In these troubled and often scary times, when enjoying a concert starts to resemble an act of resistance, music brings a different echo. Along with the voices and chords comes a more vibrant sound. That of our freedom. Plain pagan pleasure. Naked emotions. Unfettered words. Unbraid tongues. Music has never been more important to me.
That’s why Lili Grace‘s concert still resonates loud in my head. Two sisters who make one on stage. If anyone believes in soul mates, these two could very well spell out the definition. They are super young and have an incredible musical talent. I have rarely seen such precision, such harmony and depth. They blew my mind when I saw them at AB, supporting Hydrogen Sea and they did it again at Café Video in Gent. They’ve been composing for 7 years now and have recently launched their first EP called ‘The Spell’. 5 powerful songs. Dark and beautiful. The cello is one of my favorite elements to their music, their voices are just sublime and the lyrics are sincere and actually make sense. I’m surprised Lili Grace remains somewhat undiscovered when these girls have the potential to be really really big.
We went for dinner before their gig and I had the chance to interview the merry little jewels. Read on, listen to their songs below and don’t miss the chance to check them out live because they are truly something.
How did you start your project?
We’ve been writing together for almost 7 years now. We would compose songs in our bedroom before we went to sleep in a little synthetiser and a cello. We did little shows in cafés. Then we entered some contests and things started getting serious. People started following us. Then came the booker and more shows…
Why ‘Lili Grace’?
We were in high school, we were 15 and 17 and we found that name. ‘Lili Grace’. I guess we liked the way it sounded.
How do you go about composing your songs?
Now we compose in our rehearsal room at our family’s house. It wasn’t always like that. For a while, I would compose something and send it by email to Nelle and she would continue working on the song.
Next to Lili Grace you’ve also worked in theatre production, namely with ‘Pentamerone’ by LAIKA and FROEFROE. What can you tell us about that universe?
It’s a great universe. I love the improvisation that comes with it. The actors are doing the scene and we create sounds to build an atmosphere around it. The regisseur gives us directions but the music is still very much ‘Lili Grace’. The theater is fun and is full of incredible people. We want to continue being a part of that world. With theater, we are on stage but not always on the spotlight. It gives us balance.
You were chosen by Oscar and the Wolf’s Whizzkid Ozan Bozdag to be one of the 4 artists that will collaborate with Aloft Brussels Schuman next year. That sounds like a fun adventure…
It’s so much just. Ozan called us one morning and said ‘I have this project for you guys’. He explained what Aloft is doing with artists and we were immediately on board. In a nutshell, we get the keys to the hotel to arrange events, expos, videos, play live… We just choose what we want to do and they help us make it happen. We are brainstorming at the moment but we already have some hints… We are thinking of collaborations. Being shut in a room for a day with an artist (maybe BRNS?) and record something together.
The figure of the storm seems to take an important place in your EP. Explicitly so in ‘Before the storm’ and ‘Mist of love’ with wild seas, winter and darkness. Tell us about that storm.
That’s a very nice question. I guess it’s a good word to explain to the world the bad things that have happened to us. We’ve been through some very rough patches in our life and it made us stick together; it brought us closer. The storm happened when we were 9 and 11. Our brother had a car accident. We didn’t know if he would make it. The storm unleashed over us and changed everything overnight. The lyrics from ‘Mist of love’ are our favorite from the whole EP. They tell the storm. Our lyrics are dark because the storm doesn’t leave us alone. We were three. We played together. And then it stopped. Forever. It was our storm.
What are the perks and inconveniences of being sisters when you work together in a band?
There are only pros, I would say. We really found each other. We feel each other, we love to write together, we know what to say to each other. On stage, we are connected. It’s like we’re one. We work together every day and never argue. Nelle is the most important person in my life. She knows me so well. We slept together in this big bed until we were 13. We would talk every night in bed about everything and anything. The bond just keeps getting stronger. I would say we really are soul mates.
Where do you see Lili Grace going from here?
We want to reach more people who like our music. Play live more. It’s what we enjoy the most. Maybe record an album. Go on tour with a fun crew around us. Take Jimmy the Jesus with us! (the sound engineer).
What Belgian artists are on your soundscape?
BRNS. Rackets’ canon. Their live shows are great. Arsenal. I like Justin Bieber. Nelle hates it. We loved Oscar and the Wolf’s Entity.
So….Brusselsprouts…. How do you have yours?
With nutmeg J Smakelijk!