Andy Howells chats to South Wales based singer/songwriters Lilygreen and Maguire

Can you introduce yourselves to our readers?

JM: We're an acoustic pop duo from Blackwood & Newport. We've toured with the likes of Scouting For Girls, Olly Murs and Westlife. I'm from Blackwood, and Lilygreen is from Bettws How did you both get into playing music together?

JL: We met in the Kama Lounge in town (Newport) about 4 years ago…we were a bit tipsy but we became mates quite quickly. Mags mentioned he had a studio in the area and we should hang out and record some stuff…we've kinda been doing it ever since.

Whats been your best live experience so far?

JM: Arenas are amazing to play, but I love our own shows, there's nothing like 300 people singing your own words back at you.

JL: For me, it must have been Ponty in the Park…we were lucky enough to play the O2 arena in London a few times, but Ponty was a good crowd. You could see their faces and have a good laugh. Mags has a cool stretched canvas picture of us in front of loads of happy Welsh people. It was a good day.

You've also become prolific songwriters - what inspires you?

JL: All sorts of things can inspire an idea for a song. Working with other songwriters is quite a good way of getting the wheels going. Trying to write a really good song isn't always easy, so you try and find inspiration where you can. That can be anything from looking at something, or hearing someone say a sentence regarding pretty much anything. Sometimes it latches on and you go with it.

Tell us about the song you’ve wrote for Union J, how did that come about?

JM: It was an idea I started when we were on tour with Westlife that we finished with a couple of good friends, including Jo Perry (who wrote Black Heart for Stooshe). Jo was heavily involved in X Factor last year and a as result the Union J boys heard the track and fell in love with it. It's VERY exciting for us.

Who are your favourite songwriters?

JM: I love the behind the scenes songwriters - the ones who aren't really famous. There's a guy called Max Martin who has sold more records than The Beatles but nobody has heard of him. He's been a prolific pop songwriter for the past 20 years and has rarely been out of the charts.

He wrote Baby One More Time for Britney, It's My Life for Bon Jovi, all of Katy Perrys hits to name just a few. He's had so many hits that looking at his discography is like seeing your life in pop music. Songs remind you of periods in your life, and every one of his songs will remind you of a place or time whether you like the song or not.

Have you got any recordings out yourselves at the moment?

JL: We have an album 'Have a Good Time, All The Time' on pre order right now on iTunes. It will be released on November 4th. We have an E.P up too…there's actually quite a bit up there.

Your playing Cardiff Globe soon are you looking forward to that?

JM: Can't wait. The Welsh shows are always the best!!!

JL: We played Ifor Bach earlier this year and it was a great show. I've never played The Globe, but I know it's hosted some great bands during it's time. I'm excited to play Cardiff again. We'll be playing with a bass player and a drummer this tour, so it's gonna be loud. Loud is good.

What else can we expect from Lilygreen and Maguire in 2013?

JM: We've got a tour and an album coming up that's going to take us to the end of the year. Look out 2014 we're coming for you!

JL; More and more songs that make you go... 'oooooooh...'