We all have discussions with ourselves and well all have things trapped inside that we so badly want to say. However, there are only so many people in this world who can say those things as perfectly as Lily Kershaw does.
The Southern California born singer/songwriter recently released her debut album, Midnight in the Garden, much to the music world’s delight and even better we got her to answer some questions for us. With all that said, we bring you…Lily Kershaw.
Lily Kershaw: I’m 22 years old. I was born and mostly raised in Los Angeles. The other years were spent in New York City and Connecticut. I will have been writing music for ten years as of my 23rd birthday this June!
LM: You have spent most of your life living in Los Angeles. As a west coast kid, I grew up recognizing the different sounds of Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. However, you are a little bit off the beaten path from what people might expect, where does your inspiration come from?
LK: Lyrically and thematically, the inspiration comes from my real life. Sonically on this record, I wanted to create individual soundscapes to let the character of each song live. I wouldn’t say that I am necessarily inspired by the places I’ve lived in terms of my “sound” but rather the experiences I’ve had in those places and what those places feel like to me because of those experiences.
LM: Your debut, Midnight in the Garden, was one of my personal favorites of 2013. Tell us a little about the making of the album.
LK: Thank you! Well, all of the songs were written between the ages of 17 and 21. It was important for me to allow the person I had been in the past to come through on this record. I think my next record will pretty much exclusively be my 22nd year. A lot of songs have materialized so far this year.
In terms of the recording process, I recorded a song a day for 14 days. It was a very intense experience especially since I hadn’t recorded more than one song, “As It Seems”, properly in a studio before. My producer, John Fields, and I played all of the instruments on the record, aside from two guest players on two of the songs. It was ultimately a wonderful and fulfilling experience.
LM: One of my favorite tracks, in fact it made it to my 2013 year in review Spotify list, from Midnight in the Garden is “Good Girl”. I love the personality that comes out of it. Is there a story behind the song?
LK: Wow! That’s really cool. Thank you! There’s less of a story behind this song and more of an idea fleshed out in song. For me it was important to write about how women, and all people really, are put into boxes and expected to be one thing, when in fact we are all vast gorgeous mysteries that should never be asked to limit ourselves. I remember feeling excited and slightly liberated after writing this song. It was exciting for me to write and sing the words, “I’m not a good girl anyway”, and still know that just because I’m not good doesn’t mean I’m bad. And vice versa.
LM: Your song, “As It Seems”, became a pretty big part of the TV series Criminal Minds and later on “Ashes Like Snow” was also used. What was it like getting so much love from the show?
LK: So exciting! I didn’t know what to expect with “As It Seems” but I remember looking forward to sharing the music. And with “Ashes Like Snow” I was honored to have a song used again! The Criminal Minds fans are really enthusiastic and supportive. It’s nice to get love from that community.
LM: I love the fact that your voice is sweet, but you sing about being a bad girl! Your subject matter can be dark at times, but there always seems to be a little light at the end of the tunnel. What is the method behind your madness?
LK: Life! Living is the method behind my madness. Having experiences but never letting them hold me for too long. By writing about the things I’ve experienced I get to take my power back by creating something out of the things I have lived. I usually write to make something beautiful out of something that feels broken or out of place. Songwriting heals me.
LM: Who out there catches your ear the most right now?
LK: I really like the song “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood. I do a cover of it live!
LM: Now that you’ve released a full length album, what’s on the schedule for 2014? A tour? Some music videos?
LK: All of the above! I’m currently opening for Mason Jennings! Next I’ll be going to France on a promo trip. And of course, I’ll keep writing music. I look forward to seeing where the year brings me.
You can pick up Midnight In The Garden by Lily Kershaw on iTunes now!
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
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