmas so keep your eyes peeled…
Does that mean you’re going to throw a few Christmas songs in there, a festive event?
There might be a bit of tinsel, no Christmas songs but definitely a bit of tinsel, and everyone can get drunk because its nearly Christmas. so that makes it totally fine.
Back to the new ‘I Will Never Be’ EP, which of the songs are you most proud of?
Probably ‘I Will Never Be’ is the song I’m most proud of that I’ve written, that was so easy to write, it just happened, we didn’t talk about it. It was with someone called Eg (Eg White writer of huge hits such as ‘Chasing Pavements’ and ‘Warwick Avenue’) who I love working with. I’ve done most of my songs with him actually. He produced that, as well as ‘Do This For Me’ which are the more heavier, emotional songs on the record.
Also on the EP you have ‘I Know I Wanna Be With You’ and ‘All Day’. They’re more upbeat songs especially compared to the first EP, how did they come about?
I think it was just how I was feeling at the time, I think its quite funny because any of the songs I know exactly what sort of stage I was in at the time or what was going on. That was definitely a happy period of my life where I was like “This is great!” and then you have ‘Do This For Me’ and you’re like “oh no what happened!”
As we wind down for Christmas then, what does 2019 have in store for Lily Moore?
Hopefully… actually no… definitely! another London show. I don’t know where that’ll be, I’m not sure what comes after Omeara but one size up hopefully. Also I’m actually recording my next single at the moment which I’m going to put out maybe before Christmas… maybe after, I’ll keep that open, depending on how good my voice sounds today with a cold (laughs). I don’t really have a rush, because I’m writing so much I feel like theres a chance that the single after this one, I could write it in the next couple weeks and it would end up being better than the one we plan on putting out there’s just…
Yeah, I feel very relaxed about it all. Hopefully they’ll also be more tours! I really miss being on tour at the moment. I feel a bit lost when I haven’t done a gig in a while, I’m sort of like “Argh, what am I doing” and you kind of forget why you’re writing all the songs in a way because I do so much of that on tour, I’m like “what do I do with all the songs, I don’t know?” but it's going to be a really good year, yeah I’m excited, I’m ready.
Speaking of going on tour, whats the dream location for you? where would you want to tour?
I’d love to do an Irish tour actually because I’ve got family in Northern Ireland and my bands all got family in Southern Ireland so that would be really fun, do people do that? do people tour just Ireland or is that really weird (laughs). Scotland is really fun as well, they love a gig! I love them there, they’re brilliant. I love playing everywhere really, Germany is really cool as well, they’re really lovely and super respectful, I remember just walking on stage there and they clapped before i even did anything, and I was like “ooh don’t clap yet it might be horrible” (laughs).
What about the debut album, is that coming up?
I think first a couple more singles, definitely one, maybe another one. Because I really love the next two songs that are coming out, they feel like a really nice sort of next chapter from the EP’s I’ve got out already, so I want them to come out and then potentially an album at the end of the year. God that feels so weird! I feel like I’ve already written it in a way, It’s just I want it to be right, and I want to get the production right, I just want it to be perfect really. Its quite nice not having a set routine in my head, especially because I’m a complete perfectionist, so if I think “oh god you’ve only got one day to get this done” then I’ll just panic and I’ll think its crap. That’s whats going on today, I need to go and finish the singles vocals so i’m like “Noooo not the last day”, I hate that feeling so much.
Tell me about Love Island, did your song featuring on the programme come as a surprise to you?
I didn’t know! it was so funny, my manager kept saying to me “Stay in tonight and watch Love Island” and I kept being like “No? i’m not watching Love Island”. I was kind of into it a little bit but I feel like you have to commit to Love Island, you can’t really dip in and out so I kind of messed up and didn’t watch enough of it. When it played, my phone just rang like five times at once, I’ve never had that before. So it would just start then another caller would pop up saying to “Put the telly on!” and I was like “AHHH!”. That was kind of crazy, especially considering all my mates were watching it. It could have been a different programme but for my age range that was like so funny, I loved it. It was brilliant, especially because the song was in the lie detector bit and there was a buzzer sound that would go off halfway through, I was laughing my head off at it!
Right I’ve got a few quick fire questions now, I might be able to guess some of these though…
Curry, oh you was thinking I’d say eggs!
Yes I was (laughs), What sort of curry though?
It changes, that’s a really hard question, I’d say King Prawn Chilli Massala, and sometimes i’ll mix it up and ask for it as spicy as a Madras… I’m a bit obsessed
Favourite song right now?
LEON - Baby Don’t Talk
Your coffee order?
Chocolate or sweets?
Chocolate, yeah Dark chocolate mmm
Morning or night person?
Ha, neither!… night, this feels early (11am)
What’s your biggest addiction?
Favourite alcoholic beverage?
Beer.. or maybe Rum and Coke
How do you like your eggs?
Poached… Yeah, runny poached
Yeahhhh with avocado, and some nice bread, that’s the dream
And finally is the egg reviewing the next venture? if music doesn’t work out, is the future career food blogger?
Honestly, that would be the dream. I need to get another hobby I think, on top of just food and music because I feel like the egg thing came about because I don’t really do anything else. Like, I just want to sing and eat eggs and curry all day that would be kind of my dream. So yeah, I think the egg thing has got quite serious but I want to move onto reviewing other peoples eggs rather than just my own. I have a dream where people send me their eggs and I review those.
Send you eggs? (laughs) like recipes or someone comes and cooks them for you?
Recipes, or pictures because I can just tell from a mile off if it’s going to be good or not.
Similar to Gordon Ramsay’s twitter then, how harsh will you be going though?
I think harsher than Gordon! but if its good i’ll tell them its good. But I have high expectations, its hard to mess up a poached egg.
Thank you very much for talking to me!
Lily Moore is without a doubt, our one to watch for 2019. We’ve covered her rise through the ranks extensively this year, through a variety of EP and live show reviews. I think the best way to showcase her incredible talent however, is to leave you with this fantastic live Mahogany Session in which Lily performed the her soulful ballad ‘Do This For Me’.