photo / Noah Sahady
story / Catherine Santino
Chloe Lilac’s new music video makes me nostalgic for an adolescence I never had.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Chloe grew up exploring New York via the F and G trains, the constant hum of the city serving as her soundtrack. Her upbringing has had an undeniable influence on her work, particularly in her new video for her most recent single “Summer”, premiering exclusively on LADYGUNN today.
Chloe began performing in New York at age 13, and over the last year, self-released a string of singles. Her first-ever song, “Reckless”, broke the Top 5 on the U.S. Spotify Viral Chart and charted globally as well. “Summer”, released just last month, has already amassed 600K Spotify streams.
In her new video, Chloe and her friends use the city as their playground, making me wistful for an alternate universe in which I spent my teenage years smoking behind the corner store and having dance parties in the laundromat.
I caught up with her about the inspiration behind the video and how growing up as a city kid has informed her perspective as an artist.
Check out the video below and catch her at one of her upcoming tour dates.
What was the inspiration behind the video for “Summer”? How involved were you in the process of creating it?
I really wanted it to reflect how much fun the summer of 2018 was for me. I was very involved in the process of making the video, Adam [the director] and I went back and forth on a couple ideas while we were working out the treatment. He was great to work with. Also, a lot of my closest friends that I met this summer were in the video, which makes me super happy. That was a must for me.
It’s clear that living and growing up in New York City has had a major influence on your work. How do you think these influences manifest in your music? Why do you think your music resonates with fans who haven’t had the same kind of upbringing?
Oh yeah, growing up here was crazy influential. I think it manifests in every aspect of my life, not just my music. There’s a creative atmosphere here that’s unlike any other city. I’m not quite sure how it would resonate, but I wanted to share how amazing growing up here was with the rest of the world because I love it so much. I feel like there aren’t that many artists showcasing New York youth culture, and it’s so special and unique that I feel like everyone should get a little piece of it.
Why do you love New York City? What do you say to people who say that a New York lifestyle isn’t a sustainable one?
I love New York City because it’s so open-minded and diverse. I feel set free here. For me, it’s ideal. However, I respect the fact that it’s not for everyone. It’s very fast paced and intense but I also love that too. Keeps me on my toes! And to the people who say the New York lifestyle isn’t sustainable, I’d say: it is if you work your ass off!
Tell us about your songwriting process? How collaborative is it?
My songwriting process is very personal. I write about real things that happen to me. For the most part, I like writing on my own.
Who are your favorite artists right now?
Jeez, that’s a tough one, I listen to all types of stuff. Growing up, I mainly listened to Frank Zappa and The Talking Heads; ironically enough I wasn’t really allowed to listen to pop music. Now, I listen to a lot of A Tribe Called Quest, Samm Henshaw, Mac Ayres, Mac Miller, Mac Demarco (many Macs), Lana Del Rey, Childish Gambino, Tyler, the Creator, Ski Mask, Car Seat Headrest and Hiatus Kaiyote.
Nov 9 // Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5^
Nov 10 // Nashville, TN @ High Watt^
Nov 12 // Washington, DC @ DC9^
Nov 13 // Boston, MA @ Great Scott^
Nov 14 // New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom^
Dec 4 // Los Angeles, CA @ Moroccan Lounge*
Dec 5 // Los Angeles, CA @ Moroccan Lounge*
Dec 6 // New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge*
^ supporting Charlotte Lawrence
* supporting Sasha Sloan
CONNECT WITH CHLOE LILAC