Lillian Halima Anderssen, otherwise cleverly modernised and adapted to Lil Halima, falls nothing short of alluring. Only newly twenty, the singer unpacks thoughtful and visionary lyricism through her personal woes in her last EP Love Songs for Bad Lovers, which was openly influenced by her first experience in a relationship, or as Lil Halima describes the experience “More like punch in the face”. However, her new EP(s)! looking to be released by late January will be of like an eclipse, exposing new energy in a truly revealing and authentic way that is both too bright to look at yet also so stunning that you cannot look away. “Here in Northern Norway, we walk into a time where it will be pitch black 24/7 because of the placement on earth, but during summer the sun won’t go down. Therefore I’m making two EPs, one for the dark days and one for the bright days. This one is for the dark days, and it’s a whole mood and very personal. I put myself in a very vulnerable situation releasing this. But I also feel like I found a place and I stayed there”.
Originally graced from Bardu in northern Norway, her hometown morphed her sound as well as becoming her main location for music video shoots for earlier songs such as “Train”. Seeking individuality came swiftly to Lil Halima, with being the only PoC in her class for at least a decade throughout her adolescence in school, she was quickly made to realise that she was already one. And no part of her didn’t want to take advantage. “I very quickly realized that music and arts is a very nice way to be different. Growing up in Northern-Norway really shaped me as an artist. I got to experience a lot of mixed music, I got to test out a lot of different things and i had a lot of time in my hands to explore ways to be happy in my own company. That’s where I found my love for music and arts. The music scene is not too big but its a lot of music all around here in Northern-Norway. I’ve actually been into a lot of different genres. I started playing violin when I was 5, so I enjoyed folk music a lot. My grandmother usually sang more traditional Norwegian music, while my mom loved R&B and groups like TLC and Destiny’s Child, and my dad listened to 90’s hip-hop from the states”. And apparently the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree when it comes to her earliest memory of a good record “I do remember very clearly playing Rihanna’s album Good Girl Gone Bad on CD in my room, I would be singing along for hours and hours. Man, I sang sooooooo much as a child! Hours a day probably”.
Similarly to the likes of Lorde, Frank Ocean and David Hockney, Lil Halima has been open about her experiences with synesthesia; which is neurological phenomenon that basically means that she is able to view sound as colour and hears colours as sound. These eerie sounds and atmospheric instrumentals helps mould her songs into the all-encompassing experiences they are which can relate to everyone way beyond the surface level. “My song Jasmine has made me get in touch with so many amazing and strong women. As recent as last week I got a text from a girl in Australia saying that her boyfriend was cheating on her throughout the whole ass relationship and she never fucked with any song the way she fucks with Jasmine. I got the chance to say ‘Hey! Thank you, and I’m so sorry that happened to you’. I got to do that a couple of times through Jasmine, girls I don’t know from all over the world told me they’re hurting and I got to be a space where they got to talk to an unknown person who wouldn’t judge them or the situation. Music is magic, man. Connecting people!”
As well as producing, singing and songwriting, Lil’ can be found with a paintbrush in her hand, drawing and paint just as well “It has always just been natural for me. I just feel like I’m an artist, and I feel like what makes you an artist is the urge to express yourself through art forms. So it feels natural that I would want to find different sorts of outlets, I’m sure that with time I’ll even find more!” From designing her own album covers to casually crafting pieces from the canvas to her friends’ bare backs you’ll find an array of portraits dotted all over her Instagram feed of Tyler, the Creator, Kanye West, Earl Sweatshirt, Kehlani along with other contemporary R&B and hip-hop royalties “First of all, I met Tyler this summer and he looks like a fucking walking cartoon character. Every time I meet famous people I’m like ‘Damn, they’re so human!’ but he looks like he’s made of wax from an animated movie. I only paint artists when I don’t have anything else to paint, to practice my skills. It’s when I create fully from my own head and perception, I create art”.
Now her first release of 2019, the 20-year old rising star has released the angelic new track ‘Hold Me’ which was co-produced by George Moore who has written for the likes of Clean Bandit and Kwabs, released via Universal Music and Def Jam Recordings Norway. The single is taken from her forthcoming EP, ‘for the dark days’, set for release on 22nd February, touching on the fleeting emotions of compulsion, vulnerability and longing. “Hold me’ is about how during dark days, having someone to hold onto might seem like the only thing you need but also how unhealthy it is to put yourself in someone else’s hands like that. It might seem like a very dark song but in many ways what I’m trying to say is that nothing is wrong with me, I just need a hand to hold onto although in this case, it should’ve been my own.” But her favourite part about being an artist? “It’s a way of releasing pain, joy, happiness, sadness and the infinite feelings in between”.
Photography: Madison Blackwood
Creative Direction: Genea Bailey
Styling: Fliss Rudd
HMUA: Natalia Catafau
Retouching: Hannah Broad
Words: Ashley Morris