Pic by Jen Squires

Hi Lily, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey there, I’m ok. It’s not too different for me as an artist. I mean feeling uncertain about the future, not having much money…plus I’m a bit of a germaphobe anyway. Home schooling is a challenge however.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Lay Low”? Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I was working somewhere which paid a lot but I felt trapped. My co-worker was listening to me and advised me to take the dough and lay low. I’m always noticing when phrases sound cool. We started jamming on it. We only had the chorus. Then months later I wrote the rest of the tune. The producer I worked with has a dub band called Megative. I knew they would nail this song so it was the first one we tackled. I love how it turned out.

The single comes off your new album Retro-Moderne – what’s the story behind the title?

I love retro music like girl groups, western, surf and soundtracks from film noir. I wanted to use elements of those things but keep the music current. We used programming sometimes and referenced current pop as well as retro and one day Gus described the records as “Retro-Moderne”…I said, “that’s the title!”

How was the recording and writing process?

I wrote these songs in many cities and with different people. Rainbow was written years ago in Vancouver. Gus and I listened to tons of my songs and picked the strongest one. Gus is very intelligent. He thinks on many levels. It was a joy to work with him and his team. It was very pointed and efficient. I was in heaven making this album and I am very proud of it. My voice was heard and I’m at the point where I can be honest and clear in a respectful way.

What role does Toronto play in your music?

Well, I live here but I write with people in L.A. Montreal, Nashville, New York and Vancouver. Toronto is normally a rocking city but musically I don’t feel tons of love here. It’s competitive, cold and ruthless. I work hard here but a drawn to California.

How has Lana Del Rey and Nancy Sinatra influenced your writing?

Not really. I love Lana but I feel she’s more abstract lyrically. Sinatra is a crooner. I do have a couple of swingy albums but Retro-Moderne is its own thing. I’m more influenced by Tarantino soundtracks, Lee Hazlewood, Francoise Hardy, and Lasha de Sela.

How do you go on balancing and blending your classic and modern roots together? Especially on this particular album.

I am an old soul living in the moment. I go with what feels and sounds good. I have synesthesia and have ASMR so there guide me very strongly.

What is it about the 60s that you find so fascinating?

I was raised on the classic Elvis, Beatles music. I love the innocence and the stylized Phil Spector wall of sound. I like tambos with verb, doubled vocals, Hoffner bass, simple, sparse arrangements. It’s about the sounds and how they make me feel.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Hmm…real life experience mixed with imagination and composites of characters I real life to create uber characters to strengthen the story.

Any plans to hit the road?

If it makes sense and the offer is reasonable then I would tour but I don’t have plans to currently.

What else is happening next in Lily Frost’s world?

Lots of yoga, healing, walking, writing, loving my kids. I’m releasing an online songwriting course soon. Also, I have a writing group called Hit Replay which is doing alot of work these days for younger artists, tv and film.


About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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