Young and the Restless actress Lily Brooks O’Briant is releasing her next original single. Better Off Alone hits the streaming services on May 19th. I recently was able to interview Lily about her start in the industry, her parlay into music as well as her upcoming projects.
You started out on Broadway and have transitioned to TV, Film, and now a singer/songwriter. What led to the decision to start a career in music?
I am still an actor (I am currently playing ‘Lucy Romalotti’ on CBS’s The Young & the Restless) and wouldn’t say I have pursued a career in music. I think songwriting sort of found me. I experienced my first breakup/heartbreak last fall and found that songwriting helped me process my emotions. I absolutely love telling stories whether it is through acting, writing, directing or through songwriting.
What is your process for writing a song?
I start by writing a diary entry putting all of my feelings down on paper so I can easily pull from that and know exactly what I want to write the song about. From there, I take those feelings and emotions and turn them into a poem. Then I work with my songwriting partner to match the poem to a rhythm and melody.
What do you look for in a new single?
Telling a story is what is most important to me. The sound has to match the story I am telling. The first four songs of this EP are about the same heartbreak & breakup.
Tell us about your newest single Better Off Alone.
This song was the first song I wrote after experiencing my first heartbreak last fall and it really is all of my feelings wrapped into one song. It was me questioning myself. Am I stupid? Was I missing something? Did I do something wrong? But then I had the realization that no, this wasn’t me. He was the one to blame. I wrote this song to express all of those feelings. In the beginning, there was pain and then a realization that I am better off alone than to be with him. I am way better off just loving myself because I deserve better than the way I was treated. I think every person who experiences a breakup can relate. After experiencing my first heartbreak last fall, I threw myself into song writing and wrote countless songs that first month after the breakup. It was a jumbled mess of about 60 notes in my note’s app on my phone with different half written songs and melodies. I love how raw and honest Better off Alone is.
Photo Credit: Nash Rockett
Who are some of your musical inspirations?
Taylor Swift, Sabrina Carpenter, Lizzie McAlpine, Joshua Bassett, Gracie Abrams and so many more. I also grew up a musical theatre kid and played Matilda on the National Broadway tour of Matilda the Musical so even musicals like Hamilton, Matilda, & Six have influenced me.
What would be your dream musical collaboration?
There are so many – Taylor Swift or Sabrina Carpenter come to mind but also Dolly Parton.
You are also a series regular on The Young and The Restless. What is your advice for keeping a healthy work/life balance?
Take time for yourself, spend time with family & friends, stay organized and make lists to make sure you don’t forget anything.
Tell us something people would be surprised to learn about you.
I LOVE taking trapeze lessons, riding the craziest roller coasters & want to go sky diving for my 18th birthday.
Any upcoming projects you can share?
I am working on The Young & the Restless but also have 3 more singles releasing and will wrap into an EP called ‘Too Good to be True’. I also have written more songs that I will be recording this summer.
Photo Credit: Nash Rockett