Artist Profile :: Lily Budiasa

Jul 31, 2019 | Live Music

Q & A with musician and TVM performer Lily Budiasa, by TVM Intern Gemma Lyndon.

I must admit every time I visit The Village Markets I am constantly drawn to your remarkable voice accompanied by your beautifully written guitar melodies. Tell us Lily, when did you begin your singing career and what initially inspired you to perform for others?

Ever since I was a little girl, music has always been second nature. I never wanted dolls or had an interest in anything else, it was instruments, karaoke machines, what piece of furniture could be my stage. When most children were listening to The Wiggles (don’t get me wrong Dorothy the Dinosaur was my gal)… My family introduced me to the greats so they were my childhood soundtrack.

I remember living back home in Bali when I was 8 years old, we had the album “1” by The Beatles, all their number 1 hits. My neighbor Alan was British. Everyday I got out my drum sticks and he got his guitar, we pressed play and when the CD finished we started from the start over and over. That was my inspiration, I knew then that music was the only thing for me.

Besides school talent shows, it wasn’t until I was 17, studying music at University where I first started to gig properly and start making a living from it. Here I am still going.

From recording singing videos on youtube to playing at Bleach festival and Triple J to supporting Amy Shark on her Adore tour (amazing!),  what has been your biggest highlight to date?

This is hard. I’ve played so many shows, that there are highlights everywhere from as small as…

Being 18 and having a goal of headlining Elsewhere, which I’ve now done numerous times with my band.

 To playing shows in Bali, playing festivals,singing at childhood friends weddings. I think for me though, when I was 17 I saw one of my favourite bands Bon Iver at The Tivoli in Brisbane. I said to myself, one day I will be on that stage singing to a full room where SO many of my favourite artists have stood. In 2017 I was the only supporting act for Lindsay Stirling (an insanely talented violinist/ performer). I played a solo set in front of a sold-out Tivoli theatre. I cried in the Green Groom.

Many musicians similar to yourself often perform for local crowds at community spaces like the markets,  how did you see The Village Markets as a platform for reaching listeners and showcasing yourself as a brand?

I first started singing at TVM about 5 years ago. It’s been my constant. Through the markets I’ve been able to show people who I am, with my originals, covers and the Lily spin I put on them, to being able to meet new people and socialize. My favourite thing to do when I’m performing is watch the enjoyment it brings to people. Every TVM gig I play, just watching people sit and take time to listen to my music is really cool and humbling. I’ve gotten so much out of The Village Markets, gigs obviously and a platform to network but the relationships I have made with the people is the best part. 

You have studied a bachelor of popular music, how do you think studying this degree went in hand with your passion for music?

My degree was a dream! Going to University to study what you adore. Amazing. Walking into your block and hearing music left right and center. People think Arts degrees are abit you know.. “but it’s not a real degree”… They are, and they are hard, and no its by all means not Astrophysics but in the field of what you love, there are always things to learn and study and you still have to work for it.

It was the lecturers that became friends and your friends that became family. Ultimately the motivator that pushed me more and more to make this a full time job and prepare me for my Masters in Music Therapy. 

You are currently in a band ‘TH’FIKA’ how do you stay inspired and what do you do to get creative?

Being around my band or creatives in general is my inspiration. Every musician needs someone or something to vibe off and to get the juices flowing and for me it’s being around other people. When you walk into a rehearsal or a jam with one small idea that turns into another and another and by the end you’ve made something incredible. That’s inspiration. 

You are a born and bred Gold Coast gal, how do you feel living in the sunny spot of the Gold Coast reflects on your creative processes?

For a born and bred Gold Coast Girl, who is also Balinese. I would 100% take winter any day haha. In saying that, if it wasn’t for this beautiful city, the people around me and the amazing GC venues that have hosted me, I wouldn’t be the musician that people know me as. 

Where can Gold Coasters hear Lily Budiasa?

My band TH’FIKA is on Spotify and all the other music platforms. I post on my Instagram where my next gigs are. So come say Hi and boogie. 

Your voice has previously been known for its ‘hauntingly earthy vocals’, how would you describe your singing style?

My style has changed so much over the years from the artists I listen to , the music I write, the change in my playing and singing.

Right now I’m in a pocket where my voice carries so much soul with rasp and husk yet can still be fragile with hints of operatic and pop tones. When you sing as much as I do, you hear changes and inflections everyday. It’s kind of the fun of it, seeing what your voice can do.

What part of your job would people find most surprising? 

Even though I’ve been doing this now for years. I still wake up everyday and want to practice, learn something I didn’t know the day before.

The crazy hours!! Never ending rehearsing, keeping up the maintenance of all your equipment, meetings, the heavy lifting loading in gear to every gig ie.. getting to a gig with no elevator but 7 flights of stairs. PRO TIP if you ever see a musician loading in or out just give them a helping hand.. even if it’s a microphone stand. I promise you it helps. 

Who would you like to have a 30-minute meeting with?

Hans Zimmer. To pick his brain on how he orchestrated some of the best film soundtracks of all time. His creative process. Wow  

Ok yep him.

Who do you love to follow on Instagram?

My mum – she’s still trying to get 200 followers.

Best advice you have ever received?

“Be humble. Be kind “

-   simple. Straight forward. How you should be in every aspect of your life. 

My advice though -  We are all human beings and we should always embrace inclusion and diversity

Favorite TVM stall?

Lalah Bali – not being biased because they are family but who doesn’t love a Nasi Goreng


Huckleberry Flowers. 

Listen to Lily’s latest tracks here

Follow Lily here


Thanks so much for sharing Lily, much love xx

Catch Lily at TVM Sunday 4th August 2019.