The sounds of soul and funk are resurfacing in today’s R&B scene, and Houston songstress Lilly Aviana is an emerging voice. Her debut album Late Bloom, originally released in 2019, received a deluxe treatment that includes a visual for a new acoustic track entitled, "About You," along with a music video for her hit single, "Seasons."
Born and raised in Houston, Aviana grew up on soul music from artists like The O'Jays, Parliament-Funkadelic, and Teena Marie. These luminaries galvanized her to become the vocal powerhouse she is today. "Honestly, I’ve always wanted to create funk music, even as a kid. But as a 12-year-old, I thought people wouldn’t be listening to this stuff anymore. I’m so glad that funk is coming back in a modern taste," Aviana tells Houstonia.
At 27, Aviana started writing her debut project after giving birth to her son in 2016. Her album marks her return from a much-needed break, and follows a string of singles and collaborations with artists like Dende, Uncle Tino, and Indigo Young. "The whole album is based on my life pretty much," Aviana says, reflecting on the project. "It’s kind of like a love story that goes wrong一relationship issues, internalizing my fears and just internal battles that I had to face."
For the singer, staying true to her roots is key to her music and who she is as an artist.
Late Bloom articulates an earthy expressiveness and is a sonic manifestation of Aviana’s connection to nature. Her harmony in essence is reflected throughout the project, specially in songs like "Rainfall," "Black Jasmine," and "Waterlillies."
On the opening track, “Intro,” the songstress takes a spoken word approach with a note to self, reminding listeners to stay grounded. Aviana pays homage to Houston with "W Bellfort Ave," an interlude that was originally a voice note recorded in a friend’s studio. The project moves into "Seasons," where she ponders on the question of whether she’s “asking for too much” from a significant other.
The deluxe album closes with "Growing Pains," an introspective track where Aviana sings her gratitude for personal life experiences, both positive and negative. "Life has been a roller coaster. I’ve gone through so much and I felt like in my early 20s, I just wasn’t doing the best I could," she explains. "Growth and healing are just very emotional一having to realize all the ugly sides of yourself is tough, but you come out of it better."
Aviana hopes that listeners "can experience every emotion" when listening to the album. "I really want people to know that they can be vulnerable. It’s okay to be mad, angry, or sad. You have to grow and heal through that. We’re just like plants. Even though it took a while for me to grow, I’m here, and it’s better late than never."
Listen to Late Bloom Deluxe across all digital streaming platforms.