Just got back from a trip to Europe to visit my family in Rome and then spent 10 days in Berlin working on some new tunes.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Spiritual Level”?
Spiritual is my first completely independent record, where everything was based on my vision. I wrote it with my friend/Co-Writer/Vocal Engineer Jelli Dorman to a track produced by Daniel Dalexis. The song was my way of justifying an imaginative alternative to my relationship at the time.
Soundwise, Spiritual Level encapsulates the different genres and nuances that influenced me as an Italian living in America. There’s a little r&b, there’s a pinch of trap, there are sadness and sweetness in it coupled with a sense of strength and freedom. It’s a lot of sides of me in one.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
Perhaps just one day, understanding that I wanted someone else while I was already with someone. Realizing I’d be ready to ruin something I used to love…That’s not easy to forgive.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Yes, I truly think the song deserves a visual and I’m excited to start working on it in September!
How was the recording and writing process? Did you work with any specific producers?
I heard the track from a folder that Dan (Dalexis) sent me.
The rest happened extremely organically, everything kinda poured out.
Jelli and I write well together, we get each other, we didn’t try, we were just trying to explain my situation and keep the whole lyrical aspect 100% honest.
It made me think a lot about my womanhood, how I’m sometimes scared to follow my instinct. Writing about this imaginary vision, encouraged me to take action in reality.
What role does Italy play in your music?
Italian is the language I dream and think in. So Italy, as well as the legends of Italian musici, are always on my mind when I write. Lucio Battisti, Mina, Celentano, Mogol and so many more..
Also, my mom Fiamma used to be an Opera singer. Iconic. Puccini was her go to and listening to her sing as a child one hundred percent contributed to my sound.
Her in general I think.
When I started writing, I would victimize myself a lot in my lyrics, and my mother would call me out on it, encouraging me to write towards a bigger concept of independence, power and awareness. I have some things she says, completely imprinted in my brain and always in between my lines.
My family’s nuances are encrypted in my writing and my delivery. We are in the voice over/dubbing/movie industry, we all put our voice first. I was always taught to think about words and think about delivery even when at breakfast I’d have to ask my Grandfather to pass me the sugar.
Pronunciation and diction have been in my life since I was 5 years old. I wouldn’t write the way I do if it wasn’t for my family and for everything that the Italian language encompasses.
How did your studies at Berklee influence or shape your current sound?
Berklee is what you make of it. It was mind-blowing and insanely inspiring, a place completely packed with talent, sometimes even genius. It was a true blessing to be able to experience College with the future leaders of my industry. It has changed me and empowered me to infinity, I wouldn’t be the same person without it.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
My computer is jammed with songs. To me, it’s all about the right moment and not rushing the process.
I’m not really a perfectionist and I’m rather impulsive but I do want everything to make sense.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
For being a songwriter, I am so inexplicably bad at titles.
Not to mention I change my mind about 32985 times a day.
In Italian, we say “Tempo al tempo” which sorta means “Give time, time”.
Luckily I am working on some features with producers so you’ll hear from me soon!
What can fans expect from a live LILI N performance?
Definitely to be dragged back into a Dolce Vita/Amarcord moment. Fellini Forever.
Any plans to hit the road?
Right now I’m focusing on the recording and distributing aspect of things. But I’ll be doing some shows in Los Angeles around the end of September!
What else is happening next in Lili N’s world?
I try to stay very focused. My main thing right now is to be in tune with myself and what I want. Nothing else really matters except for music, family, friends and pasta al pesto.