Lisa Richards’ forthcoming album titled A Light From The Other Side marks a return to Australia after 22 years residing in the United States. With subtle humour, sharp observations and a ferociously sweet voice, Lisa Richards explores the complexities of life through a flowing mix of folk, blues, roots and jazz.
We are delighted to share this industry veteran’s insights into her music practice and business with you!
- What is the best part about being a musician, for you?
Wow… so many good things. The Freedom. I love being able to mould words and my voice around musical notes. Hitting a string on my guitar and creating something in the air. I love the recording process, turning a raw song into something greater. I love connecting with people after a show and seeing how moved and excited they are about what I am doing. I love being self employed. It’s not for everyone, but it works for me. I love that I make musical art.
- How has your music practice changed over time?
Well I am big on maintaining my skills generally on a day to day basis. Doing the basics. Playing and singing every day. Doing my vocal warmups. My voice, guitar playing and writing. I work in cycles and these cycles are clearer to me now and I am able to surrender to them. There is the inward cycle, when I write and create the songs. Then the recording cycle. (And these 2 sometimes overlap) The new product packaging, tour booking and logistical cycle and the promotional cycle/ interviews and out on the road touring cycle. Each part of it requires a different head set and they all involve skills that get practised and honed and then the cycle begins again.
- What advice would you give to someone who is about to head off on their very first tour? The most important thing is to do what you can to stay healthy so you can be at your best to do what you are out there to do. So get sleep, eat right, get some exercise, drink lots of water (as opposed to lots of coffee and beer). Inevitably, at some point, you will get sick on a tour and when that happens it helps to be flexible in your approach to your songs and your singing. You aren’t always going to be 100% and you have to figure each day how to get the best out of your voice and your performance on that day.
- Do you get nervous before you perform? How do you manage that?
I get nervous. I try to talk to people at the show, before the show. Get more interested in them than in myself. Sometimes I go off and spend some time alone. There isn’t only one way I deal with it. The big thing about being nervous is that it happens when I am in my head thinking about me, worrying about me. And ultimately none of that is going to help me once I am up on stage. So getting really present. Being where my feet are. Feeling my feet on the ground. Getting present to my surroundings.
- How do you record your initial song ideas?
100% on my iphone. It’s always with me. I use voice memos.
- My top business tip for new artists is…
Don’t think someone is going to come along and make you famous. Be the captain of your ship. Think like a business person and an entreprenuer. YOU are your business.
- What was your biggest career mistake/regret?
Not realizing this sooner 🙂