omg: Lydia, tell us about your move to Nashville.
Lydia: That basically started in high school. I have been in music my whole entire life. I always did theater, and I got into songwriting freshman year. When I started looking at colleges, I wanted to go out to California. My sister, who had lived there for a while was like “No, don’t do that. You can only come home at, like, Easter and Christmas.” Family’s really important to me and at the time I had a boyfriend at home, so I was like, “Alright, let’s look at some other options.” I found Belmont and I applied, got accepted and went there. I did the business side of things. My parents were very big on the “Plan B,” so I was an entertainment industry studies major with a minor in public relations. Basically, I just learned to talk to people really well. *Laughs* Yeah, while I was at Belmont, I fell in love with Nashville and everybody here. When I graduated three years ago, I just stayed and it’s been fabulous.
omg: You’re not really focused on an artist career, correct? How do you go about furthering your career without currently having a publishing deal?
Lydia: Right. My avenue, as of lately, has kind of just been to get into as many rooms with people who are trying to be artists as possible. I figure my best way to get cuts is to be in the room with the person that’s going to cut it. What I’m doing right now is just trying to work with as many artists as possible- signed, unsigned, whatever- and help them tell their stories and hopefully that’ll help push me into some sort of deal eventually.
omg: The hustle is real with you. Tell us about your day-to-day routine.
Lydia: If I’m feeling motivated, I will wake up early-ish, around 9:00am, work out, eat breakfast, get ready. My first write’s usually at 11:00am, and then I usually have a second write at 3:00pm. Sometimes I’ll be crazy and write again at like 6:00 or 7:00pm.
omg: So, three writes a day a lot of times?
Lydia: I’ve tried to tone that down lately, actually. It gets to be a little too much if you do that, but I write twice a day every day. Then after my writes are over I usually try to find some sort of writer’s round, like omg on Thursdays, to go to and hang out- seeing friends and meeting new people, kind of just keeping up all my awesome connections.
omg: How important do you think the networking is in a town like this?
Lydia: Absolutely so important. So important. I really didn’t start going out until my friend, Ian McConnell, started dragging me out with him. My network of writers and friends has increased so much since I started doing that, and that really wasn’t even until October. It’s just valuable- that’s half the battle here, is networking.
omg: A song you got cut by Reviver Records artist Tenille Arts just went to Radio Disney. Congratulations! Can you talk to us a little bit about writing the song and its journey to radio.
Lydia: Thank you! I wrote it with Holly Stewart and Tenille Arts, and it was actually the first time we had ever written with Tenille. I met her through some mutual friends and like every other person in Nashville, it was like, “We should write sometime.” So, we got in a room together. I asked her what she wanted to write about, which is usually how we always start a write- “What do you want to write today? How do you feel today?” She said she didn’t have a lot of upbeat songs, so were going to try and maybe do something with that. So, we were sitting there talking, and Holly had just started dating her boyfriend that she’s been with for a year now. She just wouldn’t shut up about him, and as every girl starts the sentence, “So there’s this boy…” That’s kind of how we landed on that hook. Funny story along with that, though, I was looking back in my notes from the year before. We wrote that last year , so in May 2016, I had written down in my notes, “There’s this boy.” It was so weird! I saw it and texted Holly and was like “It’s a sign!” It almost actually ended up being a totally different song, too. At the beginning, we had the lyrics, but the melody was just not there yet. We just went outside for maybe fifteen minutes, and in those fifteen minutes somebody said something and we got it. We went back in the room and the song did a 180 flip melody-wise and came out to be what it is.
omg: See, this song is really a product of all of your hard work paying off. Where does your work ethic come from?
Lydia: A lot of it is from my parents. My dad’s a farmer and my mom helps with that and my other siblings’ companies. They all just have a crazy amount of work ethic. Every day my dad has shown me the spirit of dedication. He gets up every day and does what he loves and it doesn’t matter if it’s raining or pouring, if he’s sick, if it’s Christmas- he has to go and work before he can be with us- but he’s out there. That definitely set me up. Like, if my dad’s working that hard, I should be working that hard.
omg: Since you’ve been in town, what’s a big lesson you’ve learned?
Lydia: This is going to sound so stupid, but before you get here, you think “Oh yeah, it’s going to be hard. I’m going to have to work hard.” You have to work so much harder than you think you do. Even now, you have to work so much longer and harder than you think you do. When someone’s singing on a stage, when you see it from the outside perspective, you may not realize how many people are behind that person and how much work went into it. You might think they’re an overnight success. Nobody is an overnight success. Everybody has been here grinding for so long to become what they are, and that is absolutely something that I learned being here. It all takes so much longer than you think it does, and it is so much harder than you think it is- even though you know it’s going to be hard going in. It’s definitely been a humbling realization. And I think that makes me sound like I wasn’t ready to work, which is the opposite. Like I said, you go into it knowing that it’s going to be very hard. A very small amount of people who come here to do this actually succeed. Being in it every day and seeing so many people that are so talented shows you that you just really have to be at it all the time, every day, to make it big here.
omg: Is there anything you have to say to our readers about time management?
Lydia: Well, first of all, my mother would tell you that I don’t have any concept of time management. *Laughs* I run on Dall time, which is basically saying that I’m ten to fifteen minutes late to everything. Someone asked me that the other day, “How do you adult outside of music?” To be 100% honest with you, I don’t. I’m really bad at the regular adult things like meal prepping and doing my laundry. I think what it comes down to is prioritizing your time. For me, the two most important things in my life are my relationships with the people around me and my passion, which is music. Those two things go at the top of the list no matter what. Like if I haven’t done laundry in a week, I don’t care, I’m out networking, spending time with the people I care about. Time management to me is prioritizing what’s important to you. So, I focus on those things, because the rest of it- I’ll figure it out. It’ll get done eventually.
omg: What’s one of your favorite things about being part of the music community in Nashville?
Lydia: Man, it’s just magical. I talk about, sometimes, how it sucks, because you’re behind the veil. Being outside the music industry as a consumer is just a different experience, so being in the inside, it sometimes loses its magic. But being here, in the music industry- I don’t know, there’s just something there. There’s an energy there. The people are great. Everybody is so supportive here, like a big family. Everybody wants to help everybody. There’s something about everybody creating from their feelings and then seeing it affect other people. Seeing from where it all starts to getting to radio and all the people getting signed, there’s just something magical about being a part of it. I love it.