Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed singer songwriter LiLi Roquelin about her music career, what inspires her, and her new song, Childfree.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
My name is LiLi Roquelin and I am a singer-songwriter-producer based in New York City. I’m original from France and I’ve been living in the US for over 15 years!
When did you first WANT to write songs?
I started writing poems when I was 9 or 10 years old. Then I started to write more poems mostly in English.
When did you take a step to start writing songs?
When I was 14, I formed my first band in high school and I collaborated with them, I’d write the lyrics and the topline singing melody, I’d also help with synth programming.
What was your first song released, and what was it about?
My first album release was here in the US with an original pop-rock band. The song was called “Wall Around You”. That was also the first song of mine to air on local commercial radio. This song is about being in a relationship with somebody that does not see you and doesn’t let you in and yet you tell him that you will melt his heart.
What was your latest song released, and what was it about?
It is my current single and it’s called “Childfree”!
Focusing on your latest song. What were your biggest challenges with Childfree?
“Childfree” was challenging to write and produce because the message in it is very personal. It’s for women, like myself, that are happy to have a chosen to live a life without children. I didn’t know what kind of reaction I would get from the public considering how controversial the topic can be for some people, and I knew it would get some backlash too so I was scared and had doubts at times. Then I finally realized “if I don’t do this for us women, who will?”.
Women are free, we need to stand up for our freedoms and I am very happy to be a voice for us the childless by choice women, and to inspire many to speak up and do what they want to do! I am ultimately grateful for the response it got and that it’s been called “the anthem for childfree women” by such women themselves.
How many songs are you working on right now?
I am mostly focusing on spreading the word about “Childfree” and I also have a few music videos concepts and a few early ideas for future songs in the works.
Do you keep to a theme with your music, or just go where the mood strikes?
I try to let my creativity be free. I don’t like staying in one style or theme. Otherwise, it’s like forcing yourself to feel a certain way every day and that’s not healthy.
What is your favourite song you’ve recorded, and what do you love about it?
Oh wow that is a tough question! They are all my babies it’s hard to pick one. Today, it’s “After Dark” from my latest album “Be Inspired”. It has an emotional progression in it and I also love how the studio band followed that, it is powerful.
Do you find other people’s music inspires you? Who do you listen to most?
For sure! These days I listen a lot to Ludovico Einaudi, a fantastic contemporary pianist, and also British goddess Florence and the Machine.
Do you write your own music, or do you have musicians you work with?
I write my own songs since 2008 when I started being a solo artist. Before that I was collaborating in bands. Sometimes I do collaboration singles.
Do you play any instruments?
Voice is my main instrument and I accompany myself with Piano or ukulele. I play a bit the guitar too.
Do you like performing live, or does it scare you? Where can people watch you?
I love performing live, I played any playable venues in New York City until the pandemic hit. Livestreaming is quite interesting too. For events, visit my website http://liliroquelin.com/events
Is your music available online, and where can people listen to it?
Yes please! All my albums and singles are now available at all music platforms. Links are here: http://liliroquelin.com
Are your friends and family supportive of your music career?
I think so, but I have supported myself and motivated myself on my own since forever, I am self-driven.
What’s something you never expected about being a songwriter? What have you learned that surprised you?
How people connect to the songs, they have their own interpretation and sometimes it touches their soul and when they tell me about how “it changed their lives”, that is the best reward.
Have you had any experiences that really stand out because of your songs?
I really liked (and still do) having dance choreography done with my music. Maddie Ziegler (Sia’s dancer) danced on multiple of my songs. I love mixing art forms. I enjoy having my music used on Film and other visual expression because the art directors will interpret it differently and the story I had in my head when I wrote it and I find this really fascinating, I am passionate about that part of music synchronization.
Dance is something unique, there are the choreographer, the dancer and the lighting involved and it’s all body movements and emotions, it’s very moving to me.
Do you have any important events coming up we should know about?
I do Instagram lives regularly on Mondays at 6pm EST. Follow me on social media and come say hello!
What is the first piece of advice you would give to anyone inspired to write songs?
Learn an instrument too so you don’t have to always rely on other musicians to play live, that way you can also play solo.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
Yes absolutely. I would have never had all these exciting experiences in my life if I hadn’t followed my calling to move to the US. Of course, it was never always easy. If you have a calling to go somewhere (not necessarily the US) to live your dreams, just go! Do it!
Pop all your music, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
Thank you for this interview! http://liliroquelin.com with music links on front page! Follow me and say hello on Instagram http://instagram.com/liliroquelin , http://twitter.com/liliroquelin , watch my music videos on my busy Youtube channel http://youtube.com/liliroquelin – You can hear “Childfree” at this link: https://youtu.be/Oz6eBLCwmR0
We strive to keep The Table Read free for both our readers and our contributors. If you have enjoyed our work, please consider donating to help keep The Table Read going!