New York City has always been a place full of possibilities, a place where dreams can be made, or dashed, in record time, or over decades; a place where, as one voice opined, if you make it here, you’ll make it anywhere. And so, day after day, people come, with head shots and demo tapes, and, these days, Instagram followers, in hand, to try their luck at making it.
The truth is that there are few shortcuts to success, and luck only happens after you have the talent and put in the work. Here’s one young lady who has the talent and has been establishing her own voice while navigating the New York streets and putting in the hard work to get ready for her debut. Introducing Reilly.
Originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, where she studied voice and piano while performing with local and regional theatre groups since the age of 3, Reilly moved to New York in 2015 to focus more fully on a pop music career. Her resume may include featured and starring roles in numerous performances at theatres in Pennsylvania and New York, but these days you’ll be more apt to catch her at the West Village musical theatre landmark, The Duplex, and Lower East Side’s Rockwood Music Hall.
Having recently recorded her debut EP - five originals and a cover of The White Stripes “My Doorbell” with noted producer/musician Rich Andruska, Reilly is ready to make it here, and unleash her new material on the world. She sat down recently and made notes about each song, and the descriptions shed a lot of light on her personality and current state of mind.
“Pull Me In” – This was the first song I ever wrote that actually sounded like something real. It was the song that convinced me to really pursue writing songs as a viable career option.
“Wild Side” – It’s sort of a narrative about the rebellious streak I always wanted to have but never did. Ironically enough, I’m living it right now and it’s exactly what I thought it would be.
“Find My Way” – I was doing summerstock and to get to the theatre we had to walk up this ridiculously steep hill and over 100 stairs and then do the show. One afternoon I whipped out my ukulele and wrote a chorus about how “uphill’s only half the battle,” which was literally about what a bitch it was to climb that hill every day. I finished it in a Starbucks on 53rd Street when I moved to New York a few months later, and tweaked the lyrics to make the song about finding my way in a big and unfamiliar city.
“Free” – For as upbeat and happy of a song as Free is, the story behind it is pretty depressing. I wrote it as a last-ditch effort to save the crumbling relationship I was in; it’s a song that highlights the good parts of the relationship, before it took a turn.
“Tangled” – Tangled is my favorite song on the EP. It’s a true story about an encounter I had with an ex over the summer. It was one of the first songs I wrote that wasn’t about love, and it opened the doors to so many new songs. It was a springboard into finding my voice.
Reilly knows the challenges that lie ahead on the road to pop success, but she’s in New York and working, and that’s half the battle. She knows her voice and talent are up to the challenge, and will keep working hard, excited to see what fate will bring.