Oakland based artist Lila Rose is anything but ordinary, born with Ultra Sound Sensitivity, music and sound has always been part of her journey and thus a natural path to make music her life’s work. She’s gotten rave reviews for past releases, including best bay area musician in the “East Bay Express.” She writes, produces and performs all of her own music and recently signed to OIM records, has a new album and single out now and an upcoming tour in the works. Lila recently made time to share more on her musical World, inspirations and what’s ahead.
FSHN Magazine: How has life been treating you? Where did you grow up?
Lila Rosa: Hi! Life has been treating me quite great as of late, despite the natural roller coasters of life – thanks so much for asking! I currently live in Oakland, California, but am originally from Toronto Canada. I am, however, currently sitting in an apartment in Santa Monica working on an edit for a new music video. Eeeeeee!
FSHN: How long have you been in music and what got you started?
LR: I think I was “in” music since the day I was born, but didn’t really understand that it was a path I wanted to pursue until I was in my early twenties (which is considered a late start for a lot of people in this business). It wasn’t until a friend passed along a mix CD of some of his beats, and I went home and starting writing and singing along to them, that I realized music may be something worth investigating further. I actually ended up recording my first demo to those beats (a demo which will never ever be heard by anyone publicly! LOL).
FSHN: It was until you moved to San Francisco that you released an EP, tell us about it?
LR: Well, I guess I just revealed the secret- no…I did have that first EP/demo (creatively called ‘The Very First’) which I recorded back in Toronto. However, like I said, no one will be hearing that any time soon wink emoticon ‘Osmos Your Sonica’ was the first official EP which can actually be found and listened to online and otherwise. Osmos Your Sonica was significant in a way of marking the real beginnings of my world of music making (although listening/looking back, that EP is really just…”cute”).
FSHN: Do you write your own songs and produce your own music?
LR: Yes! I do write all my own music, and I generally produce most of my music on my own first, and then bring it to another producer/engineer to help me expand, and build out the production more professionally. WE.ANIMALS. my most recent album, was a bit different in that I co-produced most of the tracks on there with producer/collaborator, Daniel Garcia. This was an amazing experience to truly collaborate in the original building out of the songs, giving them a bit of a different feel to my previous releases.
FSHN: Who are your biggest inspirations and real life music heroes?
LR: I hate to be too obvious, but my number one inspiration/heroine musically and creatively, is Bjork. I love that she’s always been true to her own unique and non-traditional visions. Really though, most of my creative heroes fall into this same category of edge walkers, risk takers, and essentially, visionaries.
FSHN: Your music sounds like a fusion of styles, how would you describe your music?
LR: I describe my music based on how other people classify it, since I’m too close to it to have a real understanding of what it is I’m creating. The best definition I’ve heard to date is “cinematic indie rock” which I think is a pretty good description! Most recently, a reviewer called it goth R&B which I thought was pretty awesome as well. Essentially it’s a mix between electronic, and live instrumentation including a lot of cinematic textures (strings, brass, etc.)
FSHN: Have you won any music awards?
LR: I’ve won several music awards but nothing super duper duper huge in the super duper huge world of super duper huge music awards…but coming soon! I’ve won like, best musician in the bay area, best in show, I’ve won best pop/electronic track for This Could Be HA (the song), top 30 best music videos for This Could Be HA (the video), and things like that. For now.
FSHN: Do you consider yourself an indie artist or are you signed to a major label?
LR: I definitely consider myself to be an indie artist although I recently signed my first record deal with OIM records. Although it’s been wonderful working them, and having a team of support, they are still a small indie label, and so my creative freedom, and the need to continue to work hard are still deeply intact.
FSHN: What was the best show that you’ve played?
LR: Ohhh that’s a hard one to answer! Well, the shows do keep getting better and better. What comes to mind at the moment is our show in Portland at Doug Fir on our most recent West Coast tour. It was just one of those nights where everything was tight and it felt like magic smile emoticon.
FSHN: If you weren’t doing music what would you be doing?
LR: Oh man…I would likely be dead since music gives me life! Buttttt if I have to answer in a less dramatic way (lol) I would say I would likely be living on a farm or an animal sanctuary somewhere. My energy would definitely be 100% focused on being of service to the Earth and animals.
FSHN: You have great new song, “All The Beauty” out now, what inspired that song?
LR: Yes! Well, I started writing All The Beauty just over a year ago at the start of a lengthy breakup. It was my way of encouraging myself to push through the hard days- to continue to believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, per say. For me, music is my outlet, it’s my way of releasing the inner tensions of my everyday life. So, in order for me to get through that time, I needed a way to expel all the sadness, and struggles of dealing with the release of that important relationship in my life. The song became my emotional anthem, and thus, hopefully, an anthem for anyone else who hears it, in need of that reminder of all the beauty which awaits us…
FSHN: When can we catch you performing next?
LR: I’ll be performing a few shows early March up in Portland, Ashland, and Eugene. I’ll likely be booking another full tour for early summer…hopefully sooner than later. Can’t wait to get back on the stage!!!
FSHN: What’s next for Lila Rose?
LR: My main focus at the moment is to continue touring and playing shows.. I’d really like to finally make it to the east coast of the US and Canada and I really hope to make it to Europe to tour this year. Crossing fingers! Besides that, I’ll be releasing a few more singles with my label, and then I can imagine hunkering down for another album soon after!
Listen to “All The Beauty” now:
For more info on Lila Rose go to: LilaRoseMusic.com