Local singer, father drive toward reality show


WASHINGTON — Keira Moran is willing to do what it takes to further her singer-songwriter career.

The 20-year-old from Alexandria, Virginia is traveling to Los Angeles, to work for Grammy-nominated songwriter/producer Graham Edwards, who has written for stars ranging from Katy Perry to David Bowie to Britney Spears.

Getting there won’t be easy.

“I will have to make the 43-hour coast-to-coast drive with my father,” says Moran, who graduated from T.C. Williams High School.

Moran’s father, Jim Moran, 46, is the son of former Virginia Rep. Jim Moran.

To pass the time, Keira and her father are recording and rolling out episodes on YouTube of what they hope will become a popular reality web series.

With a GoPro camera on their dashboard and mounted in locations along the route, they are documenting their travels.

Their new YouTube channel is called “Dad versus Daughter.”

“We’re going to be fighting the whole time, so that’s why we decided to film it,” says Keira, who will entering her junior year at University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.

After winning songwriting contests, Moran released an independent CD, “Wondergirl,” in 2011.

Now, as she aims to learn about the recording industry from an insider, Keira and her dad hope to promote their brand with the YouTube show, which features them arguing about Top 5 lists, on topics suggested by viewers.

“No topic is too trivial or too profound,” says Keira.

In the first three episodes posted online, subjects include “What makes a hit song?” and “Top 5 hottest Kardashians.”

Her father is a manager for Domino’s.

He says he was the only family member whose job was flexible enough to allow him to drive his daughter to L.A. Moran’s wife, Angie, is a special needs teacher.

“When we got this call from this record producer, obviously we had to get in the car and drive to L.A. immediately,” says Moran.

Good-natured sparring of their web series aside, Moran acknowledges leaving his daughter on the West Coast won’t be easy.

“I’m absolutely terrified,” says Moran. “It’s 3,000 miles away and she’s going to be by herself.”

Moran says the father-daughter arguments don’t change their relationship.

“Even though we fight, and that’s what people see on TV, it’s a scary prospect for me.

Keira has been documenting her live performances and music videos on a separate YouTube channel, but formed a separate channel for the web series.

“I was afraid it was going to be too controversial, but then again, that’s what people watch,” laughs Keira, in a telephone interview.

Moran’s father, James Moran served as a U.S. Representative from Virginia from 1991 to 2015. Moran’s uncle, Brian is a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates and was an unsuccessful primary candidate for governor in 2009.

“I’ve always tried to stay away, so my views would not hurt them politically, but my dad’s retired now, and I feel like I have a chance to voice my opinions,” says Moran, who pours himself a small glass of bourbon to wash down some pills in a preview video for the series.

“If I get in trouble, there’s not going to be a lot of bad fallout,” says Moran. “And it’s certainly not a reflection on any of the Morans who run for office, that should be stated.”

Asked whether politics or the music industry has a worse reputation, Moran says: “The music business is losing money, but I would say politics has the worst reputation, and I promise by the end of this show I am going to be shredding that business.”

As an employee in Edwards’ recently-formed production studio, Keira says, “we’re going to be working on a lot of different projects” with different artists.

When questioned whether she will she get a chance to record with the award-winning Edwards, Keara finesses the answer with the deftness of a politician.

“I don’t want to jinx anything. Anything could happen while I’m out there. I’m really excited to work on everything with him. He’s amazing.”


Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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