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Saturday, January 03, 2009 

GoGirls Interview with LiLi Roquelin

By Annette Warner

GoGirls: What drives your music. When did you first know you had to do this thing called music or bust?

I have been doing music without knowing it since I was 4. My dad's a musician so I was going to his gigs when I was little, singing along... Then when I had my first concert in high school, that was the revelation, how I felt on stage while performing my songs was indescribable!

GoGirls: Describe your style and name three musicians you have been inspired by admire and tell us why.

My recordings are chill-out with trip-hop beats behind my vocals and piano and other electronic sounds. When I perform live it is down-tempo voice/piano accompanied with strings. How to pick 3?... Madonna for her strength; I admire Imogen Heap for her creativity and independence, and producer William Orbit for his sounds.

GoGirls: What's your ideal venue atmosphere?

I like both big and small crowds. In a big room it is more challenging to reach out to people but once you got them the energy is overwhelming. A small venue is fun too, I like performing when people are almost sitting next to me! Very intimate!

GoGirls: Describe your music career's evolvement since you first started performing? And tell us about your music scene at home in France.

I started with an original electro-pop band as a teenager, singing, programming and composing, recording on 4-tracks. Then I played in several cover bands, I wanted to experience real instruments! I tried out blues-rock, rock, punk, etc... as lead singer and back-up as well. I wasn't happy with the music scene in France, it was more of a DJ scene, and music education is too conservative (no offense!). I knew I would go live in the US, it was all around me. So when it finally came to me, I took the big step and moved all alone! I had an original rock-pop band 3 weeks after I got here! I learned the guitar but didn't keep with it as an instrument. After one album release the band broke up -just like a lot of bands, so I joined another band, this time more established. With them I wrote and sang melodic hard-rock songs, and had the chance to record in a major studio with a top-notch engineer. I received so many technical compliments from him that I realized I was capable of doing much more. He introduced me to another producer, Sean Bilovecky, who showed me the trip-hop/alternative sound and I totally loved it and continued in that direction. We did the song "I Saw You" together. It was Sean that encouraged me to get Pro-Tools and build my own studio. I started to record and in the same time I had a vision of singing with a piano. I took piano lessons for that purpose, and here I am!

GoGirls: Tell us about the inspiration for your latest release; what inspired the name and how has your music evolved from the first release to the latest.

My last EP includes 3 audio tracks and the music video for "I Saw You" which received a Best Music Video Award recently. The audio was mixed by a 3-time Grammy winning engineer Marc Urselli. One of the songs on there, "Your Imagination" has a deep message that goes to everyone who just goes on and on everyday without keeping their inspiration safe. I believe that dreams and imagination keep you alive; whether you're an artist or not.... I think my songwriting has improved a lot since my first release, with more confidence I am more open and I am not afraid of being emotional with the words as well as with the voice.

GoGirls: What do you think is number one for a musician to think about before preparing for a CD project - and do you have any tips on saving time in the studio?

Get your own studio!... Well, I know some musicians don't want to have to deal with recording though. If you've booked a studio, just be really prepared, make sure your songs are finished, practice all your instruments lines beforehand, if you're a singer, prepare your harmonies before hand too! Find a way to record yourself at home to make sure everything you wrote is in tune. Get some sleep, eat well, and relax. If the engineer is pretty fast you'll have to keep up with him/her... and be prepared to change a song! That can happen too, sometimes it sounds good until you hear it through the speakers of the recording room.

GoGirls: What makes or breaks a musician just starting out in your opinion?

I think it's kinda hard to define this considering how the music industry has been revolutionized by the new media. I think now any musician has a lot of different ways to reach out to an audience. I would say it's wanting it, and surrounding yourself with the right people and positive energies, and networking.

GoGirls: Describe your toughest moment in your quest for a pro music career so far and tell us how you overcame them.

I probably haven't lived the toughest moment yet. If I were to mention something, it would be how many people are out there trying to take your money, they know music is your passion and they think you're dumb and that you'd pay anything for anything. Almost makes you think sometimes it's because you're a woman! It's important to keep a clear mind, take your time, investigate and be firm!

GoGirls: What kind of advice would you offer up and coming artists that get discouraged other than don't give up?

Try to have another activity on the side of doing music, make sure that you can find energy in something else and put that energy back into your music and business.

GoGirls: Tell us something you want the independent music world to know about you.

Last spring I launched a fundraiser online and it covered all the expenses for my EP.

GoGirls: What can your fans expect at a show and after a show?

I perform with my heart and make people feel involved. I sing in English and sometimes in French. I absolutely love meeting new people, talking with them about what they're doing, where they come from, etc...!

GoGirls: On gogirls music…

I have a learned a lot on music business through the teleseminars & meetings and I am very happy to be an Elite member! I grew up in the 90's with the "girl power" kind of movement and I always wanted to be a part of something that would encourage women, because, after all, chicks rock!!!

More about LiLi at:

In addition to being the Founder, and Editor of CoffeeHouseTour.com, Annette Warner is a freelance sales Copywriter and Web Resource Developer with her own business; Awesome Webs. She also enjoys duties as a part time event planner and booking and music entertainment manager for several local festivals. She holds the position of Editor with the oldest and largest online community for Women in Music, http://www.gogirlsmusic.com/ and is the SC and NC Chapter Coordinator for the organization. She organizes and promotes the Wilmington, NC based and successful AWEsome 'Live Performance' Songwriting Competition now in it's 11th year. She is the owner of A. Warner Entertainment, a Live Entertainment Publicity Planning Agency. In short..."Some serious A'netteworking since 1995." Annette resides in Wilmington, NC with her tiny Chihuahuas, Kirby and Sofe. You can reach Annette at Awarner at coffeehousetour dot com.

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    Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 15 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded GoGirlsMusic.com, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.

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