Born and raised approximately one mile from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Lydia Briggs has been creating music from the age of 5. Now 17 years old, she has created a unique brand of indie-pop integrated with blues and jazz. We had a chance to chat with Lydia Briggs about her new single ‘Not My Mistake’, discovering new music and future plans.
Why did you choose to enter the music industry?
A lot of people I know tell young musicians to think long and hard about a career in music. The business part is changing fast and it can be a tough path for today’s songwriters and musicians. I see music more as an art and an outlet; it’s who I am. My songs give me a way to tell my stories, to cope with negative things that happen and to share the beauty I find. It’s a way to connect with people who have been through similar experiences. Nothing beats the feeling of when you and your bandmates are in the flow or the “river” on stage.
Also, I’m surrounded by so many talented people who believe in me and my songwriting. My piano instructor, Steve Musichuk, heard my songs early, encouraged me to keep writing and asked my parents’ permission to talk to me about pursuing a music career. When I’m in the studio with my producer, Jim Wirt (Fiona Apple, Incubus, No Doubt), he brings so much positive energy that inspires me to do my best work as we take a song from demo to final product. It’s the creative process and all the wonderful people who help me work through ideas in the studio and perform well on stage that makes it worthwhile.
What can you tell us about your release ‘Not My Mistake’?
I wrote the lyrics to ‘Not My Mistake’ in 15 minutes after a gig; standing in a bar bathroom immediately after an emotional breakup. It’s less about the breakup and more about being a woman and using your voice. It is about finding the strength to say what you want to say. Learning not to be afraid to say what I want and stand up for what I believe.
What was the recording and writing process like?
Because the lyrics are very raw, I wanted them to stand out. I purposefully kept the music stripped back and worked to ensure the song wasn’t overproduced. I wanted my voice, the lyrics and my message to shine.
What do you hope people take from ‘Not My Mistake’?
My main message is about finding the courage to say what you want to say and stand up for what you believe. I want other young women to know that it is okay to use your voice. It is okay to speak up and let yourself be heard.
Which is more challenging for you – lyrics or melody?
Personally, I find writing the lyrics more challenging than music. The melody, for me, comes a lot easier because I can create a tone that reflects the emotion I’m trying to get across in the lyrics.
Describe your music in three words.
Honest, empowering and passionate.
What do you think is the best way to discover new music?
I find new songs and artists through friends, family and other people who are as passionate about music as I am. I know so many musicians and people who love music and they always send me songs I wouldn’t have discovered on my own. I have such an eclectic mix because of their different interests. When I listen to a song someone has shared with me that person stays connected to the music. Whenever I hear the song again, I think about that friendship. Music is very powerful that way.
What does the future hold for Lydia Briggs?
I am excited about my upcoming releases because we were able to pull back a little and get at the meaning and the emotion of the lyrics. I feel my writing is maturing and will continue to do so in 2020 and in the coming years.
In just over a year from now, I am planning to go to college to study music and psychology while continuing to play gigs, write and produce new songs. I want to keep putting my voice out there. I want to reach young women like me and help them to use their voices, get stronger and believe in themselves. Also, I have a personal goal of moving up to Kobalt’s AWAL+ level with my music.
What advice do you have for any person planning to become a musician?
This business can be challenging because you have to be vulnerable on the stage, in the studio, and on social media. That can be scary because you and your art are exposed and some people, especially on the internet, can be hurtful. I worry about that the most. Being vulnerable is beautiful because it gives you the ability to put yourself out there and connect with people who are supportive and believe in you and your message.
For anyone planning to become a musician, do not be afraid to be vulnerable and put yourself out there. It might take some time to get comfortable sharing yourself and your music, but keep going. Know that you will find your audience, the people who love you and your music, and know that you are worth it.
Do you have any message for our readers?
Thank you so much for reading! As a musician, it means so much to receive support like this. Keep coming back out here to discover new artists. They all need your love. I am grateful to Turtle Tempo for giving artists like me a voice.