Soon-to-be star Lily McKenzie’s music career has been a long time coming. The artist started writing her first songs on the piano when she was still a child, and then as a teenager turned her attention to grime, garage music and R&B – all of this culminating in a music career that draws influence from many places. Now her smooth grooves are garnering plenty of attention and if you haven’t heard of her yet, then update your playlist with tracks “On Me” and “Surrender”, before finding out more about the rising talent below.

You released your singles ‘On Me’ and ’Surrender’ in 2018 – what kind of sound can fans expect from you this year?

This year I’ll be releasing lots of new music which I’m really excited about, I always like to make sure there’s elements from different genres within my songs, but there’s always a UK vibe that ties them together.

What is inspiring you lyrically now?

I usually write from personal experience so that’s what I use to inspire my lyrics. If not my own, then stories from the people around me, sometimes someone will be telling me something and I’ll remember a sentence they’ve said and it’ll spark a song.

You’ve already worked with a host of musicians – what has been the best advice you’ve been given?

To not be afraid of making mistakes. I think we all worry so much about how we’re being perceived and if we’re doing the right thing. I’ve learnt it’s important to remember we’re all human and that it’s ok to grow and to enjoy that journey.

How important is fashion to you as a performer, and how do you create a look that stands out from the crowd?

Fashion is definitely important to me as a performer, people want to understand who you are as an artist and I think that your look allows you to express yourself, it’s part of the art. In this social media age it sometimes feels like there’s a pressure to have lots of different looks but I think it’s about picking a style that represents you and being comfortable with that.

Who is your style icon?

There are so many great style icons out there but I’m definitely a fan of Audrey Hepburn’s look. So classic and elegant.

Which three albums have had the biggest impact on you as a musician?

There have been lots of different albums that have influenced me at different times in my life but the first three that spring to mind are “Aaliyah” by Aaliyah “Writings on the Wall” by Destiny’s Child and more currently Solange’s “A Seat At the Table”.

playlist Lily’s inspirations