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San Francisco - Greetings From The San Francisco Chapter Board Lia Rose
Lia Rose - Singer/Songwriter
San Francisco Chapter Vice-President
How/When did you get your start?
I didn’t really think of myself as a musician for most of my life. But looking back, I guess I sorta was heading in that direction. There were always random and interesting instruments around as I was growing up because my mom and my uncle had a musical windchime business and because my uncle was pretty much obsessed with collecting and learning to play instruments from all over the world. This must be where I got my musical curiosity from. I tried to make sounds with them as a kid: flutes, harps, lots of percussion instruments...And I was very lucky to always have encouragement. When I was about 14, I got excited about guitar and started to learn to play. I wrote my first song at 15 but then I got strangely serious about school for some reason. I didn't end up writing another until towards the end of college and I didn't really enter the music scene after college. I joined a dreampop band, playing bass, keys, and as one of the singers. Then I formed my own band for the first time, and after about 4 years of that, I decided to 'go solo’. I still play with other bands and musicians in support of their projects when it really clicks. I definitely needed to play with all kinds of musicians when I was starting out – I learned (and I’m still learning!) an incredible amount with each new collaboration.
What artist or band should people know right now?
Bon Iver. Nothing else compares, in my humble opinion. I’ve been listening to his latest album for a few months and it has really altered my music world. Last week, I finally got to see him play live for the first time -- at the Greek Theater in Berkeley. He and his unbelievable band … well, they blew me away.
What advice would you give to a young artist just starting out in the music business?
There is no ‘right way’. There are plenty of wrong ways, but there’s no one right way. Be adaptable. From what I’ve seen, these are some helpful approaches: 1. Having integrity with your music and having trust in what you are doing – you must love what you do; if you are doing something *only* to seek recognition…reconsider. 2. Always operating from a place of gratitude rather than a place of entitlement. And do people favors. Opportunities will come and go; you don’t need to take every single one . Perhaps you’ll go through a period where you are very selective and then another period you’ll take nearly every gig – you’re allowed to go through phases. I suggest always being grateful for what’s offered, even if you don’t take it. 3. Forming real friendships and connections that are not just based on what you think a person can do for you – get out there and support musicians that you love and never stop becoming a better person. Sometimes we hit rough patches, be compassionate with yourself and allow yourself to go through all of it trusting that you’ll come out the other side stronger and more resolved. I’ve found it helpful to keep a part time dayjob – gives me structure and something to schedule around. When I’ve not had that, I’ve ended up wasting a lot of my time and feeling directionless. Plus, steady income is always good for mental health ;) Above all … keep following your heart, it *will* lead you well if you let it.
What book would you recommend as a must read for someone?
My friend and bandmate Tim Marcus from Or, The Whale handed me a tiny book about a month ago called The Four Agreements. It struck a major chord with me. Even if you don’t take it as gospel, there are some true gems in there that I would imagine to be useful for anyone.
Who are your favorite new artists right now?
Aside from my obvious answer of ‘Bon Iver’ … I do love (some of these are new/some have been around a while) … Laura Marling; This Will Destroy You; Arcade Fire; David Bazan; Fleet Foxes; José Gonzalez; Damien Jurado, Mumford and Sons; The Tallest Man on Earth; Goodnight, Texas; David Luning; Gillian Welch; Iron&Wine ...