- Tessa Brainard
Interview: "Açai" - Lily Lyon
Açai is so catchy and fun! Can you tell us more about the inspiration for the song?
Lily: Thank you! Açai was inspired by a crush I had. We went on a few dates and it was so promising but it went nowhere. No one did anything wrong and so for the first time I felt a bit bitter but not angry and I wanted to write a song that celebrated the experience of enjoying the fantasy, the hope, and even the failure of it all but I wanted to keep it light-hearted. The fruit Açai has a bittersweet flavour (in my opinion) so I thought it perfectly encapsulated the vibe of the song and made the perfect title.
You were raised in New Jersey but were born to parents from Brazil, your dad is from a rural town and your mom is from Vilha Velha. How do you feel this has influenced the way you approach music?
Lily: It influenced me a lot! I grew up with my parents putting on parties and events for our Brazilian community in New Jersey and oftentimes they had me and my sister (she plays bass and we had a band) go up and play but we played pop punk and I always felt awful interrupting the dancing and fun for some unwanted rock n roll. My wheels started turning on how I could fuse my style with the gorgeous fun sounds from Brazilian music. I always loved all of it, samba, axé, bossanova, funk carioca, forro, but I was also growing up wanting to be Avril Lavigne so it took several years to find this sound that blends all parts of me.
What is the earliest memory you have of wanting to become a musician?
Lily: My earliest memory of wanting to become a musician was when I was 7. I was at a bbq with my family and a guy had a guitar and started playing and everyone surrounded him in a circle singing along. I thought it was so beautiful and so I asked for a guitar for Christmas that year and started playing.
Which of your own songs, other than Açai, is your favorite?
Lily: This is such a hard question because they are my babies! I would say for dancing Jabuticaba or Bomba but my favorite songwriting is Roses.
Which qualities do you think make someone a great musician?
Lily: I think a lot of people have an illusion that musicians are all born with talent but most of us are not. I think a great musician is someone who never thinks they're good enough and always wants to grow and get better.
What is the best advice you've ever been given?
Lily: My favorite piece of advice I give and follow every day is that it's better to half-ass something than to not do it at all. There's that popular saying "do it right or don't do it at all" and I wholeheartedly disagree. Life is too short and who defines "getting it right" . We're human, we grow and we can only do better the next time if we did it this time. I think perfectionism is an excuse to quit from fear of failing.
Interviewed By Tessa Brainard