America’s Got Talent 2022: Heidi Klum’s Golden Buzzer Lily Meola Says Not to Quit Our Daydream
Tuesday night’s America’s Got Talent episode continued to extend the field of strong singers and comedians, including 27 year-old singer-songwriter and touring musician from California, Lily Meola (Read our Recap).
She describes herself as an artist of the dreampop and folk genres. She initially gained recognition from Willie Nelson as a 20 year old when the two performed a duet together. On stage prior to her audition, Lily described herself as different from the “1000s of others trying to get noticed” as judge Simon Cowell put it, because of her original song “Daydream” and how the meaning of the lyrics evolved over time. She wrote the song when “things were beautiful” and she was living her “daydream.” At the time, when she had a major record label deal, she had “butterflies that were hatching” (hence her butterfly outfit during her audition).
But then, she explained, she lost her record deal after she became the caretaker of her mom who was diagnosed with cancer and has since passed. But for Lily, it was a blessing being able to spend time with her. Her mother’s illness and subsequent passing hasn’t been easy for the singer. When Simon asked if she was OK, Lily shared that she was performing in honor of her mother, who inspired her to sing.
Music and songwriting helped Lily heal from depression after her mother’s death
According to a piece in Rolling Stone, when Lily’s mom, Nancy Mercola “a beloved figure in the music world as the assistant to pioneering manager Shep Gordon, died in June 2020, her daughter battled a deep depression.” Music and songwriting helped the singer to heal.
The lyrics of “Daydream” are inspiring: “What you want is too risky/We all got these big ideas/One day they’re replaced with fears” and “It ain’t big enough if it doesn’t scare the hell out of you.” Her voice is a bit breathy and artist–very dreamy. Her sound isn’t necessarily mainstream but could fit very well into the indie world. She knows her voice and has a presence about her.
The singer has released music, but not through her record deal. She considers her AGT audition the first time putting out music for a wider audience.
Heidi Klum Chooses Lily as her Golden Buzzer
Heidi Klum fell in love with Lily, seeing a “light” around her as she performed. The judge didn’t want to give a singer a golden buzzer, but she decided Lily is worth it, and hit the button anyway. Afterward, she joined Lily on stage for her special moment, saying “I think you are going to knock it out of the park. I think you are really special.”
Lily sails through to the live shows, joining a stacked singing lineup. Lily admitted that, “she would be so mad at me if I didn’t pursue what I love.” She noted that “Daydream” was one of her mom’s favorite songs.
Lily has a good voice, but it was her compelling story and song that inspired Heidi to push the golden buzzer. There are some vocalists who didn’t get the golden buzzer this year that are better singers from a vocal standpoint, and as always some fans will be frustrated at how many singers end up as golden buzzers.
“Daydream” can be found on Lily’s EP titled Daydream. Watch the lyric video of the official version HERE.
Overall, this was probably my least favorite night of auditions. My favorite acts of the night were Lily, opera impressionist Merissa Beddows, and magician Nicolas Ribs. Honorable mentions go to hand balancer Chiko, tech dancers MPLUSPLUS, and comedian Jordan Conley.