LiLi Roquelin – Earned an Honorable Mention at the 2009 John Lennon Songwriting Contest
Zack Daggy: When did you first begin to work on your new album “Will You Hate The Rest Of The World Or Will You Renew Your Life”?
LiLi Roquelin: I started to compose and record the album last spring, and it took me 9 months to finish it.
ZD: What was your driving inspiration behind this album?
LR: When I started working in the studio I wanted to give a deeper dimension with a particular ambiance to my songs, which were mostly written acoustically beforehand.
ZD: How would you compare this album with your previous works?
LR: I pushed myself as a composer quite far with this and I think the result is fuller and richer than my previous EP. This is also the first full-length album I have released as a solo artist and I must say it was challenging, especially to review all the songs, I had to take “mind-breaks” in between sessions to refresh, or let one on the side and go back to it later with a more objective view. But I enjoyed the creative freedom I had from the writing to the composing, recording, playlist and artwork. The album includes a cover-track, which is a premiere for me, it’s the French version of “Sally’s Song”; and a songwriting collaboration with Sam Scozzari on “Come and hear my story”.
ZD: What is the meaning behind the album’s title?
LR: “Will you hate the rest of the world or will you renew your life?” is a line in one of the last tracks on the record, “Renew”. It’s a question that suggests a specific answer… Anyone can interpret this the way they want of course, but I think I was trying to make a point: sometimes people tend to blame everything around them for what they don’t have in their life, instead of taking responsibility for their actions and changing things…
ZD: Is there a song off this album that is a particular favorite of yours?
LR: They all have a meaning for me… I don’t know if I can really pick one! The readers will have to write me a message and tell me what’s their favorite!
ZD: What is the story behind your song “Keep This For You”?
LR: There is a whole story behind this track! I keep all my poems and lyrics in a collection-book, and I was actually inspired to write these lyrics from a short poem I had written years ago when I was still in France! The words have a bit of an eerie edge and one interpretation would be how sometimes some people can have a blurry and confused vision of their life and it’s important to stay focus on what you really want and not have them distract you… Then later I had recorded a draft version of the song and made a documentary video that I posted on youtube and it has now 140,000 views! Somehow the song stayed as a draft for a while, and its final version was a bit re-arranged and remixed for this album.
ZD: During our last interview we talked about your award winning music video to “I Saw You.” Can we expect any of your new songs to be seen on screen as well?
LR: “Should you get mad” music video was premiered in the same time as the album release, both with concerts in Cleveland and NYC, and it can be viewed on youtube and my myspace page.
ZD: Have you played any live shows lately?
LR: I have been performing mostly in the city, in retail-type of venues and other events… I’m having fun with the addition of my sampling toy to my live set-up. I will be a part of MMNY festival in June at Battery Park. Visit my site for more details!
ZD: So what is your next project?
LR: Right now I’m quite busy with promotion and I have been embracing it. I have some songs in the works and I’m not sure yet where I’ll be producing them. It will come naturally!
ZD: What one line off of your new album best describes you?
LR: It’s in the song “Never Go”: “In this life so monotone, I can’t be just typical”