INTERVIEW: Tilly Valentine



PHOTO CREDIT: Luke Hopkins Photography 

Tilly Valentine


THE fantastic Tilly Valentine…                                    


PHOTO CREDIT: Luke Hopkins Photography

has been talking with me about her debut single, Coins, and what its story is. The songwriter discusses filming the song’s video and meeting Coins’ producer over SoundCloud; whether there is more music coming down the line; how important the BRIT School has been to her – Valentine reveals the musicians who are influential to her.

I ask what she hopes to achieve before the end of this year; which upcoming artists we need to check out; if there are any tour dates approaching; whether she gets time to chill away from music – she reveals a musical memory that is especially treasured.


Hi, Tilly. How are you? How has your week been?

Hey. All good, thank you!

For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?

I’m Tilly Valentine; an Electronic artist drawing influences from Trip-Hop and R&B. I grew up in Oxfordshire and am now based in South West London.

Your debut single, Coins, was released on 27th July. What is the story behind the song?

My mum used to say the phrase: “Some people are so poor all they have is money”. Coins is a reminder not to compare yourself or lose sight of the genuinely important things in life - from the misconceptions on social media. Although it sounds like a serious topic, I wanted to tell it in a conversational and playful way.

What was it like filming the video for the track? Was it an enjoyable shoot?

It was so much fun! I’ve never directed a music video before so, initially, it was quite a crazy idea but I spent ages thinking about what I wanted the video to look like and what I wanted it to represent. After a few sketches and storyboards, the videographer (and friend), Luca, helped bring my ideas to life.

It had a very D.I.Y. and organic approach which is what I wanted. It was filmed two doors down from my family home and I borrowed a load of props from friends and local shops. The video’s concept represents someone being tempted with money and materialism but shows them staying true to themselves.

Is it true you met the producer of the song over SoundCloud? How did that come about?!

Yeah! I moved to London when I was sixteen and spent most of my spare time writing songs, but my guitar skills were somewhat minimalistic. I decided to search on SoundCloud for producers to work with and that’s where I came across German producer, Mattis. I sent him a message and we began sending each other ideas back and forth.

He would send me beats or chords and I’d send back recordings with my vocal and lyric ideas on top. Coins was one of the first songs we wrote together and I recently had the chance to go out to Germany to work with him in person for the first time (four years later!).


PHOTO CREDIT: Luke Hopkins Photography 

Do you feel there will be more music coming soon? How far ahead are you looking?

Definitely! I’ve got a lot of new music in the pipeline so I’m currently working towards the second single, alongside a few collabs!

You joined the BRIT School aged sixteen. Do you think that was the most important decision you made after moving to London?

I think BRIT had a big impact on my journey. I never thought I’d get the chance to go somewhere like that as I didn’t live in London at the time which, statistically, made my chances of getting a place very slim. It definitely made me more independent; I hadn’t been to London much before, so moving away from my family home and school friends was a big thing for me at the time.

I met some of my closest friends there and I’m very lucky to still be in touch with so many amazing musicians.

Which artists do you count as idols? What sort of music did you grow up around?

I grew up listening to Fatboy Slim, Gwen Stefani and Britney Spears. I think Lianne La Havas is up there now as one of my all-time favourites but I still have a soft spot for the music I grew up with!


PHOTO CREDIT: Vicki Bailey Photography 

What do you hope to achieve in 2018?

My debut single has been a pretty huge focus for my 2018 so far - so, I guess for new listeners and tastemakers to hear it and love it would be really special. I’d love to get some great radio plays, take risks and write my new favourite song.

Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?

Playing the O2 Academy in Oxford always sticks out as a favourite. Oxford is my hometown so it was super-special for me to get to play there, thanks to BBC Introducing.

If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?


My rider would have to include unlimited tea bags and a pack of Oreos. Oh, and a bottle of champagne that I’d share with my mum.


PHOTO CREDIT: Rob Blackham

Are there going to be any tour dates coming? Where are you heading?

I’m playing a Sofar Sounds on 4th September at a secret location in London. Tickets and more gigs will be announced later on my website!

What advice would you give to new artists coming through?

Learn about the business. As an independent artist, you have to be your own manager; booking agent, tour manager; publicist, promoter etc. Obviously, great music is vital but you have to know what to do with it!


IN THIS PHOTO: Jack Vallier

Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?

Jack Vallier, Jaz Karis and YEBBA.



Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?

I do and I don’t. The problem with creating music is that you’re never done! There’s always more you can be doing. But, I try and treat myself to the occasional cocktail and Netflix binge.

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).

Moonchild - Run Away


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