THIS interview finds me talking with Lili Caseley…
about her debut single, Have I Ever, and what inspired it. I ask whether more material will be coming along and, as a songwriter, whether she sets time aside to write; which three albums mean the most to her; the artists she grew up around and which rising musicians we need to get behind.
Caseley tells me how she spends time outside of music and what she has planned for next year; who she would support on tour if she could pick anyone; the advice she would offer emerging musicians – she ends the interview by selecting a rather cool song.
Hi, Lili. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey. Good, thanks. Been rehearsing and doing some writing sessions. Have seen family too, so it’s been quite nice.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m from Kentish Town. I’m a singer songwriter and I make Soul/R&B/Pop; sometimes with a Hip-Hop feel, often the beats. I’ve got Portuguese and French heritage and grew up listening to a lot of different music.
Have I Ever is your debut single. Is there a story behind the track?
I wrote it after a night out; a party. I was tired and had drunk; I felt alone. I didn’t have anyone and started to question whether I’d really ever had anyone at all. I found a harp sample online, then got my friend Oliver Wass to play it live at David (the producer’s) studio. And David made the music around it.
Do you think there will be more material next year?
Yeah. For sure (smiles). I’m looking forward to putting more songs out.
Are there particular moments and times that inspire your songwriting? Do you set time aside to write?
Sadness, rejection; loss, being in love; heartbreak. I try to be more methodical with it, but often it is just spontaneously.
Which artists got you interested in music? Did you grow up around a lot of music?
Coming from Portugal and France, I listened to a lot of Fado music - Amália Rodrigues, Mariza - French music - Jacques Brel, Charles Aznavour - and English too - Queen and The Beatles. Other World music, too: Amadou and Miriam, Seu Jorge…they all got me keen and also Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald; Johnny Cash, Bob Marley…
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
More and more live shows, performing to more people; connecting and working with more and more people.
Do you already have plans for 2019?
Yeah. A few. More releases, more shows; work with more people…
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Explosive writing sessions where the song just happens; gigs where everyone dances and jamming with the musicians.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
The songwriting and music blew me away. There’s a lot of heart.
Justin Timberlake - Justified
Songs like Señorita are sexy, good to dance to and have original lyrics.
Destiny’s Child - Survivor
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Probably Billie Eilish or Post Malone. I’d just want some drinks for the musicians and some for me and some coconut yoghurt. I love it man. Would’ve loved to meet or play for Mac Miller in some way too man; it’s a damn shame.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Well. I’m not sure I could really advise anyone, but I’d say just keep going and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You gotta risk looking foolish to move up anywhere. And try to work with kind people.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
How important is it bringing your music to the stage and getting that instant reaction?
Vital. It’s the only real way to connect with people I reckon.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I hang out with my friends, go to films - sometimes saucy ones -; I have dinner with family. I party too - gotta dance.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Thank you. Bruce Springsteen – I’m on Fire
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