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Lily Holbrook

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Lily Holbrook's Kickstarter Wish
Poison Honey

CEV:  Tell me about your music, why you started and where you want to go with it.

LH:  I developed an interest in music at a very young. I still have tapes of myself starting at around  4 or 5 years old, singing all kinds of silly songs. One of my favorites is of me making up a commercial jingle for Tom McCanns shoes, hahaha.  My first real inspiration for singing was Whitney Houston. I remember seeing the video for "Greatest Love of All" and I was smitten. My older brother took me to see her for my 8th birthday and while my musical tastes have changed quite a bit, I still consider it a life changing event. By the time I was in junior high I became very involved in musical theater but that waned as I got older. I experienced some traumas as a teenager that drew me more towards the unbridled honesty of rock and roll. Once I started playing guitar and writing my own songs, at around 16, I knew that was it for me.  For me, music is all about expressing pure, raw emotion and hopefully finding listeners that connect with what I am putting out there.

CEV:  Most singer/songwriters are happy to be working on a single album at a time. You are working on two albums at this point. Are they two separately themed projects or do they musically intersect in some ways?

LH:  They are different in that one is going to be a full production project, somewhat akin to my previous albums and the other is going to be very stripped down, focusing on just me and my guitar.

CEV:  Why so ambitious working on two albums instead of just one?

LH:  I was inspired to do two albums rather than one for a few different reasons. One, it's been so long since I've put out an album (almost a decade!) that I figured I'm probably due for two. I've also had many people over the years tell me that they would love to hear some acoustic recordings. I tend to prefer more production but I also think there's a real beauty in hearing just someone's voice and an instrument.  This way, hopefully I can satisfy the tastes of all my listeners while still being true to my own vision.

CEV:  How is the new digital world better and worse for indie artists like yourself?

LH:  The digital world has paved many new paths for artists but for a technological luddite like me it has been a difficult transition. I did not grow up in a tech savvy home and I've always been very resistant to new technology , maybe as a result of that. I was the last of my friends to get email, the last to get a smart phone, even my facebook page was initially created by the label I was working with at the time. I was originally just repulsed by social media, haha. If I could go back in time I would just embrace it. It really is a necessity for artists these days if you want your work to be heard.  The advancements in recording have also been a major game changer. For those who know what they are doing it can save a lot of time and money.  In my heart and soul I think I'm just an 80 year old cat lady but I am doing my best to catch up now, hehe.

CEV:  Creatively do you find it harder to be both the business person and the artist who writes and performs the music than if you were just one or the other? Is that the reality that indie artists must face if they decide on a career as a singer/songwriter?

LH:  I personally find it very difficult and I have heard many artists lament over the same thing. I am not a business minded person at all. Music is a way of life for me and trying to package and sell it to people has always felt completely unnatural. I've had to do both for so many years now that I have gotten a little bit better about self promotion and other business aspects but I find it very difficult to slip from one into the other.  When I am in business mode my creativity suffers and vice versa. There are some artists who are fantastic at both but I think they are few and far between. On the other hand, I have had terrible luck with labels, managers, promoters, etc. Unfortunately, those fields are ripe with sordid characters. I feel like I've run into all of them, hahaha. As tough as it is, I tend to think DIY is the better alternative these days.

CEV:  How would you characterize your music in terms of what people will find when they buy or stream your work?  

LH:  I've been told my music calls to mind artists like Tori Amos, Kate Bush, and Stevie Nicks which is highly flattering because they are all such inspirations to me.  If you like confessional singer/songwriters who don't shy away from dark subject matter you might want to give me a try!

CEV:  Tell me about Kickstarter and how that works for you as an artist in helping you to finance your musical projects.

LH:  I think Kickstarter is a great platform in this day and age where labels have kind of collapsed and independent artists really have to rely on themselves. That said it is a lot of hard work. You have to be completely committed to the process and pretty much eat, breathe and sleep self promotion before and throughout the campaign. It's not in my nature to be this way but recording these albums is so important to me that I've been able to toss my pride aside. This is my first experience with crowdfunding but I have watched other artists do quite well with it.  At the end of the day, as long as I can make new music I'll be happy.

 

CEV:  How long do you have to achieve your goals? What happens if you donít reach the number? What happens if you do?

LH:  At this point I have 12 days left and am 86% funded. The campaign ends on October 17 at 10AM. I'm not gonna lie, it will be a huge disappointment if I don't meet the goal, especially being so close now. I would, of course, keep writing and performing but it would take some very lucky break in order to get the funds to record another album. The good news is that I feel very confident that I will meet the goal!  I already have the bulk of the material written and have done some preproduction in terms of figuring out what instrumentation I'll need and who else might be playing on the songs. If I meet the goal I will be getting into the studio pretty quickly so I can get these albums out ASAP!

CEV:  What kind of Kickstarter perks do you have for those who help you finance your music?

LH:  There are lots of cool rewards! I have been very fortunate to have had phenomenal artists Erica Atreya and Gary McCluskey contribute their work for t-shirts and posters.  I also have an original painting by the incredibly talented Ed Sandoval. Some of the higher tier rewards include a day in the studio with me and a private house concert.

On the other end of the spectrum, for those who would like to help but are short on cash, for $5 you can choose a song from a list of covers that I normally reserve for those who support me on Patreon. The new albums will come with all of the rewards with the exception of the cover song. I'll be adding new ones right up until the end and am totally open to suggestions!

CEV:  Are you excited about all of this new music ready to be sent out into the world?

LH:  I am very excited! It will be the first time in many years that I will be recording without an attachment to a record label. There is a great sense of freedom in that and I can't wait to unleash my creativity without the suits breathing down my neck, ha.

CEV:  Any words for those who are thinking about helping out through Kickstarter but are still on the fence?

LH:  In this day and age a lot of us are getting our music for free or very cheap. Platforms like Pandora and Spotify are great but most indie artist aren't making any real money from that. Kickstarter is a beautiful way to show that you believe in the value of art and that you believe artists deserve to be supported for their efforts.

CEV: Thanks for taking time out to talk to us and for everyone out there reading this remember that Lily only has until October 17, 2017 at 1:02 PM EDT to hit her goal and fund the albums. If you want Lily to keep on making some great music head on over to her Kickstarter page before then pledge some money and get some cool rewards from Lily for making this happen. Click here to make that happen. Good luck Lily we are rooting for you.