Lily Moore is a hustler.
Still only 19 years old, when the Brighton raised pop riser made the move to London she decided to make the city her own, quickly starting her own club night at West London’s new music den the Mau Mau Bar. Rapidly becoming a focal point for new talent, she gradually found her feet – but the south coast is always calling her.
“I’m in London today for a session today,” she tells Clash over the phone, “but I had a weekend in Brighton for a radio show with the BBC. And I’m feeling quite tempted to go back to Brighton tomorrow night, but once I go back there I can’t really not go home again!”
Extremely close to her family and friends, it’s this network which has kept her grounded over a remarkable 12 months which have seen her tour across Europe alongside George Ezra and – starting from next month – Clash cover star James Bay.
“I don’t feel you could drag my feet off the ground if you tried,” she says. “If I ever started to drift they’d be straight on my case. If I ever act like a pop star they tell me, and I’ll know to sort my shit out! My friends definitely keep me grounded.”
Musical from a young age, Lily’s house regularly resonated with the sounds of Aretha Franklin, Etta James, and Nina Simone, with those soulful influences leaving a tangible trace on her voice. “They’re definitely my main gals!” she chuckles. “I just love their voices, and they’re people I grew up listening to. I’ve taken a lot of that in as my inspiration, what I want to sound like, really.”
“I think it’s all sunken in around me,” Lily continues. “It’s been very natural for me to sing the way I sing, or write the way that I write.”
Natural and unforced, this pop talent only ever does what feels right. “I have to write about what’s relevant to me,” she says. “It’s about keeping the songs young, and writing about what I know… that’s just so important. Although they sound soulful, it’s a soulful spin on things I’ve already been through and can talk about.”
New EP ‘Not That Special’ emerged just a few hours ago, and it’s an incredibly potent introduction – from the slight husk in her voice, to the blossoming word play, or the stellar production. The songs have been with her for some time –in cases, her early teens – but they have now reached a certain point of maturity where she feels able to let them go.
“The songs for me are still as raw and as stripped back as I wanted it to be – I think my voice is still the main thing in it,” she insists. “Having the insight of so many people who were helping record it, everything would chip their ideas in. It feels finished, whereas before it didn’t feel finished.”
But Lily Moore herself isn’t quite finished. Continually working, she’s got live dates to attend to, studio sessions to complete, and songs to work on. “I used to always have a notepad on me, but now I just use the memo function on my phone,” she tells Clash. “I was laughing the other day as it’s literally only takeaway orders and song lyrics on there! Everyday I’ll write something – even if I’m on the bus going somewhere – I’m always writing and thinking about ideas, it never stops.”
“Sometimes just as I’m falling asleep a melody will come into my head and I’ll click record on my phone. It feels like a luxury when I get to properly sit down and write and enjoy it, but I’m always writing songs, always thinking about stuff. It never feels like a chore.”
'Not That Special' is out now. Catch Lily Moore on tour with James Bay next month.
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