Unsung Lilly

Tell us your real names, country of birth, date of birth and childhood experience. 
We are Sera & Frankie Golding-Young (real name is Francesca), a married couple from the UK. Sera grew up in Surrey, and Frankie down in Cornwall.

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Tell us about your music career, your band name, musical background, experience and skills. 
We are called Unsung Lilly, and have been working together for the past 5 years or so.

Sera – I write all the lyrics, and come up with the concepts for the songs. I’ve been a singer since I was around 14, and worked as a singer performing other peoples music from 17 onward. It took me a while to figure out I wanted to write my own music, so I came to it about 10 years later. The band name came from when I spent some time getting really geeky about researching my ancestry…I wanted to figure out where my creative side came from and I discovered that my great grandmother (named Lilly) was very creative. She was an artiste. As did most women in those days, she dedicated her life to being a wife and a mother, and didn’t really get to express her artistic side as much as she would have liked. One day, she came home and found her husband cheating on her and apparently she died of an asthma attack. People say she died of a broken heart, and so I was really touched by that story. We decided to name the band ‘Unsung Lilly’ after her and her legacy, but I guess it also represents so many women who didn’t get to express themselves creatively in times gone by.

Frankie – I write the melodies and do all the instrumentation, production and arrangement with our songs. I have been playing various instruments since an early age, and I used to do my own solo stuff for a while, but love the collaboration between myself and Sera. Just lately, I’ve started playing drums in our live show and I’m loving being a drummer!

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Tell us about your genre, concept and idea behind your music video and the song. 
Frankie – It’s really hard to give your music a genre, but people tend to call it ‘Indie Pop’ which I think is a good description for it. We’ve also been called ‘political pop’ because our songs tend to have a message in the lyrics.

Sera – I am really passionate about creating music that says something real, and that gets people thinking. The concept behind the music video was to create an imaginary world where we’ve all grown up with same sex couples being just as accepted as heterosexual couples – and it’s a play on the Disney ‘Cinderella’ story but between two women. We’ve also given it a bit of a feminist edge too – so instead of losing her shoe, she loses her poetry book. I co-directed it with a good friend of mine Emma Campbell Webster. We were discussing how different life would be if we’d all seen images of same sex relationships (and also empowered women) in the media as we were growing up, and how different life would be right now. Emma suggested creating a world where that was the case – which I think is such a powerful idea! My childhood friend Tanya Read created the animation for us and did such an incredible job!

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Tell us everything that we need to know about you as a musician and the ups and downs you have faced in the music business. 
Frankie – It’s definitely a rollercoaster ride! We have so many stories we could write a book, haha. The music business is a tricky thing to navigate these days, because it’s all changing so much. A lot of industry people don’t seem to know how to navigate it either. It’s been really difficult  but I think we’ve found our peace with it now – and that’s based around just being ourselves, never letting anyone dictate what we create, and being selective about who we work with. Sera does a lot of the management side which is great because we can steer ourselves in the direction that feels right.

Sera – There’s also a lot of ups and downs just as a creative person in general – I once read something about how creative people go through this cycle – they get an idea, they think its the best idea in the world, they start creating it, half way through they decide it’s a terrible idea and they just therefore ‘suck’, and then they either work through that and realize that maybe it’s actually quite good, or they give up completely. That’s definitely what happens to me on a day to day basis, and it’s difficult if you do give up.

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Tell us about other members of your band, music producer, crew or music video director, how the song was recorded and how the music video was shot. 

Sera – Officially the band is just the two of us, although we do play with some amazing session players when we do shows. Frankie produces the music, and plays all the instrumentation (give or take a guitar here and there on some songs). I co-directed the video with Emma Campbell Webster and Tanya Read animated it for us. We are very much a DIY kinda band, pulling in collaborations and favours with good friends – partly because financially it’s difficult to do it any other way, being unsigned, but also because to me now I think that’s such a big part of being an artiste. Its not just about writing songs any more, it’s about creating the whole package.

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Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience and your future goal. 
Frankie – As Unsung Lilly we’ve been around since 2012, and I did my solo stuff before that from around 2008, and Sera was working as a pro singer before she started Unsung Lilly. Our future goal – we’re working on a 12 songs in 12 months challenge at the moment (we’ve just released song no3), so that’s keeping us pretty busy! The goal is to record and release a song a month, for a whole year, and then after the year is up, we’ll package it all up into a physical album (with a few more tracks of course). We’re really excited to have that final album – I think it will feel like a real snapshot of the year and we’ll always be able to look back at it fondly.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing. 
Sera – I get so inspired to write about how society is changing, the political climate, how we are all evolving as humans. That’s what really drives me! I love creating something with a message and putting something into the world that invokes some sort of reaction, ruffling up the feathers!

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song. 

Frankie – wait til we have a hit song and then we’ll let you know, haha. In my experience it’s easy enough to write something that sounds like it could be a hit song – but writing something that’s authentic and real at the same time is where it gets tricky. It’s about finding a balance between something that’s catchy but doesn’t sound like its been done before…and to find something that’s raw and edgy enough to invoke real emotion at the same time as being commercial and polished enough to be played on the radio. It’s a juggling act!

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Tell us the message you will like to pass to your fans out there. 

Sera – Each of our songs has a different message, but in general we are all about empowerment and want our fans to be inspired by our music. We have a big LGBTQ following, because we are a married same sex couple, and also have a lot of listeners who are interested in empowerment and coming together as a group to make the world a better place – really we are all about just being yourself and not being afraid to be you ‘out there’ in the world.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist. 
Sera – My advice would be to be yourself, don’t get caught up in trying to be anything other than you. Being an artist is one of the most important jobs there, especially in this sort of political climate – you have a message to bring, so dig deep and find what that is. Whether that message is a deep philosophical view on something, or just making music that makes people happy, it doesn’t matter – it’s about finding who you are and putting that out into the world. It’s not about how many instagram followers you have, or making a video go viral – it’s really just about being you and the effect that has on your listeners.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained. 
We’ve been really lucky to get radio play on all our singles we’ve released so far, and we’ve done some incredible live shows too. We’ve taken a bit of a break from gigging over the past year or two and only done a handful of shows, but the first few years of our career we were lucky enough to perform at all sorts of festivals, opening up for artists like Bryan Adams, Jools Holland, and James Morrisson. Since then we’ve just done a few shows but have gotten to play at some iconic venues like House of Blues, Hard Rock Cafe, Hotel Cafe and The Mint, all in Hollywood that have hosted some incredible acts before they were well known.

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List Radio or TV Stations that are airing your songs and blogs that have featured you as well and send message to them via this platform. 
There are some amazing radio stations and blogs that have been supporting us for a long time – notably, ‘It’s all good radio show’ which is now on Riviera Fm in the UK has been playing our music for years and they are so supportive. Also the James Cowen show on NE1fm!

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio. 
Frankie – We write songs in all sorts of different ways. Sometimes I’ll just play around and hear something I like – that will turn into a song very quickly, and then Sera will write the lyrics. At other times, Sera writes the lyrics first and I write the music to fit. We love doing it both ways. In terms of recording, I just love to hide away in the studio for days until a song is done – there are days when we don’t make it out of PJs and don’t see or speak to anyone, we go into this ‘creation cave’.

Sera – Lyrically I can get inspired to write at all sorts of strange times. More often than not, it’s on the way to go food shopping or whilst I’m cooking the dinner! But I do find I need space and to be in a good place to write good lyrics…it won’t happen if I’m stressing or running about like a headless chicken. The best lyrics come when I’m in a good place within myself. I’m really enjoying living out in the Southern California desert, because the energy here is so wonderful for being creative. Being in beautiful nature spots really inspires me to write.

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Name five biggest artists that you like. 

Frankie – I’d say the people we are listening to the most at the moment are Birdy, Coldplay, Florence and The Machine, Fleetwood Mac and we always love a bit of Dire Straits.

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Name the artists you have collaborated with before in your songs or artists you are willing to collaborate with in the future if you have the chance to do so. 

Sera – We haven’t done many collaborations before for our own music. Sometimes we’ve co-written songs for other artistes, but never for our own stuff. We are open to suggestions for sure, and would especially love to get some remixes done of some of our tunes!

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Give us the links to your website and your entire social network. 

www.UnsungLilly.com

www.patreon.com/Unsunglilly 

www.facebook.com/Unsunglilly

www.twitter.com/Unsunglilly 

www.instagram.com/Unsunglilly

http://www.youtube.com/unsunglilly

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Give us the links to your various stores for fans to buy your music. 

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/unsung-lilly/568928623

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0GoI1zyiadjN9IT4uXSmJ5

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Unsung-Lilly/e/B00OJZR136/digital/ref=ntt_mp3_rdr?_encoding=UTF8&sn=d

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day. 

Sera – The happiest day for me was most definitely our wedding! It was just a perfect day from start to finish. Saddest… that’s a tough one. There have been many… losing people I love, endings, disappointments, shock, seeing others in pain or struggle…

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars. 

Frankie – Over my life I have somehow managed to promise people I’m close to (family members etc) that when I make lots of money I’ll buy them a nice car…I have quite the list now! So I think the majority of it would be taken up by that!

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