Lily B Moonflower has been a performer and songwriter since the age of ten and her music has strong Kansas roots. She recorded and self-produced her upcoming debut album, Moonflower, at a coffee house in her hometown of De Soto while also working as a kitchen cabinet refinisher. Moonflower describes her creative journey as: "I do all my work through my own visions and I follow my own creative compass." We are excited to share an interview with the artist about her music and new album.
Please introduce yourself. Describe your music for new listeners.
I'm Lily B Moonflower, a songwriter and performing artist from Kansas City! I call my style of music Folk 'n Roll With a Twang. My lyrics are about life experiences, stories I've learned from others, and relatable concepts I've came up with, to share with the world! I aim to relate and connect with my audience with humor and things we all experience. My original songs are colorful and uplifting.
Tell us about your upcoming album, Moonflower. Where was it recorded? What did you learn from this experience that you’ll take to future projects?
My debut album Moonflower will be released to the world in 2019. It was recorded in my hometown of De Soto, Kansas, at my favorite coffee shop, Cause Coffee. We did analog recordings, live, in the music venue they have at Cause Coffee. Analog recordings are super old school, which makes it even more charming. My goal on this record was to make it sound as close to a live performance as possible. Some people may think this is crazy, but I wanted to embrace my imperfections as much as possible, because if my recordings didn't sound like me, I didn't want to share it with the world. It's important to me to be as genuine as possible, especially within my art. I can barely describe with words how excited I am to release this record to the world and let it take on a life of its own! It's been years of inspiration, that turned into poetry, that turned into songs, that are now being recorded, and will soon be a part of the world! I don't write the songs, I catch them through deep meditation, and piece them together which takes inspiration, passion, and time! Anyone can write a song if they are inspired by a concept and have the time to work the words out! I encourage my friends all the time to write poetry and make art, because I believe that's one of our purposes, living in this generation.
Walk us through your creative process. Are you a heavy editor of your work? How do you move through creative blocks?
When I first started writing for my album Moonflower, I did not fully grasp the vision, of the album it could potentially become, or the life the album could potentially take on. I was simply a 17 year old that felt creatively inspired to write lyrics. I kept writing, and eventually graduated from De Soto High School. I didn't feel inclined to go to college because my family was poor and I started a business refinishing kitchen cabinetry. I got very busy doing that full time. I've always been creative in many different ways. Somehow, I ended up getting more music opportunities and ended up becoming a full time musician AND artist. I was performing shows at night and refinishing kitchen cabinetry as a day job! I went through periods of time being less inspired to write lyrics, but when I would venture into the woods or have a really interesting life experience, I could always sit down with a notebook and my guitar to catch a song. Eventually I ended up with two whole albums written and ready to be produced. I chose the most meaningful and personal songs for my first album, Moonflower, because I was focusing on introducing myself. I'm looking forward to producing my future albums as well, I imagine they will be less focused on myself and more focused on relating with others.
What was the most difficult song to finish from the new album and why?
One of the most difficult songs to finish on this album has been a song called "Look Up At The Sky". Writing it came naturally to me but producing it has been something I had never imagined! The progression of the song is a series of patterns that all flow within each other. But to teach my session musicians these patterns has been something unexpected! It's an elaborate tune that I was inspired to write one day when I was out in the woods all alone, but I didn't feel alone. You'll have to hear it!
What music are you currently raving about?
I have a very very long list of musicians and bands who's music i consume. I'll create a list for you that I think y'all will enjoy. Dolly Parton, Sturgill Simpson, Brent Cobb, The Wood Brothers, Larkin Poe, Chris & Morgane Stapleton, Grateful Dead, Paul Thorn, Willie Nelson & Lukas Nelson, Led Zeppelin, The Band, Allman Brothers, Waylon, Nicki Bluhm, Brandy Clark, Brandi Carlile, I'm With Her, Shovels & Rope, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Blackberry Smoke, Whiskey Shivers, Yonder Mountain, Willy Tea Taylor, John Hartford, vintage Fleetwood Mac, Janis Joplin, Rising Appalachia, Nhako & Medicine For The People, and sooooo many more.
What’s ahead for you in 2019?
In 2019 I already have half my year booked out and I'll be putting together a more permanent band for performances. Lately I've been working with session musicians in the studio and having musicians sit in at performances but my vision is to have a band of my own in 2019. I have ideas for band names, but for now, these songs are a part of my solo project so we call it Lily B Moonflower & company. In 2019 we will be around KC but in the years following were looking to be more regional. After we get some more traction regionally we'll tour nationally and then hopefully internationally. Being an independent musician is rewarding for the same reasons it is tough! I do all my work through my own visions, and I follow my own creative compass. I don't like the idea of ever letting anyone tell me what to do, and I have enough successful independent musician friends, to realize that, it IS possible to take this road less traveled. Success is achievable you just have to be driven and passionate enough to find it! I think my confidence derives from the fact that I am true to myself and what you see is what you get!
Lily B. Moonflower's recommendations from the Johnson County Library catalog:
The Shack by William P. Young. An amazing spiritual growth read
Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers. A crazy story about a small town girl who wants to perform
Mushroom & Herb Field Guides. So fun learning about herbs & mushrooms and their uses daily & medicinally!
The Wood Brothers. Wonderful lyrics and lovely melodies. All albums are great
The Allman Brothers. Such colorful, classic songs, personally my favorite album is Eat A Peach
Lukas Nelson & The Promise of The Real. Willie Nelson's son is such an inspiration and amazingly talented artist. Deep lyrics and soulful guitar playing.