When I watched Tbird Luv perform in Cape May I was mesmerized by her talent and musicality. Her songs and lyrics touched my soul and I can’t wait to get a hold of her first CD. While it is still in production, I had a chance to interview her for WomeandBiz.com.
WBiz. Could you share with us your journey into becoming a musician?
TL. As a child I loved singing and improvising skits in my living room for all to see. I enjoyed drawing and making up stories and felt alive and proud when I expressed my imagination. Besides, I really enjoyed getting attention for being good at it.
There was also music playing in my house all the time. Growing up, my mother either had musicians like CoCo Taylor wailing the blues or Gospel Choirs raising up the roof. And when I visited my dad, we jammed out to Keith Sweat, Marvin Gaye and Teddy Pendagrass. It was contagious and watching The Muppets of my favorite pop stars like Kate Bush or Bono on MTV, made me want to be a star. So when fourth grade hit, I picked up the flute and ever since then, I’ve played on stages in Mali Africa, in Lincoln Center in NYC for dance troupes and film makers…all the way to TEDx women in SF.
Music has always come natural for me. When I play my flute, I literally feel as though it is an extension of who I am; and as the sounds of birds and the wind come out of my melodies and rhythms, I feel like I was destined to bring my song out into the world. I also feel very lucky because throughout my life I’ve always had tremendous support from my community, mentors and teachers.
My first conscious musical connection to Nature was in 1995 at The Pittsburgh National Aviary. Spending a lot of time imitating birds, wind and water on my flute, established a sacred connection with an intimate sensitivity that continues to grow new forms of expression within my musical evolutionary process. And although Classical Music was my first love at that time, I realized after playing with birds, that it was no longer my only interest. From then on, Nature had a large influence on my compositions and lead me to train in shamanism, sound, color and movement therapy. Those influences combined with a solid Classical Music foundation from Carnegie Mellon University and a World Music and Dance foundation at Cal Arts, made it easy for me to develop an enormously diverse way of conveying music through flute and voice.
I continue to amaze myself by the limitless creativity that comes through me when I open my heart and allow myself to be a vehicle.
WBiz. Where does your inspiration come from?
TL. I get inspired by real experiences and the emotions that they evoke in me. I put myself in new and at times, uncomfortable situations to grow. This inspires passion in my life. My triple Leo step daughter, Ava Beane also inspires me. She teaches me every day of how to stay present, be ready to play and how to let go of agenda and control. Artistically, collaborating with other artists, musicians and dancers also inspire me as well as spending time in Nature really helps me get my creative juices flowing.
WBiz. How long did it take for you to create the CD?
TL. Ha..that is funny only because I am still in the process of completing my album. And it’s taken me about 3 years! Fire Ghost and Thieves is my first and when I started, I didn’t realize how long this experience would take and I thought it was going to be easy. I also had no idea that making an album was going to be an expensive investment. But well worth it, as I near the end, this album has been a journey of surrender and humility – leaving me more empowered and experienced individual.
Personally, the music is about taking risks and creating beauty all at the same time. I blend a bunch of my favorite styles of music like acoustic, ambient and indigenous sound with edgy and soulful undertones of blues and indie rock to tell real stories of loss, empowerment, courage and pain.
One of the most time consuming aspects of making this album comes in the mixing. This is the most delicate part of creating the album. I’ve had to re-mix some of the tracks numerous of times and then listen on different sound systems to make sure the songs were represented at its highest potential. But this can be a tricky dance, because there were times my perfectionist had me twirling in circles. So I’ve had to ask surrender to step in.
I am happy to say that I have finally reached the moment of now deciding the order of the tracks and will be moving onto mastering the tunes. As Spring approaches, perhaps this is the perfect moment to release my master piece!?
Wbiz. Thank you for sharing your journey and challenges. Please make sure to let us know when the CD is available! How was your experience raising the funds needed through KickStarter.com?
TL. It was an incredible test of faith and took consistent action to make it happen. First, I researched other projects that did not make their Kickstarter goal. I discovered that it was not enough to be talented or have a great idea that was going to get others to financially support my project. It was going to take something more.
I decided that I was going to commit myself to making it happen no matter what and I then saw myself winning and manifesting the funds before I even began. The key behind me creating success for myself really was in how much I engaged my audience. So every week I posted updates on Facebook and emailed personal messages to my list. I wanted my people to feel me throughout this process. And they did. Twenty-eight days later, I was well over $5000 and passed my goal.
WBiz. What are the most difficult challenges you face as a musician, if any? And how do you overcome them?
TL. I think musicians and artists are conditioned to believe that they can never make money or have a successful career in their art form without selling their soul or body. I also feel that our cultures + societies keep this belief system in place…instigating artists like myself to get comfortable with settling for less. But I’ve out grown the conditioning that has haunted me throughout my life as I’ve struggled with playing the role of a starving artist.
When I realized that it was my mindset of scarcity that was causing me to stay in the role of a starving artist, I decided to do something about it and take responsibility for designing my own outcomes. I’ve invested in myself and began to learn the language of business and marketing so that I could channel my leadership in a direction that would create the type of impact I’d like to see in the world.
My vision is to live in a world full of ferociously free uninhibited empowered courageous creative connected community-minded masters of shared sustainable synergized solutions that end separation, discrimination and economic inequality once and for all. At the fore front of this thriving magical magnificent movement of prosperity is the heart of our communities – the artists, pumping out vital life force energy to the people – instigating freedom, collaboration and discovery.
Now that I am educated in a way that shows me possibility outside of the scarcity box, I now take charge and inspire others to do the same.
WBiz. What advice would you give an aspiring musician/artist/entrepreneur?
TL. To not allow fear or doubt to stop them from taking the next best steps that will help them to bring their talents out into the world. How to do this? By not setting themselves up for failure before they even try./meaning, don’t allow the “I can’t because I am not because I don’t know how mentality ” to keep them in a mindset of scarcity.
For more information about Tbird Luv and her music please visit http://www.tbirdluvmusic.com