INTERVIEW: Rising soul star Lily Moore discusses the magic of being 17 and the eternal Aretha Franklin

Lily Moore's debut EP 'Not That Special' is due for an April 25 release and will be out via Closer Recordings/Virgin EMI.

                            INTERVIEW: Rising soul star Lily Moore discusses the magic of being 17 and the eternal Aretha Franklin
(Source : Getty Images)

Ahead of the release of her debut EP 'Not That Special', we hooked up with the UK's up-and-coming soul star Lily Moore for a few questions about her upcoming album, her influences and her songwriting process.

Born in London but raised in Brighton, Lily would keep an early taste for inner-city, soulful masters of their crafts like Etta James, Lauryn Hill and Sam Cooke. Meanwhile, Lily’s own songwriting has developed into a disarmingly stripped-back style that recalls the youthful wryness and thick-skinned power of a young Amy Winehouse or Lianne La Havas.

Moore also recently released an accompanying DIY music video for the title-track, which shows us a glimpse of the 19-year-old's life as she takes us on a stroll through the south coast with her friends and another music video her second single '17'. With two sold out tours (in support of Vance Joy and George Ezra) and another headline show at the Lexington lined-up, she's definitely one of the fastest rising stars from the west of the pond.

‘Not That Special’ is a very interesting title for a first single. The EP also shares the same name. What’s the story there?

The phrase sort of sums up what the song is about but I also thought it would be funny to name my first EP that as it's quite an underwhelming title for my debut single.

You seem to have found your sound at such a young age. For how long have you been performing now? How did you know that the stage is your true calling?

I’ve never not been performing and luckily my family have always been really supportive of me wanting to pursue a career in music. Although I always get nervous before a gig, I actually feel more comfortable on stage sometimes than I do in an everyday situation which is bizarre, but true. Despite the nerves before the feeling I get when I come off stage every time makes it all worth it and every gig reminds me why I do it.

Your frank lyricism and soulful sound have drawn comparisons to Amy Winehouse. What do you think about that?

I think it’s a huge compliment!

We loved your latest single, ‘17’. Did you write it at that age as the name suggests? Tell us about how you came up with the song.

I was working with a really talented writer called Joel Pott and we were writing a song about how great being 17 is, even if I didn’t see it at the time. When it came to writing the chorus, it just came completely naturally and made sense. So yeah, '17' kind of wrote itself which just happens sometimes when you know exactly what you want to say.

There’s a line in the song that goes “Said I’m way too young to know my mind / And I ain’t seen nothing yet.” Is that an autobiographical line?

Yeah. People often think that just because you're young you don’t know what you're doing and that all of our horizons must be narrow just because of our age. So the song sort of in a way takes the piss out of this whilst celebrating at the same time, being 17 is so much fun.

Your music video for ‘Not That Special’ takes us on a stroll through the beaches of Brighton. What role has the city played in shaping your music?

Brighton has a great music scene. All the open mic and gigs I did here definitely gave me a lot of confidence and I had a network of people around me who supported me and helped me out in whatever way I needed when I was growing up/doing gigs.

The soul is overpowering in your songs. Have you always been a fan of the genre? Who are your biggest influences?

I grew up listening to soul music as a child and fell in love with it. I think Aretha Franklin is my biggest influence. I love everything about her, the way her songs are so frank but also her voice is, in my opinion, the best female voice ever.

What kind of music do you usually listen to?

A cocktail of old and new.

What are the names of the other two tracks on the upcoming EP?

Lying to yourself

Come and See Inside My Mind

Where did you record and produce the EP? Who produced the album, how long did it take and what was it like to finally have the finished product?

I recorded the first two tracks with Jim Abbiss at The Pool studio and the last two tracks with Fred Cox at his own studio. I am so happy that people can finally hear the songs, they are very special to me. The EP is available to pre-order now! (It drops on April 25)

Will you be hitting the road this year in support of your EP? What’s next for Lily Moore?

I’m fresh out of tour with George Ezra and going on tour with James Bay end of May. Also, I’ve no idea how, but we sold out The Slaughtered Lamb on 1 May so we've put on a new headline show at The Lexington on 20th June! BE THERE OR you might become a square!