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Rising Stars: Meet Diane Lee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Diane Lee.

Hi Diane, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Coming from an artistic household, I was surrounded by art from a very early age. I started playing the piano when I was five and hopped from one instrument to another throughout childhood. I eventually stopped taking lessons midway through my teen years but recently started to practice on my piano again- just little afternoon improvs. I have always loved music and art, but it wasn’t until later when I actually started to make my ideas into something real. My first arrangement was Moon River and the idea for that came really fast. I was on Garage Band one day and suddenly had the idea to sing that one song. It was a fairly quick process and I was happy with it. From that one arrangement, I discovered a lot about my musical style and the way I would want to represent myself through music. My artistry has always been rooted in me and to this day, it is the only gift that sets me apart from others.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
My teenage years were the most challenging time of my life. I struggled heavily with school, keeping decent grades, and just fitting in. I had a difficult time with almost every subject but the worst part was that I didn’t really care about it. I really felt like the world was against me and that my life was meaningless. No one even knew that I had artistic talent. I was nothing. Things eventually got better after I transferred to an art school, but I had another set of obstacles throughout the rest of my high school years.

My biggest challenge growing up was finding my passion. I was interested in so many things- listening to music, painting, watching movies, and every activity involved in the arts. I would kind of describe it as having an interest in many little things but not being able to find that one thing to pursue. It was hard for me because all of my friends had a “niche” and I was just stuck in the middle, trying to figure it all out. Until the end of high school, I was still trying to figure out myself and my identity.

After my freshman year of college, I realized that I may have been struggling with something that might’ve hindered me from living a much more fulfilling childhood. I had all the symptoms of inattentive ADHD and it revealed such a big part of me… and the world became much clearer. Although it’s a burden most of the time, I like to think of it as a gift- I’m constantly coming up with melodies in my head, stories I want to write, and deep thoughts I want to gaze upon.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Having been introduced to music at an early age, I have experimented with a variety of musical instruments since childhood and discovered unique musical abilities along the way. It wasn’t too long until I discovered my love for jazz music and sentimental ballads as well as 70s experimental rock bands. From whimsical instrumentals of progressive rock music to the slower yet heavy sounds of mood music genres, I found comfort in a variety of deep and mellow musical soundscapes.

The balance in my musical tastes led her to discover the musical shaping in my art. Influenced by my love for easy listening jazz, psychedelic soul, and orchestral pop, my musical interests inspired me to recreate the cinematic soundscape. Through a blend of delicate vocals, lush instrumentals, and a layer of dreamlike ambiance, my music is a quintessential combination of modern easy listening jazz and dream pop.

With a growing love for film scores and musicals, I’m passionate about entering the cinematic music scene. Through the incorporation of modern jazz, hints of ambiance, and layers of sentiments, my music evokes calmness and an ethereal spirit.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
You’ll eventually find yourself and your identity… it just takes time!

I say this because I struggled so much with my own identity – both in terms of culture (I grew up here as an Asian American) and creative. I always ended up comparing myself to others who I thought were much ahead of me but at the end, everyone has their own gift and it takes time to discover that.

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Diane Lee

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