“I grew up not being able to watch TV so I found other alternatives,” says a laughing Lily Virginia as she preps for a tour which coincides with the release of her new effort, “Play Me Twice.”
Growing up on the west coast, Virginia made the transfer east for love and music; choosing to stay in New York City to further the latter. “”I’m originally from California and moved to New York seven years ago with my then boyfriend. Things didn’t work out as planned but I stayed for the music. I have always been interested in music and film as well as documentaries; it’s that sonic part of those things that I have always been interested in. Hey; this is New York right? The media capital pretty much of the world? This is where I need to be.”
A debut EP in 2014 was the one and only release of this engaging artist’s career; until now. “Play Me Twice” is an “Audiovisual” album which Lily calls “Intentional” and combines the songs with videos, making this a CD that you can actually watch/listen to one tune at a time. “I just want someone to be able to listen to it and then play it again,” she explains with an almost infectious giggle. “There’s nine tracks and the oldest one I wrote seven years ago but I like it and felt that it was a good fit for this album so I kept it. My drummer and my producer as well as my friend, Alessio Romano, did an amazing job of putting this all together at his place, “Studio 42“ and the rest all fell into place.”
A career in music or the arts has been something that Lily has wanted seemingly all of her life and makes every foray into the field a personal one. From the stage to the studio to engaging her fans, she feels the need to wear her intentions and emotions on her sleeve. “I want to play to audiences full time, I want to live a creative life and bring my vision of making music to those audiences. I love expressing something that feels true to me in that moment on stage, doing so through music is so fulfilling. My music comes from my heart, my very soul or something along those lines; it comes from needing to say something spiritually and from deep inside myself. Over time things have changed, shifted or morphed and at times my music reflects that. I lived in this place in Brooklyn and I would illegally climb onto the rooftop of my building and write songs while I watched Manhattan off in the distance. It was so peaceful seeing the lights and watching the city and I’d start off just strumming on my guitar at first but I’d usually wind up feeling something from being up there and it would just evolve.”
This talented songstress is constantly adapting to her environment both on stage and off and feels a solid connection between her live and studio performances as well as to that of her songwriting; claiming that all are “Intertwined.” “I really think that the writing process and performance end go hand in hand. When I go on stage my number one thought besides being in tune (laughs) is to stay focused; honoring the moment. I need to get my music out there as to what I’m feeling right then. Every time that I step on stage I am grateful for being there, I truly am. I learn every time or I may find a new way to perform one of my songs and it all comes out either then or in a future song but most times I focus on trying not to think too much (laughs)!”
With a tour already planned including a few sold out performances, Lily is already looking to the future and her next release. “This CD was intense and I’ve already got some ideas for the next one; it’ll be less lyrical and more music heavy so we’ll see how that goes.”
One thing is sure, Lily captivates her audiences with a combination of haunting melodies and siren like vocals. Her innovative approach to songwriting, production, live performances is nothing short of genius and she has only scratched the surface of her potential.
Danny Coleman (Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 10 p.m. EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.)