Feature Photo Credit: Louis Browne
This year, Chloe Lilac released her debut EP, “Manic Pixie Dream,” but Lilac is far from a newcomer. She was playing in her first band at 8 years old and busking in Manhattan at 13. It was through those experiences that she began developing her signature dream-like sound and storytelling.
Now she’s 17 and fresh off a successful tour with Tessa Violet. ECHO had the chance to chat with the singer/songwriter about touring, her music and her fans.
What was it like touring with Tessa Violet?
Touring with Tessa was amazing!! We affectionately named it the purple tour. Tessa was so accepting, warm and kind to me from the very beginning, which was new for me as an opening act. I’d never met another artist who was so genuine to who they are. Because of that, I genuinely feel like I came out of this tour a new, more mature person with a better understanding of who I want to be as an artist. Tessa and I had a lot of pre and post show talks about what it meant for us respectively to be performers, what it was like to be in the music industry, the differences between an influencer and an artist and where that overlap is, and what it’s like to be a woman in entertainment. Not to mention, her fan base was so incredible, respectful and sweet. I couldn’t have asked to be put on a better tour.
What has it been like to see the audience reactions to your music at live shows?
Seeing the audience’s reactions to my music has been life changing. I feel like I’ve really fleshed out my live show since going on this tour, and gained a lot of confidence in myself as a performer. It really taught me how to read a room and no matter what stage I’m on, to make that stage feel like home. I also learned that to me every single performance is a gift, getting to share my art with an audience is so special and should be fun, so have fun! The joy of live shows are the awkward bumps and what you learn from them.
What first got you interested in music?
I think what got me first interested in music was connection. Music connects people no matter who you are, where you are, or what language you speak. I remember the first pop song I ever heard. My cousin used to make me and my sister mixtapes of popular songs since we didn’t really listen to the radio growing up. The first song on it was “Ain’t No Other Man” by Christina Aguilera. I heard her sing that first note, and something in me clicked. That’s what I wanted to do. So, since a very young age I was very interested in music, I was in my first band by the age of 8.
How do you think growing up in Brooklyn has influenced your music?
How hasn’t growing up in Brooklyn influenced my music? It’s everything. My mom always jokes that she didn’t raise me, the city did. Anyone from NYC will understand that this city shapes you in a very significant, real way. Brooklyn is who I am.
You released your debut EP, Manic Pixie Dream in March. What were your inspirations for the songs on the EP?
I wrote that EP throughout the course of my high school career. It’s a lot about my battles with addiction, boys, and being a young woman in New York City, the hookup culture and the overexposure you get from growing up here. It’s really special to me because it’s my coming of age EP.
If you could create the perfect listening environment for your EP, what might it look like?
The perfect listening environment for my EP would be your bedroom at 3 in the morning.
You’ve been very open about your previous struggles with drug addiction. Has your sobriety given you new perspective on this next chapter of your music career?
My sobriety has given me the strength to put my all into my music, my family, my fans, my friends, and most importantly myself.
What do you hope people get out of your music?
I just hope people feel less alone when they listen to my music. I hope people get inspired. But most importantly, I hope it makes people feel held. Sometimes I’ll listen to a song and it’ll just kinda hold me the way I need it to. Provide me support and comfort in a way nothing else can. That’s what I hope my music does.
What is one idea or piece of advice that you want to ECHO out to the World and your fans?
The biggest piece of advice I want to give my fans is to stop pushing who you really are out of the way to be someone else. Life’s too short. If the people around you don’t accept you for you, the universe will send you people who do. There will always be someone who loves YOU. Stop pushing yourself away, you’re worthy of acceptance.
What can we expect from Chloe Lilac next?
I am working on a new EP right now, full of amazing new songs. I feel like I’ve found my sound and aesthetic as an artist and I can’t wait to show the world!!