Welcome friends! In todays Beneath the Surface feature we are off to the bottom of the garden, to dive deep into the pond life and relax on the lil pads with our new friend and obsession, lilac frog! He chats all things music below and you’ll want to get your flippers and webbed toes at the ready as we dive right in!
What would you say first sparked your interest in music/who inspired you to make music?
When I was a young child, I always had music on my mind. I would have the radio on everywhere – the car, at home, and I’d be paying attention to music playing wherever I went. My initial inspiration came from just hearing and analysing everything that was playing, without even realising at the time. This also meant I was always coming up with song lyrics and ideas for music, but of course back then I never thought I’d end up making any of it real.
I found out about GarageBand on my family’s iPad and was amazed I could create sounds right there at home, and begin creating the music that had been in my head. The rest is history, and a large number of ideas, projects, aliases and years later, the ‘lilac frog’ character now exists.
How would you describe the music you are currently creating?
My sound is based around the electronic-pop spectrum, sometimes going a little more indie in direction (such as in ‘How the Curtain Closes’) or more of an abstract, EDM focus (like ‘Reason to Stay’). My songwriting is authentic and honest, usually with a big focus on telling a story, which is all glued together by a specific quirky twist in the song’s sound that you’ll perhaps find a different producer or artist might not have chosen to do.
When I came up with the name ‘lilac frog’, it was a very quick and instant idea in my head – it’s a character with a quirky and memorable name, with an unusual sound about it, so it felt perfect to represent this music. Lilac is descriptive and colorful, and frog isn’t a word you associate with every artist, so gives it that unusual twist (and also represents nature, a huge inspiration for what I create).
What does your creative process look like?
Typically, each song I come up with is based off an experience, feeling or event that has happened to me, either recently or far in the past, or perhaps an idealistic interpretation of the future. Song ideas usually come to me whilst I’m busy doing something else, so it’s a ‘drop everything and open the Notes app on my phone’ situation, trying to get all of the colors and stories out of my head.
Alongside this, I begin producing the early demo on my trusty MacBook, and depending on the ideas I have, this will be developed into the final song in anywhere from a number of days to weeks. It’s all good fun, and the most important part to making music for me is doing it in a comfortable and inspiring environment. I can’t work without a cup of tea, and usually a cozy livestream up on my second monitor that I can dip in and out of whilst working out where to take the song.
Who would you most like to collaborate with? (let’s send it out to the universe and make it happen!)
This is a BIG question, and there are probably multiple answers depending on which style I would want to take a song in, but my overall answer would have to be Halsey. I have been a fan of their music for years, and are a huge inspiration to me for their honesty and emotional songwriting, as well as the imagery they manage to pack into their music. Her production is always top-notch and matches the songwriting perfectly, so I’d love to get an insight into her entire creative process and see how we could work together with both our styles and processes to create something amazing!
What is the one message you would like to send out to your fans?
At 19, I’ve witnessed firsthand the magic that happens when creativity is nurtured, and by pursuing dreams with an intense dedication: and I hope this inspires everybody who comes across it to – like the character of lilac frog – embrace their uniqueness and quirks. To everyone who has joined me on my adventure so far: thank you for your support in me riding out my dreams this far, and if you’re new around here, I hope my sounds resonate with you in some way and that you might stick around for us to make each others’ dreams a reality.
What’s your top tip to rejuvenate your creativity/get over a writer’s block?
Some of the simple ways I like to clear writer’s block are to listen to other music, especially stuff I’ve never heard before, as well as just talking with my friends, and allowing my mind to wander whilst I watch one of those cozy livestreams I was talking about earlier. If I’m struggling a little more and I’m feeling much less inspired and creative than usual, a huge inspiration for me is nature. Taking a journey out to somewhere I don’t usually go to, and just exploring and taking in everything around me is usually enough to instantly spark some new inspiration that I never would’ve come up with out and about in my usual town. So getting out of your comfort zone has to be my biggest tip for rejuvenating those creative thoughts.
What’s next for you, what do we have to look forward to/ what are you currently working on?
Throughout the rest of the year, I have a few more singles to drop which reach into all kinds of different styles, which I’m looking forward to sharing with everyone (I think I hear some 80s synthpop influences somewhere, but you didn’t hear that from me!), leading up to my first full-length album towards the end of the year, ‘lilac pond’ which will be a collection of songs and sounds that showcase what lilac frog is all about – honest songwriting and quirky productions. So far, I’ve just been sharing little drops in the water, and this album will open you up to the entire pond, so I can’t wait for this one to be out!
Listen to lilac frog below:
Keep up with lilac frog: