Lily Allen Biography
Last updated: 02/05/2011 11:00:00 AM
Lily Allen is the 21 year old strange glint in her eyes singer/writer who has been tearing up the web at a rate of knots. When she was a young girl- "I was very lonely actually. I went to 13 different schools so never had time to make enduring friendships. Music became a lifeline to me."
Born in Hammersmith, Lily grew up fast. "I listened to punk, ska and reggae when I grew up, courtesy of my parents' record collections. We moved around London... Shepherds Bush, Bloomsbury, Islington... and I absorbed all the music around me. I got expelled from various schools and was sent to boarding school as they thought it would be a restraining influence, but I ran away to Glastonbury and other places when I was 14. I was into jungle and drum and bass. It was obvious I didn't like authority. I guess I knew from an early age that I could never do a job where I'd have to sit in an office all day long."
Lily finally left school at 15 when it became obvious her creative needs were not being met. "I always read a lot. It was frustrating moving schools so much because I always felt I couldn't articulate my feelings as much as I wanted to. Books and music helped me do that. I became obsessed by quite arcane subjects, like second world war evacuation stories and books about 18th century aristocracy. I started to feel like I could have a voice. But I wanted to write about my own world in an entertaining way. So I did."
"Riding through the city on my bike all day
'Cause the filth took away my license...
Everything seems to look as it should
But I wonder what goes on behind doors
A fella lookin' dapper and he's sitting with a slapper
Then I see it's a pimp and his crack whore"
Lily's incisive lyrical observations belie her years. "A lot of female artists, and male ones for that matter, are boring singers who don't say anything. Certainly not to my generation. With the kind of music I do you have to be direct and quite literal. I don't play an instrument, which really makes me focus on the vocal melody, and the lyrics are incredibly important to me. I don't want to be part of a scene... the whole idea of that makes me feel sick... and most of the music I listen to is by outsider figures, which is where I feel happiest."
"There was a little old lady who was walking down the road
She was struggling with bags from Tesco
There were people in the city having lunch in the park
I believe that is called alfresco
Then a kid came along to offer a hand
But before she had time to accept it
Hits her over the head, doesn't care if she's dead
'Cause he's got all her jewelry and wallet"
Lily's current listening is not that of an average 20 year old. Even a cursory glimpse at her site shows a breathtaking appreciation of diverse music. Listed amongst a host of current and unsigned dance artists are names like The Specials, Rip Rig and Panic, T.Rex ("possibly the best band ever, ever!") The Slits, Blondie and Wreckless Eric. Oh, and Kate Bush "when she was my age", Prince and Eminem.
Lily signed to Parlophone in December. "Since then it's gone mad. The online support I got for my music grew quickly, then the next thrill was hearing it on the radio. The reaction has been so positive it's left me reeling a bit. But I'm happy and I know the songs can live up to people's expectations. I chose to make LDN a low key 7" release to start things at a decent level also I know that all the songs on the album are so strong that we have loads more singles in the bag."