Meet the rising singer-songwriter ready for a takeover.
Dress PINKO, shoes KURT GEIGER
Dress PINKO, shoes KURT GEIGER
For as long Lola Lennox can remember music has always been apart of her life, from singing at the age of eight to earning a place at The Royal Academy of Music – Lola knew her passion. Taking inspiration from toxic relationships and reflecting on the feeling of being suffocated, Lola dropped her first track “In The Wild” earlier this year and since then it’s been full speed ahead.
Following up with 60s girl group-esque hit “LaLaLove Me” and the ardently raw “Pale”, the singer continued to tap into personal stories from life experiences creating honest and true music.
But it’s her first official single “Back At Wrong” that is setting the pace for the singer. Executively produced by mother and legend Annie Lennox, Lola showcases heart-thumping drums with powerful vocals for a stellar and intimate production. The release of her new single follows Lola’s much talked about duet performance with her mother for the Global Citizen One World: Together At Home, which racked in a staggering 270 million viewers. We sat down with the rising star talking the performance, early music and what we can expect for the rest of 2020.
How has lockdown been treating you? What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself?
Living under lockdown has had its share of ups and downs. There are many lessons to learn in the process of letting go of our expectations, comforts and freedom. As much as I miss ‘normal life’ and question the future, I feel as if I have grown a lot through this challenge, and I feel very grateful to have my family and my home studio near me.
Your childhood was obviously immersed in music – what are the most unexpected things that influenced you?
The most unexpected thing to have influenced me maybe the difficult moments in my life, the emotional struggles that forced me to look within and learn about myself. These experiences gave me a close connection to my inner world and a curiosity to understand the ways of the heart and mind, and that’s what songwriting is all about.
Was there anyone defining moment where you realised you wanted to be a musician?
I remember being eight years old singing along to CDs in my bedroom, even as a child I felt so free and at one with the sound, it was like I was painting an array of colours and textures through my voice. I knew that I had to follow my joy and make music part of my life every day.
How would you describe your genre?
I like music that speaks honestly and from the heart, I hear voices as imprints of the soul, something authentic, emotive and powerful. My greatest inspirations are Nina Simone, Etta James and Dusty Springfield, I write music that is inspired by these women but also feels like fresh and innovative pop music.
You started songwriting at the age of 15 – can you talk us through your creative process – where were you pulling your inspirations from?
I like to keep my eyes and ears open to inspiration, whether it be when I walk down the street or when I’m processing the ups and downs of life, I always like to imagine how I can turn the experience into something meaningful. But when I sit down at the piano the process of songwriting is very organic and unfiltered, I play chords and start to sing melodies over the top, which I then shape into words and story – somehow the most honest work comes when you aren’t trying to push for something and you give space to the creative flow.
Congratulations on “Back At Wrong” – what is the track about and what was it inspired by?
I wrote “Back At Wrong” about a relationship that was all-consuming and exciting at first and somehow descended into something very unhealthy and dysfunctional. We tried to walk away from each other, but it was hard to stop, love can really take you out of your rational head sometimes. Luckily I lived and I learned.
How do you hope it will make people feel?
Like they want to dance and sing along!
Your duet with your mother has scooped a staggering 270 million viewers – did you ever think it would go so viral?
Thank you, I didn’t expect it, but I was aware that I was part of something very special with One World: Together at Home I felt honoured to be able to make people smile during this global crisis, music really can lift our spirits. I also loved singing with my Mum, it was a beautiful moment for us both.
What’s the most important piece of advice re. the music industry you’ve ever received, and who was it from?
Since I was a child I saw the amount of passion and hard work that goes into being an artist. Being creative can feel like electricity that lights up your world, but for a career, you must harness that passion and put the work in; practise for hours, write many songs that maybe no one will hear, put yourself out there and just keep going. It’s that balance between magic and grit that allows you to reap the fruits of your efforts. My Mum never really gave me this advice specifically, but she led by example.
What’s next for you? What are you excited about in 2020?
I am excited about 2020, it’s so different to how I could have ever imagined but I am very excited to share more music. I hope that my music allows people to tune into their amazing unique selves and feel happy and whole when they listen.