Updated: Nov 11, 2021
I recently had the opportunity to exclusively interview Lisa Donahey to learn five random facts about herself and what lesson the music industry taught her. Check out my interview with Lisa below:
Loryn: What lesson has the music industry taught you?
Lisa: What I’ve learned in all the years of studying, training, and working in the music industry is that it is constantly evolving and one has to be adaptable and nimble. Music and art are fluid, they react to a changing world and important social issues, are influenced by technology, and, thankfully, change and evolve with the times.
My music career has been a slow and steady one. I’ve found great pleasure in exploring many different areas of the music industry. There are lots of different areas to share my singing and performing talents and make money at it. To this day, I try to anticipate where the areas of change and growth are happening in our industry, so I can adapt and be ready for anything. I have been lucky to perform in a variety of ways such as industrials, stage shows, and theatrical tours. I’ve also been able to work for several different songwriters, composers, and vocal contractors, many college friends from my Berklee College of Music days, by singing on demos and recording sessions for various film and television projects. I enjoy the variety of gigs and find it important to stay open to new opportunities and grow as an artist.
Loryn: How has the pandemic changed you?
Lisa: Certainly, during the pandemic, many of us asked ourselves the question “what’s next?” Our community was one of the hardest hit and it broke my heart to see artists suffer and not be able to express their talents and make a living. Like many, I found new ways to make music and perform. I just knew I would not be happy if I could not do what I love. I used this challenging time as an opportunity to diversify, look at how our industry was changing and where it was headed in this new normal. I took a class and learned ProTools and used those skills to record from home for session work that came my way. I also hosted virtual events and concerts online for businesses and organizations. I even started a weekly Facebook Live show called the “Feel Good 15”. Each week I had a different musical theme and it was 15 minutes of performing three songs with storytelling woven in between. It was meant to bring some levity and fun during such an isolating and trying time. I loved being able to “produce” a show every week… Being a person who thrives on routine, purpose, and creating, these creative ventures really filled my soul and I hope brought a bit of joy to people.
Loryn: What do you miss the most about live performance?
Lisa: Being able to experience something joyous, special or moving with others in a group setting is what makes us human. We can connect together in a shared moment. Not being able to perform live in a venue with an audience right there with you for over a year has been disappointing. As performers, we thrive on that connection and creative expression. I’m most at home when I can perform live. I book a live show every three months with different show themes like my “Jazzbaret” show, Soul/Pop Shows, Songs in the Key of She, a show with all women singers being showcased, and my annual Holiday Show. My strategy is simple really. I set a date and then know I have to create something. Nothing like that pressure to force you to perform, create and get out there. My shows are like a conversation, honest and real and it’s like I am hosting a party at my house. The music I pick is key, also, as I want the songs to help tell the story of the show and move people in some way. I’m so excited to have gigs coming up and into 2022 and feel inspired and ready to have live concerts back. I know so many people are craving that entertainment again.
Loryn: How would you describe your music in one sentence?
Lisa: A singer and performer who is a heartfelt and soulful melodic storyteller.
Loryn: What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
Lisa: People may be surprised to know I truly appreciate and love to sing all styles of music and easily transition between rock & soul to country, musical theatre to jazz standards. Each has their own feel and attitude. In a world that wants to pigeon hole people into certain genres, it’s a challenge to get people to see you in a different light. My first album “She’s Got It Covered” was in response to that idea. I wanted to create a great album featuring all different musical styles showing the breadth of what I can do with fantastic songs and original arrangements.
Be sure to stay updated with Lisa Donahey by checking out her website: www.lisadonahey.com. Be sure to follow her on her social media platforms below: