On a clear but chilly September night, we hit the road and headed down to Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut to meet and greet the one and only Dara Hayes, also known as Tigerlily. After the team settled in around 11:15 pm, we had a few moments with Dara before her set at Shrine to discuss her health habits, signature style, and exciting new releases on the scene.
Ashley Feldman: Dara, I know we’re ecstatic to have you in the states as of late. How has touring been in North America?
Tigerlily: It’s been really amazing, I’ve had a couple of great shows already and so many more cool performances coming up. This weekend is fully hectic, I’ve got five shows in a row. I love it though, the crowds are great, very versatile and open-minded. Overall, I am very excited to be here.
AF: Being the road can provide many different challenges. Despite this, you promote clean eating and living a healthy lifestyle on your Snapchat and Instagram. What does your daily routine look like?
TL: I don’t have a daily routine. Yesterday we traveled for 14 hours to get here, it was crazy. I try to be as healthy as possible, the lifestyle I live is the worst for being healthy. I slept for three hours last night. Being a vegan, it’s hard to find food that is good and fresh. I do what I can, when I can. I think the most important thing is learning as much as I can about health and well-being. People seem to be so uneducated about all that, especially when it comes to the dance music industry where things like drugs and alcohol are heavily involved.
AF: So what is the best thing people can learn about their bodies?
TL: Oh my god, everything. I truly believe everyone should be on a completely plant based diet. Especially with the all the incidents of cancer, heart disease and diabetes…all that kind of stuff is directly related to what you eat, most of the time. I think people just need to take the initiative to learn more about what they are putting in their mouths and find what they are interested in on a fitness level. My number one tip is to have a big, green smoothie once a day. You just put heaps of veg and heaps of fruit in there; so many vitamins and minerals in one big hit.
AF: What other hobbies do you enjoy outside of music?
TL: I love practicing yoga, although I could be better. I like to do things I’m not very good at. I like hiking, boxing, going to the beach, eating, finding new restaurants and things like that. I’m a big socialite too, so when I’m home I love seeing my friends. And anything that has to do with being healthy. When I’m on the road, unfortunately I can’t be as active, so it’s about doing the best that I can with what I have.
AF: Let’s talk about your style. As a female and an artist, how does your image come into play when considering how you represent yourself on and off stage?
TL: Yeah totally, well I think image is a huge thing, especially in today’s day in age when it comes to the shareability of content over platforms. I suppose my blue hair is like a trademark now. I’ve come to have a love-hate relationship with it.
AF: I recall you changing it recently?
TL: Yeah, I did and everyone kicked up a huge stink about it.
AF: Why did you decide to take the leap?
TL: Because I was over it. I wanted a change. It honestly hurt my feelings so much when people were not cool with it. The thing is they shouldn’t care what I look like. People are focused on how people look these days, and for me that’s just so lame. It’s about what’s on the inside and what you are providing people with, be it music, entertainment, or whatever it is. It made me question a lot of things when I got that type of reaction.
I think I’m going to change it back, because when I did go with the blue again I was so upset. I remember calling my mom and being on the phone for hours. You realize you do these things to explore your artistry. I used to love having the blue hair but now it’s time for a change. As someone who is followed on social media, I’d like to see people be more open minded as to what I want as a human being. At the end of the day, I am Tigerlily, but Tigerlily is not me. I am so much more than that. The alias is only a part of me. With that being said, I am excited to explore my style a bit more next year.
AF: Where did “Tigerlily” come from in the first place?
TL: I made it up. I wanted to be in a pop group when I was younger *laughs*, growing up I always wanted my name to be Tigerlily. So, there’s no crazy story, it was pretty organic, something I had always wanted and I made it happen.
AF: Following up one of your most recent releases, what or who was your inspiration for ‘Whenever I’m With You?’
TL: That was a love song, partly about my ex-boyfriend, partly about the way music has the ability to bring two people together. I think that’s really powerful and something that has been a force in all of the relationships in my life. Whether that has been romantic love or friendship-based. That was kind of the overriding message of the song; music and connection.
AF: Anything you want to add or want your fans to know as we wrap up?
TL: Keep your ears out for new music. At the moment I’ve got a tune sitting at number 1 on the Beatport charts, so that’s pretty awesome. Check out my collab with KSHMR called ‘Invisible Children.’ I’ve also got a brand new track and music video coming out Friday, September 16th called ‘Skyline.’ It’s actually the first song that I’m singing on, with a DJ from New York, known as Nick Martin!
AF: Can’t wait to see it. Thanks so much Dara, it was a pleasure. Good luck out there!!