The Introspective Musings of Zoey Lily

Introducing Zoey Lily, the talented singer-songwriter of Anglo-French descent who has recently unveiled her captivating EP titled ‘Too Many Nights’. 

This enchanting alternative pop project serves as a remarkable collection of melodies that perfectly encapsulate the essence of a gentle and dreamy summer. Building upon the triumph of her previous release, ‘Project Prologue’, which garnered an impressive 4 million streams, Zoey invites listeners on a spontaneous voyage, delving deep into her innermost thoughts and emotions.

Through meticulously crafted melodies and heartfelt lyrics, this fresh EP explores a range of themes including love, friendship, existential vulnerability, and the experience of loss. Zoey herself describes ‘Too Many Nights’ as a reflection of her introspective musings during late hours, embarking on an odyssey of self-love and personal growth.

In conversation with Noctis Magazine, we have the opportunity to get to know Zoey Lily and delve into the musical world she is unveiling to her audience.

Congratulations on the upcoming release of your EP, ‘Too Many Nights’! Could you tell us more about the inspiration behind the project and what listeners can expect from it?

Thank you so much, I’m super excited it’s finally out in the world! ‘Too Many nights’ is a project I’ve been working on over the course of almost two years and it’s mainly inspired by my personal feelings, thoughts and experiences throughout that period. 

Your previous release, ‘Project Prologue,’ has amassed over 4 million streams. How do you feel this new EP builds upon your previous work, both musically and thematically?

I think this EP is a more confident and distinguished version of my previous project. It’s still based on the same colour palette, but I’ve added a few more tones that weren’t there before. Although I still love sad melodies more than anything, the last two years I have probably been the happiest I’ve ever been and that shines through the songs in form of a light-heartedness that I didn’t have so much before.

In your own words, you described ‘Too Many Nights’ as a reflection of your late-night thoughts and feelings. Could you elaborate on the themes and emotions explored throughout the EP?

The main theme of the EP is personal growth, finding myself and learning to love myself. The older I get the more I’m realising that loving yourself also means setting boundaries and only allowing people into your world who love and accept your true being and in whose presence you can flourish. Letting people go isn’t always easy once you’ve formed an attachment even if it’s an unhealthy one. But it can be very empowering once you’ve healed and filled the gap with self-love.

‘stay’ is the only song that deals with a different topic. It’s a personal letter I wish I could have given to a boy called Louis, who left this world way too early. I kept asking myself if he would still be here today if only someone had told him how much he was loved and cared for before it was too late. I wrote ‘stay’ in the hope that it can be that voice for anyone who finds themselves in a dark place. 

The lead track from your EP, ‘not responsible,’ has a distinct Anglo-French vibe. How has your heritage influenced your musical style, and how does it manifest in your upcoming release?

While I sometimes write French lyrics, I’ve never consciously thought about integrating a French sound into my songs. I actually didn’t realise ‘not responsible’ had a French sound until people started pointing it out. When writing or producing I try not to overthink and just go with the flow of what feels and sounds right. But I’m very happy to see my upbringing in France is making an appearance in my songs. In the future I definitely want to incorporate more French lyrics into my music in and likely even write a song completely in French. 

You’ve already performed sold-out headline shows at prominent London venues. How does it feel to have such a strong live performance presence, and what can fans expect from your upcoming secret EP release party?

I love performing live so much and wish I could do it all the time. Although I get super nervous it’s the best feeling to share and experience my music with people in real life. 

The EP release party was one of the most magical experiences this year, my heart still feels so full from all the love and support. Imagine having all your favourite people together on a rooftop in the heart of East London celebrating your EP release. Everyone’s sipping on a drink whilst the sun is slowly setting and bathing all of our faces in golden tones. Just before sundown I performed an intimate acoustic live set followed by a homemade lemon drizzle cake with the EP artwork printed all over it. Then we just danced the night away. 

Your EP delves into themes of romantic relationships, friendships, existential fragility, and loss. How do these personal experiences shape your songwriting process, and what message or feeling do you hope to convey to your listeners through your music?

Song-writing can be quite tough especially when writing about something you’ve experienced very recently. But it’s the best way to digest pain, anger or any other emotion as you’re creating something tangible which I find so satisfying and beautiful. I want people to find comfort but also feel empowered by my music. 

Could you discuss the song-writing and production process for ‘Too Many Nights’?

I write all of my songs at home in my bedroom or studio. It’s my safe haven to create. I have a furry co-writer aka my cat Kiki who’s been very supportive throughout the process and makes sure I get lots of cuddle breaks in between. 

My songs usually start off with just a lyric, a chord progression or a vocal melody that I come up with or collect in my day-to-day life. Basically even the smallest thing that inspires me, even if it’s just one word, gets written down or recorded there and then as a voice memo on my phone. I use all these bits as inspiration when I’m back home working on music. I pre-produce all my songs to get the vision for the track set in stone and then work with producers to finish off the tracks. With ‘Too Many Nights’ it was no different. I worked with four producers in total but Louis Ryan was the main producer of the EP and worked on every single track. 

As a singer-songwriter, how do you strike a balance between expressing your own emotions and creating music that resonates with a wider audience?

I think it’s best to not overthink it. I believe when music comes from an honest and authentic place the chances are highest that it will resonate with other people as 

most of us deal with similar emotions. The more I progress as an artist the more I try to just listen to my gut and not the norms or current trends when it comes to making music.

Looking beyond the EP, what are your plans for the future? Can you provide us with a glimpse into any upcoming releases or projects you’re currently working on?

I want to say I’m working on an album but whether it will actually be released as one or not I don’t know yet. But what I know is that it’s going to be a little different from my previous music. It’s going to be more rhythmical and I’m taking more risks. I think I’m realising more and more that I’m a work in progress and that I will never fully have ‘found my sound’ or ‘found myself as an artist’ and that that’s the beauty of art. So I’m just very excited to see where this next chapter takes me. 

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Interview by Izabel Rose