Behind all the glitz and glamour of the music industry lie years of struggle and relentless hard work by artists who didn’t care about anything else but music. The internet revolution has brought radical change to the industry where budding artists can now find their audience online without relying on a label.
On the downside, the industry has become overly saturated with fresh talent, making it an increasingly competitive space for artists to distinguish themselves. However, one thing that has always been constant in the industry is recognizing original talent. Lily Jay is a budding musician who started exploring this space when she was only 17, and at 19, she already has 5 Billboard hits to her name.
Lily hails from a lower-middle-class family in Kansas. She grew up with 2 other siblings in a single apartment, watching her parents struggle every day to make a living. Being the eldest child, Lily felt the urge to earn money and support her parents. The small one-bedroom apartment hardly had any place for her to play, but it nourished her dream of becoming an actor. From the age of 11, Lily loved music and dancing and wanted to join a dancing class. Unfortunately, her parents could not afford to pay for her classes, and they felt her dreams were too grand for a girl from a lower-income family.
At 15, Lily left home to work as an ad model in New York. She lived in a shared apartment with 8 other girls, often sleeping on the floor over a tattered mattress. One of her roommates was an aspiring musician and influenced Lily to learn music. Lily instantly discovered her passion. Lily spent all her hard-earned money to join a music school and barely had 10 dollars left every month after paying her bills. She mostly survived on eggs and bread just so she could pursue her passion for music. Lily was the fastest learner in her class, which brought her positive recognition from her coaches at the music school.
Lily launched her YouTube channel “Groove with Lily” at 16 with her first single “Girl in the City.” The song became an overnight hit, earning her over a million views in just a couple of weeks. “Girl in the City” is a peppy electronic dance track that will instantly lift the mood. The song became a popular party score in clubs and also became a viral trend on social media. Since then, Lily has never looked back.
For the next couple of years, Lily rolled out 10 more singles on YouTube and Spotify. Five of them were listed on Billboard charts, earning her huge recognition in the industry. In 2019, Lily was part of a famous tour with renowned artists like DJ Steve, DJ Snake, and Alan Walker. Although her live performances were postponed during the pandemic, Lily continued shining with her crazy fan following on social media.
Lily Jay currently has over 6 million YouTube subscribers and 3.5 million average monthly listeners on Spotify. She wants to be a role model for other young, aspiring female musicians who consider their family’s financial situation a determining factor in shaping their careers. She is a shining example of courage, grit, and determination, paving the way for more passion-driven young talents to chase their dreams.