Elly Watson. 24. Freelance journalist. 

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Tara Lily

Tara Lily

Some people just have that voice. You know the one. Amy had it. Adele has it. We all wish we had it. It’s the kind of voice that transports you into a different world. The kind we all desperately try to replicate whilst loudly singing along to YouTube instrumentals at home, often to the slight exasperation of our neighbours. Tara Lily has one of those voices.

Based in Peckham, Lily grew up surrounded by music. Starting piano lessons when she was in primary school, this is where she found her calling. “I had a little keyboard on the kitchen floor and I used to play all these little tunes they taught me. I used to improvise and mix them all up and I learnt to play by ear by doing that”, she fondly recalls. “That’s why I became interested in jazz.”

Drawn to jazz music, Lily was originally set to become one of the BRIT School’s alumni greats before realising it wasn’t quite right for her. “I personally found it boring!” she tells me. “It wasn’t challenging enough for me because I didn’t get to do the music I wanted to... I was also pretty wild at the time and spent most of the time there getting mash up and then ended up getting kicked out!”

Clearly a work of fate, Lily has since been allowed to craft her own unique sound and is establishing herself on the forefront of the thriving UK jazz scene. Although there’s not much of her music online at the moment, scrolling through her Instagram you can find little snippets of her greatness. In one video in particular, her hauntingly beautiful vocals ring out from a window in South London as she proudly plays her music to the streets below.

Now working on her upcoming EP, Lily has found an unlikely collaborator in Boy Better Know’s Jammer. I ask her what it’s like working with the grime legend on a jazz record. “Although Jammer is a grime producer, like me he has a wide knowledge of music and was the most open to all sorts of ideas, different sounds and mixing them in any which way”, Lily tells me. “By being so open musically he’s allowed me to develop my own style. I bring my live jazz musicians to the studio and he mixes it all up. He’s producing on the whole EP I’m about to drop and I would say our sound together is something very unique and special!”

Sure to catapult her into stardom, time to warn your neighbours because they’re going to be hearing nothing but your Tara Lily sing-a-longs for a long, long time.

Photography - Mia Clark

Fashion - Warren Leech

Hair - Betty Bee

Makeup - Grace Vee

Photography Assistant - Martin D Barker

Wonderland Magazine Autumn 2017 Issue

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