It’s safe to say that LA-based singer-songwriter Lila Drew has known music was her calling from a young age.
Starting out in musical theatre, her humble beginnings included playing the titular role of Annie thrice and playing her parents’ Joni Mitchell and Lauryn Hill records on repeat.
Since then, she has gone on to achieve colossal success like over 40 million global streams and being christened an “essential artist” by Apple Music’s Zane Lowe.
Now fresh off the release of her latest single ‘Crystal Ball’, Drew is continuing to make a name for herself with her ethereal vocals and endearingly honest lyrics.
To celebrate the recent release of ‘Crystal Ball’, we had a chat with Lila Drew as part of our Get To Know series.
Check out ‘Crystal Ball’ by Lila Drew:
How did your artist name come about?
Drew is my middle name, so Lila Drew felt pretty natural.
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
Maybe something like pop music that is based in songwriting… or pop music that she’ll actually like. :)
Get the latest Indie news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
I just came out with a new song called ‘Crystal Ball’. It’s one of my favourite songs I’ve ever written and is one of my most personal too. It’s about anxiety and that deep frustration that I had with myself at the time. I was really fed up with the ways in which I handled myself in so many types of situations, and was fearful that I would keep doing those things forever, just with more awareness of it. ‘Crystal Ball’ is an encapsulation of that fear.
The song I released just before ‘Crystal Ball’ is called ‘2023’. It’s weirdly about a lot of the same things as ‘Crystal Ball’, but from a different perspective. While ‘Crystal Ball’ takes those fears head-on, ‘2023’ looks at them from a satirical point of view — sort of making fun of the ways I was feeling to try to cope.
What do you love about your hometown?
I grew up in Los Angeles, but I don’t spend much time there because I go to college on the east coast. My favourite thing about Los Angeles, though, is that you can do things outside all year round. That is just so nice. I love driving around the city with my friends and being able to walk around each neighbourhood without worrying about it being cold!!
Career highlight so far?
Nothing will be quite like the first streams on my first song, ‘faded/2am’. I had just turned 18, and the song came out while I was in class. I remember having my AirPods in (under my hair) and listening to it for the first time on streaming services. It was so insane and strange.
Fave non-music hobby?
Cooking and colouring books. I’ve always struggled with anxiety, and I find both of these to be super therapeutic. I love cooking so much, especially for other people – I love coming up with recipes and cooking for friends.
What’s on your dream rider?
I’m not sure if these exist in Australia, but I love those Trader Joe’s brand Takis. They’re basically like regular takis, which are these spicy rolled tortilla chips, but they’re a little less spicy and a little less artificial. That’s all I need.
Dream music collaboration?
Frank Ocean is everything always. I just think he is such an important artist for my generation — his music taught me so much about honesty and the ability to pull memories from childhood and expand them in this reflective, retrospective way. He obviously has such an incredible voice, but his writing is some of my favourite. I’m not sure I’d be able to handle myself around him, but that would be my dream collaboration.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully recording music in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. A few dogs maybe.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
‘Teenage Dream’. I love old Katy Perry — it’s such good pop music and just so catchy and so seminal of the early 2000s and some of the first music I heard on the radio.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t believe in your own bullshit. My dad always says that.
What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?
Pimple popping videos — I LOVE those.
For more on this topic, follow the Indie Observer.