Are you on the list? Get Backstage!
Feb. 12, 2022

Interview with LiLi Roquelin

We had the pleasure of interviewing LiLi Roqelin over Zoom video!

The song “Childfree” by NYC-based award-winning singer-songwriter-producer LiLi Roquelin is the first-ever original song written about the childfree choice and lifestyle.


We had the pleasure of interviewing LiLi Roqelin over Zoom video!

The song “Childfree” by NYC-based award-winning singer-songwriter-producer LiLi Roquelin is the first-ever original song written about the childfree choice and lifestyle.
It features 55 happy childfree women from all over the world on the cover art and it has been labeled by such women as “their Anthem”.

Since its release, she has received many positive and supportive reactions (with The New York Times feature and podcast interviews), some neutral, and some negative reactions from men, parents, and mothers.

She is proud to be a voice for all women that chose this lifestyle. Her goal is to help and inspire young women to become aware they have a choice and to speak up about their decision.

LiLi is at the core of the Childfree Movement and she is on a mission to normalize a woman’s choice to live a happy, childfree life. “I want women that get criticized or judged about their lifestyle to have the song as support and to remind them they are not alone!”. “Young girls can listen to the lyrics and feel empowered and reassured, embrace their preference and turn it into the firm decision that they need to take.” 

We want to hear from you! Please email
#podcast #interview #bringinbackpod #LiLiRoquelin #Childfree #ChildfreeMovement #NewMusic #zoom
Listen & Subscribe to BiB
Follow our podcast on Instagram and Twitter!

We'd love to see you join our BiB Facebook Group


0 (2m 33s): What's going on. It is Adam. Welcome back to bringing it backwards. A podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieved stardom. On this episode, we had a chance to chat with Lily Rocklin over zoom video. Lily was born and raised in France, and she talks about how she got into music. Her dad is a ripping guitar player and she got into music at an early age, joined a band at 15, ended up doing some cover songs with another band. A little later in high school at 20, she moved to the United States, moved to Cleveland. She had some family there lived in Cleveland, started her songwriting in Cleveland, eventually moved to New York city. 0 (3m 13s): And that's where she's at. Now. We hear about her whole journey in music, translating songs from English into French and French into English. We learn about her most recent album be inspired and all about her latest song. She just released. It's called child-free, which is all about the child-free movement. It's not about freeing children. It's about living without a child, a woman without a child, and she's got 50 different mill women. Part of the movement on the album cover. She tells us all about it. You can watch the interview with Lily on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. We would absolutely love it. If you would subscribe to our YouTube channel like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Tik TOK at bringing back pod. 0 (3m 55s): And if you're listening to this on apple podcasts or Spotify, if you could leave us a five star view, that would mean so much to us and give us a follow up there as well. 1 (4m 6s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen to, 0 (4m 12s): We're bringing it backwards with Lilly Rocklin. This podcast is about you and your journey and music. And we'll talk about, obviously child-free the new record you put out. Cool. Where were you born and raised? 3 (4m 25s): I was born in the south of France. I leave from France. I was born in two long, which is a city near nice it's between. Nice and Massey. So it's what you guys call the French Riviera. It's such an Electra days year. 0 (4m 42s): Okay. What was it like growing up there? I don't I'm so untraveled as authentic. So I'm curious to learn about it. 3 (4m 49s): It's absolutely beautiful. The weather's like San Diego. I know, I know 0 (4m 54s): I'm from San Diego. 3 (4m 56s): I know you are. So yeah, I think you would probably like it there. The weather is very similar and it's beautiful. The, the Mediterranean sea is just gorgeous and it's warm all year long. Pretty much. So w we've had that's no, here in New York, so I don't really see them right now. Yeah. Just say substantively. Nice. And my city is not a very big city, so it's not too, too crowded. I mean that more crowded, you know, recently, but yeah, I recommend it for any anybody's radiation. 0 (5m 33s): Awesome. Awesome. When did you come to New York? 3 (5m 36s): So I moved to the us in 2004 and I first ended up in Cleveland because I had relatives there and I did some music there. And then I moved to New York city in 2007, 0 (5m 51s): 2010? 3 (5m 53s): Yes, definitely. I'm a new Yorker. 0 (5m 56s): You went to Cleveland? 3 (5m 58s): Yes. 0 (5m 59s): Yeah. That's where I have family in Cleveland. My dad's whole side of the family lives. Actually. My mom and dad were both from there originally, but my dad's family stayed. What it changed from, it sounds like from San Diego weather to Cleveland, that must've been like, where the hell am I? It's, you know, they call it the mistake by the lake, right? Yeah, 3 (6m 17s): I know. But you know, what is that great music, great people. And I had a good time there. I was there only a few years ago, about four years. And I gave me enough time and learn more about some writing. I had bands as time goes on, you know, arrive there and, and then moved to New York city to be a singer-songwriter. Okay. 0 (6m 36s): I, well, let's go back real quick. I just thought that was interesting that you went to Cleveland of all places, but so growing up in France, where were you in France? How did you get into music or do you have music in your family at all? 3 (6m 48s): Yeah, so my father plays the guitar and he, he did play in what you say that festival bands and the wedding bands. So he was playing mostly covers. Like he can play everything even like Tendo and that, yeah, he didn't like it was out of music. So he's a guitarist and lead guitarist, I'd say at the level of that Santana that he can play Santana type of guitar solos. Yeah. And, but, you know, I don't do music with him, you know, but definitely an influence. And, but he stopped early to do all this, you know, take care of his family and all that. 3 (7m 30s): And, but I do remember doing some of his shows when I was very little with my mom and, but yeah, I first touched me at first, started by writing poems and first in French and then in English, even though my English was very bad at nine, nine or 10 years old and yeah. You know, then I had my first band, so I started singing. It kinda came naturally. I was just, you know, we'd just seen Alon with that and Madonna and, you know, pop artists or, you know, other artists like that. And I liked Abba a lot as my mum was listening to them a lot. And they were, they actually came back in, I was going say in fashion and trendy in the nineties. 3 (8m 14s): And so I listened to them and there was a singing Alon with the harmonies of ABI and that was fun. And, and so I had a first little band when I was about 15 and with a, another girl singer, we would just sing together. I think I learned a lot about harmonizing that way. And, and then I went into travel bands. So I guess my first little band, we were already writing songs. So it was writing songs there in English. And then, yeah. And then I thought I wanted to explore other people's music. So I went into a COVID band. So I had two Tava bands and we were like playing scenes at Sheryl Crow and sixpence, none, the richer, you know, and all this like pop rock stuff. 3 (9m 2s): And yeah. And then I, I moved to the U S I had the opportunity to move to the U S thanks to having relatives and some friends near to Cleveland. And to me, it really didn't matter. I don't, I had already been to Cincinnati because of my relatives. And to me, didn't really matter where I would end up first. And that was just so young. I was at 20. And, and then was there, you know, it's just to the United States or wherever I know. And the music culture is very powerful here. Let you know Francis more about food and session and the U S I know for you, you might be taking it for granted that say, but like, it is such a strong music culture here. 3 (9m 42s): I don't know if you're really aware of it when you do it to other countries, you might see the difference. And 0 (10m 18s): Isn't just that the music from the United States, like, like you're, I mean, you're naming bands like, like ABA and stuff like that. Like, is it because Sheryl Crow, is she from no, yeah. She's from here. Like, yeah. So a lot of them, I was thinking Atlanta is more separate she's from Canada, but I guess it's similar anyway, not too similar, but is it just because the, like the English speaking pop songs are just big kind of all over or w was where those big songs, it sounds like there were big songs in France. Like, 3 (10m 51s): You mean as far as the American music country, 0 (10m 54s): As far as American music culture goes, 3 (10m 57s): You know, I think not that I've analyzed it for, you know, since I've lived here for so many years, I think it comes from how you're taught music in school. You're taught music very young. And I think, I don't know if it's, I don't know if it's the genetics, but you, you just very, I think Americans are very, I don't know anybody that doesn't play an instrument that's American You know, versus the French it's, it's just different. And yeah, of course, you know, American music, you know, is known all over the world and things like this, but I see it more as in the country, like when you're here versus when you live in France, like how much people support music and how much, how much people I'm excited about live music and, and versus frankly, maybe more like, you know, food and restaurants. 3 (11m 52s): And I find Americans are very creative. I mean, of course, songwriting and the UK as well, but you know, me as stemming from price, that's how I saw it. I was, I was just very attracted to the, to the U S not just for the music torture, but, you know, so like, you know, the beautiful national parts and just, you know, you know, the whole like Len states and cities of it. And so, yeah, I hope that that helps. 0 (12m 18s): No. Sure, sure. So Dick was there, did you go to shows a lot, or did you catch led music a whole lot in when you're living in France or not so much? 3 (12m 27s): And south of France is very touristic. And as you know, when you go to Paris, of course, there's more, there's a lot more arts in Paris, but it's done to far from my area, but it's still different. It's not, you know, it's probably a personal thing. I just like American music culture that, you know, and, you know, I, I know I'm American. I know some of my friends, I say, oh, they love French jazz, you know? Sure. So, yeah, but definitely live music, open mates. It's it's yeah. It's everywhere. Any state, any down, you'll find a place to grow here and open-mind, even if it's a tiny town and she's really impressive for me. 0 (13m 13s): No, I, I completely agree. There's always a spot like a coffee shop or a bar venue or whatever. There's a lot of, and almost every town there's somewhere, you could go to see somebody performing 3 (13m 24s): And for you to play too. You know, you have a, there's so many places, whether it's small, you know, big, you know, where you have the opportunity to play and where people welcome it. And that's, that's pretty awesome to me. 0 (13m 38s): When did you just come here? Like what drove you to the states aside from, is it because you were so fascinated by it and you wanted to do music here? Is that what really took you out here? 3 (13m 49s): Yeah. You know, I started to get kind of obsessed by the U S when I was around 12 or 13, I had like a giant book about the United States, as far as the cities and the geography and, you know, that sort of thing. And I, wasn't why it's so beautiful and vast, and, and bead in spacious, it was in beta here, you know, so I was just really attracted to that. And then if it was just that my American dream, as I said, built my own American dream. And so, yeah, I just wanted to get obsessed by it. And, you know, later when, you know, I had the opportunity I was at, okay, I'm on that, I'm on the road to the U S like, I'm going to go, you know, to live there. 3 (14m 36s): And that's, that's what it was. It was really on when I thought that, you know, it was at 14, I was at that's what I'm going to do. And, and so, you know, then, you know, I met some friends and, you know, it's all just details type of thing. And then it just happens. And so, yeah, I was just attracted and it's like a calling and it takes a lot, you know, to, to listen to your calling sometimes, you know, people have, they have a calling, but then they might just ignore it and say, oh, I don't, you know, I can't do that. You know? And it's, yeah, it's, it's very important for another, let's try to encourage other people to listen to their dreams and listen to, to, to what they really want to do. 0 (15m 21s): I think that was great advice. Like getting out here though, you came in, you wanted to be a songwriter. It sounds like you didn't come here to go to college to do something, anything else. 3 (15m 29s): And, you know, I wanted to write son's an English and that's the thing is that in France, I would get criticized beat does that was not writing signs in French. And I was 0 (15m 44s): Really, so people didn't like the fact that you're writing songs in 3 (15m 46s): English. No, because if your friends show there's so much English music too much, especially from the UK. Right, right, right. Next door and said, oh, there's so much, you know, English music and American music. Why don't you write in French? I was always asked that, but why don't you write in French? And it's the funny thing is that, you know, once I moved to the west, then I had the same question, Hey, you'd be doing, if you write a song in French. And that was really cute from, you know, some of my first bands, even now they want to hear, but it's not in the same way. It's, it's, it's cute. So I do it, but I don't ha I don't feel the same pressure and needed diversity about all. 3 (16m 27s): Why don't you write in French? So it's different here. 0 (16m 30s): Sure. Do you have to translate, like when you first started writing in English, was it like, okay, I'm going to come up with the lyrics in France and then kind of translated and see if it makes sense. Like, how do you juggle that? Or did you know enough to be like, okay, I'm gonna write this whole thing in English. 3 (16m 42s): Yeah. That's interesting. I actually wrote directly in English when I was a teenager and I actually was pretty good in English. I was doing an English class that was ranch. I was watching a lot of American movies and things that, this, so I would just write the lyrics in English because of hearing songs that had English lyrics. So, you know, I had like a way of like, kind of knowing how the words would flow. 0 (17m 15s): Right. That's where I was going. Cause it's like the cadence and the way that the words are gonna flow together as a totally different two different languages. 3 (17m 24s): Yes. This is a very interesting question. My very first album with my first time I attend band that was in Cleveland. So I wrote with them, it was my first writing with American musicians. And so I wrote, you know, freshly rates. And so I'm gonna say at first they were not as flowing with the language, but so I got better at it. You know, in the more I would write, the more it come on, more like, like you would hear an Emory 10 son and not people telling me that when they hear me saying they don't even Dell, they can, they don't know that I'm fresh. 0 (18m 1s): I didn't know at all. Yeah. When you're talking, I'm like, wait a minute. 3 (18m 5s): Yeah. It's, it's the musicality in the two languages. So I also write in French and I have some songs that I have in both English and in French, on my album be inspired, which is my latest album. I have feel good. And I have CBM, and these are the same songs. So 0 (18m 26s): I brought French ones in English. 3 (18m 28s): Yes. So I wrote it first in English. And then, so the process of doing, when we taught a language adaptation, you know, they do that a lot for a Disney movies and things like this. It's, you know, you first, I mean, as needs, that's what I do at first, translate it. And then And that, okay, I need to rewrite this because that doesn't sound like how it French song would sound. 3 (21m 57s): So it's such a very tricky and you have to, you know, make the words flow in the other language. It's an art. I'm a say. 0 (22m 5s): Yeah, I would say, I would think like metaphors and certain like slang words that you might use in English and your lyrics won't translate over at all. And then you will want to have to like replace the word or try to figure out a different way to say it. 3 (22m 18s): Yeah. And then in the same time you want the meaning to be there, if it's the same song. Right, right. 0 (22m 25s): You can't just change the whole, so 3 (22m 27s): Yeah. I like it. And sometimes when I seen live and mixed them, so to start a funny, I'm like, oops, that was the French line. So that's really funny. 0 (22m 37s): It's funny. That is really funny. Do you play both versions when you do shows? 3 (22m 42s): So I usually do one or the other, or sometimes I ask the, ask the audience, you know what I, any French people in the room and if somebody says <em></em> terrible French, I say, okay, I'll sing it in French. I think that version for you and it's, yeah. It's always a great interaction with the audience. 0 (23m 4s): Very cool. So moving from Cleveland to New York, that must've been a big change 3 (23m 10s): One, not so much because you know, I'm European and you know, any new, big cities, but New York is really something. I was just, you know, so moving in New York, I dunno, happened a little bit the same way. When I moved to the U S I had the calling and I was obsessed. I was with my dad, dad was there. And so when I moved, I mean, the city has, excuse me, I has so much energy. And it's, it's, it's on the world. I love it. You know, I'm in love with New York city. I think really what was different is what is even more music. 3 (23m 50s): And what was really diff different is that the business that the music business in New York, this is where I learned the most about music business. I'm talking about, you know, not just, you know, booking shows, but, you know, royalties and music, TV placements, and that sort of thing. So absolutely embraced it, drawing to, you know, networking, evidence, educational evidence, you know, everything is here. You know, the ask step is here. And so, you know, get to do these events and learn. So I learned a lot and I really loved the mix of culture in New York city and the music from different cultures and, and tantra is it's really unique. 3 (24m 36s): Hmm. 0 (24m 37s): So you, you like fully immerse yourself in learning all about the music industry. Did you go to college or school for it? It was just like all about like researching and figuring out how to do, 3 (24m 48s): I didn't go to college for music. I learned mostly by reading, you know, music, business sports, or going to those seminars. There's so many seminars. And I would just go to pretty much any seminar that I went to here off, you know, w whether it was sound writers, seminars with ASCAP or BMI, sometimes some record labels, even, you know, we do Evans and I would just go and music publishers association. So I learned a lot and, you know, I'm an independent artist I'm not signed in. I do have a team and I do have some people, you know, that work with me, but I felt that, you know, to make sure I would navigate the industry well, I needed to educate myself. 3 (25m 32s): And that, you know, that's something that I tell to any artists that you know, is Indy, or there's trying to do as much as they can being independent of the want to remain independent. You know, you gotta know, you gotta know the business. And then, you know, when it comes to contracts and, and things that then you don't know when you need to delegate, like getting an attorney that he knows when to review a paperwork. But yeah, I really liked the music business and, and learning I'm actually doing right now. I'm doing the, an NBA. There was a, my project for, during the pandemic, studying an MBA to learn a lot about business in general. And that helps for my music business. 0 (26m 13s): Very cool. That's a brilliant idea. Right. It goes hand in hand. It's like the people that go to college for marketing, and they're like, oh, I'm going into marketing, not for my band. It's like, well, it's kind of the same thing, getting out of market your band and sells CDs or records or whatever. And same with music or business, you have to know how to do right. Obviously. Well, let's hear about your new song. It's called child-free. Yes. It's about what not having being child-free right. As a woman. 3 (26m 40s): Yeah, exactly. So I, I found out about the actual word child-free like a few years ago, and I think I read an article on the Huffington post and, and they were talking about the child-free movement and I was, oh, wow. But this is just that's me. That's awesome. And so I started to listen to podcasts and joined groups, and then being a member of the cat child free by choice community, and, and then realized that it there's just so many women that are not as lucky as I am. And that dated a lot of pressure from society. 3 (27m 20s): And there for many, I never got pressure from my family because I wasn't raised as, oh, you know, you need to babysit, you need to, you know, you don't have kids as soon as you're, you know, 21 and, you know, that's sort of like, yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. I did not have that, that pressure. And so realized that a lot of women did criticize and they struggle. And with that pressure, and it's very difficult for them to deal with that. So I thought, okay, well maybe I should write a song for us, for us. 3 (28m 2s): Child-free by choice swimming. And let's just write a whole song, not just a little, you know, that line or something. So, so yes, I wrote the lyrics and I produced the son and there was a whole process for me also, because, you know, it's such a personal message and it's never been done. It's the first child-free song out there where, you know, I'm singing, I don't need a baby to be happy. And then at the end, it's we don't need babies to be happy. So Tony, you know, claiming, you know, our freedom here. And so I thought the whole, how is this, how is this doing to be perceived and accepted? 3 (28m 45s): So I was nervous. I procrastinated it, beat out. I was nervous. This is usually what happens. And, and then, you know, I was at, okay, if I don't do it, then who's going to do it. What child-free women out there is capable of original whole song and then putting it out and, and everything. So I fought, you know, it was my duty to do it. And so, yeah. Did the whole point of China finally came out in end of September. And the reactions have been really interesting. So I've been doing a lot of podcasts related to the child-free movement, which is really awesome. 3 (29m 24s): And, and then I was asked by the New York times to be featured with nice story and the sun in an article, they were writing about a women that made that choice too. So that was just pretty awesome. 3 (32m 47s): Yeah, it's, you know, I, I really liked PR and throughout my whole career, I've been really working hard at, you know, keeping in touch with, with press writers and things I did. And I liked it. I just loved PR and this just, just, this just like came to me like this. And so I was like, whoa, well, you know, it pays off, you know, you can just do all of these interviews and enjoy them. And then at some point you did a natural big feature. And so, yeah, I'm really, really grateful and this was really awesome. 3 (33m 27s): And it's yeah. And it's been the distributed, the audit all in all over the world, it's in Spanish somewhere and then all the languages. And so that's just really cool. 0 (33m 38s): Very, very cool. And the song, the cover it's right behind you. You're my right. Your left. That's 55 women who are all happy child-free women, is that correct? Yes. And how do you get in touch with these women and them being, and then ask them, say, Hey, can you send me a headshot for my record cover? 3 (34m 1s): And then, you know, when I was supposed to finish the furniture and that was, I was wondering, what am I done to put on the Trover art led just my face and hi, I'm Chad free. Hello, nice to meet you. You know, I know that that's a little bit, you know, not as meaningful. So I thought, well, since the sun is for all of us, how about, you know, I try to have as many childhood bachelors women on the trauma and that would, you know, and that they would want in a new Tabby. So I, you know, with all the forums and all that, you know, I posted some, some, some, you know, some posts and stuff, and I say, Hey, you know, anybody wants to join the project. And it would just so excited to be in it and to be supporting it. 3 (34m 48s): Cause I told them, Hey, I don't even know. Like, I don't think it really is a song if I don't have other women with me because I'm not the feel one. And it's, you know, even though, you know, in, in my life, I haven't been treated sized by my close family. I know how, you know, I still got mean nasty comments throughout my life about, you know, not wanting to have children. And so it was, I felt that by having them with me, I feel stronger about the message. So 0 (35m 17s): Yeah, it's definitely more powerful, right. To have a community of people behind you. Have you gotten any like lash back on the record at all? Like from people going like, Ooh, like I don't, I mean, I can't think of anything mean to say, like, I don't know, because it's kind of a, it's a, it's a topic nobody's really tackled yet as far as song 3 (35m 35s): Goes. And yeah, that's a really interesting question. So, you know, I got, I did get some neutral reactions, you know, like you, I know you have kids and you know, you're like, yeah, okay. You know, you do whatever. You can have kids, you don't, you know, whatever. And that's, you know, that's, that's how it should be. You know, other people shouldn't care, whatever we do with our lies, then, then that afterwards, great positive comments. And I get actually some women that I didn't know that were child-free by choice. No, whether it was acquaintances or even some of my fans that contacted me and said, Hey, this is awesome. I'm child-free by choice too. So, you know, it opens up a conversation and it helps normalizing the topic. 3 (36m 18s): And so this is just, this is always awesome when I hear this and then off bras, there's the nasty comments. So I did have some, it was some women that are mothers, right. That have kids that felt like they had to justify to me why they have children. And I said, well, you know, you'd written mother and this is great. I mean, the son is not about telling women that they should not have children. Nissan is about saying that we chose to not have children and that we're happy with our children, but people cannot compute that, that a woman can say, I am happy without having children because the society sees women that, that, that it's need for them to be pregnant and give birth. 3 (37m 13s): So, so, you know, so I, that some of these women that are mothers, you know, that they had to justify. So those are just, you know, it was okay. Yeah. You know, it's a plane, but then, you know, they can do whatever. The one, you know, the dishonesty, if it bothers them, they can just not play it. And 0 (37m 34s): You said, you're not telling people not to have kids. You're just stating, like, I don't want them. And that's my choice. Right. I mean, for somebody that has I've Q kids, I wouldn't come out and tell you like, oh, well, you should have, I'm like, that's your decision. I'm not the one that has to raise them. You know what I mean? Like, it's just like, it's a lot of work, like kind of lie. So the fact that no one, yeah. I just don't think anyone should be telling you or anyone else what they should be doing with their life. Like, why are you going out of your way to critique what I'm doing? Like what, how is that affecting you at all? 3 (38m 10s): It's, I'm not sure where these, these come from. And then, you know, of course on any Anine and on the YouTube video, I've see some really weird nasty comments on there. I'm not gonna mention them. Some of them are internet trolls to try to get attention. And, you know, sometimes it comes from their religious background. I don't know. I mean, you know, what are you doing to do you don't adjust a lot, lot women that don't want to have digits on a lock them up and make sure they get pregnant. And then what, what is, you know, is, you know, handmade, stale. I mean, you know, so it's just, yeah, this song has been just great. 3 (38m 52s): I'm just really happy and proud to be a voice for us and, and just, you know, just, you know, share my story. 0 (39m 4s): Amazing. Amazing. Well, I appreciate you doing this, Lily. This has been awesome. Thank you so much. 3 (39m 9s): Well, thank you for having me and yeah, I hope that people would go check out my music. My album being inspired is out there. I have four LPs and I have some syndromes, including the song child-free and there's some music videos, and I started, I'm selling a right. And now that EAP soon, check out my, my current music and I hope everybody will like it. 0 (39m 36s): Amazing. Amazing. I do have one quick, last question. I know you touched on it earlier, but I want to know if you have any advice for aspiring artists. 3 (39m 45s): Yeah. I think that education is really important. I'd say, try to learn as much as you can about the business beaters. It's such a specific field, unless you learn yourself about it. Anybody can tell you anything about it and you, you would not know exactly what it's about wanting to do deal, especially you do deal another deal. And yeah. Made sure that, you know, education, the do think about education. Once you have it.