Born in Milwaukee, WI and currently located in Chicago, the 23 year old singer/songwriter Lili K. began performing in church and school choirs and started writing original material when she had turned 10. As a teenager, she attended the prestigious Milwaukee High School of the Arts where she was trained in classical, opera and jazz voice, and she continued her education at Chicago’s Columbia College where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management.
After she finished school, Lili K. recorded and released her debut EP, A Prelude to Hello with composer Peter Cottontale. And her second EP, Metal Petals, released in 2012had the now Chicago-based singer/songwriter continuing her collaboration with Cottontale. Lili K, has also collaborated with the likes of Thelonious Martin, MC Tree, Vic Mensa, and Chance the Rapper. And in many ways, those collaborations have introduced her to the Windy City’s hip-hop scene, a scene that would be familiar to Lili K’s sultry, soulful, jazz-based vocals and her backing band’s retro sound; after all, the young singer/songwriter draws from influences such as Ella Fitzgerald, Erykah Badu, Sharon Jones and others.
But interestingly enough, there’s a sense that Lili K is about to explode out into the national scene as she has been praised for her collaboration with Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa in Rolling Stone and Complex. Adding to the fact that the young singer/songwriter’s profile is growing exponentially, she has played at SXSW, Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, Summerfest and CMJ, and has shared stages with Musiq Soulchild, Dwele, BJ The Chicago Kid, and the aforementioned Chance The Rapper, and Vic Mensa.
Her forthcoming full-length debut, RUBY is slated for an April 21 release and the album’s first single “Tommy” effortlessly possesses elements of old school soul paired with the neo soul sound – and in some way the song brings to mind two Erykah Badu songs in particular: “Tyrone” and “Back In The Day” as both of those songs also employ a subtle element of hip-hop as well. Based on this single alone, I think that this young singer/songwriter has a big future, and that you’ll be hearing quite a bit from her.