Bristol-born emerging singer-songwriter Ava Lily introduced a more authentic sound with her new R&B infused single “Blameless.” The empowering track c0-written with long-time friend and collaborator Gareth Esson features Lily’s sultry vocals on a dreamy, lo-fi production.
This follows her 2016 debut single “Painkiller” in which her life changed forever when signed to Naughty Boy’s label and moved to London to pursue her dreams. She started attending writing sessions with the likes of Emilee Sande and James Arthur; she even received the opportunity to co-write on Zayn’s track “Common” from his most recent album “Icarus Falls.” Now as a newly independent artist, Lily has taken the time to perfect her craft and is ready to reveal a much more authentic and personal side with her upcoming material set to release later this year.
We recently caught up with Ava Lily to chat about the new single, being an independent artist, and life in lockdown.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, tell us about the new single. Thank you for having me! Blameless feels empowering. I wrote it in the most real way. I literally woke up in the night to loads of texts from him and was overwhelmed by this feeling of comfort just being alone. It was the first time I didn’t need him or anyone. It was a beautiful realization. It felt like it was the first time I had a choice… like yeh I could go back there but it kinda feels nicer to not fuck myself over again this time. I’m making friends with myself. It was a powerful moment.
Any plans for an official music video? If so, what can you tease about it? No plans for this yet but maybe one of the next singles…
How has the transition been from working with Naughty Boy’s label to becoming an independent artist? I really had to take a step back from the scene for a while and figure out if music/writing was my true love/passion, and hello yes of course it is haha. Working with a label is great but I’ve always been someone who has a clear vision of what my art is and do things my own way, so being independent allows me to be a lot freer, but more importantly, believing in my decisions and knowing what feels good and what doesn’t.
What advice would you give to someone looking to break out into the music industry? Would you advise them to go the indie route or sign to a major label? I think it depends on what type of artist you are. For me, the indie route is teaching me about music business way more, and I feel free and that’s really important for me and my creative mind when I am writing. Ultimately I think everyone would want to be in a place where they are having fun and keeping an element of control. If you’re not having fun, what’s the point, right?!
Who are some of your influences musically? At the moment I’m loving H.E.R, Sabrina Claudio, Summer Walker, Giveon, Sonder, Masego, to name a few.
You had the chance to co-write with Zayn on his track “Common” off his second album Icarus Falls, how did that opportunity come about and what was it like working with someone as big as he is? I met Zayn in the studio when he first left [One Direction]. We had this beautiful duet together that we didn’t release. I was writing a lot with my producer friends MYKL and they were doing a lot of music with Zayn at the time so that’s how the whole thing came about.
Who are some artists that you would love to collaborate with songwriting wise or vocally? Omg, there’s so many. James Bay, Julia Michaels, Jhené Aiko, Snoh Aalegra, The 1975, Brent Faiyaz, John Mayer is my ultimate goal.
What is the message you want listeners to take away from your music? Speak your truth! There is no right or wrong way to feel.
What’s next for you? Any plans for an album or EP? Maybe even a tour once it’s safe to go out and play shows? Give us the details! I literally cannot wait to play shows when I can! Honestly playing live is my favorite part. It’s just a different type of energy. EP will be coming out in October 🙂
Everyone is going through it, so what have you been doing to keep yourself sane during quarantine? Any tips for those who are struggling? Nature nature nature! Quite literally stopping to smell the roses. Appreciate the little things. A good playlist. A good laugh. Best remedy.