Here we go with our next interview. Lilly not only has a beautiful voice, she’s also a smart and interesting person.
Please introduce yourself to our listeners.
Hi, I’m Lilly, the singer of the band Lilly Wolf. We’re a Brooklyn-based duo that writes dark synthpop. My best friend Alex Neuhausen plays bass and we both produce and record our music together. At shows we play with a live drummer named Tareq Almulaifi. Our music gets compared to artists like to CHVRCHES, Lorde, and Grimes.
What’s your focus with your music?
Our songs usually have piano, synths, and hip hop percussion. The music often has an upbeat or inspiring feel, but I mostly write about my own emotions, which deals with topics like loneliness, relationships, and self-doubt.
How do you define and measure your success?
If we inspire people or help them connect with their own emotions, then we’re successful. We love getting fan mail and shoutouts through Facebook and Twitter, and people who tell us how our music inspired them. Professionally, we’ve gotten hundreds of thousands of plays on Spotify and Pandora, but we’d like it to be millions, and we’ve played festivals like SXSW and CMJ, but we’d love to go on an international tour and play at huge festivals like Cochella or Outside Lands or Bonaroo. Right now we both have day jobs, and it’d be cool to make enough money from music that we could do it full time.
How did the Creative Commons license help you with your career?
We’ve gotten over a million plays on Jamendo, which is awesome, and our in Europe and Latin America has inspired American record labels to start working with us. We also get sent music videos and art where fans use our music for their own creative things, which is always cool.
Please pick three tracks from your work that best represents you. Why did you choose them? Can you tell us something about the creation process?
Promises and Plans, Burn With You, and Terrible Mistake. I picked these because they’re all songs that I’m proud of and for each one, someone has told me it’s their favorite song. They’re also all somewhat different. Promises has a rock feel, Burn With You has a hip-hop/trap feel, and Terrible Mistake is pop.
To write our music, Alex and I have identical MacBook Pro laptops with Ableton Live and a bunch of plugins and samples. One of us will come up with a melody or beat, and then we send it back and forth for a few weeks adjusting it and adding to it. Then I write the lyrics and we work out a song structure. Alex built a vocal booth in his apartment, and we record the vocals there, then he mixes and masters the track and it’s ready to go!
Why do you give away the music for free?
I think that’s the way the music industry is headed, and we’re just getting ahead of it. With streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, musicians don’t get much money from royalties of music sales. Instead, the music is almost like advertising, and you make money by touring and having a great live show. There are also other benefits, like fans using our music in their YouTube videos or remixing our tracks.
How are you connected, networked within your country and worldwide?
We have all the usual social media stuff.
Do you have new or upcoming works that can be interesting for listeners?
We’re putting out a music video for Terrible Mistake in early 2016! We worked with a great director, Luke Choi, and just spent a weekend shooting a ton of great footage in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and at Howard Beach, on the Atlantic Ocean.
What did we forget to ask?
Our music is Creative Commons and we give it away for free, but people who like the music can help us in return! In particular, sharing our music and videos, and following us on hypem.com helps us share our music with new fans!
Thanks for listening to our music!
Thank you very much for the interview and good luck with your career.