If you’re a fan of country music, LYRX is a name you’ll want to make yourself familiar with — and not just because she’s Shay Mooney’s (of Dan + Shay) sister. She, herself, is a singer and songwriter, most recently having co-written Walker Hayes’ current single, “90’s Country.” She’s also dabbling in creating music of her own and just released her single, “Take The Money.”
I got the chance to talk with her about how she first got into music, what it was like writing Walker Hayes’ current single with him, her new music and so much more! Keep reading to see what she had to say.
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into making and performing music.
My family was in a group called “The Mooney Family.” My dad played bass and sang, my mom is a talented pianist and amazing singer, and so I’ve grown up singing my whole life! My sister Erica and my brother Shay and I would sing as a trio at different churches and county fairs. Performing music has always just been something that’s a part of me. I can’t remember a time where music wasn’t a part of my life. I started writing music at age 12 and never stopped.
Was there a specific moment or person who made you realize music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
Honestly, this is what I’ve always known I wanted to do! It’s in my blood and in my soul. I’ve never done music for the money. I’ve always just had a passion for it.
Your brother is Shay Mooney of the hit duo Dan + Shay. What have you learned from being around your brother and seeing his career take off?
I’ve always known Shay was gonna be huge. He’s been the best singer I’ve ever known. EVER. He’s always giving me advice and I look up to him so much. He’s shown me what’s possible!
You’ve written songs with a lot of big-name writers. Most recently, you co-wrote Walker Hayes’ current single “90s Country” with him. How did that come about? What’s it been like for you, as the writer, to see that song succeed?
This was my first write with Walker, and he came in with the idea of “90s Country”. We just hammered out a ton of lyrics from our fave songs, from our idols! It feels amazing to see him having such success with this song. He’s so talented and I really love seeing him do so well. He deserves it.
So now you’re dabbling in creating music of your own and you have a brand new single, “Take The Money.” What’s the story behind the song?
I decided to stop listening to what everybody else wanted me to be! I know who I am and what I want to do, but people would always tell me that if I wanted to “make it” then I needed to follow the guidelines. I totally respect that, but what happened to creating the music you love? I don’t need a label exec to throw money at me to make me feel validated. Whoever can look down on me all they want, but I’m gonna make the country I KNOW. So “Take The Money” was born.
What was the songwriting process like for this song? Did you write this by yourself or did you collaborate with other artists/songwriters?
I wrote this one with a brother/sister duo! Ben and KK Johnson. Super talented writers and producers. We conceptualized the vibe of the track by talking about how I wanted it to be a fun country song with some rock influence. I love how it turned out.
I’m curious about how songwriting topics come to mind. Did you know what you wanted to write about going into the session that birthed “Take The Money” or did it just come about organically once you were in there?
Ben, KK, and I were talking about topics, and I said I’m sick of writing what people expect me to. I don’t need their money. I’m gonna do me. So we wrote, “Take The Money”.
Who are some of your musical influences when it comes to songwriting?
The female bosses! Shania Twain, Gwen Stefani, Fergie, and Dolly Parton. They all took chances and blazed trails! They went against the grain. I love that.
What was the recording process like? Were there any major changes to the song once you got into the recording studio, whether it be to the lyrics or something sonically?
Honestly, no! Ben did an incredible job with the worktape, and I take a lot of time doing vocals even with demos. So we kept the vocals and just added more country flavor to it with Kent Wells. We got some musicians in the studio and rocked it out front porch style. Mark Needham added his touches and mixed the record.
What are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks you aim to reach in the next couple of years?
I just wanna hear my songs on the radio! I want to be driving somewhere and turn up the dial and BOOM there I am. That would be a dream.
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner-nerd. What is something, besides music, that you nerd out about?
Inner-nerd? I feel like my nerd is totally out for display [laughs]! I have a few. Video games like Mario Kart, for sure. I’m a huge Star Wars fan. But I’ll tell you a secret that only those closest to me know… I LOVE Sonic ice. Ya know, those little nugget cubes? Yeah. I eat Sonic Ice. But then I get cold easily so I also use my blow dryer to get warm. Yeah. Let that sink in. I’m weird.