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Lily Brooks O'Briant - Music Interview

Lily Brooks O'Briant is best known for her recurring role on the long-running daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless as well as her title role of Ella McCaffrey in the Apple TV+ series Life By Ella which premiered internationally in September 2022. She recently wrote, directed, produced and acted in her own short film entitled Sharing The Floor which earned her the "California student Young Filmmaker Award" at the Burbank International Film Festival and "Best High School Short" at the Catalina Film Festival this fall. Lily has recently branched out into the music world as well! She has been busy in the recording studio and has recorded five singles, Over & Over, Better Off Alone, Crash, Wish I Could Forget You, and Too Good to be True which comprised her debut EP that was released in August 2023. Her next project is a Holiday EP releasing November 10th entitled Christmas Wishes. When not performing or giving back, Lily enjoys writing her own music, practicing guitar, or finding the best roller coaster at a theme park.


Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing or performing music? Tell us about it. I have always had a passion for music and storytelling and have written lyrics in my journal as far back as I can remember, but it wasn't until I went through my first heartbreak/breakup in the fall of 2022 that I began recording my own music. It pushed me to channel my feelings into my music more deeply and helped me decide to make something beautiful from the pain. I absolutely love songwriting.

Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career? The craziest and most surreal experience has been having the opportunity to play at the Troubadour. It's such an iconic venue with a rich history of legendary performances and standing on that stage where so many of my musical heroes have stood was an absolute dream come true & was actually on my 2023 vision board/list of performance goals last year. I am actually playing there again this spring on March 11 and am SO excited to be back.

What has been the high point of your music path? Playing at the Troubadour was definitely a pinnacle moment for me, but releasing my original music has been equally thrilling. Being able to share pieces of myself through my songs is incredibly fulfilling. This year I am attending a music intensive for artists, songwriters & producers here in LA at the Los Angeles Academy for Artists & Music Production (LAAMP), which has been an amazing journey of growth and discovery in my music career.

So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like? It really depends on who I am co-writing with. My songwriting usually starts with a feeling or a story. I usually begin with the lyrics and the story and then move to the music. It's an organic process where the song seems to write itself starting from emotion and evolving into music but

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be? Visibility is the biggest challenge for indie artists. There is so much music being released every day that it is hard to get noticed. I wish there were more platforms dedicated to showcasing indie talent, giving artists the exposure they deserve.

If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why? There are SO many, but I'd love to share the stage with Taylor Swift or Sabrina Carpenter. I have been a Swiftie since I was 4 years old! Taylor's songwriting and storytelling have inspired me, and her ability to authentically evolve her sound is something I admire. Performing with her would be an incredible honor and learning experience.

Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!: 'Too Good to Be True,' which I released in August 2023, and an unreleased track called 'One More.' Both songs are deeply rooted in true emotions and personal experiences, making it imperative for me to capture the essence of those feelings accurately. 'Too Good to Be True' was about being so nervous in a new love because I was afraid of being heartbroken again. 'One More' is about wishing I could have one more of everything from a love that I felt was taken away too soon & where the world got in the way. Getting these songs just right, ensuring they conveyed the depth and nuance of my feelings, was a painstaking but ultimately rewarding process.


For fans who have never heard your music, can you pick three words to describe it?! If three words just aren't enough, then tell us more. My released music can be described as honest, empowering & heartbreaking. It's about creating a connection and expressing emotions beyond words, transporting listeners and hopefully letting them see their own stories in my music. I have so much unreleased music that leans super sassy that is coming soon.



What is your favorite part about being an artist? Is it songwriting, performing, recording, something else? Tell us why: It's impossible to pick a favorite part of being an artist because I genuinely love every step of the process equally. Each phase, from the initial spark of songwriting to the energy of performing live and the creativity involved in recording, offers its unique joys and challenges. Songwriting allows me to express my innermost thoughts and feelings, performing creates an indescribable connection with the audience, and recording is where I get to polish and perfect the expression of my songs. Together, these elements form the complete journey of music-making, which I cherish deeply.


Okay, this a fun question. When you are not doing music, what else do you enjoy doing? Apart from my acting career, where you can watch me as Lucy Romalotti on CBS's 'The Young & the Restless,' I love staying active, so you'll often find me in a hot yoga, boxing or ballet class, which helps me maintain balance and focus. I LOVE taking flying trapeze lessons at Santa Monica Pier—it's exhilarating and liberating! I also love going to the beach, hanging out with friends, and spending quality time at Disneyland with my family. I'm kind of a thrill seeker and love riding roller coasters too & I want to go skydiving for my 18th birthday. What's coming up in the future for you? I'm working on an album that explores new sounds and themes, blending my acoustic roots with a lot of new sounds. I'm also excited about potential collaborations and exploring more opportunities in acting, merging my passions for music and storytelling in new ways.


 

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