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An Interview with Lili Kendall

I don't typically respond to interview pitches for Hype (I worry if I interview anyone who asks, regardless of whether or not I'm familiar with their work, the authenticity of this site will be undermined), but when I saw an email about Lili Kendall, something urged me to click, and I'm so glad I did. Although I hadn't heard of her before, I immediately fell in love with the Australian-born, LA-based musician. It felt like I had found a kindred spirit.

Lili Kendall's music is consoling yet rejuvenating, like a hot shower on a rainy day. When I listen to her songs, particularly "Hallelujah" and "love, herself." I am reminded of the good things to come, and how the magnificent parts of life are, unfortunately, just as temporary as the awful ones. Her music is uniquely touching. She makes me nostalgic for the future.

She herself isn't really sure where inspiration comes from, especially for "Hallelujah," but she suspects it might be "a predestined experience, waiting to happen, that I already have the ability to write about." The emphasis she places on storytelling makes her songs feel profoundly private; they truly are a reflection of her inner world. This intimacy, combined with her unrestricted femininity, cement her place as one of my new favorite artists.

With lyrics like "Don't let them cheapen your love / you can give it all to yourself if you want to," you can tell that her unapologetic individuality isn't an affectation or a marketing ploy. Her music is also freeing, because it sounds like it was created by someone who has decided to be completely themselves, even in the public eye, regardless of the risks. It may sound cliche, but, to me, Lili's songs describe the sometimes painful, sometimes beautiful process of being true to yourself. And I can think of few things more inspirational--- and authentic ---than that.

Who are your inspirations? 

My mum is the biggest boss bitch I know and my biggest inspiration. Musically though, Frank Ocean, Amy Winehouse, Kanye, Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Erykah Badu & Andre 3000, to name a timeless few. I'm also currently really inspired by Ari Lennox, Doja Cat, and Tierra Whack. All super dope females reppin for us with dope art direction. 

What’s been the most transformative experience of your life? 

Having my Britney moment and shaving my head. It was an illogical decision but turned out to he the best illogical decision ever. 

What advice would you give to your younger self? 

Don't think so much, just do it. 

What work are you most proud of? 

My album that is currently in it's final mixing stage. It's the first time I've put together a body of work that I feel like reflects exactly who I am. That makes me super proud. 

What’s the most difficult part about being you? 

Being far from my home and my family. It's a huge sacrifice for me to be here, but the music and growth makes it all worth it.  

Using a metaphor, how would you describe your creative process? 

It is love, herself. 

How have you grown over the past year? 

I've become confident in the woman and creative I am, and don't hesitate making my own decisions and calls in my personal life and business like I used to. I think I just needed to be thrown in the deep end, and find my feet by myself, on my own terms. I'm not on anyone else’s time, and am only trying to fulfill my own expectations. 


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