Lindsey Lomis is a name you’ll want to remember. The young up and coming singer-songwriter has an incredible ability to connect listeners to a world her own. Authenticity is core to her music, both lyrically and sonically. Described as “a sophisticated soul bursting from a young perspective,” we caught up with the music prodigy on the release of her new single “Bones” with Warner Records. This single and the first one released, “Feel,” is the first of many to come from her second EP later this year.
Mark Benjamin: Many of the creatives I’ve talked to during quarantine say to me, ‘Oh, I’m usually isolated a good deal in my creative process, anyway. I get to go deeper into my work.’ Has it been the same for you?
Lindsey Lomis: Interesting. I am so comfortable being with myself alone. I love relaxing, but I’m definitely not introverted. It’s a happy middle. I feel I really thrive off of being busy and traveling all the time. That’s where I get the most inspiration from. I don’t know why that is. It should be the other way around.
MB: I read somewhere Taylor Swift writes songs on her Notes app in between what I’m guessing are the many things she has going on. Is it the same thing for your songwriting?
LL: For me, it’s a lot more melodic. I mean, sure, I was driving around the other day and had to write down some lyrics I thought of in my phone. Even in school, I would write lyrics in my planner during class. I feel like you never know when inspiration is going to come. And for me, it usually comes when I’m doing something, which I think says a lot about where I draw inspiration from in general.
MB: That was something I was wondering about. Do you draw a lot from realized experiences in your songwriting or are you just as easily able to imagine a scenario and write about it?
LL: I definitely do both. It goes back and forth. For the most part, I do write about personal experiences, but you know, I have made them more dramatic, obviously. I’m 17, so I haven’t been through these crazy life stories or anything, but I take little seeds of experiences I have been through and make them into a song. That’s why the majority of my music is very personal to me but also a bit blown up.
MB: Totally. And how has it been growing up in Nashville, which is such a hotspot for new music and new artists?
LL: I’m so lucky to have grown up in Nashville. Constantly being around the live music scene completely molded me as an artist and getting to see musicians every day. It made the job seem realistic to me. It never felt like I’m crazy to reach a musician as a career. Even then, being around so many incredible mentors who, at a young age, really supported me in my music was very exciting. There were so many opportunities for shows and things like that. It really is easy as a young person in Nashville to get connected. I think that really helped me reach the connections I have now and have these experiences I wouldn’t have if I didn’t live here.
MB: I read somewhere that your parents are doctors and your brother is an aerospace engineer. How did they feel about you going into music and where does that creative bone come from in your family?
LL: It’s actually so interesting. My parents and my brother, my entire family, even though they don’t know much about music, it’s really interesting how they’ve always supported me. Even as a young girl, when I look back at videos, I think, ‘how did they think I was good?’ I sucked. Having that support system at home, I’m so grateful and lucky to have that, because it really did give me the confidence to go out and do it for real.
And although they are in completely different fields, they are actually very creative people. I mean, to be an engineer, takes a lot of creativity and a lot of brainstorming and my mom’s an incredibly creative person in what she does. And so I think I learned a lot from them in that way and also from the work ethic of it all.
MB: A lot of artists early on try to find their sound. How has that journey been for you as a singer-songwriter?
“People are watching my journey, as I figure that out and that’s almost more exciting than coming in and being like, ‘here it is.’”
LL: There has been a lot of that. I think a lot of that is me in my head saying, ‘okay, I need to have a sound that people will recognize me by,’ but I honestly feel like the best artists are the ones who experiment and really test out different sounds.
In the EP, I’m about to release, all the songs fit so well together, but each one is so different in its own way. It’s more exciting for people. We live in a time where people want different stuff and they want to see what an artist can do. What’s exciting for me is that I have the freedom to be flexible in that realm and to be able to figure out who I am while showing it to people. People are watching my journey, as I figure that out and that’s almost more exciting than coming in and being like, ‘here it is.’
MB: I think some pop singers even get trapped in a sound sometimes, too. And then others are constantly trying to break the mold. I know I already mentioned Taylor Swift, but I’m going to do it again. For example, her recent album, folklore, it was about stripping all of that production down and going bare bones.
LL: That’s so incredible to see an artist do that. I don’t know if you’ve seen her documentary, Miss Americana, but she even talks about reinventing herself for every album. It’s still deeply rooted in who she is and it’s still very personal to her and everything is meaningful, but it’s different to all of us. It’s cool that she can do that. It’s exciting as a listener to be able to see these different sides of someone because people are not one-sided at all. I’m constantly changing, so that means my music is going to be constantly changing.
MB: I want to talk about your new single “Feel” that came out. It’s a great song. It’s been said that it is about the drama of teenage friendships and relishing how awful other kids can make you feel.
I always got the impression that Gen Z is way more conscientious of each other. Like certainly more than my generation. But I guess kids are kids and they’re going to be mean, right? And so I was wondering what inspired that song?
LL: Yeah, you’re totally right. That song…it sounds like a relationship, a romantic relationship. But to me, it’s honestly about these friendships that I had in middle school. How I could be friends with these people and they would treat me incredibly one day and then the next, terribly. These love-hate relationships and not knowing when to let go, because you do like the way they make you feel sometimes, but is it worth holding on because of all the negativity that comes with it?
So it really is about that. That stuck with me because it’s a weird thing to go through as a kid and you’re right, Gen Z is totally more conscientious about that. I think for me, it was more about when you come home, you have it on your phone. Text messages and everything. You can’t really escape from it. And that’s definitely a different thing.
I remember talking about that with my parents and just being like, ‘it’s crazy.’ I don’t want to go to school because these people are mean, but when I come home, I know it’s going to be even worse because they’re going to be meaner to me when they can’t talk to me in person. It’s definitely about that and battling whether to let that go.
I love the song…it’s just so groovy and it sounds fun, but lyrically, it is pretty dark. And I think it’s something a ton of people experience, whether it is platonic or romantic or any type of relationship. I think it can totally relate in some sort of way.
MB: I want to talk about that darkness because some people I talk to don’t like Billie Eilish because they say, ‘Oh, pop music is supposed to be joyful and fun and it’s supposed to help me escape my miserable life.’
I never had a problem with that. I actually found depressing music empowering and sort of nice that you can kind of hit it on the head a bit more. Is it the same for you writing from, not like a super dark place, but for a more perhaps we can say with a more thoughtful approach?
LL: Honestly, it’s more fun for me as an artist to write about things that are more thoughtful things just because that’s what’s on my mind and it’s very therapeutic to write about that. But also from a consumer standpoint, I feel people have heard enough of the happy stuff.
I love happy songs and they make me feel great sometimes. I definitely want to listen to that on a good day and that type of thing. But for me, I love just mixing that pop sound with something a little bit darker, like you just said, Billie Eilish.
I think it’s so cool what she’s doing. She’s talking about things that everybody feels, but nobody will talk about. That’s the thing with sadness or emotions, it’s really easy to write happy songs than it is writing sad songs. They have to come from somewhere and you have to dig deep to get those. That’s what being an artist is about.
It’s like reaching those points from yourself to help other people relate to that. I did go through like this massive 21 Pilots phase when I was younger. I loved listening to them. And I think for me it was mainly because I felt like I knew these artists because they were being so honest in their music. I definitely want to be that for someone as well.
MB: Chapter One was the first EP that was released at the beginning of last year. Is this next EP, chapter two?
LL: It’s not going to be called chapter two, but it sort of is like the next chapter. I keep calling it the next chapter but the reason why I called the first chapter one is because it was the very start of everything. I wanted to, first of all, give myself this thing where I can look back on this chapter of my life and be like, that’s exactly who I was back then.
I was so proud of that work because as an artist and as a young artist, especially when we are changing so fast, it’s easy to be hard on your old stuff. To be like, what was I doing? Oh my gosh, it’s so cringy and that kind of thing. But I think it’s important to realize whatever you did back then brought you to where you are now. And I’m always going to be able to look back on that part of my life and listen to that music, and say, ‘I was proud of this and I still am because I did that.’ It’s important to own it. I wanted to call it Chapter One to give myself that space, to think this is my first chapter. There are going to be many more. I’m always going to be evolving and growing. And that’s a good thing.
MB: What can we expect from this next EP?
LL: I’m so excited to have new stuff out. It’s still me. It reflects every single thing that I’m going through right now. And that I feel right now is who I am, but it is different from the last chapter. That’s the beauty of it. I’m so ready to have it out to show people, okay, I can also do this, too. This is who I am right now. I’m really proud of it.
I did the majority of the songs with Ryan Daly and getting to work with him on this, it’s like everything we do together, I end up wanting to release. So, it’s really exciting to have all those memories of every session we did and that kind of thing. I’m very excited to have it out.
MB: A labor of love. I know the whole live performance thing is a big question mark right now in the music industry. I was wondering, how is being on stage different from being in the studio for you?
LL: It’s very different. I love both aspects of it. I really miss being on a stage and getting to perform. I think that’s where I feel the connection with people the most when I can see them right there and getting to talk to people afterwards. That connection is so important to me.
I definitely feel so energized when I’m on stage. I can think back to particular shows that I’ve done where I’m just like, ‘okay, this is exactly what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. I know this is exactly where I’m meant to be.’
I think live shows really put it all together because you can do the session, you can do the recording and all of that…it’s very behind the scenes and I love it because it’s very creative, but when you actually take it to the stage, getting to see how people relate to that is so special.