Interview by: Jewel Fiorillo
Photos provided by: Spotify and Blair's team
Indie music scenes sweetest new voice, Blair Lee sat down for an interview to go over her current 2022 release, 'Hurdles', released September 9th 2022. We talk about influences, dream cities and her sisterly inspiration for music. You can listen to 'Hurdles' on all major platforms.
When did you get introduced to music? Or when did you find a love for music?
B: “Actually, when I was 10 years old I actually started playing the piano. And from that point forward I just always kept with it. I actually went to a school for music later in life as well.”
Have you had any instructors, teachers or any major influences from a professional insight?
B: “The school that I was at had a lot of the teachers that already in the industry or have been in the industry. Essentially I started reaching out to them after school was over, and I actually worked with a few of them. There are a lot of little things that happened along the way that are thanks to them for sure.”
What are some of your favorite ways to get in the mindset to write your music and songs? Do you have any pre-writing session rituals?
B: “I don’t know if I would say I have a pre-reading session ritual or anything to get warmed up for it. I typically just start with the music portion of it first. Especially if I’m making music with ModMaxx, he produces and I work with him often.”
ModMaxx is also known for his work with artists like Drake, Roy Woods and Tinashe.
B: “We usually start with developing the instrumental and beyond that I begin finding the lyrics because of the inspiration I find from that. The feelings, the emotions of the songs. I usually start to sing a little bit of gibberish or reference and then humming melodies. The lyrics comes shortly after. It’s a little chaotic.” *laughs*
Do you have a specific emotion you like to drive from when you’re creating your music?
B: “I feel like the first word that comes to mind may be a longing. I try to go for a transitional feeling with my music. It’s beginning in one place and wanting to end in a better and different place.”
Do you have any musical inspirations? And what about personal inspirations.
B: “I think I would have different answers for piano and for my niche in music. I was always really inspired by movie soundtracks with piano in it. Yamn Tiersem is one of my larger inspirations when it comes to piano. To the music and also how he played it. The way he move his hands around the piano was very interesting and intricate. I actually learned a few of his songs and learned his technique as well. For music, I would have to say I love The Nationals. They’re definitely one of my favorite bands. My music doesn’t sound like theirs at all but I’m very inspired by their lyrics. Specifically, how they’re kind of abstract. You feel like you’re drawing from deep inside of their head but some of them give this feeling that you can relate so strongly with. They hop around time within their music too and create this feeling of telling a story through music. Artists like, Taylor Swift, tell a story through time as well but they go through all the details so you can see exactly what happened in when it happened to her. However with The Nationals, you feel the struggles from the lyrics but you don’t know exactly when and what happened. I love the idea of being able to say some thing very vulnerable but not being an open book. So people can’t figure you out entirely.”
B: “As far as personal, I’ve had amazing singers just around me all the time. My sister, my cousins, and my friends as well. So I’ve just been around all these musical inspirations for as long as I can remember. People who just sing casually. None of them record themselves but Being around them has just inspired me to make my music and record my music. Specifically, I would have to see my sister. We used to sing together a lot when we were younger. More-so in high school but we performed a couple talent shows together. She has definitely one of my favorite voices. We don’t thing as much as we used to anymore now, she has a job and her own life. But if she ever wanted to record a song together I know I would hop on that idea right away. It’s almost like a weird secret knowing someone has a secret special power and they keep it to themselves.”
Let’s talk about your new single hurdles, recently released, it’s your first single released in a little over a year.
B: “Yeah, I think the last one I released was last May. It’s hard to believe how fast it went. Even then, I wasn’t really releasing a lot before that. I was super excited to release Hurdles. I’ve honestly been really excited about this release because this is the first time I have a rollout of releases. I have planned out EP’s to release afterwards as well. One in the fall and then one next year. It feels good to have an actual plan and to have things to look forward to.”
Is there a meaning/message behind the new release?
B: “I would say this song is somewhat about my grandparents and my family, and how I do matter to them, but overall, I believe I would say it’s about this family and how you keep each other grounded. How they bring meaning into your life. And then from a personal musician aspect, I think it’s also really about making some thing of myself. Sometimes when you’re feeling so lost and in the dark and miss amazing moments because you’re just one artist trying to make it. Trying to focus so much on my own life and forget I have so much going on elsewhere around me. That I’m not doing this on my own.”
If you could perform in any city where would it be and why?
B: “Ohhhh, Any city? I would have to say London, is the first when it comes to mind. I think it also would be a great excuse to spend more time there. I’ve always wanted to be able to truly explore it.”
Have you ever been to London?
B: “I actually was there back in May. But I was there for five days and I just feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. I would really like to go back and explore more of it or dive deeper into what it has to offer. I also don’t know anybody there really, so I felt more or less like a tourist. So hopefully in the future I can do more than what the tourist do. I would like to experience the what locals like to do.”
If you could collaborate with any artist who would it be and why?
B: “Again, I would have to say my favorite band, The Nationals. I think it would have to be them. I don’t really have a reason other than that they are my favorite band and for what I listed earlier why I like them so much.”
How has performing been this year? Any goals with performances?
B: “I’ve only done a few performances. I recently did one called school night, in LA. I’m wanting to perform more and I’m hoping I can get to do that more within the next year. I’ve had a great experience while performing live so far. So it’s definitely in the plans. I would love to get the chance to perform at a festival too. It would be amazing.”