Hi tigerlily, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Doing my best! It’s a tough time, there’s a lot of people suffering right now, so I’ve been doing my best to spread love on social media and use the extra time being home to educate myself on what’s going on in the world in terms of our criminal justice system, police brutality, and the struggles BIPOC and LGBTQ individuals face.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “lisbon”?
The opening lines are “I don’t want to want you / yet I don’t want to walk away / but I don’t know how to have you / without hoping your mind will change” and that’s really the mood: it’s denial, it’s uncertainty, but it’s also hope. One of my favorite poets said, “existen dos tipos de duelo: sufrir por lo que pasó y sufrir por lo que no pasó” which translates to,there are two types of pain: suffering over what happened and suffering over what didn’t happen. And I’d add that the two most painful emotionsin love are disappointment and hope – and this song is about being paralyzed in that hope that whoever broke your heart will realize what they’re missing out on!
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Big picture, it’s about a road trip down the coast of Portugal I went on with a boy I fell for studying abroad in high school. It took me four years to really tell him how I felt and he basically told me he didn’t feel the same and he never would, so I booked a flight to New York City for the next morning. I think everyone responds to heartbreak differently, some people go to the club, some people binge eat ice cream, and some people whip out a guitar and are like “well screw you, I’m going to write a hit pop song, thanks for the inspiration” and that’s my approach.
How was the recording and writing process?
lisbon was one of those songs that just came to me; I wrote it in one night, took it into the studio the next day, and that was that. I worked with a fantastic producer here in Seattle, Nima Skeemz, who really brought my vision for the track alive. I wanted it to be a song people can vibe and dance to but also still maintain the acoustic vulnerability of how it sounded originally with just me and my guitar.
What role does NYC play in your music?
Well actually I have a song called ‘New York’ that will be coming out at some point! We filmed a dope music video for it with me and two dancers on a rooftop we snuck onto in Manhattan. But other than that, honestly, I wouldn’t say New York City has played a bigger role than any of the other cities I’ve lived in. It can be such a lonely city, but it’s a city that pushes you, and you learn to live on the brink of your comfort zone which I think you need to do as an artist.
What was it like the transition from grunge to pop?
It challenged me since I had to rethink a lot, everything from my live show to how I write songs; it almost felt like starting from scratch after nearly a decade of being in a band… which makes me sound a lot older than I am, haha I was 13 when the band started. My biggest fear as a pop artist is becoming stereotypical; I don’t want to be boxed in, I don’t want to make stuff that sounds like everyone else, and I don’t want to be labelled as just another “singer.” I mean, I’m from the city of grunge and that DIY spirit and drive to remain authentic are important to me whether I’m making obscure dream-pop grunge or more commercial pop.
Do you still try to stick to some of your previous work?
I try to bring in elements of the stuff I did with my band into my approach to pop music. I mean I still think no song is complete without some overdriven or reverbed-out guitar riffs and there’s some of that on lisbon too.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
You can! I have a lot of music done I’m just waiting to release, the hardest part is waiting really… but yes, super exciting things are on the way so add me on social media to keep up with it! I got Twitter, Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook… I really hope no other social media platforms pop up since it’s already too much, haha.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
The songs I initially recorded were all inspired by cities. I grew up living all over the place from Medellin, Colombia, to Barcelona, to London, so I had a lot of inspiration. I guess the real question is which city is going to get to be the EP title…
Any plans to hit the road?
With Covid I’m waiting to really plan anything, but I’d love to when I can. In the meantime, I’m holding a Release Party for lisbon July 15thon IG Live dedicated to POC Artists with all proceeds going towards the Marsha P Johnson Institute.
What else is happening next in tigerlily’s world?
I’ve had so many people ask me to start a YouTube cover channel since I cover songs my followers suggest on my Instagram @tigerlily_music.So I really should make that YouTube channel. But besides that, releasing the other songs, performing live around New York City when I can get back, and I want to start collaborating more with other artists.