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PREMIERE: Lilah’s ‘Hold Me’ Is The Future Of Pop Music

A debut release as strong as Lilah’s Hold Me is something to be marvelled. Brisbane-based, the multi-instrumentalist, formerly known on the live circuit as Indigo Daze, has kicked off her solo recorded material in a powerful way. Bridging pop and synthwave, Lilah is soon to be the touchstone in future pop music. Before its release later this month, Lilah has exclusively given AAA Backstage readers a first taste of her booming new single, Hold Me. Lilah spoke to us about the new single and her music making process.

Hold Me was written, originally, on a piano with your vocals then brought into the studio. Is this the usual process for your songwriting?

My songwriting process is always so different and constantly varies. For Hold Me, that was definitely the way it happened, but a lot of the time I start on Ableton with loops and drum samples and then once I get a feel for it I just start singing random words and record on my phone. Other times I start with my writing and I want to put music to that which suits the feel of the lyrics (usually when I’m sad haha)

That being said, Hold Me essentially has two versions—a stripped back and the full version. Do you like having these two elements to your songs?

Yeah definitely, I suppose with having my primary genre electronic I usually have that element of a stripped back version of each song before it’s all produced… However some songs I wouldn’t know how to strip back if they started out completely electronic with lots of voice loops. I think it’s nice though to sometimes show both sides of a song as it can take on a whole new meaning and bring out different emotions when you hear it in a different way.

Do you enjoy having total creative control over your music in every avenue possible? 

Yes! Definitely yes. For me the writing process is everything and it’s really important for me to keep that as authentic as I can. The emotions I feel within each song I write is also a big thing for me as everything I write is from my life experiences, things I feel etc… so to be able to bring that to life in a way that I have creative control over is really valuable to me. That being said I would love to co-write and collaborate for sure and I’m always open to listening.

There’s an underlying ambience to Hold Me. Does ambient music play a role in your inspiration?

I’m actually listening to Fjour Piano by Sigur Ros as I answer this, so definitely yes ambient/atmospheric music has a massive influence on me and the kind of music I create. Hold Me is probably one of my least “ambient” songs but I still really wanted to keep that underlying essence within it.

If and when you come across an idea or a melody in your head, how quickly do you try and capture that before losing or forgetting it?

I probably have about 100+ voice memos on my phone every few months of all my ideas. I could be listening to a song and get inspiration or one could just come into my head and I’ll just always grab my phone and record a voice memo… even if I’m walking down the street/getting out of the shower aha. However to be honest a lot of the songs I would call my “best” have been melodies that have come after writing the chords… like with Hold Me for example, I was in a certain mood looking for certain chords and then the lyrics just come out straight away. Another one of my favourite songs I was just at a band practise and filmed us doing a new instrumental song and made up/improvised all the words/melody on the spot and then ended up using those exact words for the final song…they somehow all made sense… I think…

More recently, to be stay relevant, pop stars are making a transition from being characters or personified gimmicks, to actually being themselves. What are your thoughts on this?

Personally I think being yourself is key. I understand the idea of having your music presence a slightly more “expansive/creative” version of your everyday self, but I think being authentic and just showing people who you really are is all people ever really crave. That could just be me personally, but I love feeling a sense of connection to the artists I listen to and feeling like they are human/experience the things you experience and that you can relate. I remember my first shows when I was under a different name, I thought I had to be all serious (although I think it was mainly nerves), and I barely spoke to anyone in the audience and probably seemed very standoffish… As time went on I began to dress more like myself, talk to the audience and make some questionable jokes on stage, but I felt so much more comfortable and at ease just being the real me.

In saying that, Hold Me appears so truthful and personal to you. How much of yourself do you put into your writing and performing?

Hold Me definitely is very personal and truthful about that period of my life I experienced. Every song I write is 100% an open book of everything I feel. I honestly couldn’t imagine writing about something that didn’t make me feel anything. The same goes with performing, I once did a show and cried as soon as I got off stage because of the things I was singing about and hadn’t properly let myself get emotional about…. and that’s when I realised how therapeutic it is for me to be honest and to open myself up to strangers about things we have all experienced. Sometimes it’s a little scary to be so honest but I wear my heart on my sleeve (quite literally too as I have it tattooed there) and I would be lying to myself if I wasn’t pouring my truth into my music. I want people to relate but I also want people to see me for who I am and feel that same feeling I get with other artists that have had a massive impact on me and my music.

Lilah will soon play a venue near you—to be announced soon—but, for the moment, you can exclusively stream Hold Me below.

Written by Jake Wilton