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CLOSE’s “Base Level” column features the hottest new artists we’re buzzing about. Before they make it to the summit of superstardom, we spot them at base level–the beginning of their hopeful journey to the top.

Lili K has the kind of smooth and sultry sound that is countered well by her quirky and energetic personality. Since writing her first song at the age of ten, Lili K has built a beautiful catalog of Jazz, Neo-Soul, Electronic, Hip-Hop sounds. Perhaps it was the artistic household that Lili grew up in and her training in classical, opera and jazz voice that shaped her individual sound.

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Lili K. has performed at numerous events, including Summerfest and CMJ, and has performed alongside acts like Musiq Soulchild, Dwele, BJ The Chicago Kid, Chance The Rapper and more. She has performed at SXSW in Austin, TX, to much acclaim. With three incredible EP’s under her belt, “A Prelude To Hello,” “Metal Petals” and “My Favorite Things,” Lili is proving that she is a fresh face to the game with a modernly vintage sound. We can’t wait to see what else this beautiful songstress has to offer to the industry!

We got the chance to know a little bit more about Lili K and we love what we’ve found out. Get to know her, here.

Name: Lili K

Age: 22

Hometown: Milwaukee/Chicago

Musical inspirations? [There are] so many different genres and artists. Jazz; Ella Fitzgerald, Grover Washington Jr., Esperanza Spalding. The entire Neo-Soul movement; D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Musiq Soulchild, India.Arie. I also love hip-hop; A Tribe Called Quest and Hieroglyphics. Soul music; Stevie Wonder, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and Amy Winehouse. I was raised on Motown and gospel music in the church, so those are both instilled in me. Life experiences inspire me to create.

Biggest break thus far? I was asked to open for Dwele and for Musiq Soulchild, and both of those were amazing opportunities. Musiq Soulchild is one of my idols, so I was beyond stoked when I was asked to share the stage with him. I was also a featured on both Chance the Rapper’s ‘Acid Rap’ and MC Tree’s ‘Sunday School 2’ which are the top mixtapes of the year. I’m grateful to have been a part of those projects.

Biggest fear as a new artist? Being a Soul/Jazz vocalist is a scary thing in itself, simply because the music I make isn’t mainstream and it’s harder to reach my fan base. So much of my fan base doesn’t rely on the internet, or music sites to find new music; it’s all about word of mouth and radio play. So I guess I’m afraid my fans (or would-be fans) may not discover me. But I love making the music I make, and I trust that my fans will do their best to spread the word about my music.

When did you know this was what you wanted to do? When I was in 5th grade, I realized and accepted that I’d be doing music for the rest of my life. I had solos at school that made teachers cry. I started writing music. I really started to take myself seriously. And my focus and love for music only grew from there.

If you were the lovechild of two musicians–dead or alive–who would they be? That’s such an awesome and difficult question! Haha. I’ll go with Ella Fitzgerald and Jill Scott. Ella Fitzgerald mastered and taught me to use the voice as an instrument. Jill Scott is the queen of bringing genres together and of amazingly simple lyrical ability. She showed me how to do what I wanted to with music. Since it’s a lovechild… they had to get a sperm donor… and it was D’Angelo, for obvious reasons.

Check Out Lili K In “Interludes”

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