Editors’ Notes It’s hard to believe Lola Young is still a teenager given her confident, honest debut project Intro, but it’s been a long time coming in her eyes. “I tried to sing from a very early age, around six or seven,” she tells Apple Music. “Then I started training my voice, because I was never an incredible singer at first. I wasn't like Beyoncé, born with an incredible voice, so I taught myself.” Those formative years were spent studying artists including Prince, Joni Mitchell, Anderson .Paak, Frank Ocean and neo-soul queen Jill Scott. With idols like those, it’s no surprise the South Londoner is already an accomplished writer. “For me writing is quite internal, introspective and cathartic,” she explains. “If there is something that happens in my life which I find traumatic or intense, then afterwards I'll just go away and write it down. The lyrics are mine, and I think that's something important for a real artist. Not everyone is a real artist.” Here, Young takes us through her first body of work, track by track.

Grey and Lilac (Intro)
“This track is an important opener because it symbolises a lot. It’s like, ‘Okay, things aren't black and white, they're grey and lilac.’ I wrote the lyrics all down in five minutes, which sounds quite like I'm boasting, but it's just the honest truth. People have said the bass reminds them of Frank Ocean, which is a compliment, and I felt the vocal on this needed to be more raw and gritty. I helped mix the vocals so they sounded straight London [and represent] where I'm from.”

The Actual Intro
“This is the sound of voice notes I've collected over a long period of time. Some are from hard times, a lot of them I'm just with my friend having a laugh, or I'm recording a song. I think there's bits of my nan in there too. I wanted it to sound like a skit of my life.”

6 Feet Under
“'6 Feet Under' is a bit Drake-esque [in the production] and the lyrics are quite sombre. I think we picked it as the first single to say, ‘Lola can do this radio thing.’ It’s a great R&B/alternative single, and then the rest of the project is a bit more interesting and different, with a lot of different styles.”

3rd of Jan
“The third of January is the day before my birthday, and it's quite a philosophical song, it gets a bit deep and introspective. I can't remember exactly who that song was written about; I think it was just me saying, 'I'm too much for you, boy, and I'm too much for anyone because I just hate myself in many ways.' But then it was also saying, ‘I'm too much for you because I love myself too much.’ So it’s a conflicting message.”

The Man
“'The Man' is a bit of a weird song and was written as I was in the future, talking about fame a little bit. Obviously, I'm not anybody yet, but it was more me saying one day I'll get there, as long as I'm happy in myself. And also I’m playing on that archetype of women and men.”

Blind Love
“This was written about a relationship, just looking back and thinking, ‘Oh, was I blind? Was I wrong? Have people done me wrong?’ It’s also just about breakups in general, because they're horrible. It’s vulnerable and it's nice for people to hear that side of me.”

Burn (Outro 4 Intro)
“Originally 'Intro' was supposed to be four songs, but then we added 'Grey and Lilac' and ‘Burn', which I wrote quite quickly a few months ago. Some of the songs are old, like 'The Man’, which I wrote a few years ago. ‘Burn' is a fun one. It's about plenty of things, a potential relationship and a bit of life stuff.”

1
2:37
 
2
1:04
 
3
3:21
 
4
3:25
 
5
3:19
 
6
3:48
 
7
3:34
 

Music Videos

More by Lola Young