Teen singing sensation set to wow audiences at historic church venue

By Ginny Ware   |   Totnes Reporter   |
Sunday 10th July 2022 4:00 pm
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Totnes singer-songwriter Lily Mackay ( )

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Talented local teen singer-songwriter, Lily Mackay, is supporting the acclaimed musician Dan Whitehouse on stage in Totnes next week.

Lily, 17, is a graduate of the pioneering local youth music programme, Jamming Station.

She writes and performs as ‘Sounds Like Lily’ with experienced guitarist Rowland ‘Row’ O’Connor, blending pop with jazz and throwing in a fist-full of funk for that Neo-Soul sound.

On Wednesday July 13 she is opening for Whitehouse – whose new album ‘The Glass Age’ has been described as “Nothing short of beautiful” by RnR magazine - at St Mary’s Church at 7.30pm.

Row, a facilitator at Jamming Station when Lily joined three years ago, said Lily’s voice defies her age.

“Lily, for me, really stood out as being beyond her years in terms of professionalism and focus and clear communication about what she wanted.

“She has an artist’s mindset and that was apparent even at 14 years old.

“If Lily hadn’t been in Jamming Station she may not have had a platform to get in to music, and we may have never met.”

Lily said Jamming’s weekly sessions gave her something positive to focus on and a space where she could be herself.

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“I will never forget being told: let the sound come out of your head and up into the sky,” she said.

“I remember this every time I sing. Now I can perform on stage, and go up and talk to people — things I never would have imagined I could do.

“And that’s down to Jamming Station — the mentors, the leaders, the musicians that are always willing to help without judging.

“Music for me is a way to forget everything and just be in the here and now. Everything else disappears from your mind. You’re focusing on one thing.”

Sounds Like Lilly will be performing their first single ‘Penny’ on Wednesday, along with songs from their forthcoming debut EP, due to be released this autumn.

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The duo say they can’t wait to perform with Whitehouse.

“Every performer has so much to teach us and it’s going to be really exciting to see how he brings his sound to the magical St Mary’s Church,” said Row.

“The acoustics in there are otherworldly and it’s going to bring a new dimension to our sound too.

“We’re so grateful to the local people who have supported our music and look forward to this opportunity to play in this space - we hope they’ll all come!”

The evening at St Mary’s marks the start of Dan’s new album tour.

“Totnes and Devon are special places to me, and I have recorded several of my videos here with Matt and Lucy Board at their wonderful Penquit Mill Studio, and one with Gina Russell of Yoga Sunshine Totnes,” he said.

“My daily writing and yoga practice is what got me through lockdown, where I was stuck in Japan for 18 months.”

Dan Whitehouse (Peter James Millson )

Dan, who runs workshops for young musicians and professionals alike, said his new album ‘The Glass Age’ reflects on how the human experience and ways of connecting have changed during the age of computers and mobile phones.

“The way we feel about one another doesn’t change, but the way we communicate is sometimes forced to,” he explained.

“As humans we strive naturally to find new ways of communicating and surviving.”

The Sunday Times described ‘The Glass Age’ as brimming with “subtle and delicate melodies” while RnR Magazine gave it four stars.

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