Artist: Lera Lynn
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Latest album: On My Own
What other art forms — literature, film, dance, painting, etc — inform your music?
I think everything we consume ends up informing our art. It’s difficult for me to pinpoint any one art form that influences me, but I did use the act of painting with intention while making my new record, On My Own. Because I was working completely alone on the record, I desperately needed some method for gaining perspective, so I kept my easel set up in the room where I was recording and would bounce back and forth between the two mediums. Where I would reach a roadblock with one, I would move to the other.
What was the first moment that you knew you wanted to be a musician?
Music was always a big part of life for me growing up. If there wasn’t a record or the radio blasting, someone was playing guitar or keyboards and singing. I, however, had always planned on becoming an astronaut until one fateful day as a 10-year-old, when I learned that my eyesight was too poor for me to ever be accepted into the space program. I happened to be watching Star Search minutes after that disappointing realization and distinctly remember thinking, “Oh well, I’ll just do that.” It wasn’t until a couple of years later, playing violin in the school orchestra that I understood, for the first time, the hypnotic power of playing music with and for others and I was hooked.
What’s the toughest time you ever had writing a song?
I once spent 10 months working on a song, because someone I shared the song with suggested that the chorus wasn’t strong enough. I must’ve written six or eight different choruses and ultimately decided that the original chorus was the one. The song is called “Fade Into the Black.”
What rituals do you have, either in the studio or before a show?
My rituals are pretty different for live shows vs. studio work. I have to be pretty straight before getting on stage. I sing the old jazz standard “Lover Man” for its vocal range as a warmup and just before going on stage I get pumped up by yelling like I’m at a drag race. In the studio, a good buzz goes a long way for getting inside the song and tracking vocals.
If you had to write a mission statement for your career, what would it be?
Let art guide the process and decisions, not the prospect of money or success. Maintain autonomy by nurturing meaningful engagement with fans; let them be the guide and support system. And finally, trust your gut!!
Photo credit: Alysse Gafkjen