I have really come to embrace my voice as is, when I was younger I was an imitator…it was hard for me to get away from that…you have to find your own voice.
Today we chatted with Amelia Lidstrom, we talked about early exposure to music, influences, collaborating with area artists, new music videos, and what is next for this singer and player.
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Hi, my name is Amelia Lidstrom. I was actually born here in La Crosse. I went to school in Caledonia, Minnesota. I lived in Duluth for a while, Seattle for a short summer and then move to La Crosse. I’ve been into music my entire life. My dad is a piano technician, so he rebuilds and tunes Steinway grand pianos. And my mom is a piano teacher. They would take us to like the orchestra and operas and musicals. So I was always around that, but I was never into it that much because I was so set on creating my own.
Brent Hanifl 02:35
Just kind of looking over your kind of catalog, you know, I know you from the Lavender Project, Fernando, the work you’ve done with him and a few other local bands and groups and stuff like that. Also, you know, I checked out your YouTube page, which you know, goes back a number of years. I see a whole spread of different influences. What are some of your musical influences through the past decade or so whatever it’s been?
Amelia Lidstrom 02:56
Yeah, thank you for checking all that out, that’s really exciting. Yeah, I’ve had my youtube channel since 2008. My earliest influences were Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin and Celine Dion. So when I was a little girl, I was singing along to them and attempting to perfect their vocal inflections. I’ve always been really serious about singing. Later on, like in high school, I was really into Avril Lavigne, loved her. Death Cab For Cutie and Bright Eyes were huge songwriting influences for me as well as Joni Mitchell was a really big one. Her lyrics stood as poetry on their own, and that goes for Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes as well. So I would just read those lyrics over and over, and I knew I wasn’t there yet, but I knew I wanted to get to that point where my lyrics stood on their own as poetry. So I got into poetry as well. I’m a poet also.
Brent Hanifl 04:00
This is kind of, I guess, off the questions I sent, but is there some sort of inflections that you’re going with? I mean, is there an influence from that? I can see it from like Bright Eyes being a different, I guess, non-traditional vocalist, and listening to Conor Oberst for a while. Even from your new music video, I can’t even you know, there seems to be a different sort of inflection in terms of the way you’re singing in that.
Amelia Lidstrom 04:21
Thank you. I really come to embrace my voice as it is. When I was younger, I was an imitator. So I could sound like exactly like whoever I wanted. And it was hard for me to get away from that. Like I took voice lessons from age eight to 18. And that’s what my vocal coach was always saying, he’s like, you got to find your own voice. And it’s when I became an adult, in my early adulthood that I really started to just let my own voice shine. I have like a really kind of folk, like almost warble or waver at times with my vibrato and I hated that when I was a kid. And now I love it. But yeah, I’m very mindful. My voice is very, I’m very conscious of what I’m doing. But at the same time, it’s very natural. I’m just aware of like, if it’s a longer note how my vibrato should be, if it’s a shorter note how, how I do that. So if that answers your question at all.
Brent Hanifl 05:24
You know, you’ve been collaborating with a number of bands, musicians, rappers, groups. How did those connections come about?
Amelia Lidstrom 05:31
Yeah, it’s been amazing. Truly, it came about because I got on Instagram, like I was off all social media for, except for my YouTube, since 2013. And I finally decided I’m going to get on Instagram. And from there, Fernando Mendoza contacted me to be on his album Seeking Paradise, which came out early spring. And I couldn’t have been more excited about that I got to rap on a track and show the world that I rap for the first time which is really exciting. And from there, he works closely with Jed Hertz, the other rapper, who’s also they’re both in the Lavender Project. So I did a song with him as well. So I truly think that it’s all because I got on social media.
Brent Hanifl 06:36
It does seem like I found a lot more people on Instagram than any other platform out there. So related to songwriting and recording process, I’m sure it’s a lot different based on the group size, you know, if you’re working solo, what is that process? Like when you’re writing a song to even the recording process? Is it fast and dirty? Or is it slow? I mean, example is, I guess, you know, a smaller one would be the new video, which I reference, I Can’t Even, what is that process like?
Amelia Lidstrom 07:04
When I write a song, I take a very long time. I can, it can take from months to years for me to write a song, because for me, it’s almost like the song already exists in some other plane, and I am just working on accessing it. And I have to open the right doors to achieve like putting the song in the right order and finding the right melodies. So it can take a really long time, especially like when I’m writing the song on an instrument as well, if it’s piano or if it’s guitar. Like, I’m not actually that good at either of those instruments. So it takes me a long time to write on those instruments. Lyrics come first. Usually, as far as writing with Fernando when I wrote I Can’t Even in like 20 minutes, it was the most natural process and it’s just unbelievable. And I love that song. It means so much to me. As far as recording, it’s kind of similar to what I just stated about songwriting. So if it’s just me recording in my studio, I take forever, I mean, I will redo the same phrase for eight hours, until it sounds like how I want it to sound I can only allow for like a point 3% difference in what I’m hearing in my head and reality. So I work really hard to achieve that. I love the recording process and then recording with Fernando, it’s quicker. He pushes me to be satisfied with what I’ve already done. Instead of being like, I want to do it over, I want to do it over. He’s like, hey, that sounds good. Like, let’s listen to it back, you know. And so he kind of pushes me to it’s almost more of a live performance recording process when it’s with done with Fernando. He’s the only person I really recorded with other than myself.
Brent Hanifl 09:04
Talking to a lot of area artists and musicians over the past like 18 months, we started this podcast basically when COVID started. How has your COVID experience been for you creatively?
Amelia Lidstrom 09:16
Creatively? It’s been a motivator. I think a lot of us have reevaluated what’s important to us. And for me, I realized I want to keep putting out YouTube content. Like regardless of how many people watch it. I just want to put out content. I have so many songs, like so many songs that I’m going to release when I can and it pushes me to work on those songs. Just all that time that I had was less spent working on things but more spent thinking about the importance of working on things. So now I’m trying to live up to that.
Brent Hanifl 10:07
So, you know, you referenced the kind of the plethora of songs you have kind of in your arsenal, what is coming up for you, you know, even in 2022? Is there an album on the horizon or what’s next?
Amelia Lidstrom 10:19
Wow, an album would be amazing. I’d have to really like kick it into gear for that. I’m planning on releasing singles. Yeah, I have songs that so I’m producing as well. So my song, The Boys Noise not to be confused with the bee’s knees. I released that pretty recently with an amateur music video. And so listeners can get a feel for my production skill as well. And just know that there is more to come. It’s all vastly different. My music is, each song is just vastly different from the last, which really invigorates me. I love that. So yeah, I have a couple more music videos already recorded and songs that I’m finishing up. So that will definitely be coming out in 2022, as well as more YouTube content. And as many singles as I can. I can come up with I have so many songs but it’s just a lot of work to finish them but.
Brent Hanifl 11:28
Understandably. So, you have a number of platforms. I mean you got multiple accounts on Instagram with different bands, you’re on YouTube, you’re also on Bandcamp. For people to find out more, what’s the best avenue for them to go to?
Amelia Lidstrom 11:40
Instagram is a great place. I post a lot. I will always post if I have something new. So following me on Instagram is a great way to keep in touch. Also, please check out my YouTube channel. Please subscribe if you enjoy it. I will be active on there and I am active on there. I love to do covers. I’m very passionate about covers and that is where I will always put my original music as well. My SoundCloud is really a hidden gem because I will only put like top notch stuff on my SoundCloud and it’d be great if people would also follow me on Bandcamp. I only have two songs on there right now but they’re both some of my best work and really kind of show like what I do have calming and the quality of what I am working on.
Amy Gabay 12:31
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About La Crosse Local
La Crosse Local is an arts, food, and entertainment podcast and publication for La Crosse County and its surrounding communities.
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