Lili Kendall is 17 years old and just won first place in the teen category of NY's Unsigned Only songwriting comp. After several weeks writing, recording and gigging in LA, in her 'spare time', she is also finishing Year 12!
1. Tell us a little about the competition and how it felt to win the teen category:
The competition had over 8000 entries with different categories, and I took out first place in the teen category! It is really amazing to win a well known songwriting competition with thousands of other incredible artists. I think the main factor that makes it feel really special is that the judges are highly respected musicians and they chose my song to win, its a great feeling.
2. How would you describe your sound?
My sound is definitely synth pop but it has an R&B undertone to it sometimes. Cameron Jaymes, my mentor and producer is obsessed with heavy hitting drums and pop melodies so that is always going to be a must in one of our songs.
3. You've recently released your single, Run, which is getting a lot of attention, tell us about that and how you enjoyed creating the music video for that:
It was directed by Donna Yeatman and Mohini Herse from Oh Yeah Wow, we filmed it on the top of a car park and it was the coldest day Melbourne had in 10 years... it was ridiculous. We filmed from 9am till early evening, I was so cold but I felt worse for the dancers because they were all in mesh or sheer clothing. It turned out so amazing though and the whole team was incredible to work with.
4. What are you up to at the moment?
I just got back from LA yesterday after spending the last couple of weeks there working on my debut album. I am crazy busy at the moment with finishing the last 2 months of school and constantly traveling for music, but for now my sights are set on finishing my album and releasing a body of work I am really proud of!
5. With your career starting to take off, was it a hard decision, committing to your final exams and finishing year 12?
Yeah it was definitely something I have thought about, but at the end of the day, I have done 12 years of schooling so I'm not going to give up in the last 6 months. I go to Music Industry College in the Fortitude Valley and I can honestly say that I would not have gotten this far into the year or got good marks without them, they help me in every way possible. I still struggle with certain things, it was my first day back today and I had to leave half way through for interviews and what not so I am just trying to achieve as much as I possibly can and not letting it stress me.
6. How do you juggle it all and who is your biggest support?
For sure my Mumma. She is right by my side for everything, she is my rock. My mum is a really motivated person and without her I wouldn’t be where I am today. She still reminds me to do things throughout the day that I would totally forget to do and I know she is always going to be there for me whether I need her or not. I love her.
7. What advice do you have for other singer/songwriters looking to get their start?
Do it because you love it, because you are going to work really hard if you want to make it a career. I know a lot of people say that, but in the last 6 months I have truly learnt that and it is time consuming and a lot of work but it is worth it if it’s what you are passionate about.
8. Where to next?
I am working really hard on finishing my debut album due to be released in February, it’s almost done but there are few small things here and there to finish off. When I finish school I want to get on the road and do a National Australian Tour!
See Lili's new video, Run, below and keep up to date with all the places she will go!