By Reginald Allen
Special to The Times
Love Moor is proudly black, but not the biggest fan of other labels, especially when it comes to her music. In fact, it’s her least favorite question. If she had to describe her genre, it would be a happy medium of hip hop, R&B, soul with a hint of Caribbean. But that’s putting it lightly.
Her sound, an amalgamation of various flavors, has been dubbed by friends and critics as Neo Soul. For the singer, it’s just vibe music. With seven years in the business, things are looking good for Moor.
In August, the singer-songwriter celebrated the anniversary of “Simp Girl”, her sophomore EP follow-up to 2015’s “Blu Polka Dots”. The eight-track record, a collaborative creation between Moor and longtime friend and Robot House producer Suaze, is “a dive into the emotional beauty of romance from a woman’s perspective.” The success of the project exceeded expectations.”
As Moor puts it, it just kind of happened.
“Simp Girl’ was just supposed to be a layover, but it ended up picking up its own two legs and being the main flight,” Moor explained in a phone interview. “I planned to put it out and run because it was so vulnerable, I guess.”
In early reviews, the 2017 release has been described as “raw” and likened to musical greats Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and Valerie June. Keeping things local, the music video for “Delete,” a track off the EP, was filmed at the Birmingham Museum of Art and the green room of Saturn bar in Avondale.
In September, Moor appeared at this year’s Birmingham Artwalk, a weekend-long event dedicated to live music and local art. Moor, who attended last year as a spectator, said it’s great that Birmingham has platforms that promote and nurture local artists. The Catch-22, however, is that more mainstream acts are given the spotlight.
“Hopefully mainstream Birmingham, will open their eyes and see what’s in the city because you will hear a lot of people complain about what’s not here and they don’t realize it’s here,” she said. “You’re just not finding the corner where it’s at.”
Performance of Lifetime
Over the past year Moor has performed for crowds at dozens of venues that included SXSW and Birmingham’s festival, Sloss Fest. Moor opened for H.E.R. at UAB’s Spring Fest in April and performed at Sloss Fest three months later on July 14 at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Monument
Opening for H.E.R. at UAB’s Spring Fest, Moor said was the largest crowd she had performed in front of at the time and being in front of an audience that size was exciting and magical to her.
“It was the biggest crowd that I had a chance to sing in front of,” said Moor, on opening for the “Best Part” singer. “It was really mind-blowing. I’ve never heard my self so loud on speakers before, like it was just crazy. I remember yelling “OH MY GOD” in the microphone to feel it was real.”
Moor, born Erica Andrew in Brooklyn, was never a stranger to music. Her mother a singer, and father a disc jockey. She was raised in Florida and at a young age remembered belting tracks from Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley and the late Whitney Houston.
“I remember being two and three years old singing [Whitney] Houston and my dad had me on his turntables when I was really, really young, so I’ve always been connected to sound,” Moor said. “My dad would build a small little stage for me and my sister to do stuff, so it’s always been there. I just needed to be a little bit older, have courage to say ‘ok, I’m going to do this and actually do it”
So, what’s next for the Simp Girl? She can’t say. Not that it’s a secret.
“I can’t tell you. On a legit tip, I can’t tell you. Most things that have already happened have been super organic,” Moor said. “People hit up me and my manager does his best to find different avenues. Right now, I can’t really tell you what’s next as far as a bigger picture. I know I’ll probably get a chance to work on some new music at some point.”
While things are looking up for the young singer, Moor doesn’t see herself making the grand move to New York or Los Angeles. She’s fine honing her craft in the Magic City, the place that made her a woman.
“It’s home . . . I’ve been in Birmingham since I was 16, so I low key lived here longer than I did in Florida. When people talking about getting out of the city and stuff like that that’s not the case,” she said. “I feel like you can be seen anywhere, especially a person like me that’s not necessarily the norm for Birmingham, it gives me a chance to be exposed a little bit more. Birmingham is gonna be home. If I ever leave, I’m still going to lay my head because its def a peace of mind. I love this place.”
Love Moor’s work is available on all streaming platforms, including Tidal, Band Camp and Sound Cloud.
Times staff writer Ariel Worthy contributed to this post.
Updated at 1:45 on 10/1/2018 with corrections and edits to the headline to more accurately reflect the story and throughout to clarify who Love Moor collaborated with on the “Simp Girl” project and who she opened for during UAB’s Spring Fest.