We had the good fortune of connecting with Lyda and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lyda, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
So far, the most important lesson I’ve learned is to trust in myself as an artist. Trust is something that can be difficult to cultivate when you’re working in such an uncertain field, but it is so fundamental. One has to learn to trust their creative instincts; trust that their time will come even if it hasn’t yet. I am still working on this all the time.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have always made art. In my life, art has been a friend when I had none, a parent when my own parents were incapable of being present, a light when darkness was all around me. I wrote poems as a child, did theater, valued performing and creativity above all else and, after a series of traumatic experiences in my late teens, discovered how to express myself through songwriting. I decided to move to NYC at 20 with no plan other than to figure out how to pursue art, and 6 years later I’m still figuring it out. But I have learned a lot. In New York, I went to open mics and share songs on piano, hoping a producer would be willing to help me execute my full musical vision. That producer never came and so I decided to learn production myself. I started using garageband on my phone to make songs, and within a year made an entire EP comprised of songs made on garageband- all but one of them were made on my phone. After securing a pirated version of ableton (I couldn’t afford to buy my own version at the time) I began to teach myself that DAW and make and release songs under the name Lyda the Lady. I started performing all over NYC, bringing my theater background into play by putting on wild and dramatic sets heavily inspired by Lady Gaga and the NYC burlesque scene. Performing had to take a pause when COVID-19 hit, and I found myself holed up in my apartment, often alone, and often doing drugs. The constant drug use combined with a traumatizing mugging experience led me to leave NYC after 5 years. I’ve spent the last year taking space from substances, experimenting with my music style, and exploring my gender and sexuality while reconnecting with nature in West Virginia. I came out as nonbinary, dropped the ‘lady’ from my name and now go by just Lyda. This year I’ve released 4 songs that I love, with many more on the way. I made my first short film score, and I’m beginning to get paid to write songs. My creative voice feels stronger than ever. I hope I can encourage others to use creativity as a form of power over circumstance and I hope to inspire people to explore their gender, sexuality and creative voice freely.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I don’t live in Colorado but my sister does! When I’ve visited in the past it is always fun to visit local breweries and go on hikes. Red Rocks is one of my favorite music venues- seeing a concert there is unreal, so I highly recommend.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be where I am today without my voice teacher, Matt Leibowitz. He was the first person to recognize my potential as a songwriter. He was the first person I ever played one of my original songs to. He encouraged me to see myself as a musician, not solely as an actor (at the time I was pursing theatre), and essentially helped me realize my incredible passion for expressing myself through music.

Website: lydalydalyda.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lydalikesyou/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPBkTMbwmyB0UbAV9XVaABg

Other: Spotify- https://open.spotify.com/artist/1Y9RxtZdU79sNEMFu8jDrs?si=-zRcwo5oSZOSILSZoxizJA tiktok- https://www.tiktok.com/t/ZTRY3MYwX/

Image Credits
Connor Riley, Luke Parker (concert pic)

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.