Based in Valencia, singer-songwriter ‘Lili Del Sol’ delights audiences with her musical compositions in which she fuses Latin American rhythms to bring us closer to her land, culture and roots. Born in Cali, Colombia, she is a lover of nature. She believes in working for peace via her daily work. Her aim is that we respect all differences and she defends freedom as the highest expression of human dignity. She interprets and writes Latin American ‘musical stories’… combining rhythms, landscapes and languages too.
EXCLUSIVE ‘24/7 VALENCIA’ INTERVIEW WITH LILI DEL SOL
24/7 Valencia: What motivated you to begin a musical career?
Lili Del Sol: It is something that was inside of me. It’s like there is a feeling, a strong energy in my chest that keeps beckoning me to discover the music that I have inside of myself and to really take that inner trip. It was a case of discovering who I am and how to connect with people, and to discover my roots and everything. I think it’s been like that since I was little; I have been very into expressive music (for instance)… by hitting a cooking pot! Also, I had a small toy piano when I was younger. So, I’ve always been attracted to sound in general and music too.
How have your cultural roots influenced your music?
I’m from Cali, Colombia, which is a very special city because they call it ‘the Capital of Salsa’. In Cali, we have a special interpretation of salsa. There are Latin rhythms everywhere and there’s salsa everywhere too. So, since (I was) little, I am very much used to feeling the drums & the piano, especially that rhythm! I also live very close to the Pacific coast, which is a big influence; there are loads of musical styles and rhythms in Colombia. One of the most distinctive is Pacific music and within that the genre known as ‘Currulao’. In Cali, once a year we have a big festival with Afro-Colombian music dominating. I am super curious about all this music from my country.
What brought you to Valencia?
I came here to study at Berklee College of Music where I completed two masters.
When did you start writing your own music?
From 2016 to 2017, I started writing my first album.
What inspires the lyrics that you write?
I’m inspired by human experience. It could be anything that is also combined… with our experience of living and also the different ways of how people express that. For example, I could be inspired by seeing a bird…and think how that bird is flying and is able to see different humans singing together and then how that chant is somehow united, making us more together. That’s like an approach to an idea.
I also wrote a song as a tribute to the people who sell avocados in my city. My song ‘Aguacate’ is inspired by their chant when they go singing in the streets… so that you know that this person is coming, and most of them are women that are selling avocados. And so, I was like, wow, this person yells “aguacate” all day. I had the opportunity to talk to one of them and she was telling me that she wakes up at 4a.m. in the morning. She goes to pick up the avocados that are good for the day. And all of this, all of it is actually a distinctive and memorable example of the different realities that we experience as human beings. I’m very inspired by that…
How has nature influenced your work?
A lot. I love the sound. In my father’s country house, I loved to wake up first so I can go and wake up the rooster, to wake everyone else up! I also love the sound of crickets. I love the sound of water. I love the sound of the wind with the leaves. I love the sound of the afternoon; it has different sounds! Even if I’m in the city, I try to seek these natural sounds. I believe that we are part of nature but, somehow, we are disconnected from how nature works.
And you use these sounds of nature in your work?
Yes. I like to record (the sounds) of trips, of places I’ve been. The Metro in Paris, the bells of the Notre-Dame, the water in the Pacific in Panama. It could be something that it is not necessarily meaningful but I like it because I’ve been there as a place and felt something too. This may not necessarily create the lyrics but the atmosphere or a soundscape is something inspiring that I can put into my music.
How many instruments can you play?
I play the piano. To compose, I play the ‘Cuatro’, which is an instrument similar to a smallish guitar but with 4 strings and it is associated with Venezuela, Puerto Rico and other Latin American countries like Colombia. Also, I play a bit of six-string guitar and some percussion instruments too.
What is your favourite song to perform live?
My favourite song to perform? That’s hard to answer. Every time I perform a song, it’s different… I’ve never performed a song the same time twice. Every time it’s different.
Are you currently working on any projects? And if so, can you tell us about them?
Right now, I’m writing new music for my next solo album and I have also collaborated with Manu Linois, the guitarist from France. We released an EP together in collaboration, which was recorded during the confinement (lockdown). It’s been a beautiful and amazing journey working together. So, this year, we decided to continue writing together. However, I’m also composing new music for my next project as a solo artist.
Interview by Sabina Redfern
Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’
‘Lili del Sol’ photo by Tato Baeza
Lili Del Sol (Live)
C/ d’Ernest Anastasio, 46, 46011, Valencia
More information: https://lilidelsol.com/