“I go to a music school in the downtown area of Brisbane, Australia, with about seventy people,” explained 16-year-old Lili Kendall in a recent Skype interview. “It’s a big dysfunctional family, but it’s a safe haven. My passion for music drove me to the school — as well as a bullying situation. In Australia we call it ‘tall poppy syndrome.’”
She and her classmates are “people who want to do something” and that can be a problem in school. But it sort of doesn’t matter for Kendall, because she’s found something that she really wants to do.
“Growing up,” she explained, “I didn’t really have any hobbies but one Christmas I sang some carols and my parents heard and sort of asked me ‘where did that come from?’” Since then, she’s found her voice, and admiration for other singers. “I like Billie Holliday, Beyonce and Katy Perry – but I have a respect for all artists.”
As for her own work, “I have one single coming out every month this year, and at the end of the year I’ll have an album,” she shared. “If there’s something going on in my life or a story or a basic idea — all of that can become a song. I go to Los Angeles four or five times a year with my dad and write with Cameron Jaymes. We write and then lay down a rough vocal track, and then decide if it’s something we want to produce back in Australia.”
As for being a professional musician, she believes, “if this is really what you want you shouldn’t listen to people who want to knock you down. And I’m starting to see results — if you’re passionate about this you can make a living at it.”