Interview: Lilura brings witch pop to The Hug & Pint

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Originally from the seaside town of Nairn in the Highlands, Lilura is an independent musician aiming to captivate audiences with dark, electronic beats infused with fun, glittering pop.

Having recently returned from LA where she has been working on her skills with some of the most established writers and producers in pop, she continues collaborating with other UK artists and is slowly but surely growing her reputation as both a writer and performer.

The self-confessed witch-obsessed songstress takes inspiration from the likes of Depeche Mode, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Radiohead, The Weeknd, Lorde, Tove Lo and Bowie. Having brewed up a storm for some time now Lilura has gone out on tour, arriving at The Hug & Pint on 7th December.

Growing up in Nairn, what was your introduction to music?

I always knew I had a love for music from a really early age. I would steal jotters from school, write lyrics in them and stick pictures of my favourite singers or bands on the covers then learn every word to every song, it was kind of an obsession.

In secondary school I started learning classical piano but begged my mum to stop taking me after a few years as it wasn’t ‘cool’!

From there I started getting into indie bands, fan-girling like most teenage girls. It wasn’t until I moved away from home to live in student accommodation that I got my first guitar and taught myself how to play it on Youtube.

From there I started writing my own material and eventually playing at open mic gig’s in Glasgow.

What about your interest in electronic music, how did that develop?

Growing up with a festival like Rockness on my doorstep I was exposed to some electronic acts at a pretty young age. I remember seeing Fatboy Slim and Justice for the first time there and was completely hooked.

I was also into listening to the likes of Annie Mack and Pete Tong at the weekends on the radio so I would write down tracks I liked from there and try to curate my own playlists for house parties. Again, when I moved away to university I discovered a lot more.

I went out loads in my first year and discovered Glasgow’s Sub Club which I went to every Tuesday with my flatmates.

I guess I still had a bit of that obsessive streak in me as I would go home and look up acts online to make myself familiar with their music and expanded my knowledge from there.

I got into some pretty dark techno stuff like Gesaffelstein, Pan pot and Len faki but I loved Simian mobile disco, Boys Noize and 2 many DJ’s as well.

Now some of my good friends are house music producers so I regularly attend local club nights at home, it’s great.

How has working with other writers and producers contributed to your sound?

It took me a long time, working with a number of producers to really find ‘my sound’ but this has been a good thing. It has pushed me to try different things that I might not usually be comfortable with and helped me establish what I like as an artist.

I do a bit of production myself at home so I feel like working alongside other producers has really helped me improve my own skills in this area too. With writing, I spent many years locked away just happy writing on my own. I never used to understand how writing with others could be beneficial.

I started attending local workshops where I met some great writers and was pushed out of my comfort zone with some of the exercises we participated in which was a push I needed.

Now I have been involved in writing sessions in London and LA and I’m much more confident in my abilities. I think having that connection with a co-witer is really special.

You enter a session not knowing someone and create a bond really quickly. Sharing creative ideas with other people whether they are writers or producers is special and is something I now really enjoy doing.

I feel like these experiences have helped me establish who I am as an artist and a writer.

Tell us about how you came up with the name Lilura and your current live set?

So I actually took a year out from performing to focus on writing and it took me almost that length of time to come up with the name.

I had been given a book on ‘Scottish witches’ by a customer in the cafe I was working in and found it fascinating.

That’s what inspired Lilura which is actually a witches name that means ‘to enchant’ which I though sounded pretty fitting.

My live set is fun. I like to keep it as high energy as possible and keep people engaged. If the audience want dancing, there can be dancing. If they want to chill out and listen to more mellow stuff that can be arranged. It’s pretty much what you see is what you get so if I’m having a good time hopefully other people are too.

What can we expect from your show in Glasgow?

Fun. Glittering. Witch pop.

I’m really looking forward to Glasgow as well as performing a load of new songs which I’m really excited about including the new single ‘Darkest Desire’.

The support acts are something special too so if you’re planning coming out I’d highly recommend seeing them! I want to meet lot’s of new people and start building a family around my music so come say Hi and get involved.

Lilura is at The Hug & Pint on 7th December.

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