She’s a singer. Song-writer. And producer. At her first album. Is that true? Yes, it is. LYLA FOY is quickly gaining attention, after the release of her first single Feather Tongue – which NBHAP included in our “Nothing But..Spring”-Compilation – and her debut album Mirrors The Sky in March 2014. Though, she’s been around for some time, with her project WALL. In front of her a busy summer tour we had time to catch up before her performance in Amsterdam, to have an insight on her musical choices and projects.
So, tell us a bit how did you set foot in the music scene?
I teached myself how to play guitar at 14, I used to write terrible songs. I was really shy so I always thought it would be impossible to become a singer. But when I was 19, I decided to try to make this line of work. When I finished school I worked in order to buy the basic equipment to teach myself how to record music as I find it quite important in my music and it takes a while to figure out all systems and stuff.
People might know you with your previous stage name, WALL. Is there many differences and how did you decided to switch?
Musically there’s not really much difference. When I started my project I did not anticipate having a band and making an album. At the same time I was playing in other bands, and I just put my songs online under the name of WALL, to try something out. I liked the name, but it was a project not meant to last. Eventually people started to be interested in my music and you cannot say: “Hang on, I want to change name!”. But WALL was meant to be the early days and now I have a band and I preferred to perform under my own name.
Regarding your performances: you started touring a couple of weeks ago and your tour will keep you busy for the whole Summer. How’s it have been going til now and what’s your feelings about it?
I am looking forward to the next couples of months, especially for the dates in Sweden, as I have never been there. It is quite intense and a bit tiring, but indeed a lot fun. As well, it is important to pace yourself a little bit, not start out expecting too much on the first night, but enjoying each gigs having a little bit fun day by day. At the same time I can’t wait to start writing again, back in London after the tour. When you stop doing what you are used to youI feel like kinda losing the sense of yourself.
For some songs you’ve travelled and recorded natures sounds in Lake District area and Wales. How important is to travel for your music?
It is not necessary to be somewhere else. But when you are home you are just around your usual surrounding. You do not see things properly, but when you go somewhere new, everything looks brighter, more real, and you notice more on what’s around you. That is why I like travelling, I have a portable studio, a box with my computer, speakers and so on, I can put it in the back of my car, leave and go somewhere recording.
How would you describe your album Mirrors the Sky?
It is quite a melancholy album, there are few love songs. Reminiscence from past events though not regret. It’s kinda therapeutic, addressing mistakes you make when you are young. It’s kinda personal though I never write something completely personal, I add bits from other people’s experiences. It comes from me and then I make it something more relatable for everyone. It is quite open lyrically.
You recorded and produced your album by yourself. Is this choice made to preserve independency of what’s hiding behind it?
I found difficult to vocalize what I like and what I want. I tried to work in the studio with somebody and it was fun, but especially when I was younger I thought I liked something but then I realized I did not . When I work on my own, I feel out what I made, I do not rush my thoughts, but I follow my instinct and timing.
I kinda like the idea of collaborating with producers and so on, it is not that I cannot work with anyone.. I think you need the confidence to have done what I did and then move on from there.
You recorded your album in a really short time, with new material, so should we expect as new album soon?
I am really impatient with my music, i wanna have it out there immediately, I do not like to wait. The song from these albums are “brand new”, they’ve not being lying around for that long. So hopefully I would come back from our tour in the summer and start writing again, and have it done pretty soon.
The video for Honeymoon is almost finished: we saw the picture you’ve posted on your Facebook account: it’s quite dark! Give us some insight on the song and on the video as well.
The song is (with Rumors) my favourite. It is quite dark, about mind games in relationships, especially in the after stages like honeymoons.
Because I do so much with my music completely on my own, I find it nice to collaborate with other artists when having to incorporate visuals to my music. I wanted the video not to be a narrative story, but to be purely visual, having light colours, using actions that convey something, but subtly. We worked with two directors that had the main concept. The video is quite bleak and simple. We wanted to use the concept of purification of emotions, that’s why it will be on reverse. Throughout the video I was lying freezing cold on a concrete floor while the band members were throwing stuff on me!