2019 has been a major year for discovering new music, and one of my favourites from the last month is the dark and dreamy LILURA aka Jemma Tweedie. I got to find out a bit more about her following the release of her latest single, ‘Nylon.’ Have a wee listen below while you learn a bit more about one of my ‘Ones To Watch’ for 2020…
– Who is LILURA? When did you discover your talent?
I’m a singer/ songwriter/ crazy dog lady from the Scottish Highlands who has always loved singing and been fascinated by bands. I guess I figured I had something when I started uni, my Dad bought me my first guitar and after getting frustrated at trying to learn other people’s songs I started writing my own. That way I couldn’t get them ‘wrong’ because they were mine. After playing them live a few times I was hooked and knew that this was what I wanted to do.
– Why did you pick LILURA as your stage name?
It honestly took me almost a year to pick a name. I was working at Cawdor Castle and a customer gave me a book on Scottish Witches. After having a read of that I went into a bit of a worm hole of names and the meanings behind them and LILURA just stuck. It had a nice ring to it and it means ‘to enchant’ which is what I want to do when I’m on stage, enchant people.
– Congratulations on the release of Nylon – tell me about your writing process?
Thanks so much! I used to write a lot on my own with just an acoustic guitar but Nylon was actually a collaboration with one of my good friends (Kohla). My process can change every time. My phone is full of silly little voice notes I record – usually when I’m out walking my dogs. That’s how ideas usually start, then I build them up with lyrics and either instruments or by looping beats on my laptop.
– How would you explain your music to someone who hadn’t listened before?
Pop but a bit left field. I would definitely say it has a darker, underground feel to it. I’m inspired by all sorts of music but usually find myself drawn to either complete bubblegum, glitzy pop or real dark mellow moody sounds. I think the product is somewhere in between.
– Who are your main influences?
These change a lot! But at the time of writing and Nylon I would say BANKS and Lorde were major influences. I love Billie Eilish and Halsey but I always go back to Radiohead and even Queens of the stone age. It’s quite the mix.
– You’ve written with a few different people; who would be your dream collaboration?
Dream collaboration would 100% be Mark Ronson. I love most of the things he produces. Or Prince, just because I’m obsessed with him as an artist.
– You played Belladrum in the summer there, what was that like for you? How different is playing a festival to a normal gig?
Belladrum is always a great festival for me as it’s so close to my hometown and there is a lot of local support. I feel more ‘free’ performing on stage at a festival. Like, no one is there to see ‘just’ one act so the pressure isn’t the same. No ticket sales or numbers to reach and it’s a great way for people to stumble across new music. I have met a lot of great people at my gigs who have found me at festivals which is really lovely. I hope that continues and grows over the next few years.
– What are your plans for the new year/2020?
More music being released, including an EP which I’m so excited about. I have plans to get back into the studio and start working on some fresh new material with a lot of friends and hopefully have a collaborative piece of work released towards the end of 2020, it’s something I’ve been planning for a while and it would be nice to have something we can all release together. There is a real sense of community in the Scottish pop music scene at the moment and I 100% want to capture that.