If you haven’t heard of LYRE before, chances are if you’ve spent any time on the internet you’ve probably heard them. The female production and songwriting duo is responsible for some of the top trending tracks on YouTube in recent years, boasting credits alongside artists like Betty Who, Loren, Red Velvet, and Gabbie Hanna. While the producers have curated an impressive list of collaborations, their success has been a long time coming.
Growing up watching Britney Spears music videos at home in South Carolina, Elli Moore had dreams of being a pop-star. Luckily, she had incredibly supportive parents who encouraged her to do whatever she could to make her dreams happen, even moving to Nashville, Tennessee at 16 years old. “It was the easiest for my parents to send me there and be like ‘okay, this is where you’ll do music since we don’t want to send you across the country to Los Angeles at 16 years old.’” She moved into a house where other young women who were pursuing the same dream could rent rooms for a reasonable fee.
Alina Smith, who was already a resident at the time, had already lived in New York City and Los Angeles and was looking to continue building her resume as a producer. The pair became fast friends and that organic friendship transpired into a working relationship that would yield success in more ways than they could have expected. Initially setting out to work on a solo pop project for Moore, the pair began offering production services on Facebook to finance a move from Nashville to Los Angeles. The business took off, and the pair moved to California as a legitimate production duo under the title LYRE.
Turning songwriting sessions into pseudo-therapy sessions, the pair have cracked their method to building tracks that capture what story an artist has to tell in a song. “It’s pretty collaborative and we have our own roles in the room,” says Moore. “I focus on writing and developing them, talking to them, helping them move their ideas along whatever that means in that moment.”
“We take the person that we’re working with and we try to really kind of look inside and look past when they say ‘I want to sound like Billie Eilish.’ or whatever,” says Smith, who handles the engineering and the development of the track with production programs. “And okay that’s cool but who are you and what do you want to say? What’s your message? We try to kind of get past all of that and look to who the person actually is and craft a song from there.”
Their method of building real relationships with their clients has helped LYRE gain attention from artists, including Kirstin from Pentatonix and rising pop-alternative band Crimson Apple. One of their most notable clients is Gabbie Hanna, whose tracks consistently hit the top of the YouTube trending page upon release.
The pair have become a secret weapon behind Hanna’s chart success, including the singles “Honestly” and “Honestly (Encore)” and her subsequent debut EP, 2WAYMIRROR. Prior to the release of “Honestly” and “Honestly (Encore),” Hanna released a video entitled “I Dated a Pathological Liar,” diving into the story behind the song and garnering over 6.6 million views on the platform.
“I think the marriage between the song and the platform with the story and everything just erupted,” says Moore. “People went crazy for it.” With both tracks taking the top two slots on the iTunes all genres charts, Hanna chose to continue working with LYRE for her debut EP, which garnered a new peak for the YouTuber turned musician at #5 on Billboard’s Top Emerging Artists chart.
The chart success has helped validate their ability to intelligently navigate the course of the social media landscape as well as the constantly shifting music industry. With a growing list of accomplishments under their belts, LYRE has taken on another endeavor: officially launching Elli Moore’s career as a solo artist.
Selecting tracks from writing sessions that she resonated with but artists had ultimately decided against using for their own projects, Moore began curating a collection of songs that represent how far she has come as creator in her own right. Earlier this year Moore released her debut single “Gateway,” a sugary pop track that showcases her chops not only as a songwriter, but as a vocalist. Though the single highlights Moore’s strengths as a musician, the time she took to craft her own project is not something she takes for granted.
“I think that I’m so excited about my project especially because there were so many years that I kind of just put it on the back-burner,” says Moore. “I was so focused and so dedicated to making other artists’ projects and developing them that I didn’t think I could do both simultaneously. I started to realize that I can do both and it actually inspires me more to do both.”
Originally setting out to be a pop-star in her own right, she put her dream on hold to work on the other side of the industry. Now, she’s finally getting the chance to pursue the dream she has been working towards since she was 16, while also getting the rare opportunity to build a career with her best friend.
As of now, the multitasking pop savant plans to release a new single every month with a larger body of work hopefully to follow. There is definitely plenty more to look forward to from both Elli Moore and Alina Smith as LYRE continues to take on the industry from both sides.