Lilly Wood and The Prick: Exclusive Interview

French Touch Music met Lilly Wood & The Prick, the 2014 French revelation, for an exclusive interview to discuss their musical success and their future projects.

Formed in 2006, the duo Lilly Wood & The Pick is composed of Nili Hadida and Benjamin Cotto. They reached the top of the charts in more than 35 countries worldwide last year, with the remix of their track “Prayer in C” by Robin Schulz.

Currently on Tour around the world, I met Benjamin for an exclusive interview before he went on stage. Nili couldn’t join us, as she needed to preserve her voice to deliver the best vocal performance possible.

Despite their success, the two artists that form the group Lilly Wood & The Prick are very humble, available and even reserved sometimes. After selling millions of singles, hitting number 1 around the world, and writing what is probably one of the most famous French Touch musical phrases with the track “Prayer in C”, the duo keeps its simplicity, authenticity and generosity.

Lilly Who? Background and inspirations

“Even if I didn’t travel as much as Nili did when I was younger (she was born in Israel, lived in the UK and in California), I  have always been influenced by many  musical genres. We have the chance to travel a lot, which is a great opportunity to get the vibe and feel the pulse of all the places we stop by. It’s a perfect way to get inspiration to write our new tracks.  I was born and raised in Paris and I still live there. I think that this is the right place for us to put all our influences into the music.”

“I was 18 when I started to play music, which is pretty late for a musician. I am an autodidact, and started on a guitar. Then I learned how to play keyboards and bass guitar. My passion, curiosity and appetite for the music helped me a lot in the process of learning how to play instruments by myself.”

“I started my career in the TV production business and had my own company, specialized in documentaries. I also used to work in the Fashion industry. I was playing music with Nili at the same time . When music started to take over, I decided to completely dedicate myself to my musical career and to our project, Lilly Wood & The Prick.”

Upcoming third album

“Initially our third album was scheduled to be released next June, but the release has been postponed to September. The album will include about a dozen tracks. We still haven’t decided on the name of the album yet. I am very enthusiastic about this new album. To have the opportunity to put more authenticity and emotion into our tracks we didn’t want to go in one of the more famous recording studios in France, in the UK or in the USA.”

“We decided to record in Mali, Africa, to put ourselves in danger, suffer. We wanted to deliver raw emotion from the depths of ourselves in the music. Half of the album was recorded there and it was an adventure. The experience is reflected in some of the new tracks that include African rhythmics and Malian voices, without falling into the cliché of the World music. The new sounds have been added like splashes of color into the tracks.

Indie tracks with a touch of Electro

“The success of the “Prayer in C” remix by Robin Schulz hasn’t change the kind of music we want to compose and produce. Some people discovered Lilly Wood & The Prick through this track; our fan base increased and became broader with this Electronic remix. That’s great! We consider this as an opportunity, not a finality. Our challenge now is to bring those new followers, who come from a different music scene, to our world, our musical path. We’d be happy if they take the time to discover our 2 previous albums and if they are curious enough to listen to upcoming one.”

“I have to admit, that maybe, unconsciously, and because we all evolve, we added more Electronic sounds to the upcoming new album. Just like the African colors I mentioned earlier, Electronic sounds are more present in our new compositions compared to our previous ones”.

What’s next?

“We are currently ending our first Tour in the US. This has been a dream come true! Next, we’ll head back to France and start the promotion of the new album with a first single that will be released in early May. We will spend the summer in Europe for the Festival season. In September, a second single will be released right before the album becomes available”.

This interview was performed on 4/9/15 at Mezzanine San Francisco. In addition to Nili and Benjamin, I’d like to thank Annaïg Harness of the label Cinq 7 for making this interview possible.