Lily Moore "I just want to keep going. I want to keep getting my song's out there and gradually getting bigger. I have massive dreams. But everyone's taught just to constantly look for the next thing and never stop and just appreciate what they've done at the moment. And I feel like right now I'm in shock I've actually even managed to get anything out. Let alone be a normal human being. I want to keep writing songs, making an album, and tour the world."
Madison Drew | 21/06/2023
"I really have to hand it to other people, my friends and other musicians around me, for making me believe in myself again" is one of Lily Moore's reasons for her comeback to music after three years. Of course, those years were a universal experience for many, with the 2020 COVID lockdown shifting people like Lily into somewhere wildly unexpected. "I feel like the reason mine and so many other people's mental health struggled so much in lockdown was just not having that connection. Not everyone needs therapy or counselling, although those are amazing things. But I think everyone does need human connection in some form. And to me, my therapy before COVID was just going down to the pub with my mates and talking. And we will always have such beautiful friendships that we can be really honest with each other. So not having that was really, really, tough." Lily and I sit outside to talk, probably just a few days before it's too unbearably hot in London as the summer commences. We've already bonded over being tote bag connoisseurs, both of us carrying one slightly larger than your average tote bag. We both agreed the bigger, the better when it comes to totes, especially as we speak a lot on the topic of food during our time together; there needs to be space for ample snacks to bring on the go. Lily is just as passionate about food as her music. After her 3-year break due to her exhaustion with the industry during COVID, the Brighton-born singer is back, feeling optimistic and embarking on several projects this year, including the start of a podcast, summer shows, including supporting Rag N' Bone Man, an upcoming solo tour and creating more music for a future album. Although the pandemic may have also put a pause on the rising star's plans and did eventually take a toll on her mental health, it gave her a chance to create her latest EP 'Before I Change My Mind, Again…' filled with songs documenting moments of love, friendships, and mistakes made in everyone's early 20's, oozing emotion from every track. L: I was in a really weird place when I wrote it. It was lockdown. It was dark. It was the Christmas that no one got to go home to their families. So me and my producer Charlie, a really good friend, were stuck in London finishing the EP because neither of us could go home. So it was a fucking weird time. It's really annoying that it's tough to write things or create art when we're not living your best life. But then there were lots of problems in terms of now being an independent artist, and how that would work. It took a long time to build up my confidence, even though I wanted to do it again. I'm not incredibly spiritual or anything like that, but I believe that. So when nothing in the world made me think this was a good idea, it felt like I was going against all possible evidence I had that this was going to be a good thing to do. So taking some time away, I relaised I was an idiot. I still want to do this. I want to put myself through a bit more. And now it's out. It's so good. I can close that book. It's made me realise what I want to do and where I belong. M: I do have to ask with this EP, did you change your mind at any point when you were making it? L: Oh, literally constantly. I got halfway through when I thought I didn't know if the songs would pop and if I should do something else. Then I kept changing my mind and couldn't decide on the first song for the longest time. That was mental. Even just, did I want to do this? Did I want to fucking continue to break my back trying to get somewhere with something that hadn't given me a considerable amount of anything since COVID. But in the end, I felt the need to do this now. I did change my mind constantly. If I don't put this out now, I'm never going to do it. So, I had to call it that and shove it out. I didn't want it to be too grand. There's a lot of pressure, especially if it's like a comeback situation, to think of this amazing, deeper meaning title. And I was like, nope, the EP doesn't deserve that. M: It was a few tough years for you in the pandemic. What was it like to get back to making music?
L: I need to hand it to the people surrounding me. I feel like the reason mine and so many other people's mental health struggled so much in lockdown was not having others around. Not everyone needs therapy or counselling, although those are amazing things. But I think everyone does need human connection in some form. And to me, my therapy before COVID was just going down to the pub with my mates and talking. We will always have such beautiful friendships where we can be really fucking honest with each other. I feel fortunate to have that. And then not having that was really, really, really tough. But I really have to hand it to other people, my friends, and other musicians around me, for making me believe in myself again and putting the time in with me. M: Are there any techniques or other activities you've tried to help improve your mental health? L: I mean, it's so fucking annoying because everything really fun in life is pretty bad for your mental health or just bad for you. In general. This is a problem of getting older that I've realised I really wish that having a bottle of wine and eating loads of chips was the best thing for my mental health. I genuinely think there is nothing wrong with that. But it's a difficult one because also there was a time when I got so obsessed with trying to do all the things that were supposedly really good for my wellness, and I was so desperate not to feel anxious I went completely ham on it. I can remember this point in my life where I was doing yoga for an hour, meditating twice a day for 20 minutes, reading a book on, like, The Chimp Paradox, like how your brain's a monkey, and listening to The Panic Pod. You know, reading The Body Holds The Score. I remember thinking this is too much. This is not fun. If you're on holiday, sure, but the best thing I've learned is to do whatever I would do anyway. And if that's going to the gym because I want to go to the gym, I'll go to the gym. M: How do you overcome those fears of being different and defying everyone's expectations when making your songs and EPs? L: Knowing when to listen to others and when not to is something I've learned over the years. I've always loved writing lyrics. But I need to learn about music theory, and I'm not that great on guitar. So finding people that can be part of your team, and all having different strengths is important. Everyone that I work with is that part of my band. They're part of the Lily Moore thing. And I could not do it without any of them. If I was to do an EP entirely on my own without any other writers or producers, it would be a very, very, very different-sounding thing. The expectation I always hold for myself is knowing that it's something that I care about and that I believe in it and not letting other people tell me what to do as much as I used to. It's okay if all your songs are different because I'm different. I'm only 20-something. So, it's going to change with my mood every day. Why would my style of music stay the same every day? But as long as they're all things I believe in. That's important. M: It must be so different in the industry than what it was back in the day with early Amy Winehouse and Britney and so on. What's your experience been like starting out in music? L: There's been a lot of changes. I last released a song three years ago. And then even coming back to the music industry. It was such a different climate like the last time I dropped the song before January; TikTok didn't exist. And that blows my brain because now that is such an important thing. It didn't exist back in the day, years ago, even like, you just have to work your ass off, write the songs, know what you're saying, and then cross your fingers and hope for the best that they did. Now it's like before the songs even out. You're expected that it gets to a certain level, which is just impossible. Yeah, it's pretty tough. So it has changed. M: Is there any artists that you'd love to collaborate with? L: Buddy Ross, he's Frank Ocean's producer. He has an incredible song called "Bored Again!" that my friend showed me, and I have to play it all day. I just love it. I would love to somehow collaborate with him. If I just shout that enough, he might notice me one day. M: Is there anything you enjoy besides making music and doing gigs? L: I love food. Yeah, I love cooking and baking. When I cook, it's an event for me to do really quick things, but if I'm cooking, it will be every single pan used. But love like baking. I love going out for food with my friends. And I know that's not a particularly healthy hobby but I just love it. I also love being able to travel again. M: Outside of music, you also have a podcast, The Moore The Merrier. What's it been like to start that? L: It's been so great. I don't feel comfortable taking selfies and doing that. But being shit and talking about food, I could do that forever. And I love getting to know people. I'm a nosy person. So, naturally, [A podcast] felt like a really cool thing to do. And it's been amazing, and I'm so grateful for how open everyone is with me when I do it. When I started, I thought people might not want to talk about things, but everyone so willing to. It's amazing. M: You've lived in London now for a while. Is there anything that you miss from Brighton? L: Most of my friends have left now but just to see the seaside. We all left in the same year. Even though I didn't go to University, they all went straight to University. And I was just in London doing my EP, which was really weird because I remember they were all at Freshers week the same week I was like dropping my EP. I suddenly felt really grown up, and all my mates were just drunk every day, and I was really jealous, but it happens. I miss the sea so much. Growing up by the beach makes you feel landlocked because you can't see the horizon anywhere.
M: I'm a London girl. But that's one thing that I love is when you go to the seaside and just sit on the beach and have fish and chips. In London, the fish and chips are different here. L: I don't know. But it's just it just doesn't feel the same. I don't trust it. M: What's your favourite restaurant you've been to? L: It's called Mange Tout in Brighton. I've just got the train there before to go to this restaurant and then return. It's a French bistro. And it's like the closest thing I've got to being in Paris because that's my favourite place in the world and the food, it's incredible. M: You just released an EP and have an upcoming tour in September. Any songs that you're excited to play live? L: I'm excited to return to the old ones. Revisit some of my sad songs. Most of the new ones. Yeah, they deserve an outing. They haven't been out very much. So, I'm really excited to get to play those. There's something that really reminds me why you're doing it when you see people singing words. M: What are you most looking forward to on tour? L: I want to say the food, but I could guess that probably wouldn't be acceptable! Touring is my favourite thing in the world. Getting to gig every night for me as a like little kid was a dream and now I'm like, "Omg, I'm actually getting to do a gig?!" So that's cool. When you're on tour, you're on a bus with people all day. So, at some point, you'll go crazy unless you don't all love each other and get along well. So, I think the hang is underrated and just to spend all day chatting shit, snacking, and finding somewhere great to go after the show. M: Is there one place you're looking forward to playing at? L: There are quite a few places I've never been to, Bishop's Stortford and Skelmersdale. Brighton will be cool. That sold out literally within a day, but that's hilarious because I'm genuinely so frightened that I know every single person that will be there. M: What's the one moment so far where you look back and think, "Wow." L: It's hard to pick one. I still need to do it, but getting asked to play Montreux Jazz Festival. I've been living off that kick for the last month because that has always been my goal. Yeah, my dream. Obviously, I really want to do Glastonbury. But yes, Montreux Jazz Festival has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. So, I am really excited about that. Otherwise, it will probably be my last show in London at Village Underground. Because it sold out in 2019. And I didn't get to do it until 2022. I was standing there and getting so emotional because I did not think I would get to do it. M: What's next for you? Is there anything you want to tick off? L: I feel like putting my finger in all the pies now. I don't know what I'm doing, starting a podcast while I'm trying to write an album. Next, I'll be starting a clothing range if I carry on like this! But it'd be so much fun, actually. Maybe my own perfume. That'll be a slay. M: What would you name your fragrance? L: Essence of pop bitch M: I can see it in Boots. L: It's going to work. L: I just want to keep going. I want to keep getting my song's out there and gradually getting bigger. I have massive dreams. But everyone's taught just to constantly look for the next thing and never stop and just appreciate what they've done at the moment. And I feel like right now I'm in shock I've actually even managed to get anything out. Let alone be a normal human being. I want to keep writing songs, making an album, and tour the world. Lily's EP Before I Change My Mind, Again… is out now. Tickets to her headline UK tour 'The Bookies Favourite Tour' in September are on sale now. Lily will perform at venues across towns and cities, including Leamington Spa, Skelmersdale, and Brighton. A London show is scheduled on September 19th You can also listen to Lily's podcast, The Moore The Merrier: A Podcast On How To Survive, on all good streaming platforms. Words Madison Drew Photography Aaron Hurley Styling Phoebe Brannick MUA Phoebe Taylor