The Day – Rising Star: Atlanta’s Lily Rose Breaks Country Music Barriers


Atlanta’s rising country star Lily Rose found love among TikTok followers in the fall of 2020 with her song “Villain”, which went on to top the iTunes sales chart at the end of This year. Within two months, she signed a major label deal with Big Loud and Republic.

In a sense, she’s hardly an overnight sensation, playing shows on the road for the past decade. But TikTok has changed that.

“I amassed 850,000 subscribers in seven months,” said Rose, a 2011 graduate of St. Pius X Catholic School in Atlanta who now resides in Nashville. “It changed my life tremendously. Things went from 0 to 500.

Billboard magazine named her Country Rookie of the Month last May. And she was recently nominated for New Female Artist of the Year by the Academy of Country Music. (Lainey Wilson won.)

“Villain,” which she co-wrote with Kyle Clark and Mackenzie Carpenter, is a pensive mid-tempo ballad where she offers to fall to the sword and be the “bad guy” in a relationship that just broke up. end so her ex can look better, even if the truth is different.

She originally thought they might introduce “Villain” to an artist like Keith Urban. But in the end, she chose to record it herself.

Her fiancée Daira Eamon convinced her to add the song to TikTok. “She said to me, ‘This is the best song you’ve got. It’s socially ahead of its time. It’s very country-pop-meets-Marvel-superhero theme. Trust me. Post -the !” I’m very glad I did!

At the same time, the song is not entirely consistent with other work she has done before. “He’s alone in the genre himself,” she said. “It’s pretty lonely in my catalog. It just has a very different sonic feel.

In many ways, she said it helped shape her future songs and career path.

Rose loves to perform, so she’s delighted to have been able to hit the road again last year opening for Brantley Gilbert. She recently opened for Chris Lane at Atlanta’s Buckhead Theater, which seats 1,800.

“I hope we can headline a place like this ourselves,” she said.

She is now on tour every weekend. “I’m very busy and I love what I do,” she says. “I have 45-minute dating and merchandising lines.”

She decided to move to Nashville in 2017 and focus on country music. Having been openly gay for the past decade, she believes Nashville is now more open than ever to the LGBTQ community. “The city is very blue,” she says. “I had to deal with a lot more pushback when I was in Athens than here. People have been great with me. I’m really happy to be on the cusp of all this.

About Roy B. Westling

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