Interview: Lily McKenzie

Words by Finlay Bell

We had the chance to get the scoop on Lily Mckenzie’s latest releases – with her EP release, titled “Caged Bird” (Friday 26th April) – career and all things music in an exclusive Q&A with us at 14HQ…

So, Lily, congratulations on the new single – starting off the summer feels with your new song “Best You Had”. Talk to us about the thought process behind this single.

Lily: “Thank you so much! I wrote the song a couple of years ago in London, I wanted the lyrics to be empowering- it’s about realising your worth and what you will and won’t stand for.”

Obviously it has been a tough year for artists, but has this past year offered any positives to you in terms of your creative process?

Lily: “There have definitely been some positives and I always try to find them in every situation. Of course it’s been hard for everyone, but I do think it has given me more space and time to focus on writing – It’s also allowed me to collaborate more as other artists have had more time too.”

Your resume in terms of collaboration is impressive if I must say! Yxng Bane, The Manor, Skibadee, the list goes on… How do you feel collaboration with artists/producers like these throughout your career has shaped the artist you are today?

Lily: “100% they have helped to shape me as an artist. I think collaboration is so important, it’s how we grow and work out who we are too. I’m grateful to have been able to have worked with some really great creatives throughout my journey.”

My late teens saw me listening to quite a bit of baseline, and I’ve had your song “Lost Souls” with TRC on my phone for quite a while now! How do you think the UK bass/garage scene shaped your sound and how important it has been to your career to date?

Lily: “Haha .. Thank you, I loved working on that record. I definitely think garage, baseline and grime has shaped my sound. Bass is an important component in all of my records – I’m constantly asking my producers to turn it up! I love R&B and electronic music, but I definitely think those UK sounds can be heard in my music – it’s one big hybrid.”

You dropped “Best You Had” on the 26th March, your second release after “It’s Not Me It’s You” this year, is there any new music coming up or any new projects coming that you can fill us in on?

“Yes! I dropped my full EP ‘Caged Bird’ on the 23rd of April. It’s a 4 track project which includes ‘It’s Not Me It’s You’, ‘Best You Had’ and two new records. It’s fully independent and I’m excited to be putting out music that really feels like me.”

We’ve talked about you and your career thus far, considering all that, where do you hope you can take your career from here on in?

“I plan to release A LOT more music, both my own music but also I have some exciting features coming up too. I’d like to write more for other artists as well -that’s something I really enjoy. I’m also looking forward to being able to perform again… as artists, it’s going to be a really great feeling when we can finally get back on stage.”

As you can see, Lily has amazing stories from her years as an artist; a professional whose talent is on full display after years of perfecting her craft, confirming she is an artist that should be getting your attention. This is all on full display with “Caged Bird”, so be sure to check it out below…


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