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Meet Lilly Mischer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lilly Mischer.

Lilly, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up bouncing around LA’s private school system, observing from an early age the affects that a performance and image-based culture has on a young creative mind. My mom is an artist, and my dad is a highly honored producer and director of live television events. Throughout my childhood I attended award shows such as the Emmy’s, the Oscars, and events like super-bowl half-time shows and Olympic ceremonies. Celebrity culture was all around me, and I stood so closely to some of the highest standards and merits of the entertainment world. This kind of cultural success seemed so tangible and accessible. For a lot of my upbringing, my dreams and expectations of performance and image were the foundation of my worth and self-esteem as a musician and therefore a person. But to be honest, it didn’t take too long for me to realize how completely bogus that felt. I found comfort and inspiration in observing musicians like Björk, Kate Bush, Erykah Badu and Joanna Newsom. Pretty much any artist who makes me want to embrace who I already am as opposed to model someone else has become a spirit guide for my work. It’s really important to me that I continue to create music and art for myself, this is how I make my best work and how I stay inspired by life.

Has it been a smooth road?
I was deemed academically “disabled” pretty early on, so my piano playing became the way I earned respect and affirmation from the adults and peers around me. The more I struggled in school, the bolder my dreams of fame and musical success became what drove me to create. The only problem was that with the source of my creativity becoming more and more about proving myself, the less I wanted to make anything, and the more I resented the process. At times I would feel overwhelmed with intense feelings that needed to be expressed, and when the moment of truth came for me to sit down with an instrument and pan for gold, I would feel exasperated, heartbroken, and lost when the results couldn’t live up to my dreams and expectations. I thought music was the only path for me, the way for me to have worth in the world. When I couldn’t feel inspired endless amounts of shame would roll in and my confidence would plummet. The judgmental thoughts and ideas of who I was supposed to be would distract me from seeing the incredible truth that I already was my dreams, I already have everything I need, and that there doesn’t have to be so much pressure.

We’d love to hear more about your music.
As an artist I often use music as a medium to explore the “darker” or “heavier” energies and emotions that I experience in order to create beauty and meaning within discomfort and pain. More recently I’ve been using rhythmic percussion and singing to explore physical traumas that are stored in our bodies and the innate relationships between sexuality, creativity, and the human body. Within this mode of expressing I find a sense of peace, fulfillment and truth; bringing perspective and light to the parts of my life that I am so tempted to suppress or judge. Through music I can find love and power at the core of my deepest fears and sadness’s.

I’m inspired by the notion that music is a “place” that we go when we want to feel, or transform a feeling. So, I like to experiment with creating soundscapes, trances, and repetitive chord progressions that build an environment in which a listener can feel safe to explore whatever feelings come up. I do all this sound-making on my own in my home studio set-up. All my tracks are self-written and self-produced, primarily using Ableton Live and Logic Pro. Essentially my music is about seeing in the dark, and I use it to navigate through my emotional life with compassion, movement, and awareness.

How do you, personally, define success? What’s your criteria, the markers you’re looking out for, etc?
My ideas of success have greatly changed throughout my life and I’m sure they will continue to change for some time. Right now, I personally define success as self-acceptance. Embracing my origins, my choices, my mistakes, my imperfections, as well as my gifts gives me the freedom to live and create without shame or guilt.

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