The DMMC is so excited to have the very talented and ambitious Lily DeTaeye (and her band!) as one of the performers for Backstage Ball, our annual fundraiser! Please take a moment to get to know Lily, her music, and her involvement in the Des Moines music scene.

Click Here for tickets and more information on Backstage Ball 2020, February 29th @ Noce!

Lily DeTaeye is a Des Moines native, harmonica-wielding singer songwriter signed to Station 1 Records in January 2017. A recent graduate of the University of Iowa, she is a prolific writer with a captivating and powerful voice, seamlessly blending her musical influences of folk, indie-rock, blues, and jazz. After the release of her EP, appropriately titled The EP, in November of 2017, Lily has been traveling the highways of America touring solo and with her band and writing her next release. She’s recently completed her new full length-album, BiTe Back which is the culmination of over two years of writing, recording, touring, studying, and storytelling across hundreds of shows and thousands of miles. Recorded at Public Hi-Fi in Austin, TX, BiTe Back is out now!

  1. Backstage Ball: Hard to believe that at just 22 years of age, you have been writing and performing music for 10 years! How did you get your start?

Lily DeTaeye: Well, actually I started performing out in public when I was thirteen. I put some amps in a little, red wagon and set up on the corners of the farmer’s market. It taught me patience, perseverance, and that loving/believing in what you do is the MOST important thing or else every show will feel like a rainy, early Saturday. Since I am 22 now, I am going on 9 years of public performance.

  1. BB: What was the first song you wrote? What was the inspiration?

LD: The absolutely true answer is a song called “Oh Dot Clear” that I wrote when I was 3 or 4. It was about trees that made snow. I could definitely sing it for you at some point, but you’ll probably have to buy me a coffee.

  1. BB: Tell us a bit about your writing process?

LD: I wish I could. I know it’s a cheap answer but truly it changes so much depending on what I’m feeling, the time I have, and the instruments laying around. If you are reading this wondering how YOU can start writing songs, the thing to take away here is that there is no right answer. People have a million different rituals and routines, just do what feels good.

  1. BB: What’s been the biggest moment in your career so far?

LD: I think it was getting to record the record at Public Hi-Fi in Austin. I met the team, I got to live in an inspiring city for three weeks, and I came out with a project that we all felt amazing about at the end. Definitely one of the highlights.

  1. BB: What are some of the greatest challenges you’ve faced?

LD: I fight imposter syndrome DAILY. I think every person in every field does. It’s so easy to look at what others are doing that you are not. I do that a lot. But when that happens, I try to instead compare myself to my younger self. I think she would be so proud of where we are now. And that should be all that matters.

  1. BB: How have you seen the music scene in Central Iowa/Des Moines change throughout your years of playing music?

LD: It’s been such a blessing to watch actually. As much as I joined the masses that griped about Des Moines in high school, I am very proud to have grown up in this city. There is a lot of cool stuff happening. Between the erection of new venues like xBk, Girls Rock! Des Moines hitting it’s stride, and a higher number of people becoming interested in the local scene; I am excited to see Des Moines in 5 years.

  1. BB: You have been an instructor for Girls Rock! Des Moines, correct? Can you tell us a little about that?

LD: Yes! I have done a number of things for GRDSM. I’ve taught, counseled, performed, spoken publicly, wrote lesson plans, and more. I have met wonderful musicians who have become wonderful friends. I look forward to continue to work with GRDSM for as long as I can.

  1. BB: What is your greatest ambition for your career as a musician?

LD: Just to be happy. The pursuit of “success” is a really huge rabbit hole to fall into. I have been trying to redefine that term for myself so I don’t get lost in the madness. I know that the people around me are important, I know that keeping myself healthy is important, I know that touring and always being in the center of my career is important. My greatest ambition is doing all of those things for the rest of my life.

  1. BB: What projects do you have in the works for 2020-2021?

LD: Got a few music videos in store and quite a few new tour dates. Stay tuned, babies 🙂

Find more information about Lily, her music, and tour dates by visiting her website.

Like her on Facebook, Instagram, and stream her on Spotify!

Also, Lily will be our guest on the DMMC podcast, In the Birdroom With Jordan Mayland, Monday February 10th! Visit our podcast page or steam all episodes on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or where you listen to podcasts! Visit the Backstage Ball page for more information on the event, ticket options, and what you are supporting when you attend!