Posted on July 26 2016
You might have spotted that we've recently launched a range of T-shirts in collaboration with singer/songwriter Lily-Jo. We caught up with her to chat about her music, her work as a counsellor, and what's in the pipeline for her.
LAWRENSON: "So first of all, tell us a little bit about your music. Where do the ideas and the inspiration for your songs come from?"
LILY-JO: "My songs are inspired by my own personal life journey as well as the journey of the people around me. I write about stuff that excites me, scares me, frustrates me. Anything that I need to outwardly express. Music is a great outlet for me."
LAWRENSON: "So, how did you get into singing and writing music?"
LILY-JO: "I grew up in a musical family, I'm from three generations of musicians, my grandparents were in a band, my parents were in a band and now me. My brother is also in a band. I've got two kids and they are also seeming to follow in the musical footsteps! Dylan (aged 8) plays steel drums and Ukeulele. Nico (aged 3) loves to sing!"
LAWRENSON: "You're a trained counsellor as well as a singer; what made you want to go into counselling?"
LILY-JO: "I am so passionate about people walking in freedom. Counselling seemed like an obvious way of helping people get free. I've done over one thousand hours of counselling over the past few years and it's been so rewarding."
LAWRENSON: "That's amazing! We love that you've combined the music and the counselling into an online self-help resource, The LilyJo Project. How did that come about?"
LILY-JO: "People were coming up to me after shows - sharing their stories and struggles and it was frustrating that I didn't have more time to spend with each one of them. That's where the idea was born. I wanted a place I could direct people to that meant they could access further help from their issues. The Lily-Jo Project has top tips, advice, stories, videos, recommended resources and so much more for people suffering from all kinds of mental health issues."
LAWRENSON: "It's such a valuable resource! Well done! We've included some of your lyrics as slogans on the LilyJo exclusive Lawrenson tees. Tell us more about the lyrics you've chosen."
LILY-JO: "So regarding the "Worthy" T-shirt, I'm so passionate about each and every person, especially girls and women, knowing that they are worthy of love and respect. What better way to remind yourself and the people around you, than to wear it slapped across your chest! They make great gifts for people.
"It's time for me to just be me" are the lyrics from my song 'Show Me' off my 'Need to Know' EP. It's so important that we concentrate on running our own race, not someone else's. As in, focusing on our own goals, talents, desires, strengths, without wishing we had what that other person's got. In this world where we continually look to social media for inspiration, or reassurance, it can be dangerous, and we can too often fall into the comparison trap. 'If only my hair looked like hers', or 'if only I was a couple of inches taller', or 'shorter', or 'if my body was thinner', or 'bigger'... the list goes on. This is something I constantly have to remind myself of. Comparison only leads to low self esteem and low mood."
LAWRENSON: "What are your dreams? What's next for LilyJo and the LilyJo project?"
LILY-JO: "Right now I honestly feel like I'm living my dream - just on a small scale. My dreams are to continue doing what I'm already doing but on a bigger scale. I'm also a 1/3 of a band called LZ7, we tour schools with an anti bullying / self harm message with a faith element. We also gig all over the world. We've just got back from Germany, Norway, and Sweden. I love being part of LZ7 the live shows are so exciting. Basically I want to help as many people as possible before my time on planet earth is done! Whether that's through friendship, my songs, the online resource or just seeing a positive message on my social media."
LAWRENSON: "How can people find out about your gigs and hear your music?"
LILY-JO: "The best place is probably my website; www.lilyjo.co.uk or for more on the mental health stuff; www.thelilyjoproject.com I'm on all social media too: @xxlilyjoxx on Instagram and Snapchat @lilyjoproject on Twitter and Facebook."