Keep an eye out for the name Lily Mckenzie. The talented London-based singer-songwriter and pianist is part of a growing camp of live artists who provide a much needed respite from the generic chart music that we’re force fed on a daily basis. Heavily influenced by UK garage and electronic music, Lily has collaborated with producers and artists such as Breakage, Wiley, Brackles and Fatty DLamongst others…
The title track from your debut EP Support Machine features Giggs. How did that collaboration come about?
We’re both from south London so have crossed paths and have mutual friends. I’ve always been a fan of his music and this record felt right and at the right time.
You don’t appear in the video. Why is that?
I wanted to do something a little bit more artistic. I put the song out there to different directors and the director Ross Anderson came back with the idea to use just actors and I really liked it and wanted to go with that.
Your bio states that you’ve had a passion for singing and song writing as early as 7 years old. Can you remember the first song you wrote?
I can remember writing a song on the piano and I remember showing my mum’s friend once. She came round a week later and I showed her another song and she was like, ‘Lily you’ve shown me this song already.’ So, I don’t think they were very good (laughs). They probably all sounded the same.
You’ve notched up a great list of performances so far – T in the Park, YoYo, Ronnie Scotts…which event would you love to perform at?
I would love to perform at Glastonbury – it’s my dream.
In terms of UK artists who would be your dream collaboration?
Probably SBTRKT, Jamie Woon and The XX.
Clean Bandit were recently at #1 and they’re classically trained. If you could sample any classical track which would it be and why?
Fly by Ludovic Einaudi from the film Intouchables. It’s such an amazing track. I’d love to sample it.
I read on your Twitter that you’ve been wearing your clothes backwards accidentally. How important is fashion to you?
I’ve been doing really weird things lately (laughs). I’ve been wearing my clothes backwards and not realising for a few hours. I started a group on Whatsapp by mistake. I tried to do a broadcast list but created a group of about 40 people and then I left the group (laughs). I’ve also forgotten my keys for the past 20 days in a row. I don’t know what’s been going on – my mind is everywhere.
Is fashion important to you?
I’ve always been a tomboy and it’s like I’ve got two different sides. One is looking like a tramp – I come out wearing whatever trainers and a pair of jeans but I’ve got a bit more into fashion recently. I wear quite dark clothes and I like nice dresses.
How would you describe your style?
Quite dark but classic…
When you say dark do you mean colourwise or mood?
Colourwise. I like greys and black.
There has been a lot of debate about female artists flashing too much flesh. Where do you stand on this?
I think people should be able to express themselves how they want to. People can have their opinion but if it’s artistic I think its fine. I think when people are pushed to do it by a label or things like that then it’s never good because obviously you have to be aware that as an artist you are a role model to younger people. It depends on the way that you are doing it – I think there’s a line.
How would you sum up your EP in a sentence?
Emotional, basey with minimal garage and piano vibes…
‘Support Machine’ EP is out now via iTunes
i the stylist xx