Interview with Singer/Songwriter "Lilly Ahlberg"
Originally born in Italy, Lilly Ahlberg was raised in Sweden by her English mother and Swedish father, confirming the rule that Sweden produces some of pop music’s greatest talents. After picking up the guitar aged 14, she cut her teeth recording effervescent and delicate covers on YouTube. These stripped back performances helped her amass 11 million views and build up over 120,000 subscribers.
Signing to HOT HOT RECORDS/Polydor Records, Lilly moved to London late in 2016 to work on her own solo material. Her debut single, “Bad Boys”, is the first exciting taste of things to come. Inspired by a party where Lilly and a friend went to confront a boy
playing games,the track also deals with how all of us are drawn into dangerous love affairs. “There is something tempting about playing with fire, I guess,” Lilly says, “Bad boys might bring you down, but it makes the highs so, so much better.”
Citing influences as wide as James Blake, Lorde and Nicki & the Dove, Lilly is now ready to share her creativity with the world. “I want to start connecting with people and allow them to connect with my music. I’m just so ready to get out there and work my ass off,” she says. “I’m so happy to finally start releasing what I’ve been creating and to be able to share this massive part of my life.”
Daily News: What does a typical day look like for you?
Lilly: A typical day for me would be to wake up around 9, make a Nespresso coffee and have a super lazy morning whilst I get ready. I need time in the morning as I hate being stressed. I’ll then take the train around 11 into wherever I have a studio session that day... I often meet new people that I haven’t worked with before and I love that! In the evenings I’ll often cook dinner at home and chill out with my best friend/flatmate. Alternatively, I’ll go on another tinder date and hope to meet the love of my life.. hehe.
Daily News: What projects have you recently been working on?
Lilly: I’m currently working on perfecting single two.. as well as writing the best songs I can and building up my portfolio of bangers!
Daily News: What was the inspiration for your career route?
Lilly: My brother taught me to play the guitar at age 14 and ever since I started playing I fell in love with music and I just knew that it was what I was meant to be doing. It was never a choice or decision it just sort of happened as I just did what I enjoyed doing!
Daily News: What do you find most challenging and exciting about your career?
Lilly: This career has made my confidence grow insanely! I love that so much. You need to stand your ground and believe in yourself otherwise it’s really hard, and that has been a challenge for me as I can be a bit shy and held back. I find performing in front of people a challenge too as I have quite a bit of stage fright and I’ve never enjoyed being ‘on the spot’ - but the feeling I get whilst up there and afterwards is addictive. I love the thrill.
Daily News: How do you manage a healthy work/life balance?
Lilly: I try to always go with the flow and not to worry about unnecessary things. I go to the gym multiple times a week blow off steam and get my mental and physical health in a good place. The gym is my therapist basically!
Daily News: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Lilly: I consider moving to London by myself and becoming completely independent at age 20 to be my biggest accomplishment so far. Signing to Polydor Records is up there too.
Daily News: Where do you see yourself in 5?
Lilly: I see myself being a successful artist and entrepreneur in 5 years, doing what I love day in day out. I want to have at least two albums out and be touring the world!
Daily News: Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Lilly: My advice is to stay strong and don’t give up. Things will go well and things will go badly, the key is to never give up however hard it gets. If you want your dream badly enough and put up with all the shit, the highs will feel so much better and rewarding.
Daily News: Where is your favourite place to dine in your city and why?
Lilly: Sticks n’ Sushi - I love love love sushi it’s the best thing ever. Sticks n Sushi’s food is amazing and yet not overly priced like some of the sushi restaurants in London. I also love Dishoom for a good curry, and FED which is a tiny vegan Italian restaurant in Dalston. They make an amazing vegan carbonara, I strongly suggest.
Daily News: What’s your most treasured possession?
Lilly: My most treasured possession would be my Mac Book Pro.. it’s by far the most expensive possession (haha) and helps me do all my work. If I didn’t have a Mac I don’t think I would of continued to pursue YouTube like I did, because it helps so much with the creative part of putting he videos together etc.
Daily News: Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
Lilly: Ulrikke Falch!
Daily News: If you could be in someone else’s shoes for a day, who would it be?
Lilly: It would probably be Justin Vernon as I’d want to know how it feels to have his unworldly talent! I’d also like to see how it feels to be where I dream to be one day. I’d also like to be my mother for a day as she’s my biggest inspiration in life in general hehe!
Daily News: What’s your favourite city/country to visit and why?
Lilly: Stockholm. It’s familiar because it’s Sweden and I have quite a few friends there. I also love writing music in Stockholm as some of by favorite producers/writers are based there. Stockholm is a good mid ground between my quiet home city Helsingborg and the hectic city where I now live, London. There’s always something to do, but it’s not stressful or intense.
Daily News: What is your greatest fear?
Lilly: Dying without accomplishing anything that I want to accomplish and everything I’ve worked so hard towards (super deep I know). Sometimes I forget to live in the moment and I haven’t been traveling and taking the world in in the same way as a lot of my friends have.. it’s something I really want to do because it seems like such an incredible experience but I haven’t had the time as I’ve been so focused on my dream. So yeah, death basically!
Daily News: What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Lilly: Probablyyy spending all day at home in bed watching tv shows on my laptop. I feel so guilty and unproductive but at the same time I love it.. days like that are needed sometimes.
Daily News: And lastly, what does success look like to you?
Lilly: Success for me is to accomplish your goals and dreams and to be aware of it, taking it in & allowing yourself to be happy. The acknowledgment of your success is so important otherwise it it’s not really a success is it...