AUSTIN (KXAN) — Lili Hickman is no stranger to the stage.
Lili’s mother, Sara Hickman, the 2010 official Texas State Musician, said Lili came on tour with her at only ten months old. At some shows, Sara would strap Lili to her back while she sang to an audience of up to 10,000 people, Sara said.
It’s no surprise that Lili became a musician.
“Lili was always musical and always singing,” Sara said. “They wrote their very first serious song when they were four,” she said.
Lili and their collaborators – including guitarist and producer Mason Ables – make up Flora & Fawna, an indie pop band with roots planted firmly in Austin.
Lili and Flora & Fawna will be making their Austin City Limits Music Festival debut on Sunday. They’ll play on the Miller Light Stage at 11:45 a.m.
As a born and raised Austinite, Lili said it feels surreal to have the opportunity to play on Austin’s biggest stage.
“I feel good,” Lili said. “I’m definitely super nervous. It’s one of the bigger stages I’ve performed on,” they continued.
“Growing up in Austin, you know, it’s a dream come true. To play our city’s biggest festival,” Lili said.
Flora & Fawna began performing consistently in venues around Austin in September 2019. Just as their momentum began to build, they were forced to slow down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As restrictions began to ease late last year, they picked up where they left off – playing shows consistently in Red River District venues, such as Cheer Up Charlies and Hotel Vegas.
“It’s exciting to be back out there and just finally get the ball rolling again,” Lili said.
Though this is Lili’s first time as a performer at ACL, they have been many times before; either backstage at their friends’ shows or accompanying their mom, Sara – a four-time ACL performer.
Sara told KXAN that the fact that her child is following in her footsteps and performing at ACL couldn’t be less surprising.
“I might get weepy during this interview,” Sara said. “But I had no doubt in my mind.”
“Lili and Mason have created this amazing sound, and they’ve worked really really really hard. I have nothing but the deepest respect for them,” Sara said. “I know the crowd is going to go completely cuckoo for them.”
Sara said Lili learned a great deal about music by watching her over the years but is naturally inclined towards music and incredibly hard-working.
“I think they wrote over 500 songs during the pandemic, and all really good,” Sara said. “Lilli’s just got it going on,” she said.
Sara, unfortunately, will not get the chance to watch Lili perform this weekend as she is in Bend, Oregon, playing a show of her own. Though she will not be there physically, her heart will be, Sara said.
“Lily is golden and gonna go very far. And I don’t say that because I’m their mom, but because it is true,” Sara said.
Lili Hickman uses they/them pronouns.