Photography By: Gemini Foto
For some, rebellion is running away to join a band, for the diminutive singer and all round performer “Virginia Lillye”, childhood rebellion was getting a proper job! “Music is in my blood, my mother was a singer and dancer and my father was a bass player. I grew up on the side of stages, sucking away on my pacifier absorbing what was eventuating around me, a life of performing”. “I broke out of the mould when I was about 17 and worked in a bank and a clothing store, by the time I was 19 I realised I was a fool and got back into the scene again, since then I haven’t looked back.”
Explosive and dynamic vocalist Virginia Lillye has wooed audiences across Australia and internationally. Having shared the stage with Gene Simmons (KISS), Richie Kotzen (Poison), Gilby Clarke (Guns ‘N’ Roses), Dave Gleeson (Screaming Jets), Angry Anderson (Rose Tattoo), Mark Gable (The Choirboys), Steve Balbi (Noiseworks), Alex Smith (Moving Pictures), John Butler, Dan Sultan, Irwin Thomas (Southern Sons), John Paul Young, Paul Grey (Wa Wa Nee), Jon English, Wendy Matthews, Grace Knight, Phil Emmanuel, Peter Northcote, Brett Garsed (John Farnham), Bob Spencer (The Angels), Dave Leslie (Baby Animals), Dario Bortolin (Baby Animals). Ciaran Gribbin (INXS) to name but a few…. She is a force to be reckoned with.
“You’re voice is incredible!” – Joel Madden (Good Charlotte)
She was one of 9 Australian female singers chosen to be the face of Chrissie Amphletts (The Divinyls) ‘I Touch Myself’ campaign for breast cancer awareness and has been the voice for many companies such as Mercedes Benz. Volkswagen, Christian Dior and Telstra. Having lived in Europe for 11 years, Virginia appeared in productions of the musicals ‘Cats’, ‘Grease’, ‘Hair’, ‘Fame’, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and ‘The Life’.
She released a single for Sony ‘LUV2LUVU’, which went rocketing up the German dance charts, she toured LUV2LUVU playing festivals such as Popkomm & Sound of Frankfurt.
Virginia’s corporate gigs include shows in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Czech Republic, Turkey, Ireland, Dubai, Hawaii, Singapore, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.
She also has had many successful tours to the Middle East performing for the Australian, American and English troops and soared to Top 20 on The Voice Australia.
“Fuses were lit by the explosive Virginia Lillye” – Glenn A Baker Virginia’s original rock band, ‘Lillye’, signed with American record label, Eclipse Records and released their debut album worldwide in May 2018. The band have won several awards internationally and were nominated for ‘Best Rock Artist’ and ‘Best Hardcore/Metal Artist’ at the Australian Independent Music Awards. They have shared the stage with A Theory of a Deadman, Skid Row, Gilby Clarke, Crazytown, Electric Mary and have joined festivals across Australia.
‘Virginia is one of the greatest female vocalists that this planet has ever produced!‘ – Heavy Magazine
Passionate, Raw, Exciting & Intense are the traits of the insatiable… Virginia Lillye
Thank you for taking this interview! How has the New Year been for you so far as an artist?
Thank you for inviting me to have a chat. The New Year has been going well. With Covid restrictions being lifted, shows and gigs have been happening again which has been awesome. Nice to see people getting out and enjoying live music again.Nothing better than a live music fix to lift spirits and smiles. Can you tell us how you've transformed from the beginning to now as an artist? If you’re talking from the beginning of the year till now.. I think the biggest transformation for me since the beginning of this year has been patience. I don’t have much of it so I guess it helped me being still for the last few years due to the pandemic.. lol! I am normally quite energetic in my performances and everyday movements but I’ve noticed I have mellowed out and am more patient. I’ve also found the confidence to pursue other creative fields such as photography and art which are evolving nicely.
If you are talking about my transformation since I started as an artist.. I would say I have transformed in many, many ways. Lots of roads, opportunities and possibilities have made me who I am today. I guess the most transformative trait was believing in myself. Learning to curb the fear of rejection, comparison, doubt and failure. How did you come up with your latest project?
My latest single release was with rock band Lillye. We were approached to do our version of a cover song from a well known Australian band for a compilation album that was to be released in America. We had recorded the song and shot the video clip for it but unfortunately, it didn’t end up going ahead as planned. As we had the material and we were keen to release it, we thought we would independently release it. Our version of ‘Better’ shot to number 1 on the ITunes Rock Charts in Australia.
Where are you from originally?
Originally I am from Australia. I was born in Sydney.
Where do you live now?
I live in Sydney now but I did live in Germany for 11 years.
Do you think where you live impacts how your music is made?
Not for me personally but I can see how that can impact somebody when making music. I can see how Nashville would have a big influence on you if you wanted to play and write country music for example.
What was the inspiration to make music your career? I grew up in a very musical orientated family and therefore was always inspired and encouraged by them to pursue music as a career. The joy music brings makes my soul happy and if you are doing a career that you love, then you never work a day in your life. I am continually inspired by my fellow artists . They keep my passion burning and my thirst quenched every day.
How do you want to shape your career?
By being as creative as possible in all aspects of creation. I think it's important to have many roads that lead to one. Do you work on a tight timeline always or do you go with the flow when it comes to your music? It all depends on the particular project however having said that, I find it is always good to set a light timeline or even better, a solid timeline..lol. If there is no pressure to get the project done it is nice to just go with the flow but sometimes that flow drifts away into oblivion so to have a timeline that is focused on progressive movement, it is definitely a good idea to create a realistic timeline. Especially when having more than one member in your band. You need to organise your time wisely. When you find the right people to work with, when the connection musically is there, then the flow comes very easily when writing music and that... is pure gold. A magical moment!
How did your latest title of your music come to be? My latest album release was with rock band Lillye. We titled our album ‘Evolve' because as a band, individually, personally and musically we were all evolving. We were all in transition to the next stage of our lives.
Is it hard to let go of the music when it is done? Lol.. sometimes. The perfectionist in me wants to redo vocal lines or deconstruct song structures but I’ve learnt to just let it go. Sometimes that crack in your voice just needs to be there. It suits the song.. You know?
Do you feel an emotional attachment with your music? Oh absolutely. I find it incredibly cathartic when song writing.. you are baring your soul. Therefore I feel very connected when listening back to tunes that I have written. It takes me right back to where I was at that time of my life. Music has that effect on you. How would you describe your music in one word to someone who hasn't listened to it yet?
Where do they go to listen NOW?
What has been the best fan reaction to your music? A dear friend and a huge fan of Lillye was inspired to raise money for an environmental charity by painting himself head to toe in green paint. to represent earth, and he would run from suburb to suburb to his favorite Lillye track called ‘Run. We dedicated that video clip to him. Very sadly he lost his life in a motorcycle accident. We wanted to give back to him and all the good he had planned for the planet. That was most definitely one of the best fan reactions.
Is there anything exciting coming up for you? Currently I am working on a few different projects. I have a big show coming up with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra singing classic rock songs.. that should be wild. I’m also heading into the studio shortly.with opera singer Clarissa Spata whom I was paired with whilst in the battle round on The Voice Australia. We had a lot of fun singing and performing together and on top of that we received great response from people so.. we thought we should get together to record and release some tunes. Moulding rock music with opera is awesomely dramatic and intense. Am looking forward to see how it all turns out. Really getting into my art lately too. I love to see how that is growing and I intend to continue pursuing more of that too.
Are you performing the song anywhere LIVE?
Hopefully yes! Keep an eye out for updates and news.
Give us all your socials and links so fans can link up with you! Thank you for this interview! www.virginialillye.com.au www.facebook.com/vlillye www.instagram.com/virginialillye.official https://m.facebook.com/LILLYE.art.official/ https://www.instagram.com/lillye_art/ http://www.lillye.net https://www.facebook.com/lillyeband https://www.instagram.com/lillyeband/