Passing time, trying to cope with the state of the world through making music and getting endless inspiration whilst being stuck in your childhood bedroom, is how the process of Lisa Heller’s ‘is anyone listening?’ EP came about. The Connecticut native spent her time channelling her emotions, having FaceTime writing sessions and turning negativity into something better through the power of music. “That’s why I advocate for finding a passion because music has both saved and changed my life,”, Heller explains all the while emphasising the importance of music to her and how she can’t even imagine how she would’ve survived the pandemic without it.
The 25-year-old is now based in LA and feels as if she finally knows where she belongs. Remembering a story of when she first moved to LA before the pandemic was around, Heller tells the story about how a show called “School Night” was a turning point for her. “I remember seeing how everyone was so different, even their clothes, they just dressed so uniquely to themselves and it really showed their individuality. … I just felt like everyone here kind of just accepts people for who they are and especially in the music world. People respect artists and see it almost like a gift or something exciting instead of a question if this is the right career choice.” Therefore, this past year has been an important one for Heller as she finally feels as if she is accepting of herself and that slowly but surely her overbearing perfectionism is disappearing bit by bit. Yet Lisa Heller wants to be open and honest with her fans. She likes to show off the multiple dimensions that play up in her and even poke some fun at herself at times and a perfect example of this is single, ‘pity party’. Although ‘pity party’ originally started out to be a song about Heller’s depression she turned it around into something positive and whimsical. “I have a bunch of different emotions and it’s crazy how in a certain setting or experience you are just focused on either being depressed, hungover or overtly ecstatic. And that’s why I wanted to encompass all those different parts of myself into one song.”
As the pandemic has put everything on hold and has made more young adults go back home and relive their childhood/teenage experience so has Lisa Heller, during the first stages of lockdown. Through the motion of being stuck in her childhood bedroom, the LA-inhabitant became nostalgic and bundled all of those feelings in tracks like ‘18’. And however bittersweet ‘18’ is all the more daunting and current ‘turning the news off’ is. ‘turning the news off’ was created when the news was scary to watch, the U.S. elections were coming up and it all became a bit too much, showcasing a reality that many of us were living in. Again proven by her latest EP ‘is anyone listening?’ Heller excels in her field of ‘sad girl pop’ whilst drawing in new fans along the way.
I just felt like everyone here kind of just accepts people for who they are and especially in the music world. people respect artists and see it almost like a gift or something exciting instead of a question if this is the right career choice.
As the independent artist opens up, the reason why this occupation has been so fulfilling for her isn’t just because of her passion for music but also because of the way that she can unite and even help people through some of the bad things they have had to deal with. This duality has been proven to touch Lisa Heller to her core, ever since her breakout hit ‘Hope’. The song quickly gathered attention from people all over the world, and it became even more special when supporters started to comment on her video how ‘Hope’ had impacted and helped them. “It brought tears to my eyes because that was just my ultimate goal, to help people. And at times, it’s hard to reassure yourself that your voice matters and that it can have an impact, so I’m just so lucky,”, is what the 25-year-old remembers from that first hit of recognition.
Years later and Heller is no longer a teen living in Connecticut, trying to destress by making songs and playing the piano, instead she is a bright young artist who has paved out her own path. The anxious perils of finding out who you are can be ever consuming but Lisa Heller has embraced herself finding that, “the only thing that can make me stand out is being true to myself because no one will ever be able to take that away from me”. And this has become an apparent feature to be recognised by her growing fanbase, that being yourself no matter how much you differ from everyone else will be a remarkable blossoming of individuality and self-acceptance at the end.
Written by: Lauren Dehollogne // Photo credit: Jessamyn Violet