Written by Sophie Wyatt
After being discovered on Instagram in 2017, Lil Halima and her groovy R&B/pop music have gained an impressive fan-base. The twenty-two year old Kenyan-Norwegian singer-songwriter’s talents do not stop there. Aside from playing multiple instruments, she is also a very talented artist, and we got the chance to talk to her about her art, her influences and what the future looks like for her.
Signed to Def Jam and Universal Music, Lil Halima (Lillian Halima Anderssen) is fast becoming a rising star in the music industry. She was discovered by Universal after posting short videos of her singing and playing instruments on her Instagram which exhibited her undeniable talent. But her passion for music started long before that.
‘I naturally started singing my own melodies and lyrics very early, but I probably wrote down my first song when I was about 7 years old. I knew I would be writing songs for the rest of my life by the time I reached 16’.
Lil Halima shared some of her thoughts on how she thinks that there are a lot of Norwegian R&B artists starting to emerge, other than herself. She put this down to R&B being the ‘new pop.’ She also gave us an insight into some of the other kinds of music she likes to try and incorporate into her music other than R&B.
‘I do like pop, as long as the pop feels authentic. Also neo soul, electro funk, hip hop, gospel, disco. Tbh it’s so many. I really love when songs feel like a fusion of more than one genre’.
When asked to narrow down some of her favourite artists at the moment, Lil Halima said that ‘right now I listen a lot to Smino, Tiera whack and Kehlani’. But said that if she could work with any musician right now, it would be English singer-songwriter, producer and fellow multi-instrumentalist, James Blake.
As she continues to make music and grow as an artist, you can hear a fusion of genres within her music. Her new single ‘GLUE’, which was released early April, has captivated listeners with it’s pop/R&B fusion. She told us a little bit about the process of making the track.
‘I went to the studio with J Warner and George Moore in London. I worked with George before, and he is so amazing so I wanted to go back. J Warner also got the nicest male voice I ever heard, and he writes really well. Had a great time, and ‘GLUE’ was created’.
We also asked her to narrow down which of her songs she thinks is her favourite to perform live, which proved a difficult question for an artist who treats every piece of work with such care.
‘It depends, it is in different ways. ‘Booty’ because it is so groovy and danceable but also ‘Hold me’ because it’s vulnerable and massive’.
‘Hold Me’ was also the song Lil Halima chose to perform on renowned Youtube channel Colors Studios. Colors is a self-proclaimed ‘unique aesthetic music platform showcasing exceptional talent from all around the globe, focused on promoting the most distinctive new artists and original sounds’. The channel has hosted the likes of Christine and the Queens, GoldLink and Billie Eilish, and continues to showcase musicians who sometimes even come back to perform two or three times on the channel.
‘It was amazing, a lot of talented individuals and they really want to create a space for the artist to shine, which of course feels like a blessing’.
Lil Halima’s music, although set to dreamy, funky beats, carry many stories. While each song has its own unique narrative, she explained that feminism is something she includes within all of her music, as well as her life.
‘I mean, everything I do is basically feminism. I live and breath and move like a feminist, because that is what I am’.
As you can see on her Instagram, and just by her sheer demena, Lil Halima is an incredibly talented artist. But aside from music, she also draws and paints. We spoke about this art and whether she had ever thought about taking on a more art based career, rather than one within music.
‘I think that as an artist, I feel the need to express myself. And in more than one way. That’s why I’m a part of every step of making a song, learning how to produce, create cover art, direct music videos etc. I feel like I will develop and grow as a painter too, and make it a career as well as music. In many ways that has already started’.
Like many other professions at the moment, jobs within the music industry have been put on hold. And although the question of future plans could seem impossible to answer in the world’s current state, Lil Halima gave us an idea of some of her aspirations going forward.
‘I have no idea! I’ll go wherever the wind takes me haha. Not overthink or overdo anything! But in five years I’ll be very comfortable and happy, in whatever way that is. I’ve been on a break you could say, just practicing producing myself alongside writing a little bit. But now i’m going back to the studio and hopefully an album concept and sound will just fall from the sky he-he’.
While we wait for the music world (and world in general) to get back to normal, check out some of Lil Halima’s catchy, soothing music on her Spotify HERE . And keep your eyes peeled!