An inspiring conversation with talented Lily Amis about her latest single and much more!
"The Stolen Years," Lily Amis' latest single, featuring talented Thir13een, is a song you cannot miss!
Lily Amis’ latest single, “The Stolen Years,” is a rare gem of contemporary music that combines brilliant songwriting, meaningful lyrics, and a truly outstanding performance of an artist who knows how to go straight to the listeners’ hearts!
Today, at Planet Singer, we have the pleasure of diving into Lily Amis’ world with an exclusive interview!
Lily, thanks a lot for being with us today! Your music is deep, evocative, and inspiring. With memorable melodies and brilliant lyrics, your songs feed the emotions and dreams of the listeners. We are thrilled to know more about your artistic journey, so let’s start from the very beginning. When did you discover your passion for music?
Thank you so much for having me. I think my love for music is in my DNA. My grandfather (my mum’s dad) played different instruments such as the violin, the sitar, and the piano. He was also a music teacher at the Conservatory of Music in Tehran. From a young age, I enjoyed singing and dancing in front of the mirror. Unfortunately, I didn’t like to play an instrument, even though we had them all. Music always made me happy. It is healing and the reason why I love it so much.
Your single “The Stolen Years” is such a brilliant song. Can you tell us more about this track?
I’m glad to hear that you like this very personal song. The Stolen Years is inspired by my memoir THE STOLEN YEARS IN ZURICH. If you listen carefully to the lyrics, it is a sad song. For a long time, I thought that it should be a ballade. But then I’ve decided that it’s better to make an up-tempo song despite or actually because of the strong and deep message.
Time is the most precious gift we have, but life itself, with all its challenges and obstacles, makes us forget its value. And before we realize it, decades pass like a blink of an eye. And that’s how I feel today. I often wonder how fast it went by while I was surviving instead of living and appreciating every single day, even the difficult ones. And I think everyone can relate to the lyrics in one or the other way.
It is also a special song to me because I fulfilled my childhood dream and sang little parts in the chorus. Can you imagine how I felt when I heard my voice next to this incredibly talented artist? There are no words to describe how emotional I felt. I cried!
How did you meet talented British producer, singer, and songwriter Thir13een?
Working with Thir13een has been the highlight of my year. I don’t exaggerate when I say he is a gift from God. I write song lyrics for more than a decade, and it has always been my wish to collaborate with a talented singer. That’s why I’ve participated in the UK Songwriting Contest in the lyrics category with my song “80 Million People!”. It is a song dedicated to all the innocent refugees worldwide. I was gutted when it didn’t even make it to the Semi-Final.
Months after participating, I also started an online petition #HumanityB4Nationality for better rights for refugees regarding education and integration. It was much harder than I thought to get people to support my cause. Not even charities and NPOS who work in this field signed the petition. So I thought with the miracle of music, I might reach more people, and I began to contact unknown and well-known singers in Germany. As expected, my messages were ignored!
Then I discovered Thir13een on the internet. I was blown away by his voice and didn’t hesitate. I sent him a message and explained that I needed a song for my online petition. Within minutes he replied and said, send me your lyrics, which I did, and he responded: I’m ready if you are! I couldn’t believe my luck and was overwhelmed. Only a few days later, he sent me the finished song, and I was close to tears. Hearing the lyrics that mean so much to me with this unbelievable voice and wonderful melody was a miracle.
Both of us couldn’t predict that only two days after my song’s release, Europe would be facing another war and refugee crisis. While the war broke out, Thir13een was actually recording our second song, BLOOD IS ALWAYS RED!, which is an anti-war and anti-discrimination song.
So thanks to my online petition, I found the most talented producer with an incredibly beautiful, soulful, and touching voice. He is brilliant and feels my lyrics word for word. Working with him is truly a blessing.
Your songwriting is unique; can you tell us your creative process? How does your music come to life?
I think my creative process is a bit unusual. Please don’t laugh. Ok, I have a topic, I choose the song title, I design the song cover, and then the lyrics start to flow…. LOL!
I have been writing and illustrating books since 2014. So one of the most challenging but also exciting parts of songwriting is to keep it short, which is easier said than done for a storyteller.
Wow, that’s fascinating! So, as a writer and songwriter, where do you find your inspiration?
I honestly think that good lyrics come from lots of pain, sorrow, heartbreak, loneliness, and difficult life experiences. I have so many topics on my mind. Let me tell you a funny story.
In 2011, despite having diplomas in web publishing, public relation, and marketing, I was unemployed for months and forced to work in a call center for a Swiss phone company in the billing department. I was taking calls from unfriendly customers who were yelling at me all the time. The only way for me to survive the exhausting hours on the phone was by writing song lyrics. I have always been able to find inspiration and motivation through creativity to survive impossible and hopeless times!
Your music is much more than great melodies and inspiring lyrics. There is a narrative and a beautiful aim behind tracks like “80 Million People!” and “Blood Is Always Red!” Can you tell us more about these two singles?
It means a lot to me that you noticed how these two songs have a deeper message. During the pandemic, people were complaining about all kinds of things, which was understandable but at the same time upsetting for me.
Listen carefully to “80 Million People!” lyrics, and you understand what I mean. The chorus says NOW YOU KNOW HOW IT FEELS LIKE TO BE HELPLESS… NOW YOU KNOW HOW IT FEELS LIKE TO BE POWERLESS! Listen, and you understand what I mean!
“Blood is always red!” is a song that I wrote during my job at the call center while rude customers were yelling at me for no reason. It was years before the black lives matter movement. I had this title on my mind for over a decade because I have experienced bullying, rejection, discrimination, and racism all my life as a former refugee and foreigner in the heart of Europe.
And to be honest, it makes me sick to my stomach when I witness and experience zero acceptance and tolerance still in 2022! The idea for the chorus “Chocolate matters, Vanilla matters, Caramel matters, All flavors matter…” came last year, though, because I have found my passion for baking, and I didn’t want to use the usual word that everyone knows by now! I wanted something different, and when you listen to the entire song until the end, you understand why I have chosen flavors instead of color.