Having been mostly behind the scenes as one half of the successful female production team LYRE, Elli Moore is finally stepping out into the spotlight and releasing music of her own. Her debut single “Gateway” is fun and upbeat, despite the serious subject of toxic relationships. I got the chance to talk with Elli about how she got into music originally, the story behind “Gateway”, how she became the singing voice for Barbie 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.
I’m very lucky to have amazing parents, who saw me at a very young age and thought to put me into musical theater programs and festival circuits. I’ve been performing for a very long time, and it’s nice to have my new music out so I can sing it live!
Was there a specific moment or person that made you realize music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
I was so young and already performing – I thought that my life was just what it was, and I was beyond happy. There was never any moment where I consciously chose to be an entertainer. However, the first time I saw Britney Spears on the cover of “Oops! I Did It Again”, the need to have something similar for myself became very real.
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey with their music. So if you had to describe your music without using genre names, how would you describe it? What kind of music do you produce?
Vibrant and fun!
Going off of that, who are some of your musical influences?
I listen to practically everything; I love a lot of throwback pop music, from the big hits from *NSYNC to Madonna. I love super catchy melodies, so music from artists who aren’t afraid to go big is usually the music that pumps me up.
Let’s talk about your first single, “Gateway.” What inspired this song?
It’s a real-life story, something that happened to me and that I had to share because I felt like a lot of people go through running into an ex who they don’t quite have the most closure from. It’s so hard to control yourself because you can’t tell if you actually miss them or you need clarity.
I always love hearing about the songwriting process, so I was wondering if you could share your process for “Gateway.”
Absolutely, as a writer/producer I love sharing! So I am in a music production/songwriting duo called LYRE with my best friend Alina Smith, and I brought the chorus lyrics to her one evening, and from there we wrote it in an hour (which is crazy-fast, considering we usually take at least a few). Obviously, since she’s my best friend, she knew every detail of the story, so writing it with her felt like I was writing with a mirror.
When it comes to your own music, are you someone who usually writes by yourself or do you like collaborating with other artists/songwriters?
I love to collaborate! I can definitely write by myself, but I enjoy collaborating with other people more, mostly for the social experience [laughs]. However, it’s also nice to have someone to bounce things off of. Ever since Alina and I started LYRE, she and I hardly ever write without each other.
Were there any major changes made to “Gateway” once you got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?
Funny you ask that. I was listening to some of the work tapes from the original writing session, and no, it’s pretty straightforward, and what you hear on the final version was a fully-executed version of what we had originally had in mind. Crazy how magic strikes like that sometimes.
I know you also got to shoot a music video for this song. What was that experience like? What did it mean to you to include some of the artists you’ve worked with over the years?
Incredible! I’ve been living in a mental music video my entire life. I’ve been dreaming of that day since I was a kid, practicing my facial expressions and my acting. However, the day of the shoot exceeded my expectations by miles; it was a dream come true. Nayip Ramos (the director) took my vision and brought it the life it deserved. I couldn’t be more proud of our work together.
Aside from your own music, you are also one half of the female production/writing duo LYRE and you guys have worked with some of the biggest acts in music like Mackenzie Ziegler, Kirstin Maldonado of Pentatonix, Betty Who, Matt Steffanina and many more. What have you learned from them about what it takes to be a successful artist in this industry?
So much, honestly! The biggest thing I have with these artists is admiration for their ability to create such strong amazing platforms for themselves. It’s so hard to break anything these days, and they all have such wonderfully unique talents, it’s so cool being a part of their journey.
At this moment, are you more into the idea of being a songwriter/producer for other artists, performing/writing your own music, or do you ultimately want to keep doing both?
I truly would love to try and make both work, if that’s a possibility! Schedules can be crazy. While I love working with artists and developing their sound, like I mentioned earlier, my dream has been to be a performer, and I’m excited to explore that more.
I know you are also currently providing the singing voice of Barbie in all the Barbie shows and movies, including Netflix’s Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures. How did you get into that? Are you looking to do more voice work in the future?
Again, another dream come true! One of my amazingly talented friends, Jordyn Kane, is the main songwriter for the Barbie movies and TV shows, and she asked me to come in to audition. Next thing I knew, I was singing the theme song to Barbie Dream House Adventures. It’s been such a crazy-cool experience, and I know the little girl in me, who grew up loving Barbie movies, can’t believe my life right now!
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner-nerd, so what is something you are currently nerding out about?
I’m currently nerding out about videos talking about the secrets of Disneyland. I’m always trying to know everything about that place.