Exposure: Lilura – 'I like to keep busy and keep challenging myself'
- David Pollock
- 22 June 2018
Highlands-based singer and songwriter Jemma Tweedie talks us through her new single and future plans
With her just-released second single 'Feel Love', an icy electronic pop dreamscape and the follow up to last year's electro-goth debut 'Darkest Desire', giving a clearer sense of her identity, Highlands-based singer and songwriter Jemma Tweedie aka Lilura (it's pronounced 'Lih-lura') is a raw but quickly developing talent. 'Feel Love' was recorded with Ted Kurie, whose credits include Afrojack and David Guetta, while she has another single out in July on the LA-based TSS Records, with drums by Beastie Boys band member Alfredo Ortiz.
First of all, though, where did the Nairn-based radiographer-by-day ('it's temporary!' she laughs on the subject of the job which she studied for) get her pseudonym?
I went through a phase of being obsessed with witches, particularly Scottish witches. I was Googling all that stuff and I came across it. It's a witch's name which means 'to enchant'. Where did the obsession come from? I was working at Cawdor Castle and a customer gave me a book on Scottish myths and legends… we didn't have many customers, so I got my nose stuck into it.'
How did you start out in music?
I played piano and violin, did the choir and all that, but when I went to university in Glasgow my dad bought me a guitar, and I started teaching myself to play by watching covers on YouTube. But I got frustrated because it was too hard to play other people's songs, so I started playing my own music instead. I went to open mic nights and took it from there.
And how did you start recording after that?
My dad's friend was in a fairly successful Inverness band a few years ago (Colin Fraser of the Jyrojets, reportedly the first band from the city to sign a major label deal), and he said "if Jemma ever wants to record some stuff, let me know". It was just acoustic stuff, but I was into what he was doing, it seemed like something I wanted to learn. I couldn't find a producer who was making the sounds I wanted, so I got a copy of Logic and did it myself in my bedroom.