|ROCKWiRED iNTERViEWS L'iLLON
A DANCE ROMANCE TYPE OF TRANCEWashington D.C. provides an interesting backdrop for an artist like LíILLON. With a shaky economy, high unemployment and an ongoing debate over healthcare raging on, the entire country is turning to the Nationís Capitol for relief. While Congress may not have a solution, LíILLON may at least have the perfect panacea. Having been reared in classical music many expected LíILLON to pursue a career in that vein but the electronic thump of pop music set her on a course that even she couldnít have imagined Ė a course that led to finding her own sound characterized by a culmination of musical textures set to a pulsating rhythm Ė A sound she has branded as LUCID POP. On her debut CD ĎWARRIOR ANGELí, LíILLON is no mere anonymous disco diva cooing romantic disillusionment over benign synth riffs. Instead she is a hauntingly sensual vocalist capable of switching from buoyant to serene in a moments notice. At the heart of this vibrant musical soundscape is a message according to LíILLON. ďWhat Iím creating now is not just for the now but for the future too. LUCID POP is the sound that breaks the barriers of cultural imposition and weíre in an era that is just right for LUCID POP because we need to feel empowered. We are faced with so many crises from financial to healthcare to environmental and we all need to feel empowered and feel good about ourselves. In a way, itís like embarking on a new music revolution but all in the sense of being positive. Itís a mťlange of sound that people from any culture can relate to. As an artist, this is what I am trying to create. Iím not trying to appeal to one specific person but to everyone.Ē
L'iLLON TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER CD WARRiOR ANGEL
THE CREATiON OF LUCiD POP
AND MAKiNG LiSTENERS FEEL ALL SENSUAL iNSiDE
iNTERViEWED BY BRiAN LUSH
ROCKWIRED spoke with LíILLON over the phone. Here is how it went.
WARRIOR ANGEL is your debut LP after a couple of single releases. How do you feel about the finished work?
I am so happy and excited. It is exactly what I wanted it to be. Itís original, empowering pop music and that was what I intended it to be and I wanted every song on the album to be different. There is a common golden thread throughout the album but every song is still unique in terms of a songís arrangement and instrumentation. There are no two songs that are alike on the album and I think that the music can appeal to people with different tastes in music. It breaks all of the cultural barriers. Iíve had people who were strict rock music listeners who have come up to me and said ĎIím the last person to admit that I would listen to a pop album, but lucid pop Iíll listen to.í Itís interesting that Iíve been getting these responses from people of all ages and various music backgrounds. The responses have been phenomenal and based on that, Iím very excited about the music I have created. I feel like I have done my job.
You call your sound LUCID POP. How did this sound come to you?
You mean the name of the genre or the Ė
The name and the sound - how about that?
On the same weekend, I had met with RICH BATTISTA (then VP of FOX) at Fox studios and also talked with RALPH MURPHY (VP of ASCAP) at a music conference, who both had listened to my music. Rich said that my sound was so original and so different that I had to come up with a specific terminology for what it is. He continued, "you're blazing your own trailĒ and that this isn't just pop and that I should call myself something specific. Ralphís comment to my songwriting was "you are really a different kind of muse". After speaking with the both of them, when back in D.C., I pondered their advice. The music I make is pop music but it has sophisticated elements to it. The message is very direct and the sounds are complex yet brilliant and clear and clean and I settled on the term LUCID POP. That was how it evolved. Iíve been LUCID POP ever since. Itís a kaleidoscope of various sounds and the lyrics are straightforward about the highs and lows of life and the ranges of emotion. That was how LUCID POP was born.
How did music begin for you?
Oh, my early years! I became interested in the world of music at a very young age. I began studying piano when I was around six or seven. I used to deliver the community newsletter Ė FOXHALL NEWS Ė to pay for my piano lessons and I would ride my bike to my piano teacher Mrs. WALSH. She was a military widow who supplemented her income by teaching piano. She was actually a regular piano player for President RONALD REAGAN. She played a lot at the WHITE HOUSE during his presidency. I started composing piano pieces when I was under her wing. I put my first song together when I was about nine. She always encouraged me by extending my lesson. I changed my music direction twice. I started with piano and studied it for ten years and at sixteen I started voice lessons. The voice lessons that I was taking prepared me for the entrance exam for University. I completed my Masterís Degree in Music and was classically trained in vocal performance than I changed direction for a second time and shifted to more of a pop music direction and that is what has brought me to the here and now.
What kind of pop music inspired you?
Itís a mixture of everything and not one specific thing. Itís just think itís a mixture of everything from the ancient to the classical to the modern Ėjust one nice train.
What kind of place are you coming from as a songwriter?
I see myself as a multi-faceted songwriter that has the ability to cross many genres but I would like to set the beat for LUCID POP for the next decade and beyond. What Iím creating now is not just for the now but for the future too. LUCID POP is the sound that breaks the barriers of cultural imposition and weíre in an era that is just right for LUCID POP because we need to feel empowered. We are faced with so many crises from financial to healthcare to environmental and we all need to feel empowered and feel good about ourselves. In a way, itís like embarking on a new music revolution but all in the sense of being positive. Itís a mťlange of sound that people from any culture can relate. As an artist, this is what I am trying to create. Iím not trying to appeal to one specific person but to everyone.
The District of Columbia is very interesting locale. Describe the scene.
Itís a political hub. An international setting. Movers and shakers. Policy makers.
Uh-oh youíre slipping into verse!
Youíre right weíve got to come up with a chorus. Itís all of that and at the same time itís small but itís powerful and from here you can catapult out into anywhere and still be okay. There is also something very wonderful and ancient about D.C. You can smell the antiquity in the architecture and the artifacts that come to the museums are all abut history and they all have substance and energy to them and meaning and a purpose. Itís a very powerful and magical place. There is no place in the world like it.
Explain the creative process for you.
Itís very interesting. The songs come when I least expect them. They can come to me after a rainstorm and they can come to me after a long night of not being able to close my eyes and get some sleep. They can come to me when Iím walking down the street and talking to people. Inspiration comes like lightning bolts Ė whenever, wherever. I feel the songs and the essence and the melody gets crystallized in my mind. The melody and the words come simultaneously to me. If I donít have a piece of paper at the moment the tune goes back into the atmosphere. In one intake, I actually used lipstick and a napkin to scribble down the lyrics for WARRIOR ANGEL. Itís whenever, wherever.
Who did you work with in producing WARRIOR ANGEL?
P'EGGY is a top producer in Europe. As an independent artist one has to be willing to go anywhere to find the right person to interpret your music and songs correctly. I was vacationing in Europe and as I was in the bathroom of my hotel room brushing my teeth this came on TV. When I heard it I ran out and asked my sister Ė who I was vacationing with Ė ĎWho is the producer?í Not the artist and not the song. I wanted to know who the producer was. I went online and looked up the song and found the producerís name. My manager contacted him. P'EGGY listened to my scratch recording and we were sitting in a car for about four hours. He liked that every song had a hook. A hook is very important for a song. Six months later, we started working on the album. It was an international collaboration. We communicated entirely through e-mail and phone. That was how it came to be.
What songs from the album resonate for you the most and why?
I canít say that I have a favorite. I like each one of them. Each of them tugs at my heart strings for different reasons. The song LOVE STORY has this high energy party atmosphere to it with a few surprises. SHY GUY is my statement that shy men are also desirable and hot. There has never been an anthem to shyness but there are hundred of anthems to bad boys. I WONDER is my love ballad that re-introduces the age old question of Ďwill you be mine?í TU SOLO TU (ONLY YOU) is a song that I could listen to for hours. It puts you in a dance romance type of trance. THEIF OF THE NIGHT is my anthem to bad boys. I canít say that I have one favorite. I think itís more about the mood Iím in and every day it is different and every day Iím surprised by which song Iím in the mood for.
What would you like a listener to come away with after hearing WARRIOR ANGEL?
With my sound, I like to combine sensuality with positive messages to all so that everyone who listens to WARRIOR ANGEL feels whole modern and sensual in their own skin.