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Lily Halpern interview
[Q]: First off, congratulations with your single & EP 'Not Gonna Cry'. What's the story behind the song?
[A]: Thank you so much! I'm really pleased with how it turned out. My story behind the song is really depicted in the music video. For me it was about a relationship I'd been in for a year and it had gone from something really special to just not making me feel good about myself anymore. The song empowered me to stop crying over what was going on and realize that a change needed to be made. The line near the end of the first verse really sums up my conclusion "we've got to decide which way to go, and I hope that you're going to come with me, but boy if you don't I'm not going to cry anymore." The great thing about "Not Gonna Cry" is that since I wrote it about that relationship it has also helped me through other situations. It really applies to any time in your life where you suddenly realize you need to do something for yourself and make yourself happy and just simply make your mindset, "I'm not going to cry anymore".
[Q]: When can we expect the full album? What can we expect from the album in comparison with your current EP?
[A]: I'm hoping by the end of this year there will be a full album, but there will definitely 100% be some singles from that upcoming album coming out in the next couple months. With my new music you can expect more feel-good dance songs. I graduated from high school this past spring (yay!) so as well as trying to take all my emotions from that part of my life and put them into song, I've been thinking lately about how tough adolescence is and how I really just want to put out some empowering songs that make you feel good when you listen to them, not just about the music but about yourself.
[Q]: Producers K. Briscoe and Alex Cantrall both have worked with major artists. In what way have their production (skills) influenced your music?
[A]: I am so lucky to have worked with such talented producers, and I've learned so much from them. I learned how important it is to be open to collaboration and not being set in your way. I went into the studio the first time with Alex kind of knowing exactly what I wanted to do, but after talking through my music with him and trying some of his suggestions I realized the power of collaboration and how much better something can become when multiple people are putting their souls into it and not just one person. Not only does it become a better song but it becomes more universal.
[Q]: What can your listeners and fans expect from your tour/show with Cody Simpson?
[A]: A lot of fun and a great way to get to know me. With each song I perform the audience will learn a little more about me, and the more I give to them, I hope they'll be able to relate to what I'm saying and give a bit of themselves to me too. I'm focusing primarily on doing upbeat numbers so expect a lot of dancing, I really want everyone on their feet for most of the performance. No matter how bad you think you are at dancing, I want to create an atmosphere where you can really just be yourself as goofy as you think you look dancing. For Cody's performance you should expect some awesome dancing from him- he really knows how to work the crowd, I hope I can learn a bit of that from him.
[Q]: In what way has your move from Boston to New York played a part in your music career?
[A]: It has given me opportunities that I'd never even thought possible. I've been able to meet the most amazing people and work with the most amazing people since I've moved to NYC. In Boston a typical weekend was hanging out with my friends, baking cookies and going to the movies; now it's a Kanye West release party or going to see Bruno Mars on SNL, or watching Michael Buble sing at MSG. A typical week day in boston would be going to high school, having dance practice and then doing my homework, and staying up late writing music; now it's having a class then going to the recording studio and actually working to make my song ideas i wrote in my basement a reality.
[Q]: What is your main goal to reach as an artist?
[A]: My selfish goal is that I would like to become successful enough as an artist that I can headline a tour, and be a commonly occurring name on the Billboard Top 100- but my actual main goal is I want to become successful enough as an artist that I can use that success to help people through what I had the most trouble going through- bullying in adolescence.
[Q]: You describe yourself as an 'everyday girl'. How hard is it to stay an 'everyday girl' while pursuing a musical career?
[A]: It's not as hard as you think. Especially if you have friends and family like mine. I am surrounded by the most amazing people in the world, my brothers are two of the most talented guys I know, I record in the same recording studio as some of the biggest names in the business, it's really easy to stay humble and normal when you're surrounded by people that you feel are so above you in a sense. Like I look up to my brothers, some of the people I'm working with, my vocal coach etc SO MUCH that it's easy for me to think I'm the normal one. Of course I'm not to the point yet where I have to deal with paparazzi or anything, but I've been recognized quite a few times in the city and instead of getting a big head about it i'm just so touched that people are listening to my music and like it enough to know who I am.
[Q]: When creating a track, do you have a set theme and pre-written lyrics, or do you start with an idea or the music first?
[A]: It really depends. I have hundreds of verses and ideas for songs written throughout my life that i have in journals and on my computer, and sometimes i have songs all mapped out and i know exactly what i want but most of the time i'll hear a track and immediately i'll get a feel from it and know the kind of song I want to write/the idea, and whether i have already ideas for something like that or not the song just gets written really easily as soon as i have a track i really connect with.
[Q]: What collaborations could your fans look out for in the future? Maybe a Cody Simpson collaboration?
[A]: That would be awesome. I would love to collaborate with Cody. I met Jason DeRulo recently and I would absolutely love to collaborate with him too. I'm also going to be infusing more r&b/hip hop into my music and hopefully collaborating with a rapper soon.
[Q]: Recently, what is a typical day like for you?
[A]: Wake up, shower, go to a class or two, then go to Warner Music Group headquarters in NYC and see my AMAZING manager Aja, check in with her, then either go to a vocal lesson or go into the studio and record or do an interview, really depends on the day or the week.
[Q]: Final words?
[A]: Go check out the EP and the music video, and thank you so much for supporting me!