Singled Out: Lissie's Shameless
I wrote "Shameless" in February of 2011 when I had been spending lots of time in london co-writing for my latest album (out September 2013). My approach to music and why i do it and love it so much is as a means of processing my emotions and feeling understood. I write songs about all kinds of things.. mostly romance if I'm honest. But another great thing about being a songwriter is being able to take my observations and frustrations and sort of summarize them, make a statement in this small amount of concise space.. a song. In this new album campaign, we led with "Shameless." I wanted to get this song's sentiment out there as almost a starting point, a clean slate, a mission statement. I was actually kinda nervous because I'm not a particularly angry person, but definitely outspoken. Already I can see it confused some people about who I am and what I do. But it's all part of a process of trying to cut through the crap and let people know what I am about. Straight forward.
So when I wrote "Shameless" I was feeling very disheartened by how much hype and frivolity surrounds what makes an artist successful or interesting. I witness people who will do anything it takes to make it, whether it's dating the right people, cozying up to the right people and using them to further their agenda or altering their appearance. You have this culture where people are famous for being famous and rewarded for vile behavior. What makes a person newsworthy isn't necessarily skill but ruthlessness. Another gripe I have while I'm at it, haha, is where people are perceived as say, edgy, not for their minds and opinions but simply for their appearance. All this nonsense has nothing to do with what I think music is for.. again to help folks process their emotions and life experiences.
However, as I was feeling all bothered, I admitted that maybe my own insecurities and how I feel about my own career led to me wanting to have a bit of an outburst and rant. It felt good to get these feelings off my chest and into a song so that I can just let it go. If I stay away from people who make me feel queasy and bad and focus on what i like in life and am good at, iIm pretty sure I'll do well and enjoy my life. It's a bit bratty to say "you dont know what my name is, name is, so what" but it's that defiance that made the song exciting for me. I feel like I'd rather be respected and happy than to get all the attention and fame. Hopefully there is a balance to be found. I'm not singling out a particular person because I think theres room and a need for lots of different kinds of entertainment and art. Yet I think what's interesting in an artist is someone who has a point of view and is true to themselves and their vision, artists who are life long touchstones for people, making timeless music that isn't just part of some current trend. There are a lot of great ones out there who embody that and I'm always happy to see them get the proper exposure so that their music can get to the masses who I think are in desperate need of some truth and a vehicle for sorting through all the facets of this crazy life we live.