Lily Moayeri Interview
Lily Moayeri is a freelance music journalist. She’s had bylines in Variety, Billboard, SPIN, and more, and hosts the independent podcast Pictures of Lily—all on top of her full-time job as a teacher librarian.
How did you get to where you are today, professionally?
My journalism career started in 1992 at the Daily Trojan, USC’s school newspaper while I was in grad school—although I didn’t realize it at the time. In fact, I had no idea there was such a thing as music journalism–even though I read plenty of music magazines. As a music obsessive from the age of four, I went to a lot of gigs and all my socializing was music-based, but I didn’t see any coverage of the music I was listening to or experiencing at the DT. They posted an ad for writers. I applied. I told them I sucked at writing, but that I did a lot of music stuff that they didn’t cover. They told me not to worry about the writing part, they could teach me that and brought me on board.
My editor, Stacy Cousino (née Osbaum), whom I still message when I have a copy editing question, was my music journalism guide every step of the way. I couldn’t believe that she could get me tickets to any show, invites to meet-and-greets and interviews with my favorite bands. Stacy taught me words like “reverberation” and helped me formulate questions for my first interviews. She knew the phone number for every publicist by heart. When something I wrote ran too long, I can still hear her voice in my head saying, “Let’s H&J it” (hyphenate and justify), which is when you put it in the newspaper formatting software to see how many column inches it takes up.