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Lilli Unwin is an enchanting and soulful singer, songwriter and arranger with an authentic sound, an evocative yet playful stage presence and a penchant for intelligent and insightful lyrics. She has performed at many venues across London, including Ronnie Scotts, Spice of Life, Brixton East and Hoxton Bar and Kitchen. As well as Manchester and Cheltenham Jazz Festivals, Wolverhampton Arena Theatre and Brainchild Festival amongst others.

In 2021 ‘Letter Songs’ EP was released. The collection of songs are letters in musical form. Each letter has different flavours & stories within it. It’s about taking the time to find out what letters you have within you. The single ‘Mama’ (Letter Songs) was praised by BBC Introducing as “grabbed me by the heartstrings and wouldn’t let go”. Trust the Doc Media described the second single ‘Drifting’ as “…an ethereal, alluring alternate universe”. Lilli co-produced the EP with Phil Haines, and featured various talented friends on it (Phil Haines, Chris Eldred, Alex Albrow, Seth Tackaberry, Elliot Galvin).

In 2019 she released her debut EP ‘it may not always be so’, with a sell-out show at Kansas Smitty’s featuring brilliant London musicians Shirley Tetteh, Conor Chaplin, Corrie Dick and Rupert Cox. ‘it may not always be so’ is a reflection on the vulnerable strength of young women navigating the modern world. The EP was engineered and mixed by Alex Killpartrick (Jordan Rakei, Snowpoet, Kit Downes, Native Dancer) and produced by Sam Crowe (Lianne La Havas, Native Dancer, Rosie Lowe, Mark Guiliana). Lilli was awarded a Career Development Bursary from Help Musicians UK where she was mentored by US artist Becca Stevens (Universal and GroundUP Music) and MOBO-nominated artist Natalie Williams.

“It may not always be so’ is a beautiful collection of songs featuring a wide array of styles and soaring melodies that stay with you long after each listen. Lilli is a refreshingly authentic, tender, and fearless songwriter poised for greatness”  Becca Stevens

In 2017 Lilli was selected as one of 14 artists to work with Mercury-nominated artist ESKA on a composition residency at Band on the Wall, Manchester.

Lilli is a member of the London Vocal Project, the UK’s leading contemporary jazz-vocal ensemble led by jazz pianist and vocalist Pete Churchill. As part of LVP, she performed in the world première of Jon Hendricks’ Miles Ahead in New York in Feb 2017, produced by Quincy Jones. In addition to regular concerts in venues around London, recent highlights for the group include singing with Dave Holland, Norma Winstone, Nikki Illes and others as part of a tribute for Kenny Wheeler during the London Jazz Festival 2015 at Cadogan Hall, and performing with the New York Voices and Swingle singers at Kings Place as well as performances at the Royal Albert Hall and Ronnie Scotts.

In addition to songwriting, performing, recording and collaborating, Lilli’s educational work is vast; including vocal coaching, choir leading & workshop facilitation. Lilli teaches at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance on the CoLab module and the BA Music Performance and Industry course, as well as the BMus. At BIMM University, Lilli is the lead lecturer for some songwriting modules amongst other things. In addition to having a BMus (tons) in Jazz Voice (Trinity Laban), her training includes courses in Kodály, music production & Vocal Health First Aid accreditation. Lilli is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), and is currently pursuing a Masters in Voice Pedagogy at Voice Study Centre/University of Wales Trinity St David, specialising in performance coaching. Lilli’s approach is about unlocking the potential she sees in others, building skills and enabling them to find their creative freedom.

Her previous projects have included:

Reworking The Great American Songbook, with the Lilli Unwin Band – blending subtle grooves and story-telling into a cathartic jazz performance. (Featuring Flo Moore, Matt Robinson & Corrie Dick.)

Her project HYLA made waves in the alternative pop world with their intergalactic soul sound. They released their debut single ‘We Went Blind’ and amassed over 70K Soundcloud plays and many online reviews.

Also actively involved in the electronic music scene, she has collaborated with producer Ben Hayes, whose Hedonia EP (April 2015) – which features Lilli – was widely praised by Complex UK as “dizzying,” and by Clash magazine as “soulful and future-facing.”

Lilli founded and ran the community choir Our Voice Choir from Nov 2019-Dec 2021, with the bulk of sessions hosted online throughout the pandemic.

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“Lilli’s songs take you on a dreamy, immersive journey; with a beautiful voice to match. it may not always be so is a powerful debut release, and I’m so excited to see what she does next!” Natalie Williams

“It may not always be so’ is a beautiful collection of songs featuring a wide array of styles and soaring melodies that stay with you long after each listen. Lilli is a refreshingly authentic, tender, and fearless songwriter poised for greatness” Becca Stevens

“Lilli Unwin is a talented, bright young star who combines her richness of sound and the depth and agility of an instrumentalist- Captivating!”Anita Wardell

“Unwin is a rising star, with a fine voice, capable of the expressive requirements of a very wide range of material…” The Whitman Review, Wakefield Jazz

“The Lilli Unwin band was quietly wonderful; poised, & imaginative; perfect.”​Jez Matthews, the Lescar. 

“dense, ambitious, and surprising” – Tom Robinson on BBC Music Introducing Mixtape on BBC Radio 6 Music