Writer, Singer, Fashion Designer – Radmila Lolly is the definition of a multi-faceted genius. Hailing from Moscow, the young artist has made a name for herself in the industry. But there is still a lot that people do not know about the gifted singer-designer. Here is an insightful interview with Radmila Lolly.
Q: You really are a multi-talented artist. When did you have your first artistic spark?
A: I’d say it is all thanks to my family. I grew up in a family that valued art and skills, and that inspired me from a young age. My mother used to sing melodies at the house, while my brother was a very good guitar player. Looking at them, I too formed an interest in music.
My grandmother was a seamstress who also taught me that skill. My mother was an excellent painter, and her works always filled me with awe. I remember taking my mother’s scarves as a kid and creating gowns out of them, while lip-syncing to pop songs. I think all that encouraged the artist in me.
Q: Did you have your share of struggles while making a career in music?
A: If I am being honest, I had it easier than most people. I gave my first public performance in London when I was 16, and the crowd loved it! That encouraged me to make serious music and musical instruments lessons even while I moved places. In 2015 I published my first singles, though they didn’t get the reception I had hoped.
However, in 2016 I got the chance to present my debut album at the prestigious Carnegie Hall. The applause of the crowd and the praise of the critics really helped propel my career forward. I followed that with a second album in 2018 and a few more singles that helped me earn a solid place in the industry. Overall, the journey was not a nightmare, but it wasn’t a cakewalk either. I guess my conviction towards the art helped me keep moving forward.
Q: Does the year 2019 hold a special place in your life?
A: (chuckles) Yes! Frankly, I didn’t expect the success of “U R Moving Me”. I was hoping for a decent hit that gets some praise and love from the audience. But reaching the #21 spot on the Billboard Dance Chart was honestly unexpected. And then my following single “Tonight” also did really well on the Billboard charts. So yeah, 2019 was a great year for me.
Q: Just when you are becoming the talk of the town, COVID-19 struck. Did you feel frustrated about that?
A: There was a tinge of frustration at the beginning when they froze the charts while two of my songs were on it. But it would have been incredibly selfish of me to complain about that when people were struggling to stay alive during the pandemic. So, instead of complaining, I focused on my work. I got the offer to be the composer of Kanye West’s film, marking my film debut. I believe that artists should only focus on their crafts, and nothing else.
Q: How did a singer move so effortlessly into fashion?
A: Honestly, it was not intentional. I was interested in fashion since I was a kid. Designing my own clothes was kind of an old habit. But soon, during red carpet events or award shows, people started asking me about my “designer”. For a time I tried to brush it off ‘cos I was a little embarrassed to say that I design my own clothes, while other celebs were wearing Gucci and Prada. But in time, I realized that it was actually something to be proud of.
Once I became open that I design my own clothes, people started sending requests. This made me realize that I have the potential to be a professional fashion designer. So, I started designing clothes under my own label “Radmila Lolly”. Eventually, I started the more luxurious fashion line called “Eltara Casata”. What sets it apart is that it is hand-made, exclusive within the States, and only a few pieces are made of any design. In fact, some designs have only a single copy made.
Q: What does your fashion resume look like?
A: I might say that it looks satisfactory. I have designed clothes for Nicole Ari Parker, Bebe Rexha, Carla Morrison, Gayle King, Natti Natasha, and Kanye West. My fashion line has appeared in prestigious venues like Daytime Emmy Awards, Gotham Hall, and Madison Avenue Trunk Show.
Q: Last week, you formally announced your ambitious project DIVA. Why don’t you share some more details about it?
A: DIVA is something that is really close to my heart and a product of 6 years of work. It started off as a novel, but I always knew in my heart that it truly deserves a stage production. As I gained some experience in production, I decided to take the wheel. DIVA will be a 27-movement programmatic project, designed to express the story of my novel. Eltara Casata will release a fashion line dedicated to it, while we will also release an audiobook to accompany it. The cast and crew for the project have been decided, and the final product will hit the stage in 2022.