“Just try to create — to create. Lose the expectations regarding what this song can ‘do,’ or from thinking ‘I don’t even have a show to perform this at.’ Pick a random topic, and try to write about it. A fire stays strong when you keep adding fire to it. Don’t let yourself burn out. It’s a lot harder to get yourself started again.”
Lia Mangouras of Hollywood, California is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who has been singing and writing songs for as long as she can remember. She began writing structured songs of her own which she would come to record when she started to learn to play guitar at 13. “Up until this point I would say music was kind of the backseat passion I had. I grew up playing sports, so that always seemed to take the driver seat. So, at 13/14 is when I started understanding music and its structure — it intrigued me so much, I actually quit sports for a couple of years to focus strictly on my passion of music.” She explains of her musical origins.
Once Lia learned what she was capable of, with a little hard work and the dedication of rehearsals and practicing every day — she knew she had to follow this passion path as her life’s purpose. “My goals within music are to just reach as many people as possibly that could maybe have a bit more understanding about themselves after listening to a song I wrote. That was always the major takeaway for myself when listening to my favorite artists. Always being able to ‘unlock a new thought or understanding’ about myself, when listening to a new song. So that’s what I want to do — just share love and understanding through music.” Lia says.
Now, Lia lives in the internationally recognized capital of music and entertainment — Hollywood, California — but the pandemic has unfortunately impacted every aspect of Lia’s music career from not being able to visit the studio in-person to write and record, to not being able to meet up with co-writers, producers, or bandmates, and most importantly: not being able to perform live, which is what Lia lives for.
Lia misses having the opportunity to create music out of the inspiration that comes from the feeling of pure joy, rather than the need to create something just to meet a deadline. Read more about the creative revelations Lia has experienced, which have arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on her musical career from Hollywood, CA, below:
Can you give us a bit of background about your musical career, and how the pandemic has impacted your industry and your personal ability to perform, film music videos, and everything else?
“The pandemic has definitely tested my creative and productive capabilities. It’s been a lot of FaceTime/Zoom meetings with producers when working on new projects. It’s definitely harder than I thought trying to communicate and work on the same some with someone when you’re not in the same room with them.
Also, having shows or even the planning of shows be completely nonexistent has been a struggle for sure. Aside from writing, performing is my number one passion, so that has probably been the hardest part about having to socially distance as well — I haven’t even been able to meet up with my band to even rehearse. Before, we’d rehearse a couple times a week and I’d meet up with co-writers and co-producers most days of the week — so I’d always be working on new projects. But now, it’s been a lot of putting off of projects and waiting.
Putting time into the projects that matter the most since sessions need to be a lot more planned, and well-thought out. Before , at the last minute I could show up to the studio and just ‘write to write’ with friends or co-writers, and create just for fun! That’s kind of not an option, with the difficulty of needing to socially distance.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve personally faced during quarantine/the COVID crisis?
“Just — losing the ability to get into a studio with someone just to “create out of joy,” when there isn’t a planned project to be done. So, all work on music has been only projects that have ‘deadlines.'”
Is there anything you feel that this experience has taught you that you’d like to share as inspiration to those who are feeling a bit defeated?
“It’s definitely a test. I learned that there’s a lot less accountability when in quarantine, because before, you’d be in a room with someone. You’d want to continue to the next song, or next verse, or even next chord in a song. When you’re by yourself in a room, there’s not really anyone to push you — so it’s easy just to give up and ‘try next time,’ whenever that is… I’ve tried keeping my tasks stress-free to keep creativity up.
Yes, there are the far less than creative things I need to get done, but when it comes to staying creative, lose the idea the needing to create something amazing, or ‘better than last time,’ or ‘something’ at all, honestly.
If you’re having the struggle of even just getting a couple lines down — just try to create, to create. Lose the expectations regarding what this song can ‘do’ or from thinking ‘I don’t even have a show to perform this at.’ Pick a random topic, and try to write about it.
A fire stays strong when you keep adding fire to it. Don’t let yourself burn out. It’s a lot harder to get yourself started again.”
“I don’t want the clubs or bars open any sooner than deemed safe, but it’s definitely the hardest part, not being able to perform.”
Has this experience in any way changed the way that you order your personal priorities in life?
“It definitely makes me miss just meeting up with friends just to see them. With a couple of my friends, I can’t even meet up with them in the same room — let alone be six feet away from them, because of their health, or their roommate needing to be extra careful with COVID. I definitely miss just seeing my friends and loved ones just for the sake of getting to hug them.”
Where are you living right now? Is this where you permanently reside, or is it a temporary living situation due to the pandemic?
“I’m currently in Hollywood and I have a lease with my friend, so fortunately I don’t need to have the stress of needing to be somewhere temporarily, and I’m not quarantined alone. I have someone with me, to help bounce ideas off of when wanting help creating.”
What has your community been doing to fight the rate of transmission?
“LA has a lot of people, so it doesn’t matter how many rules and restrictions are declared. If people don’t follow them, or if there’s no one there to enforce them, it doesn’t matter. We’re going to be stuck in this diluted reality for a lot longer if people don’t just wear a mask and take the bare minimum safety precautions, to just make sure others don’t get sick.”
What has been your general daily routine so far during the pandemic?
“I have a single coming out at the end of July, so most of my weeks have been dedicated to making sure that get’s all squared away! Day-to-day hasn’t been a whole lot — so I’m definitely finding myself slipping into some bad habits… My apartment’s gym has been closed for most of the pandemic, so that was annoying not having a solid place to go and just work through this stress. But other than that, I just try to continue my output of music work, and strategies, so when everything can get back to normal I’m ready to fully hit the ground running.”
What have you been doing to keep your spirits up on a day-to-day basis?
“It’s a lot of phone calls, FaceTimes calls etc. I’m definitely an extrovert, so I really do feed off of social interaction. I try to call my friends and family a bit more often just to have more people to talk to since there aren’t any social places open to go and socialize and meet new people.”
Has this travel ban/quarantine situation impacted any important plans you had laid out for the near future?
“The biggest plan that’s been impacted is not being able to get into a studio and work with people on creating new music, and not being able to book shows, because the clubs and bars are closed. Don’t get me wrong — I don’t want the clubs or bars open any sooner than deemed safe, but it’s definitely the hardest part, not being able to perform.”
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