Q&A1234: Lindsey Lomis

Nashville has given us some truly talented songwriters over the years and the latest to be added to this overgrowing collection is Lindsey Lomis. Over the past few years the young 19 year old artist has been praised by a plethora of established artists, ranging from Brandi Carlile and Alessia Cara all the way to Justin Bieber and Meghan Trainor. She’s an artist on the rise who shares a tight knit bond with her adoring fanbase who wait with bated breath whenever Lomis announces a new single. I got to sit down with her and chat about her opening for Joshua Bassett, her upcoming EP Daydreaming and whether or not it would be easier to teach aerospace engineer to be astronaut or teach astronaut to be killer musician.

For anyone who hasn’t heard or experienced your music first hand, how would you describe it without using any genre terms?

Meaning wise the majority of my music is very honest and vulnerable but expressed in a positive light. I touch on some heavy topics every so often but at the same time do it in an uplifting way, but that’s kind of the way I’d describe the message of the music. The majority of my music is just fun, I think there’s a lot of different kind of dynamics going on and I want people to have good time listening to it. I want people to come home from a long day of work or school and just put my music on to feel good again.

Your family doesn’t have a lot of musical heritage, with your parents being doctors and your brother an aerospace engineer, so what was it that originally drew you to music?

Good research! Honestly my parents don’t really do music but they appreciate it a lot and because I grew up in Nashville I was kind of surround my music and live shows constantly. My parents would take me to live shows from an early age and I became obsessed with it. I fell in love with music from the live show, that is the first thing where I was like ‘I’ve got to be up there.’ Luckily they fully supported me on it, I dove into it seriously at age 10 or 11 and although they don’t play they’ve always helped me. They found camps for me to go to, mentors to learn from and were just super supportive. They helped me find my community in Nashville.

The next question is a famous Reddit question to an aerospace engineer who became a musician because I realised I will never have another moment to ask a question like this again. If a giant meteor was about to hit earth and it could only be destroyed by the power of music, would it be easier to teach an aerospace engineer to be an astronaut or teach an astronaut to be a killer musician?

This is perfect! I love this! For some reason I think it’d be easier to teach a musician to be an astronaut. It takes a lot more training to be an astronaut but I also feel like anyone can be a musician, this is tough! Anyone can learn music because it’s such a worldwide thing. But I don’t think my brother could learn music so that’s my answer haha!

When you were younger you had a large amount of stage freight and kind of blacked out at one of your school’s talent shows. Can you remember what helped you break through this fear and do you have any advice you’d give to someone going through the same thing?

That’s so funny you bring that up. I remember being in lower school and doing the cup song from Pitch Perfect, everyone told me afterwards it went well but to this day I have no memory of that performance. For me what I was most nervous about was performing in front of my classmates and friends, that’s the same to this day compared to a crowd where I know no one. I started playing more kids open mic nights and being around people who I didn’t know. I never wanted to feel like I was showing off so just avoided people I knew knowing about shows, they don’t need to hear it. I played these line ups with adults and that allowed me to grow and made me think ‘oh I’m doing what these adults are doing that must mean I’m good.’ Obviously the more you do it the more comfortable you become with it but the biggest thing was how people talked to the crowd. Nashville has a singer songwriter vibe and it’s better to have a conversation with the crowd which helped me to open up and become more vulnerable on stage.

It’s interesting how you described Nashville’s scene with the singer songwriter vibe the open mics have as well as the music community in general. You’re now spending a lot of time in LA so have you noticed any major differences between the two cities in terms of how they tackle music?

There are definitely some differences. With Nashville you don’t fully dive into the track first, with LA I’ve noticed a lot of the times at shows people just dive straight into the track. At the same time for me, I’ve come to understand my own process and now I’m able to come into the room with my own start, ideas and am able to do my own thing. As far as performance there’s definitely a difference, in Nashville there’s a lot of writer rounds which is basically four people sitting on stage and they go around and sing a song a few times. I did that a bunch and you can’t just sit there, someone plays a song, talks about their story and then sing it. You have to describe your song, tell the story and then play it, which is such a Nashville thing. Everytime I’m on stage I want to debrief the crowd on my song because of it and that’s not something you’d do in LA. I love having the best of both worlds with these two cities.

It’s interesting you bring up the storytelling aspect of Nashville. It’s a very country city which has a prime focus on storytelling and making sure the listener knows the journey they’re going on, where as LA is focuses on a mix between the aesthetic and the music. It’s quite cool you’ve noticed that from going to live shows alone.

I used to call going to live shows studying in the past, so that makes a lot of sense! I think just observing those different atmosphere is so important, learning from both and having a balance between both is the perfect sweet spot for me. You can’t get on stage and just ramble for a few hours, you’ve got to sing.

With gigs being your university, were there any moments in your life that you see as key moments that helped you grow into who you are now?

Totally, I feel lucky to have a lot of those big monumental moments. The biggest thing recently was just spending time alone with myself. I was forced to be with myself because of COVID, it was awful, I hated it, but at the same time I came out of that with a new perspective. I didn’t look at a situation through another persons eyes. Even with what I was wearing I used to try and wear what they were wearing so I could fit in with them and I put that into my music. Ignoring what others did, sat down with myself and really figured out what I wanted to be. Having that time sucked, but it was so huge for me. I can come into sessions and performances now with so much more intent behind my ideas. That was a major turning point for me.

You’ve also had the opportunity to go on stage with a tonne of artists, be it opening or performing with them. Who’s the person who’ve you’ve worked with who’s inspired you the most?

As far as writers it’s my songwriter soulmate, Nicole Cohen. She inspired me so much as a writer and producer. But artists who I’ve sung or performed with it has to be JoJo. i got to tour with her for a pretty extended amount of time, just seeing her in her element and zone, daily process and all she had to do to become the artist she is. You gain so much respect for someone seeing how much effort they put into something before they even walk onto the stage. She was so kind and encouraging to me too which was just incredible.

You also got to work with the legendary Busbee. He gave you the book Joni Mitchell: The Complete Poems and Lyrics which was an important turning point for you as an artist. What is it about Joni’s words that had such an impact on you?

I think the fact that Busbee wanted me to have that made me want to dive deeper into her work. There’s something so unique and vulnerable to her lyrics, it feels like there’s no effort behind it and it’s perfectly placed. She’s obviously a legend and the fact Busbee wanted me to learn from her made me want to love her even more.

Are there any other pieces of media you’d recommend for any other budding young musicians to read?

I watch a lot of documentaries and I watched Miss American the Taylor Swift documentary. I was never a big Swiftie because I got compared to her so much when I was younger because I was just a girl playing guitar in Nashville. I watched that documentary and gained instant respect for her, seeing someones whole story laid out like that is so impactful, I’ve shown it to so many people and I watch it whenever I need that inspiration. Also watched Kanye’s documentary series, I’ve watched the Linda Ronstadt one too recently. They give me such a burst of inspiration so if you’re ever going through a drought of creativity I highly recommend you watch one.

You’ll soon be going on tour with Joshua Bassett and the whole reason this came about was because of a TikTok. Do you have to pinch yourself that something like that has happened through you posting a video?

1000% I pinch myself all the time because of it. I posted an original that’s apart of my series Lookin Shitty Singin Pretty, he commented on it, reached out to his team said when he goes on tour he wants me to be the opener. He booked a tour and asked me to open for him which I am so honoured by, he’s so kind and so sweet. It’s going to be such a good experience, especially with his audience because they’re such an excited crowd.

Are there any cities on the tour that you’re really looking forward to visiting or any venues you’re hyped to be performing in? 

I’m really excited for Toronto, I haven’t performed in Canada which is going to be such a good experience. As far as venues I’ve played a couple before and I’ve loved them, The Bowery Ballroom in New York and the Troubadour in LA. I got to play the Troubadour with Wild Rivers, the first band I ever opened for, and it was truly magical. The room was so silent and so into it, it felt like nothing else before and I’m really craving for it now.

What one piece of advice that you’ve been given would you like to pass onto others?

One that I think of every single time before I go on stage is if you’re nervous it means you care. It means you’re invested in how it goes and you want it to go well. It’s such a good trait to have. I’ve always gotten nervous before I go on stage, but I take a deep breath and it all melts away when I’m on stage. My mind never remembers that part because I’m always stressing five minutes before hand.

What’s next for Lindsey Lomis?

I’m releasing my new EP Daydreaming on August 19th. I’m so proud of these songs, it’s the most connected I’ve been to my music and sound for so long. I’ve just been keeping it to myself for so long and I cannot wait to share it all with my fans.

Who’re you counting in?

I’m deeply obsessed with Chiiild. He’s super underrated, I somehow stumble on one of his songs and after a month later wondered why I never listened to his album. Once I did that there was no going back. He has no bad songs and you just need to listen to him.