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Meet Angie Shyr of LaLaLoveXYZ, Jackie Highway and Ring Around

Today we’d like to introduce you to Angie Shyr.

Angie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
LaLaLove began when I had just finished recording my 1st album demo, circa 2013. The idea was like a lightning strike that came fully loaded with the name, image and concept. During that special time when you’re happily locked away in a studio, you become a festering laboratory of musical ideas spilling over. The need to put them somewhere becomes so insistent, like a physical need (hunger), that my friends and family became the first test subjects and eventually, the willing guinea pigs of my music/sound texts – ranging from random, spontaneous outbursts of inanity to sappy love confessions with an occasional soliloquy. It kind of became an addiction because there was a domino effect from sending one to another that would eventually make its way back to the recording itself – or a future song. It was like my own Facebook except everyone reacted in such positive ways that they themselves were surprised and the reactions themselves became encouragement and information to create the next wave of ideas. Specifically, reactions to lovesongs written to certain people were apparently more heartwrenching and Earthshattering than that of any material gift I had ever given, I felt immediately compelled to share this newfound jubilance, of which there seemed to be no end, with everyone. I realized it was a new exalted or prismatic dimension of gift-giving, connection and your heart and soul’s utterances and exclamations. RingAround was a natural outgrowth of LalaLove a year before the first national women marches. I wanted to write a lovesong to women and have it passed around the world, from one female songwriter to another. Each girl/lady/woman writes their own version of the same song, records and post it on the website, then passes it on to someone they know. In other words, many versions of Ring Around are sung and recorded by as many women as possible – and my hope is, it catches fire as an anthem and multiplies around the world. RingAround the world… as if we stand on the equator and hold hands. Like we’re giving the world a hypothetical embrace while creating unbreakable bonds of strength and unity through music and creativity. Like a human, RingAround Saturn but around Earth. Jackie Highway is the 3rd piece of this musical love-trinity, the project title of 10 albums that span as many genres and hybrids from all my musical influences – which are countless. It began with Solid State Sun, an album about one day – from Sunrise to Sunset. Upbeat songs awaken the listener and songs become more downtempo, ending with a lullaby to put you to sleep. Album 2 is The Hottest Flame. Songs of indie groovy nature uplift your Hottest Flame or your Soul’s pilot light. The Hottest Flame has endless connotations and poetic evocations like Ring Around. I want names and titles to be catchy because then they can be recalled and iterated easily the way kids’ songs and rhymes are. Plus, I come from a family of bionic writers with intriguing voices that have a penchant for off-the-wall ideas. To this day, my Dad and sister surprise me left and right with their fresh inventiveness. Album 5 will be the holy center of the album trajectory. I’m projecting my own brand of modern hymns and gospels. Album 8-10 will offer unexplored instrumentals and symphonies uniting my music journals from my young-adult years of touring with classical orchestra and bands. People always ask me about the name Jackie Highway and mistake it as my alter ego or stage name. Jackie Highway has manifold significance: Jackie is generic and the female version of Jack. The names Jack and Jackie are universal and can be found in nearly every language. Highway because my music life was travelbound and music is soul-travel. I wanted to denote the here&now with respect to the predominant way we get around on Earth – by car on endless highways.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’ve always felt that if you have a close relationship to your divine guidance and intuition, they easily work together and drive the actual hard work necessary to one’s vision. The times when things get sticky, I keep my eye on problem-solving, interim or permanent solutions, rather than the problem itself. Each entity evolves entirely from the work that keeps coming from or to it or being created out of it’s impetus and mission. Struggles are, to some degree, a requirement in life, right? Otherwise, how would we learn how to do better, build perseverance and endurance. With respect to the early stages of setting LLL, JH and RA up, most of the struggles were circumstantial and organizational – finding resources and going with the right one, balancing this with budget restrictions, discovering help in people power and talking to as many people about their opinions from both the business and client/audience ends. These aren’t unlike my everyday challenges – only now, I’m generating more community, connection and ultimately, vision that serves each individual and the collective as well. There’s more circulation among the village and the village just keeps expanding exponentially. It is truly awe-inspiring to see what each of us is capable of and then, what we do as a group. It’s mighty mighty!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about LaLaLoveXYZ, Jackie Highway, Ring Around – what should we know?
There are a few things I treasure and think are special about this tritone of services: 1: They are continuously creative based primarily on customer needs, audience requests or in the case of Jackie Highway, evolution of the album cycle through revolutions of a discerning and/or expanding audience. 2: They are giving music, musicians and recording studios creative opportunities beyond what’s possible while jumping ship past the sinking industry of people buying music. I’ve been hugely inspired by Martha Argerich and her foundation in Japan – its aim being ‘to keep a distinction between commercialism and use music to promote spiritual awareness of society. Through music, we can nurture children to build the future and create a new social environment to support and celebrate humanity.’ 3: People have always said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” My first take on this was, “It takes a village to raise every single being.” But now, my version has evolved into: “It takes the world to raise the world” and that’s where my creative muse and impetus shines from.

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
There’s a continuum of essentials that have always worked not just for me but what I’ve observed and learned from others: Communication – remaining open while being fastidious. Whatever tools/resources that help you move through iffy moments, practice and use them until they’re second nature. Here comes the cliche but nevertheless, the clincher! Stay true to who you are or what you need to do in order to get it done. The way you work doesn’t necessarily work for everyone else. Stick to your gut especially when naysayers shake their hips. I hesitate to reinforce that because the rebellious streak is out there, wide open as a trend and not necessarily all for improvement, but reminding yourself of your initial inspiration is like renewing your vows and incredibly helpful. Last but not least, keep faith and hope alive and kicking. People can really feel the gravity and depth of your vision and beliefs. I truly believe people hunger desire awakening, elevation and any prodding of their own genius. So, I’m always willing to give gentle pushes to start! Or end.

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Image Credit:
Anna Webber, Luisa Renay

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