A Spotlight Interview with Jordana Lilly
A fresh new single from Jordana Lilly utilizes a really unique but crisp form of pop production that creates an atmosphere that borders on theatrical and still hits like a bright and edgy pop song.
" I Get What I Want" is absolutely embracing and inventive in more ways than one. The meat of the song beat wise and music wise is formulated by the string orchestral style segments that are sort of chopped up and formed into these really cool melodies and all the while the percussion has this way of almost changing things up to keep you on your toes.
Don't get me wrong, this song has an awesome groove and there's something incredibly addictive about it. But it's also outside the box and its thought process is different from the norm which is definitely a great thing.
It's not all the time or even that often for that matter, that you get a pop song that kind of breaks barriers a little bit or at least pushes the envelope.
This release does both of those things and Jordana puts out this amazing character and touches of swagger when she performs on it which makes it even more alluring and fun.
The whole concept and textures, tonality, arrangement, and style of this is infectious.
This artist is obviously having an amazingly good time doing what she does best, and this is very clear from the first few seconds of pretty much any track released from her.
She's got a pretty awesome catalog of singles and each one has its own two legs to stand on. They each have a different vibe and even a different approach sometimes.
This is a really cool thing for an artist because I think that songwriters and performers like this should evolve like they do as a person.
I think the music that they write or create should follow that path.
You can hear that love for her craft just pushing right through and giving her this added shine that makes it all the more fun to soak up.
This single was killer and with its release we wanted to have a sit-down with Jordana Lilly to see where this came from, and what maybe next for her.
Here's what happened.
RAG: Let's start with " I Get What I Want". This single has a unique and almost theatrical feel to it. Where did this track come from?
"I Get What I Want" came from this manifestation journey I've been on. "Everything is energy and that's all there is to it." Hot take, Einstein was actually really smart.
RAG: I'm hearing some great styles on this release. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Thank you! A large part of that is due to the production of musical mastermind Austin Foley (artist name JYNJO). He and I have so much fun dipping into early 2000s styles, and as soon as I referenced Danity Kane and showed him the song, he was like k yep and knew exactly the vibe. Cheetah Girls meets Meghan Trainer meets Destiny's Child.
RAG: So how did this all begin for you really? When did you fall in love with making music?
Singing was always one of my primary sources of expression (albeit in the shower), but I fell in love with making music in 2016 - I had basically never written a song until then. I had a very close relationship with my paternal grandmother (and I actually live with my maternal grandmother, I'm a grandma's girl through and through!) - I was terrified of singing in front of people, even family. She championed the idea that if you were given a voice, it was for a good reason, and thus it's your duty to use it. That perspective was so humbling and so beautiful, and helped from this ego-centric fear of being judged to a focus on the music, instead, which was so liberating. I wrote my first song about her in 2016 and haven't stopped writing music since. There's no better feeling than falling into music with people you love who are also falling into music, letting it take you on a journey. The collaboration aspect, getting in the studio with a producer and a song I wrote and figuring out what it wants to be and how it wants to manifest, is my favorite part. It's such a push and pull, an ultimate listening game.
RAG: What's next for you as an artist?
As a musical artist, I'd like to keep making music that aligns with how I'm feeling at the moment, the phase I'm in, and what I'm focusing my energy on. I think there's often this pressure to release every good song I write, at least I feel this pressure, and work backwards to justify a thematic motif or structure around the song. I constantly change my mind when I do this, I think because macro to micro is a better way to tell a story and less random. I have a few more songs I think will fit well on an EP with "I Get What I Want" that are also high vibed power anthems, but I'm also trying to be open to that changing as I change. I think one of the privileges of being an independent artist is this freedom - sometimes that freedom makes me feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed and I fall back on the "shoulds" that don't work anyway because shoulds are not the vibe, so why not pay attention, listen, and go with the flow and trust it'll all work out? Kind of the whole point of this song hmmm would ya look at that!
RAG: What inspires you to write a song?
I'm inspired to write a song when I can't quite figure out how to describe a feeling, whether past, present, or future-based, and I need more than words to express it. I often think of one line or hook along with a melody and marinate on it for a while, and eventually, usually in the shower or on a run or while driving, more comes along and sometimes I have to run out of the shower soaking wet and hope I don't ruin my phone by opening up voice memos while dripping water on my phone. Gotta catch it when it comes! Then after a verse and a hook come, if I love it, I'll bring it to either my friend Jason or Austin, both amazing producers, and see if they like it and want to vibe with it. After an initial "vibe," I go home and write the rest of the song before the next session.
RAG: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
I'm a screenwriter, I write lots of movies with a writing partner and pilots by my lonesome and musicals and shorts and sketches and such! I love sketch comedy, I teach yoga and do reiki and softcore hippie stuff, and I'm an actor - I went to school for acting and it's my first love! My friendships are super important to me and I love being social but I also love making sure my grandma and I are up to date on every romcom on Netflix. I love petting cats that aren't mine (I don't have one or I would surely love to pet it). I'm super into immersive theater and I love rubbin rocks and huggin trees.
RAG: Are you doing live performances?
YES! I actually have one tonight (if this is coming out on January 21st) it's a big ole birthday party and single release show at Bar Lubitsch. I have another show Feb 11, and trying to add more shows to the docket like the show tonight - extremely extra, weird AF, funny, immersive, and everything I want shows to be.
RAG: This single seems like a big undertaking. What kind of advice might you have for other up and coming artists out there?
My advice would be only listen to advice if it feels good. If someone is telling you advice or you're watching one of those "21 things you MUST do before you release your music as an independent musician" videos on youtube and you feel your eyes start to glaze over and the life start to leave your body, ABORT MISSION! Listen to our boi Einstein and remember that everything is energy, and if the energy we're putting into something feels icky and soul-sucky and not aligned, the output will probably not be great. I spent the last 4 years "doing everything right" and winding up wildly disappointed nearly every time I release music because of those expectations that are numbers based and stray so far from the feeling of making music and the point of making music as a whole. So if you're a left brained lover of strategy and tactics and you can do it all without feeling bitter or drained, DO IT all the power to you! But everyone's journey is so so different and there is no one right way. Trust your intuition and trust that if something doesn't feel good, maybe it's not meant for you - and if something feels good, lean in. Like the second verse in "I Get What I Want," we can essentially do anything "when I let my power and my pleasure be my teacher."
RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Oh my, if you've listened to one of my songs even once, thank you SO much. You have no idea how much it means to be heard. Thank you for listening, thank you for being such a huge part of this journey. My music is only for me until I release it, then it's for you, so thank you for receiving it.