Singer/Songwriter Lily Meola
Spreads “Sunshine” with Her Next Single
New EP, Daydream, Drops March 11
If Lily Meola’s philosophy of life could be summed up in just one of her lyrics, it might just be this: “Stay close to the people who feel like sunshine” from her next single, the aptly titled “Sunshine,” set for release Feb. 18. The heartfelt sentiment comes from a place of happiness and contentment after going through a difficult time with anxiety.
“I wrote this song when I was putting up a real fight with my anxiety. Some of my friends didn’t have the patience or understanding that I really needed at the time. But I feel lucky now that it brought me closer to the people who truly did, and still do. Sometimes it takes a moment to figure out who in your life is there for you and is the most uplifting to be around,” says the 27-year-old soulful pop singer/songwriter whose emotive vocals are kissed by blues, folk, and pop.
Later, Meola would have to remind herself to seek comfort in those who love her, and to find her sunshine again, when her life took a tragic turn after her mother, Nancy, known in the industry as the assistant to “Supermensch” artist manager Shep Gordon, was diagnosed with cancer. Meola put her career on hold to take care of the woman who had nurtured her with a childhood musical-diet of Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, and Carole King, and had become her manager, best friend, and biggest cheerleader. “My mother was actually my biggest form of sunshine when I was having a hard time,” she adds.
After her mom passed away in 2020, Meola says she couldn’t sing. Instead, she “started baking, and spending time with my animals and family and friends. I just had to heal. I want my fans to know, if you’re struggling and don’t feel like you have that person, I’ll step up to the plate! We all deserve to share and create sunshine for each other. That’s what this song is all about.”
“Sunshine” is the fourth song from her forthcoming 5-song EP, Daydream, due March 11, and was written with Maggie Chapman and Sam Klempner. Producer Josh Grant (Shawn Mendes) helped turn the song into a gospel/R&B tune — an appropriate style for its uplifting message.
“Sunshine” is also a fitting follow-up to a string of impactful songs, which have been garnering praise and accolades for the past year. Rolling Song chose the EP’s title track as a Pick of the Week and debuted her video for “Got Your Way.” The prestigious magazine sums up the Hawaii-born singer perfectly: “While country music and Americana inarguably have a place in her sound, Meola’s sweet spot lies somewhere in the intersection of dream pop and soulful folk. She is Lana Del Rey and Joni Mitchell, Mazzy Star, and Amy Winehouse.”
This praise follows years of milestone moments for the rising star. She began performing in her hometown of Maui at the age of 11 and was just a teenager when country legend Willie Nelson introduced her at Farm Aid in 2013 as his duet partner on “Will You Remember Mine,” a song they’d recorded for his To All the Girls album. Considered a Nelson protégé, she’d also been taken under the masterful wings of uber-producer Bob Rock and singer/songwriter Jackson Browne, and recorded duets with Steven Tyler (who calls Meola “magical musical fairy princess”), Kris Kristofferson, and Sammy Hagar. She also co-wrote Grammy Awards-nominated Andra Day’s single, “Amen,” which is featured in a Genesis G80 car commercial. Fans also fell in love with her evocative rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” for the 2020 Travelers insurance commercial.
On the touring front, Meola has graced the stage at such big festivals as Austin’s Seager Roundup, Ohana Music Festival, where she shared the stage with founder Eddie Vedder, and Napa Valley’s BottleRock where she earned a standing ovation and encore. After her BottleRock VIP set, Meola recalls being approached by fans in tears. “That’s what I want for my music; I want people to feel something. I want them to feel less alone; I want them to feel inspired,” she says.
Fans get to see a more intimate performance from the artist on March 12 when she performs at the historic Troubadour in West Hollywood, California for her EP release show. Tickets are on sale now, here. “I’ve had such a great time playing these amazing festivals, but there’s something extra special about the intimate feel of the Troubadour. I grew up listening to the live recording of Carole King and James Taylor from the Troub, so it’s really special for me,” adds Meola.
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