Fri 11/29 @6PM
Love of Northeast Ohio dies hard is what Lili Roquelin discovered a dozen years ago when she moved to New York City.
Today, the singer-songwriter-pianist returns to the area in support of her latest studio effort Be Inspired, which she proudly claims is genre-less.
“I don’t fit in one genre because I get bored very easily,” said Roquelin, calling from New York City.
That said, in order to understand how the songwriter approached her new effort you have to go back to her previous album Beautiful Sun. For the 2013 project, which possessed a mid-tempo and down-tempo vibe, Roquelin explored an electronic aesthetic that included sampling.
When it came time to write Be Inspired, she was in a different headspace, with the end result being a unique journey filled with glass half-full vibes.
“Be Inspired has inspiring lyrics and is positive, because my lyrics are usually inspiring or thought-provoking,” Roquelin said. “Musically, the new album is more upbeat with pretty much all live instruments. It sounds more organic, it’s a lot fuller with more instrumentation and more guitars. There are still strings, but even more layers. I just went crazy with the compositions and really took more time on this one. I was inspired by the songs.”
Released nearly a year ago, Be Inspired boasts an indie pop-rock vibe that also includes some folky tones further defined by her piano talents.
Highlights include the groove-oriented “Feel Good,” the energetic “Time to Believe” and the stirring “After Dark.” The latter features memorable cellos.
The 11-track album also boasts not only songs sung in Roquelin’s native French, but also a cover of Nirvana’s “Come as You Are.” She also added a new musical element.
“I’ve been playing the ukulele for a while,” Roquelin said. “I decided to add a few ukulele songs, which are fun. I love it. It brings in a different mood.”
Roquelin — who has more than two million views on YouTube with 870,000 views on her official channel em can’t wait to return to the Rock Hall City to play her new tunes for the first time November 29 at the Brothers Lounge’s Wine Bar.
A native of Southern France, Roquelin called Cleveland home for four years. During that time she was in a couple of different bands, including metal act Hate Dies Hard.”That was a lot heavier music than I do now,” Roquelin said. “It was a lot of fun. I learned a lot in songwriting.”
Something that wasn’t fun for Roquelin in Cleveland was dealing with the winters. That said, she does have fond memories.
“I miss the people,” Roquelin said. “If you talk to a New Yorker about Cleveland, they always say people from there are so nice. I miss that about Ohio. People are really authentic and they are great friends.
“My best friends are still there. I don’t have any best friends in New York City. That sounds sad for the New Yorkers, but that’s how it is.”