Hailing just three miles away from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Lydia Briggs is a rising talent releasing her seventh single, called Morning. Lydia has yet again teamed up with the amazing production of the legendary producer Jim Wirt, who already worked with Fiona Apple, Incubus, and No Doubt, just to name a few.
Lydia has been creating a solid portfolio in the music industry since she started playing the piano at the age of five, and now at the age of seventeen, the talent is collecting the glory by playing regularly solo gigs at renowned venues and her previous releases have accumulated more than 337,000 streams.
At this time, in the new track, Lydia has brought us the collaboration of Alan Harrell, a Cleveland Orchestra cellist who is reinforcing the song’s tension, the subject comes from not knowing what will happen when you’re open and vulnerable.
I set some key questions to Lydia to know more about this new truly unique indie-pop ballad.
I am glad to have you back! Please describe the creative process of your new single.
I started writing “Morning” in the summer of 2019 but wasn’t happy with it and left unfinished on the piano. I picked it back up early in 2020 when it felt like it fit other songs I was writing at the time.
What inspired you on this record?
“Morning” is a song about love and longing, when you’re hoping to catch the attention of someone you’re attracted to. It’s the moment you realize you feel a deep connection and want that person to notice and pull you in close. And not knowing if or when that will happen builds and builds inside until it overtakes you.
Tell us about the experience of working at Superior Sound Studios.
Creating a song that resonates with people requires emotion. To touch the core of emotion means you have to be vulnerable in both writing and performing. The studio is an intimate setting. But you still have to lay it all out in front of people you don’t really know that well and who are ridiculously talented musicians themselves. It can be intimidating.
For this song, I wrote a cello part played by Cleveland Orchestra member, Alan Harrell. Talk about daunting! Alan was so supportive, and his work really reinforces the song’s meaning and makes it whole. I’m thrilled to have the honor and privilege to work with him.
Jim Wirt, my producer and bassist, Tuck Mindrum, drums, and Javier Davis, digital sound, are regular studio musicians I employ. They are some of the nicest people I know, so supportive and kind and respectful of my work. They genuinely care about the final product. It is so important to surround yourself with talented people who can uplift your work.
Superior Sound Studios is located downtown Cleveland – a few miles from my home. Jim Wirt moved from LA to Cleveland to give musicians a high-quality and affordable recording experience. I’m ridiculously lucky that I don’t have to travel to LA or New York to work with so many talented people in the Cleveland music scene.
How do you feel about the feedback your audience is giving to you?
Being 17 and living in a world with COVID, there is absolutely no touring or shows happening for me currently. So, my only feedback comes from music reviews and notes sent to me through social media. I do feel like I am moving in a positive direction, though. I am finding my audience in places that I didn’t expect, but I think other women, no matter where they live in the world, have similar experiences and can identify with what I’m saying in my songs.
I had my first live radio interview a couple of weeks ago at WBWC by Jordan Laird and Jordan Urban, who reached out after catching my last release, “Not My Mistake,” on Spotify. I’m also getting tons of streams in France, Poland, and Brazil, along with the US for that single. It’s amazing to know that people around the world are listening. And I received my first piece of fan art last month. Nothing is better than fan art!
My musician friends give me honest feedback, and I listen carefully to their suggestions and all the musicians I work with and respect. And I know if they approve my work, I know it’s solid.
How is it to live in Cleveland? How is the music scene there?
I love Cleveland. We produce some world-class musicians and entertainers here. The talent level is amazing, so it’s disappointing when musicians feel they need to leave Cleveland to grow their careers. Many of our most talented people end up in places like New York, Nashville, and LA.
The small venues here are fantastic, and Clevelanders are diehard fans of these places. Beachland Ballroom is a staple and has launched so many careers. Music Box, Grog Shop, and The Agora pull in some great shows as well. There are dozens of venues like these spread across northeast Ohio that support local musicians and bands from across the US. And there are a handful of large arenas and auditoriums that host the mega-acts from around the world.
How do you see this situation the world is facing right now will change the music industry?
I am hopeful that good things will come out of this moment. I hope we learn how to be better people and take care of one another in the world. It would be smart if we could take this time to figure out how musicians could earn a living with their music instead of having to rely so heavily on ticket sales and merchandise.
Musicians and artists are pretty resilient people. We’ll figure out how to survive. But I hope the industry can become a bit kinder and gentler from the top down, especially to the gig workers and artists with smaller followings, and all the supporting people who make music come to life. I hope we can set up ways to support and protect all parties – all of the talented people who need to earn a living from the work we do.
What are your expectations in the industry?
I know this industry is tough. I’m not sure where I will land as a singer-songwriter. I only know that I need to be part of it in some way. And so, I’m going to keep kicking open doors and see where things lead me.
How is it to work with Clockwork 9?
Honestly, the most exciting part of the creative process for “Morning” was the music video. Because it’s a conceptual piece that had to be shot in one take, we needed to work out every detail before filming. There were a lot of ideas being thrown around – and furniture being thrown around too, literally. Filming in one take meant there were about eight people frantically shoving furniture in and out of the scene all around me. It was hysterical. Everyone on the set was yelling, and there was so much chaos. But the final product looks so calm and fits with the mellowness of the song.
At one point, we thought we had the perfect take after about twelve tries. But Clockwork 9 wasn’t happy with the outcome. Several people had to leave. We regrouped, everyone took on new responsibilities, and it magically all came together. The Clockwork 9 team pushed hard to get me a great product.
I can’t say enough about the wonderful work and people at Clockwork 9. They know their craft. And the team treats me like family. We’ve had some great moments together, like when they blasted me with a leaf blower in the middle of winter and put me in a freezing water fountain in early spring. Anything for the best shot, right?
You have been working with the same team not just for your music videos but also for your records as well; please talk about why that loyalty.
It is so important to surround yourself with people who you trust and support you. I did move from an original crew I had hired to Clockwork 9 because they were a better fit. Clockwork 9 came in and wanted to be a team player. Same with Superior Sound – they are focused on getting the best product out the door, but they listen to my requests and respect my opinion. Most importantly, they are all good and kind people.
I’ve had some people tell me I should consider other studios and producers to gain a different sound. But I know the level of talent I’m working with, and because we have that history and understand each other, we can be completely honest when something isn’t working. Then we’ll try different ways to get it right.
What is next for Lydia?
I’m in my senior year of high school and shopping for colleges right now. I am learning remotely and completing all my schoolwork from home. I’m hoping that the world changes for the better soon, and I get the opportunity to grow and improve at college.
I am planning to study vocal arts and psychology while continuing to play gigs. And I want to keep on writing and producing new songs. It’s important to me to keep putting my voice out there, to build my audience and reach young people like me to help them find their voices. Hopefully, together, we’ll make each other stronger, and better, and believe in our abilities to create positive change.