Talented Vocalist Spritely Introduces Herself & New Single
We are excited to have had a chance to ask talented vocalist "Spritely" a few questions regarding her music endeavors and, of course, about her new cover "New York New York".
You can read the full interview below!
First things first, introduce yourself. Let the world know who you are, where you're from and how long you have been doing music.
Hiya! Jillian/Jill Lavin a.k.a. Spritely here. I’m from Westchester, NY and I’ve been singing since I gained consciousness (maybe before).
Who are your major influencers when it comes to producing music?
If I could sum it up in one song it might be “Sometime Around Midnight” by the Airborne Toxic Event. In recent years I’ve been particularly influenced by Death Cab and The National, but to be honest, it’s really a conglomeration of different singles by tons of artists. (Such is the nature of streaming/how we consume music nowadays). I have a playlist called “Influ” tagged at the top of my Spotify. I promise it has all the feels.
What genres of music do you find yourself listening to daily?
Changes so much. This summer I was super into Bad Liar by Selena Gomez. Now I’m obsessed with the indie rock anthem “Everything Now” by Arcade Fire and a couple songs by emo-acoustic Phoebe Bridgers. I’d say I mostly gravitate toward the indie rock/pop genres but there are definitely a ton of outliers.
Do you follow a certain formula when you write songs?
Kind of. I usually start with chords (unless a melody pops into my head out of nowhere as a blessed gift from heaven) and then play with melodies, singing gibberish over it to see what feels right. A lot of the time I’ll end up writing the lyrics based off of these random vowels and phrases because it feels sonically right. I don’t always go into it knowing what the subject matter will be. I used to start organically with piano or guitar, but lately, I’ve been making loops in logic and writing based off that.
Out of all your releases and/or covers, which is your favorite and why?
I’ve got to say this one, to be honest. Even though it’s a cover, the sentiment and story behind it is incredibly important to me. Plus I arranged/produced/engineered the whole thing myself, which I had never done before.
What types of things inspire you to write?
I’d be lying if I didn’t say, love. That kind of inspiration is urgent and visceral and magical. We as humans will always sing about love because it’s the most electrifying connection we experience. In the past year, I’ve challenged myself to tackle subjects that are more creatively difficult like eating disorders, family, femininity, fame culture, etc. They may not all see the light of day but it’s definitely expanded my perspective and views on songwriting.
How much time do you spend writing/singing per week?
Not enough! Singing was my first love and I used to sing challenging karaoke (Christina, Demi, Beyonce, musical theatre etc.) for the pure joy of it. I realized recently I do not do that at all anymore. I’ve been stuck in the business-oriented mindset of “if I’m not writing or producing something I could release and benefit from then I’m not being productive.” But I need to nurture my singer spirit a bit more. That’s where all the energy stems from after all.
What is the story behind your new cover ”New York”?
I’d been wanting to do a cover for years, specifically something classic that I could remodel and make completely my own. It didn’t come to me until early this summer when I decided to move back to New York from LA, where I’d been living for four years and where I’d thought I would stay forever. But I had had a really rough year.
I felt so much less cool/ hipster/popular/progressive/productive/successful than everyone around me and was constantly comparing myself to others. Blame it on fame culture or coming-of-age or deep-rooted insecurity, whatever. I was dangerously lonely and more depressed than I’ve probably ever been. My whole family was three time zones away. So I knew moving back to that support system and away from all the (perceived) artistic competition would be best for my soul, but at the same time, I was leaving so much. Friendships, romance, and a town that I thought held my only chance at pursuing this career. I had become an adult and a musician there. I felt like I was throwing it all away.
The actual lightbulb moment in regards to NYNY happened one day in the car with the guy I was seeing at the time. I had put on Frank Sinatra’s version of the song to be cheesy about the fact I was moving, and when we got out I started singing and dancing to it in public like a goofball. The moment was so beautifully happy-sad and represented all I felt about leaving LA in a nutshell. So, I wondered if I could record a version of the song that would reflect that.
Was this cover done at home or at a studio? Is everything from mixing to mastering done by yourself?
We recorded it in the basement of my childhood home in Westchester, New York right before selling the place. Set up the amp in the linen closet and did a bunch of live takes, comp’d it all together later. I had my first ever music friend David Polakoff come over to do the guitar playing, and I engineered, arranged & produced the whole thing myself. So, as you can see, everything from the subject matter to the execution of this track has huge sentimental value to me. The only thing I didn’t do was mix and master, which my friend Sam Vendig was kind enough to do back in LA.
Where can people listen/stream this new cover?
Spotify! Apple music! Youtube! Facebook! All the places! Watch & Stream below!
The Drunken Coconut