MOVIN' ON UP

Lila McCann leaves Hollywood to hang her hat in Nashville

"I found this really great house!" she says excitedly. "It's in an older neighborhood that's being refurbished. I'm mostly unpacked, but I've still got boxes sitting around with stuff in them.

"The amount of things you accumulate is unbelievable," she laughs. "I'm horrible about throwing stuff away, I'm such a pack rat. I try to be better about it, but I always end up keeping things I know I'll never use."

Lila had set up shop in Los Angeles after graduating from Steilacoom High School in Washington in 2000 to pursue acting, while continuing to keep a foothold in music.

But music eventually won out. "I got the writing bug really badly," says Lila, "and I decided to just go for that. Singing and writing are what I want to be doing. I was coming to Nashville about every six weeks to write songs anyway, so it just made sense for me to move here."

And she made the move in a snap. "I was at home in Washington during Christmas," Lila recalls, "and suddenly I just said, 'OK, time to come to Nashville.' I looked for houses in March and found this one. It's got enough space for all my antiques, and I'm making one area into a little music and writing room."

There's also plenty of roaming room for Lila's dog, Sugar. "She's so funny," Lila chuckles. "She has this one spot on the couch that she loves, and when the movers were bringing my couch in, she jumped right on it. The movers were very cool - they let her sit there and they carried her in like she was the queen."

Lila's adventures in moving didn't stop there. "About three days after I moved in," she says, "I decided to throw this big barbecue. What a huge mistake! I don't know what I was thinking, because I wasn't unpacked and the house was a mess. Some friends helped me move some boxes and clean up, but it was still a very stressful couple of days."

Lila hopes for easier days down the road. "Once I get settled, I want to start working on some projects," she says. "I would love to have an album out by next year. Right now, I'm just writing a lot and trying to find songs that fit me. I still don't feel that I've made a record that really tells people who I am."

Lila made her debut at 15 with the hit "Down Came A Blackbird" and followed that with teen-themed tunes like the Top 5 "I Wanna Fall In Love." But she knows those kind of songs won't cut it anymore.

"I am a young woman now, so I'm definitely past the point of the happy little bubble-gummy songs," she says. "But I'm not at the point where I have lots of experience either, so it's kind of a confusing time. We all grow up, and I know there are good ways of expressing that - I just have to find them."

Any grown-up love songs she may write won't come from current experience, though. Lila reveals that she had been "sort of seeing" a young man in Los Angeles, but no serious relationship evolved.

"He was probably a little brokenhearted when I left, but I'm sure he got over it - in about a week!" she laughs. "It's really hard for me to meet people because I'm so used to going out on the road and working.

"And when I'm not on the road," Lila adds, "I'd rather sit home and watch the Home and Garden channel. Does that sound weird?"

-- Bob Paxman

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