If you’ve not yet listened to the new single “Unstoppable” from Lily-Jo then you’re missing out! Her message of inspiration and determination to live a healthy, God-filled life can be heard throughout her songwriting. Lily Jo has played at many of the world’s largest Christian music festivals, and is also a qualified counsellor who launched The Lily-Jo Project, an online mental health resource.
We caught up with her to chat about all things music…
We are loving the new song “Unstoppable” especially the positive message behind it. What was it that inspired you to write this song?
Thank you so much! I wrote the song with my good friend Philippa Hanna. We got together and we only had a two hour window or so before my train home. However, God was so good, we got right on the same page quickly, and we knew we wanted a song, not just for girls, but for guys too. We wanted people to hear the song and be empowered to live their best life without limits. Running their own race without comparison.
That’s so cool, and definitely a message we all need to hear. How long have you been performing music for and what made you get into it in the first place?
I’ve been performing under my Nana’s name Lily, for three years now. My real name is Jo Fidler. My nana was my biggest friend and inspiration. She was a jazz singer and she played keys whilst my Grandad accompanied her on the drums. They’d go out playing in bars and at dances. I feel like my desire to go out into the ‘world’ and do music is a follow on from her calling. My logo is actually her signature that I took from one of her song books. Her name was Lily Jones.
I trained and did performing arts at college and from there I did all kinds of musical things. When I re-launched myself in 2015 it was a massive shift for me. It was all about boldly stepping into God’s plan. It’s completely out of my comfort zone to be a solo artist, but I do believe my music and my message are needed out there, both in the church and in the world.
That’s so lovely that your inspiration came from your Nana. It seems that music always has an amazing way of speaking into people’s situations. Why do you think that is?
Music speaks where words fail. Have I just made that up or is that a famous quote already!!! So true though, music evokes feelings and transports me to places and memories and emotions that I had forgotten about. Have you ever heard a song from like five years ago, but then you still know all the words and it just brings you back to positive (or negative) feelings? When people ask me ‘what is your favourite song?’ This is so hard for me, because different songs mean different things and represent different moments. There is a song by Zero 7 that was playing when my son was born. That’s a special one to me.
Yeah, we agree music definitely connects with our emotions! It’s been a while since you’ve released any new music, what else have you been up to during this time?
I’m a wife to Dave Fidler who is also a touring musician, and a mum to two gorgeous children, so that keeps me pretty busy. As well as that I’ve been touring with LZ7 and setting up and sustaining The Lily-Jo Project which is my online mental health resource for young people and adults.
The Lily-Jo Project won a premier digital award in 2016 and came runner up in 2017! Completely unexpected for me. As a qualified counsellor I just had to type out everything that was in my head so others could learn from it. I had people coming up to me after shows telling me their real life stories of painful times and I felt it would be such an asset to my ministry to have practical help available for my followers. It’s been a real success and I have big plans for expanding the resource further so it’s all very exciting!
Wow, that sounds busy but really exciting! Finally, do you have any advice for any of our readers who may be interested in pursuing music?
It’s not an easy road but it’s a very rewarding one. As I said above, when people message me to say that my music has helped them, it’s the best feeling ever! Music is a journey, it’s a marathon not a sprint. It takes determination, resilience, thick skin, and talent of course! For me it was about small manageable steps in the right direction. My top tips would be:
1. Get trained up, college, uni, private lessons, train in your skill and practice lots.
2. Get really good at relationship building.
3. Get rooted into a community who will cheer you on, pray for you, love you.
4. Be brave, don’t be afraid to bear your soul and share your gift to the world.
5. Keep a journal of the highs and lows, you never know, one day it may become your autobiography.
That’s great advice, thank you so much for chatting to us!
If you want to check out the new single, you can listen here.
And you can keep up to date with what Lily-jo is up to by following her on social media, @xxlilyjoxx