Each month GoGirlsMusic.com spotlights an artist or band from its community, asking a series of questions. This month we feature Luciar, a NYC edgy singer/songwriter, with witty, passionate lyrics and memorable melodies. Enjoy!
I was itty bitty. Shorter than I am now. The gravitation towards music was impossible to ignore: I willingly put 100% of a $30 gift I got for my birthday to piano lessons, being offered at $10 each by my school. I was 8. I knew I wanted to sing and I wanted to make sounds that moved people.
Describe your music style and name three musicians you have been inspired by and why.
My sound is constantly evolving. These days, I’m contemplating a salt & pepper mix of jazz cabaret and baroque. I’m still a rock ‘n roll girl at heart though, so there will always be undertones of rock.
Trent Reznor. He’s absolutely my hero. Everything he touches moves me to bits and pieces. Trent inspired me to listen to the more subtle details of sound. I’m constantly observing the sounds that our day generates, from mundane tasks to organized sounds in songs. Anything can become music if you construct it just right.
Billie Holiday. Singing away so much pain, Lady Day had such a way of cooing her way through songs that was mesmerizing in all of her recordings. I particularly loved the way she sang completely relaxed, and so behind the beat. Despite how controversial her voice was, (she was criticized for often straying from the original melody and making up her own), she plowed on doing what she loved the way she knew how to do it.
Tori Amos. I was in high school when I first heard Tori Amos, and had been convinced for whatever irrational teenage reason that I couldn’t sing. I heard Little Earthquakes, and every ounce of me couldn’t resist singing along. It was an immense release when the floodgates came down. She got me out of my shell and got me singing again.
What’s your ideal venue atmosphere?
Places with seats and a chill vibe. Since I perform sitting behind a piano and a ukulele, I require an intimate setting. I love giving direct eye contact to each person I’m performing to. I want to let them know that I’m playing this for them.
Describe how your music career has evolved since you first started performing.
I feel like my music has taken me on all sorts of adventures. I had a band when I was 13 called Teen Rock, which is really funny considering it was in a country where they only spoke Spanish. As an adult, I played in a progressive rock band. Then I went from belly dancing on stage while backed by an alt-rock band, to an intimate from-me-to-you performance. In 2011, I did more shows outside of my city than I had any other year. I hope to keep building on that trend and go where it feels right.
How would you describe the music scene in your area?
It’s NYC baby! It’s always hopping. That also means that we’re flooded with many, many great artists. There’s always something to do, and people to see.
What was the inspiration for your latest release?
Skin was inspired by a very intense break-up. I realized that after a couple of years of still not being “over it” the only way it was going to happen was if I put it in a package and let it go. So I wrote a whole album about it and my journey towards healing. By the way, it worked.
What do you think is number one for a musician to think about before preparing for a CD project and do you have any tips on saving time in the studio?
When you’re putting together an album, I feel its important to keep a theme in mind. What do you want to say with this compilation of songs? What’s the big underlying message? Does that message come across loud and clear?
In the studio, don’t dilly dally. (I often do, then I remember, “oh, right! Go go go!”) Don’t get hung up that this or that isn’t good enough. Do it. Refine it. If it doesn’t work, dispose it and try something else. We often fall in love with our work and can lose track of when it’s time to let go.
What makes or breaks a musician just starting out in your opinion?
Intention. I believe you have to know exactly why you’re making music and make sure it’s very clear in your mind. This will always guide what your next steps are.
Describe your toughest moments in your quest for a music career and tell us how you overcame them.
I dilly dally. (See my above advice on not dilly dallying.) I often get distracted and ruminate on what I want to do for so long that I forget I’m supposed to do them! This sounds a bit silly, but it’s the truth. Our brains are programmed to create so much clutter that I would forget what I was doing in the first place. I’ll get back to you on how I’m overcoming it. So far it involves yoga, meditation and lists. Many, many lists.
What advice would you offer up and coming artists that get discouraged other than don’t give up?
Always come back to your intention. Why are you doing this music thing in the first place? This will help settle and ease your mind.
Tell us something you want the music world to know about you.
I keep talking about intentions here, so here’s mine: I fully believe that music is my native language and everyone can understand it. I do it because it’s a wonderful way to release all of the emotion in the world – anxieties, insecurities, joy, love. I want to remind people to let it out. Let it all out.
What have you gotten out of being a member of the GoGirls community?
Oh my goodness, so much! First, the people I’ve met have all just been incredible. Every artist brings such a bundle of love of music to the table with their own unique sounds, enthusiasm and inspiration. Jackie Sheeler, Rew and Christy Lenée, to name a few. I’ve had the joy and pleasure to travel with the GoGirls and do shows way out of my city, like Austin, Los Angeles and Philly. We encourage each other, guide each other and give feedback when we need it. I can’t imagine a female artist not wanting to be part of this awesome community!
[GoGirls side note: learn more about the GoGirls community at www.GoGirlsElite.com.]
Feeling A Little Emo. It’s my next release. I’m almost done laying down tracks, and mixing will begin in March. I’m also experimenting with playing songs to track so I can bring more exciting instrumentation into my live shows. It’s fun to shake things up a bit.