Elgin hip-hop artist Andrew Moore has a story, and he feels like he’s ready to tell it.
“Writing is easy. To have the courage to be able to share it is difficult,” he said. “I’m really putting myself out there.”
Moore’s new release, “If You Saw Me At My Lowest,” lays bare his life in a way he hasn’t done before. The first single, “Bad Habits,” was released Friday. The rest will drop online June 4.
“The lyrical content of this comes from a very personal place,” said Moore, 31, who has been performing as “Moore” for about 10 years.
And it may have been that he was waiting for things to get good before he shared anything about the bad that comes with being a working musician.
“This album is kind of a success story,” Moore said of his ninth collection of songs. And not the kind of success you might expect to hear from a rapper. “No Bentleys or lavish jewelry,” he said. “It’s not success because I’m a rich, larger-than-life individual, but just because I chose my path and I followed it.”
“I feel like this is a pretty holistic view of what it’s like to be an artist who’s pursuing it as a career.”
The tracks from “If You Saw Me At My Lowest” hit on low points, like substance abuse and the effect that can have on family. “Traumatized” is about suicide, to which Moore has lost several family members and friends. But it also trends upward into his growth as an artist and an adult and having a stable family life.
Moore knows sharing things so personal can be uncomfortable for those close to him. He said he ran the themes by his wife, Sonia, who supported him doing whatever he had to do.
“It’s tough,” she said. “I try to be accepting. I like to be a private person so it’s tough when he shares his personal life because it’s my personal life too.”
“But I appreciate the art and understand that his life, and mine by association, will be reflected. Comes with the territory, I guess.”
Andrew Moore hopes the timing of his new release will coincide with opportunities opening up for live music this summer.
A pandemic can never come at a good time, but the timing was especially bad for Moore’s career momentum. He had just come off his biggest live performance, headlining at House of Blues in Chicago in January 2020, and had a summer festival booked and plenty of prospects, all of which were canceled.
“Everything became really online-oriented, which is something that was different for me,” he said. “Obviously, I’ve had an online presence, but my main thing has really always been foot-to-pavement meeting people and doing shows and connecting with people. The internet has always been an extension of real life for me, where I’d meet people in person and then connect on the internet, and now it’s the opposite.”
In the interim, he released music online more frequently, including a live recording from the House of Blues show and the “Dark $kie$, Tainted Water$” release, which was funded by an Elgin Cultural Arts Commission grant.
Most of Moore’s music is in digital format only and is available on all the major streaming services. He currently gets in the neighborhood of 1,000 streams a week on Spotify, which he says is “very small potatoes for the streaming world.” Most of his listeners come from Chicago and Elgin, but the world of streaming can lead to fans in disparate places. He’s got one song that gets most of it’s streams from Melbourne, Australia. “And I’m getting a ton of plays out of Saskatoon, Canada,” he said. He thinks it’s because a playlist he created with songs by him and other artists got copied to a place called Leopold’s Tavern in Saskatoon. “I’m assuming they just keep the playlist running 24 hours a day,” he said. “They probably think I’m famous there.”
So if you’re ever in Saskatoon, especially at Leopold’s, drop Moore’s name. You never know.