On paper, Nili Hadida and Benjamin Cotto have nothing in common. The Lilly Wood and The Prick singer was born in Israel, lived in California and graduated from high school by correspondence at age 30. It is the visible and vocal energy of the duo.
Benjamin, the other half of the pop-folk group that ignited the Nuits du Sud, in Vence, on Thursday evening, comes from a Parisian family for several generations, has always been a fan of cinema and documentaries. It is the pragmatism of the duo.
A duo who, for more than 15 years, have made their musical journey with the release, last year, of their fourth album.
The duo quickly rose through the ranks. 2011, Victoires de la musique in the revelation of the year category with his Invincible Friends. 2014, the remix of his song Prayer in C by Robin Schulz, is a hit all over the world and, at the same time, becomes the soundtrack for an XXL advertising campaign by the Carrefour group.
Everything is going very fast. To the point that in 2018, everyone feels the urge to do a bit of a career on their side. Nili is releasing a solo album and Benjamin is trying to finish his. The duo did not speak to each other for almost 18 months. But the indelible bond of this brother-sister pairing is stronger than anything and Most Anything, the latest opus, sees the light of day in 2021.
“We found our automatisms, this fluidity, this new inspiration”launches Benjamin.
Lilly Wood and The Prick is first and foremost a live band.
“We like to perform, especially at festivals where we meet different artists, we meet people”, continues Nili. Here, we think about it, since everyone is wondering: why Lilly Wood and The Prick?
Ed Wood and Monoprix
It’s a two-part story. A friend is shooting a short film about the imaginary daughter of Ed Wood (series director Z played by Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s film) and it is Nili who inherits the leading role, that of Lilly Wood. Later, when they are slightly drunk, Nili and Benjamin walk past a Monoprix which she pronounces “Mono-Prick” because, in English, prick has several meanings: dick or asshole, among others. They laugh. Lilly Wood and The Prick comes from there. Let’s get back to the story now.
Has the duo evolved since its debut? “Weirdly, our music hasn’t evolved much (laughs). It’s a patchwork, we have a lot of influences from the 80s, 90s and even the 70s. We mix a lot of sounds, we are unclassifiable, our music is hybrid, it evolves without evolving”, launches Nili. Even if the two friends have different influences, from Mariah Carey to Blink-182, they have a common denominator, the group Fleetwood Mac.
“They are part of our history. On the track Long way back we were inspired by their title dreams for the lower part, for example”confesses Benjamin.
“It’s the whole history of the group that fascinates us beyond their music, the mysticism of Stevie Nicks in particular. They tick a lot of boxes, they started with rock before evolving, it’s very similar to the background of Benjamin, we spent a lot of evenings watching their lives”, engages Nili. Even if the two French sing mainly in English on melodies from the atmosphere of the 80s and 90s, the themes are very current, we discuss paranoia, the consumer society, rape but also Adèle Haenel. Because the group, behind its slightly pop-folk side, has always been very much in tune with the world around it.
To compose, the method remains the same since their beginning. Benjamin: “We settle in a neutral place to isolate ourselves and find inspiration, not to be polluted by our daily life. The piece must hold in piano-voice above all. “
An album for 2023
Atypical group to the end, including current musical inspirations. “Right now, I’m a big fan of Les Vulves Assassines who just released the song you want to fuck, it’s very cool electro punk rap, I really like The Smile, the new band of Thom Yorke from Radiohead. We listen to a lot of things, we don’t limit ourselves to one style. What is interesting in life is to multiply experiences and enrich one’s culture”concludes Nili.
Because if there is something that Lilly Wood and The Prick has never done, it is to plan too much. “If we had known we would go so high, we might have calculated more. We must remain sincere and honest above all, we have already done so much that it’s great” release Benjamin. If the group gives the impression of not planning anything, it is not quite true, in reality. “We are preparing the 5th album which should be released in 2023”, continues Benjamin by way of conclusion. Owl.