Emilee Moore Opens Up About the Heartbreak That Inspired Coachella Billboard Performance & New Single ‘Hanging On’

For Coachella attendees, even driving to the festival is fun. Leading up to Palm Springs, Calif., drivers can enjoy a line of creative billboards promoting various products, songs and festival performances along the freeway.

Emilee Moore, however, wanted to take it a step further following the release of her unifying new track, “Hanging On,” which perfectly captures how tough moving on is after a heartbreak. “I wanted to do the most epic, grand thing for this song, and Coachella was just around the corner,” she tells Billboard. “I thought, billboards are so related to Coachella, and that would be a perfect place to perform. Not only are we catching people who love music, but we also might reach some people who are escaping their heartbreak for the weekend and going to a festival to not think about an ex.”

For the singer-songwriter, there’s nothing better than a sign from the universe — so why not show other heartbroken music lovers a literal sign? “When I was going through my worst experience with heartbreak, I was always looking for a sign and I would find meaning in literally everything I could because I just wanted to feel less alone and feel understood,” she says. “I really just wanted to make a literal sign where it’s like, ‘This is your sign. You’re not alone in those feelings.’”

The billboard also features a personal connection between Moore and her devoted fan base. Leading up to the project, she asked her fans to send her objects that keep them fittingly “hanging on” to a past relationship, and she received everything from love letters and jewelry to t-shirts and small trinkets. “There’s so much history to these objects,” she gushes, getting visibly emotional. “I have chills even thinking of it.”

Moore then teamed up with an engineer to create a heart on the billboard comprised of photos of the fan-sent objects. “It just allowed me to have a further connection with them,” she says of the billboard and her fans. “It felt so powerful and impactful.”

However, the billboard is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Moore’s “connection” with her fanbase. Many of them have been following her since the beginning of her career, and her Instagram comments section is full of personal stories and a feeling of safety in the singer’s music. How did she grow so close with her fans so quickly? “Vulnerability,” she says, “I always try to be as open as possible and I really try to express things that people are afraid to talk about so that I can validate those feelings for people. Then, they’re willing to open up to you and they’re willing to connect with you on a deeper level.”

She continues, “I guess the biggest thing for me is anytime I’m trying to think of what I want to do for a release or on my social platform, I take it back to my younger, heartbroken self and I think about what I needed in those moments and I try to create that on my page. If you look on my Instagram, for example, you’ll see a lot of movie scenes, you’ll see heartbreak quotes and those are not random, but they’re very specific to my experience and heartbreak and when I would see those growing up, I would feel less alone.”

As for advice for her fans if they’re “Hanging On” to heartbreak, Moore says to take the time to heal. “Let yourself feel, and not push away the feelings because they’re too painful,” she shares. “Let it hit you and you let it wash over you like a wave in those moments and then you can start to heal little by little. There’s no rush. It’s not a race. You don’t have to move on at the same pace your friends are or other people in your life. It’s you and your heart and only you can heal in the right timing.”

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