JiLLi: Unveiling the Artistry – A Conversation wi….
Today, we have the pleasure of introducing you to JiLLi, a New York-born and Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, and producer. JiLLi’s journey in the music industry has been a lifelong adventure, beginning with her early fascination with the guitar and her journey singing in rock bands from the tender age of six; a two-time graduate of Icon Collective, JiLLi has carved out her place in the industry as a versatile producer and vocalist, earning accolades such as two Collaboration Project Competition titles and the Icon Collective Class of 2022 Ambassador Award. She now shares her expertise as a Staff Vocalist Instructor while continuing to make waves with her artist project.
In this exclusive interview, JiLLi opens up about her music, influences, songwriting process, and memorable live performances; she also gives us a sneak peek into her exciting upcoming projects, including the release of vocal sample packs set to make a significant impact in the music production community. Join us as we dive into the world of JiLLi and get to know the artist behind the captivating voice and the boundless creative spirit.
Hi JiLLi, how are you?
I’m great! How are you?
Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself and how you got started in the music industry?
Music has been a part of my identity for as long as I can remember – I started playing guitar and writing songs when I was six! I wanted to learn more about music production after I graduated from SDSU, so I moved to Los Angeles to attend Icon Collective. Connecting with very original and like-minded artists lead me to exploring tons of different genres and facets of the industry.
What inspired you to pursue a career as a vocalist, and how did you choose your stage name, JiLLi?
Making and listening to music has always been the best way for me to cope and process life. Growing up, I was involved in many different sports and activities but even in moments where I wasn’t making music I would find myself thinking my thoughts in melodies!
Honestly I was 12 when I decided to capitalize the L’s in my artist name. “Jilli ” felt too… vertical haha! I didn’t include my last name because something about being more vague with my identity made it easier to be totally vulnerable in my art. Plus, internet safety was all the hype back in 2010 lol.
Can you describe your style and what influences your sound?
I’m obsessed with pocketed vocals, off-grid grooves and jazzy chord progressions, but I’m open to working on pretty much anything that inspires me.
What do you hope to introduce or convey to your fans and new listeners through your music?
I hope my art inspires other people to be more themselves. Vulnerability and authenticity are so powerful.
Could you share some insights into your songwriting process? Where do you draw inspiration for your lyrics and melodies?
My process is always evolving, but I try my best to write down the thoughts that give me the, “that would be a good lyric” feeling. When I come to the DAW with ideas ready, anything is possible. A lot of the time, the track I’m writing on will draw a certain emotion from me – sassy, happy, sad, confident, whatever it is… and lyrics will come from there. Sometimes, I don’t even realize a song is about something in my life until I’m halfway done.
Many artists have a signature song that holds a special place in their hearts. Could you share with us the story behind one of your tracks that has significant personal meaning to you, and why it’s so important in your musical journey?
My track ‘waiting for you’ holds a special place in my heart. It was the first song I solo released and it captures the tone of my brand overall. The track is witty and has depth. I’m so proud of how original the sound design and toplines are, and Aidan (Dubstep artist Muerte) is one of my favorite producers to work with. The project was a huge milestone in my career because it also led to me working with my now best friend and manager, Alice W. <3>
Collaborations usually bring opportunities for creativity and networking, are there any artists or producers you dream of working with in the future?
Oh my gosh… one of my biggest dreams is to have a session with Jon Bellion. I’ve rinsed “The Human Condition” and pretty much his entire discography countless times. What I feel when I listen to his music is the way I hope others do when they listen to mine. His delivery inspired the raw honesty in my lyrics. His mindset and creative process is so beautiful to me.
Live performances are an essential part of an artist’s journey; can you share any memorable moments or stories from your time on stage?
Performing “Body of Bones” at Lost Lands with my good friend Muerte was such a huge highlight! Having the crowd sing along to lyrics I wrote, which were unreleased at the time, is an indescribable feeling. Lost Lands was the first festival I ever attended back in 2019, so it was sentimental to have it be the first festival I performed at in 2023. Performing with Klaxx at Countdown NYE was also an unforgettable way to kick off the new year!
What can fans expect from JiLLi in the near future? Are there any upcoming projects, albums, or performances you’d like to tease or announce?
I’m really excited for the solo releases and collaborations I’ve got dropping this year! My first sample pack “Passion Vocals” will be available on Splice February 14, Happy Valentine’s Day! Right now, I’m wrapping up my second pack with Black Octopus called “Rainbow of Emotions”. This pack is not only MASSIVE, but I created three different versions (unique keys, bpm + vocal delivery) of all 11 tracks so that producers have more variety to choose from.
As we conclude our conversation with JiLLi, we thank her for her time sharing with us her experiences and insights in her musical career so far. It’s clear that her journey in the music industry is one filled with passion, authenticity, and a commitment to self-expression, we’ll certainly look forward to witnessing JiLLi’s continued growth and innovation in the world of music; with upcoming releases, collaborations, and her contributions to the production community with projects like her upcoming vocal sample packs, there’s no doubt that JiLLi’s influence will continue to resonate with fans and aspiring artists alike.