Lilly Winwood, who performs Saturday June 4 at Natalie's Worthington, joins Music Journeys to chat about her debut record, settling in Nashville, crafting her own sound as the daughter of a music legend, the song she cut with her dad, her collaboration with Boo Ray, and more. She also delivers some stellar selections in that fun little segment called the Fast Five. Thanks for listening.
Lilly Winwood has found a home in Nashville, and it's familiar.
"I was actually born in Nashville, believe it or not with my accent," Winwood said. "My mom is from west Tennessee. All my siblings were born in the U.S but grew up primarily in the U.K. The music scene was not that prevalent in Gloucestershire, England. So most of my musical influence came from the U.S. side of things. I've been living back in Nashville for about 8 years. It all just fell into place. I am fortunate enough to be from a musical family, so there were lots of opportunities there. Turns out I really enjoyed it."
Few More Records plays...
"Nashville can take you either one of two ways," Winwood said. "There's a big party scene here, always something going on and an opportunity to play. It's very easy to play your cards wrong here, but also very easy to play them right. With the right attitude and focus and the connections you can make here, the city has so many opportunities. It's really easy to think you're trying when in reality you might not be. It took a lot of years for me to figure out that I've been playing for the same drunk crowd for way too long, I'm going to do something else."
How did she get past that and create something that reflects her own taste?
"I think the pandemic had a lot to do with it," Winwood reflected. "My debut record, I was sitting on it for about a year and a half before I released it. The pandemic pushed me. There is that feeling that is this good enough, should I hold it. But being in the pandemic and not being able to play more, it fueled this drive. I can't just sit here until different venues open up. I might as well release some music and see what happens."
Winwood released her first full-length album Time Well Spent in 2021.
You'll Know Where To Find Me plays...
"The overall subject of the record is the coming of age transitional period of maybe crossing a certain threshold and coming back as a different person and discovering things along the way," Winwood said of her debut. "Each song is like an ode to some kind of form of growth. I think TIme Well Spent is such a prevalent name because no matter what you spend your time doing in that period of growth whether it be a good or a bad experience, it's time well spent because you're a new person."
One Step Behind plays...
"That song was originally called Karma," Winwood said of One Step Behind. "I think for the longest time I was indulging in some self-sabotaging behavior and it never caught up with me. I think that song came from a raw place. Somebody hurry up and make me accountable for my actions. Where the hell is Karma?"
Smell of Defeat plays...
"My favorites kind of change a lot," Winwood said. "I haven't listened to those songs for so long. But one that came up was Smell of Defeat, which is about always searching for some sort of gratification and positive feedback. I can't stand the thought of not getting what I want in this moment right now."
Nameless is another one.
"It started off without a name and the meaning was gobbly goop and nonsense but the lyrics fit the structure of the song," Winwood said of Nameless. "But thinking about it now and as I play it more and more - the meaning has become something else. I do have a famous last name, and this song does talk about my family and the meaning of that song to me now is that no matter what your last name is, your family is your family."
Lilly's father, Steve, has been a musician for nearly 6 decades from his first band the Spencer Davis Group to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Traffic to the supergroup Blind Faith to his illustrious solo career and session work that continues today. For Lilly Winwood, who turns 27 this year, figuring out her own sound remains a constant journey.
"I think I'm still trying to figure that out if I'm being honest," Winwood said. "I've learned to accept it. I'm very proud of my father's work. I would never say I wouldn't want anything to do with that. I just try to make my music as good that he's not even in the picture. That's the way I look it. Make people think differently."
Winwood continued that her father has always been supportive.
"Anything from coming to our sports games growing up and stuff like that," Winwood continued. "Maybe one musical memory would be him creeping in and listening to something I'm working on and saying why don't you try it like this. There's loads of little memories like that, and we'd all kind of help eachother out. My dad, my brother, my sisters and me."
They did a version of Higher Love together that turned out well despite Winwood not feeling ill.
"It's so funny because that single was his idea and very much him," Winwood said of the song. "I was home sick from school and you can hear it in my voice. There was a James Vincent McMorrow version of Higher Love that's very similar and slow. I think my dad heard that and took a liking to it and did his own stripped back version. He loosely talked to me about it. I was like yeah, whatever. Sure enough I was home one day, and he said why don't you try this and get in the booth. I ended up singing and it made a Hershey's commercial."
Higher Love plays...
Winwood also has collaborated with Boo Ray.
"Such a cool guy and I've known him for a while," Winwood said of Boo Ray. "I've been a fan of his music. He did a collaboration series. He came to me with this song idea, and I absolutely can't remember what I contributed lyrically. But I sat with him and he had a few things he was stuck with. We worked out the structure. To this day, I think it's such a cool song."
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"There is nothing more inspirational than just other music," Winwood said. "Me and my boyfriend went to a Derek Trucks concert and Marcus King got up there. He had the best line - Marcus King makes me want to pick up a guitar and go practice, and Derek Trucks makes me want to put one down. There's nothing like a really really good show or hearing a song with such good lyric. One thing my dad used to say to me is that it's very rare when musicians are also music lovers. But I am very much a music lover before I am a musician."
Sleep Issues plays...
"I didn't want to sit on that one too long," Winwood said of Sleep Issues. "It's rare for me to say I'm a fan of a song. But I actually believed in this song and it was a song that's very true to me and had a lot of feeling involved and hopefully it's part of a bigger picture sooner rather than later. But for right now, I just wanted to get it out there."
Winwood performs Saturday June 4th at Natalie's Worthington.