Through her raw and vulnerable take on pop, Lilyisthatyou wants to be the role model she never had, and she's on her way. Thanks to defiant, vibrant anthems like "FMRN"—an acronym for "Fuck Me Right Now"—the 21-year-old has already established herself as a pop singer without parallel, tackling topics others won't—sex, addiction, shame—without preaching or posturing, in order to reach listeners where they are. But that's not all she wants to do. While she employs all sorts of sounds and styles—lurching beats, upbeat punk drums, aqueous electric guitar—across her diverse pop songs, she's committed to making dynamic female-first party anthems. And on her new single, "Party 22," the freshly minted hitmaker takes a moment to let her hair down.
"I can't wait for the world to come back to life," says the Toronto artist born Lily Davies. "I love all the adventures that are possible when the sun is gone." Inspired by a magazine article about post-pandemic nightlife, "Party 22" is a raucous party jam that also happens to be framed as a breakup song—a self-empowering twist. "I'm on good terms with all of my exes," she clarifies, "But this song is for all the girls that do have a terrible, toxic man and need to dance it off."
"Party 22" follows Davies' breakout hit "FMRN," which has amassed more than 40 million global streams so far. The role-reversing, sex-positive, synth-heavy hit made headlines when it took off on TikTok before it was promptly removed from the platform in July – yet it continued its rapid rise on DSPs.
Davies has been developing her confidence for years. She spent her childhood putting on talent shows and penning songs, then began making demos in her bedroom when she was a teenager, though it'd still be years before she officially released anything into the world. After finishing school, she traveled through Asia and Europe. COVID brought her home in 2020 and she then met Caleb Jacob, the producer of "FMRN."
The song instantly connected with listeners, in large part due to Davies' frankness. The positive reception to "FMRN" strengthened her resolve to be completely transparent. "I only learned about sex by making mistakes," she says. "I only learned what's right and wrong to do with my body by always doing the wrong thing. I'm 21 now and still facing the consequences of being 14, 15, 16, 17, and reckless. I've always been very open about sex since to combat this."
"FMRN" is just a taste of Davies' unfiltered approach. She continues the discourse on upcoming single "Purity," a joyous anti-slut-shaming anthem. "People think I'm impure because of the amount of people that I've slept with," she says. "But there's no such thing as purity. We need more women to say, ‘Sex is our weapon, too.' I want to give that power back to women."
Davies is equally candid about addiction on another new track "Moderation." Her own struggles began at 14 while she was in relationships with older guys, but the drugs followed her well after they'd moved on. "It takes a lot to open up and be vulnerable about addiction because it was really a life or death situation," she says now. "I just feel a very primal need to talk about it."
While pop upstart gleefully flouts genre conventions, her attitude and magnetic personality ensure a common thread runs through her songs: "There's an empowered and confident woman singing to you on every track," Davies says. That's the message that always comes first. "I want my advocacy for sexual assault survivors and addiction to be what makes me important as an artist. I couldn't identify with any pop star as a teen. I'm still fighting for 15-year-old me."