We had the good fortune of connecting with Keira Moran and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Keira, we’d love to hear more about your end-goal, professionally.
I’ve said semi-jokingly many times that when I grow up I want to be Ryan Tedder. Jokingly because I am already an adult and obviously will never be the male lead singer of OneRepublic from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Truthfully because I greatly admire Ryan Tedder’s ability to churn out hit song after hit song for such a wide range of pop artists. If you are not already familiar with his songwriting catalogue, I highly encourage you to look it up. He has written hits for artists ranging from Beyonce’ to Jennifer Lopez to Carrie Underwood. In addition to numerous nominations, Tedder has won 3 Grammy Awards for his work on Adele’s 21 and 25, and Taylor Swift’s 1989. The list of collaborations and accomplishments goes on and on. Ryan Tedder’s life is so appealing to me because despite his massive success in the music industry, he is relatively unknown. Unless you study songwriting or are a huge fan of OneRepublic, you’ve probably never heard of him. A couple years ago I saw Ryan Tedder at the Melrose Place Farmer’s Market with his sons. Wearing nothing as a disguise besides sunglasses, he was able to enjoy a sunny Sunday morning with his family. As far as I could tell, he wasn’t photographed or approached by anyone (although I was very tempted to strike up a conversation). For me, that is the end goal; to write a ridiculous number of hit songs for the biggest pop stars in the world, and then enjoy the farmer’s market with my family every weekend.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I have been performing for as long as I can remember (dance recitals, piano concerts, high school musicals) but I started seriously songwriting when I was about 15. Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play in venues all across the country, from New York to Miami to DC to Hawaii. I’ve lived in LA for about 3 years now focusing on toplining. As an artist, the music I release is mostly fun, positive Electropop because that’s what I listen to most. Although I love flexing my writing muscles in different genres when I write for other artists/producers. I usually get requests for EDM projects but sometimes I’ll get rock or country songs as well, which is fun. When I co-write, I try to work with writers who are better than me so I am continually learning and improving my craft. I know it’s a cliche, but for anyone looking to be more involved in the music business, it really is all about networking! I’ve made so many contacts and also great friends from going to expos and conventions. If you are looking for something big and fast-moving, I would recommend the ASCAP Expo or the Taxi Road Rally. If you’re looking for more of a small community feel, the Durango Songwriters Expo is a great start. Many people come back year after year to hone their skills, catch up with old friends, and make new ones.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ok this is an overwhelming question because when someone comes to visit me, I make an itinerary for the entire trip down to the hour. So I’ll just give a few favorites off the top of my head. I live on the west side of Los Angeles so I prefer hanging out in West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Westwood, Century City, and Brentwood. I would definitely recommend taking a walk or bike ride along the ocean- especially at sunset! The combination of the sun and the ocean and the mountains is beautiful, and not really found on the east coast where I’m from. L.P. Rooftop Bar is great for city views, photo ops, and a pitcher of piña coladas with friends. Busby’s is a really fun sports bar is you’re looking for a more casual night out with billiards and an air hockey table. My go-to for takeout is Sushi Stop in Sawtelle. The food is very reasonably priced and there are two locations on the same street because they are so popular on weekends. I’m very excited to revisit all of these places when more people get vaccinated and things open up in LA! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am extremely lucky that my family has always been supportive of me pursuing music. I most likely would have chosen a different life path and been a lot less happy if they did not encourage me. I also want to give a shoutout to my very first songwriting hero, Jason Blume. I bought his book “6 Steps to Songwriting Success” in high school and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for straightforward unbiased songwriting advice. Lastly, my college professor Carlos deserves a big shoutout. Professionally known as Carol Rafael Rivera, he is an award-winning film composer that recently wrote the score for the Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit.” More importantly, he is a great person that genuinely wants to help his students succeed. When I was considering moving to Los Angeles, he offered practical advice and was extremely enthusiastic about me following my dreams at a time when I needed that encouragement. Having a mentor like that is very helpful, especially when you are young and not everyone has your best interests in mind.