Written by Kelly Holm
“Luck favors the prepared,” or so believes 21-year-old former The Voice contestant, Kensington Moore, who’s adopted the phrase as her life’s motto. She’s definitely prepped for a musical career her whole life. At two years old, she was “begging to be on stage” for a performance at church, and unlike other kids who might flip-flop between wanting to be a YouTuber, an athlete or an ophthalmologist, Moore says her answer to “What do you want to be when you grow up?” was “always the same.”
Now Moore, whose playlist includes styles ranging from John Mayer’s pop-rock to classical and “really deep intense rap,” is marking her 21st year with even “Moore” genre-defying music of her own.
As if her South by Southwest performance in the spring wasn’t surreal enough, her latest single “Addict,” gives off a twangy, electronic vibe that will remind you of Summer, even as autumn advances. The laid-back tune originated as an emotional piano ballad.
“Things had just ended… with my first love and I was extremely hurt,” Moore said. “I always say I’m a savage and like to appear badass and tough on the outside. I really didn’t want to admit to anyone, especially myself, that the thought of him completely consumed me.”
But, rather than wallow in self-pity, Moore penned a song.
“At the time it was hard for me to decipher if that hole in my heart was just a habit, or actually something I couldn’t live without,” she said. “Let me just say… I’m still here and breathing just fine.”
Moore said that transforming “Addict” from its original chords to the final form was “a really cool process.” And who knows, maybe Zedd, a longtime dream collab of hers, could remix a later version of it!
Another 2019 release is “Slow,” which is Moore’s current favorite. In the official music video, its ethereal strains are accompanied by haunting choreography.
“You left a legacy of lyrics in my head,” Moore croons. And when she breathes those lines in concert, “the whole room gets completely silent and is truly listening to every word.”
Knowing that her melodies can awe and impact audiences is the most valuable aspect of the music business for Moore.
“When someone comes up to me after a show… saying how much they relate to a song I’ve written, explaining how much it helped them heal… [is] the best compliment in the whole world,” she says.
Another batch of original music is on the way in 2020, Moore promises, and the creative juices are still flowing. Whether in the Starbucks line or by the side of the road, inspiration always has an opportunity to strike.
“I’m constantly adding phrases, cool words, random thoughts [and] potential hooks… in my notes on my phone,” she tells Elicit. “I seriously don’t know what I would do without being able to quickly do little voice memos the moment something comes to me.”
Though money and gaining exposure will always be uphill battles in a world full of “so many incredibly talented people,” Moore is “constantly achieving goals and immediately creating new ones.” Using every “no” as a motivation, she aims to stay true to herself while sharing her songs and stories with the world. In some aspects, it’s hard to believe that it’s only been five years since the show that changed her life.
“The Voice taught me so much about myself in so many ways,” Moore says. “As a 16-year-old girl from a tiny town in Kentucky, I thought The Voice was the greatest thing ever. Now I look back and see that as only the very beginning.”
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