“Searching for something just trying to be free”: Interview with Scott & Lila

Both working as solo artists at the time they have met during a street concert at Warschauer Straße - Scott was performing a song, Lila felt his music and started to harmonize to it beautifully, that night they have played along with each other for three hours, and the crowd absolutely loved it!

Written By Alina Berezhnaya

The story behind how the duet of Scott Hildebrand and Lila Despoix came about sounds like a scene from a movie. Both working as solo artists at the time they have met during a street concert at Warschauer Straße – Scott was performing a song, Lila felt his music and started to harmonize to it beautifully, that night they have played along with each other for three hours, and the crowd absolutely loved it! SCOTT&LILA are performing at KLUBHAUS14 this Friday (30.10).

Their music is like a warm hug of a loved one on a chilly autumn evening – it is just so soothing and warm. Berliners are fortunate because this Friday, 30th of October, the duo are performing at KlubHaus14 (maybe one of the last chances to visit a live gig for now?). We caught up with Scott and Lila to chat about their jazz-folky music, their lockdown getaway, street performing and more.

What is your musical background? You have travelled through many different places, right?
Lila comes from Paris and her music background is in Jazz, Pop and Blues. She used to sing with a Jazz Big Band and is currently in a Jazz music school in Berlin. Scott comes from Chicago and grew up with Blues music and has played solo and in bands in the US, Australia, Korea, India and now Berlin.

How did you come up with the name SCOTT&LILA?
We didn’t know what to name ourselves since we both have solo projects as well so, we decided to keep our individual names and go with SCOTT&LILA.

Listen to the latest release by Scott Hildebrand called ‘Under Wraps’!
SCOTT&LILA’s releases on streaming
coming soon!

How did you get together as a band?
We met last year during one of Scott’s late-night busking performances at Warschauerstraße. Scott heard Lila’s voice harmonizing along, from the crowd, so he invited her to come up and join. We ended up singing together for 3 hours with a big drunken crowd dancing along. It was like a movie. And after that, we started meeting up and eventually started writing songs together. “Something in the Way” is the first song we wrote together and it’s about the night we met.

How does the songwriting process work for you / in your band?
Usually one of us has a few song ideas like a melody hook or chord progression and then both sit-down and work on it. From the beginning of 2020 we were in Sri Lanka and ended up getting “stuck” there during the beginning of Corona and the country totally locked down for 2 months. During this time we were lucky enough to be living in this little house in the jungle near the b each, with a lovely local family. It was during these months that we wrote about 15 songs, which we recorded in a studio in Colombo before we left. Currently, we’re in the process of mixing these songs and then we will release them single by single.

If you had to describe your music to a person who can’t hear, what would you say?
Old Timey Jazz meets Indie-folk and Blues, with soothing harmonies reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel.

If your music was a movie, which genre would it be in?
We are so excited because one of Scott’s songs was recently in the Hollywood movie TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7! it was his cover of an anti-war song from the 1960s. Otherwise, we would love to have a SCOTT&LILA song in a movie someday, and maybe it would fit well in an indie-French type film.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
We get inspiration from daily life, conversations and many aspects of the human experience. We both love nature and wrote most of our songs while out in nature.

What music do you listen to when you’re touring?
All sorts of music. Lately, classic Brazilian Bossanova but also a lot of different music, from Blues, to Soul, modern Indie etc.

What was your biggest stage fuck-up?
Does busking count as the stage? If so, last winter we decided to go play some singalong Christmas songs on the trains in Berlin, and at one station there was an extremely large gap between the platform and train and Scott didn’t realize it. So Lila went in first singing and Scott was behind her happily starting the song and his whole leg went into the gap and he wiped out while everyone was watching. Luckily, both the guitar and Scott were ok and we continued.

What was the nicest compliment you once got?
We do a lot of street performing and we are always so moved by things that people say to us. Many times people come up to us and say how much our music has touched them and how positively it affected their day. It makes us feel so good, knowing that our music is making a positive impact on people.

SCOTT&LILA will be playing their new songs at KlubHaus14 on one of the last days of October (30.10, Friday), a perfect time to listen to them and a perfect place to be with your lover, someone you deeply care about. More information about the show (it’s Corona-safe!) here.

Photo credits: Elina @elinanasibullina and Tim Ho @timgho

Find SCOTT&LILA on Instagram and their website

This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)