The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Meagan Grandall: Meagan Grandall, 29, Independent Musician, Songwriter and Business Owner,
Owner of Lemolo Music, LLC
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
MG: When I’m not working, I love to spend as much time outdoors as possible. I grew up in a small town in the Pacific Northwest and live here still, and I am constantly amazed by how beautiful it is here. I especially love activities that involve water, like sailing and kayaking, and I love spending time at the beach. Before I started my band, Lemolo, I worked as a kayaking guide and graduated with a degree in environmental science from Seattle University. The natural world has always been an important part of my life and continues to inspire me every day. I’ve found that I feel the most relaxed and at ease when I am surrounded by nature. And I’ve also found that I am the most creative when I am relaxed and at ease. So it makes sense to me that some of my favorite songs have been written after a day spent outside.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
MG: I’ve always made sure that every piece of music I make and release into the world is completely genuine and is my best possible work. That is something that has been important to me since day one. So to me, there is no balancing act between being a creative professional and generating work that I’m proud of, because it is the same thing in my eyes.
The main thing that I have had a hard time with is turning my creative profession into a stable career. I started my band in 2009, and it has taken me this long to get to a place where I am finally starting to feel some sense of stability. And there is still not as much stability as I would like, so I have worked other jobs over the years when I’m home from tour to help make it all possible. But I wouldn’t change a thing, because I can’t imagine an endeavor more rewarding than being able to create music and share it with the world.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
MG: I feel the most creative late at night. And also when I think no one can hear me. Those are the moments when I can really get lost in my songs and sing for hours. On the flip side, I feel the most productive with my business work in the mornings. So it’s been interesting finding a balance between being a performer and songwriter and staying up really late, and also being a business woman and working on my booking, marketing and accounting during the day. Sometimes I feel like I lead a double life!
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
MG: I’ve tried to keep my number one goal very simple ever since starting my band. And that goal is to be able to make a comfortable and stable living creating my music, for as long as it brings me true joy. So far I have been able to come very close to achieving that goal, and I definitely feel like I am on the right path. Making music continues to bring me more joy than I’ve found anywhere else in life, so as long as I feel this way I will continue to keep reaching.
As far as what I would like to create, I love the idea of having a vast repertoire of albums and soundtracks. And I want to continue to tour the world. I’ve been lucky enough to tour through North America and Europe, but there are still so many places I would love to visit on tour. A tour in Japan is my ultimate international touring goal. There are musicians that I dream about collaborating with as well. My ultimate collaboration goal is to work on a project with Thom Yorke one day. But I know that is a big one!
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
MG: I just released my sophomore full-length album, Red Right Return, a few months ago. And I just released it on vinyl last week. So I’m currently in the process of promoting the new album and playing shows and planning tours to support that project. While I’m not recording a new album at the moment, I’m well into the process of writing songs for my third album. I continually write songs, and I think that is something I would do whether I owned a music company and had a band or not. It’s just something that I love to do. I’m very much inspired by my personal experiences and every day life, so my songs are like my journal. I’ll continue working on the new songs in the background of everything else until they are finished enough to begin recording again.
TCU: What scares you?
MG: There is a long list of things that scare me. I think that is why I know I am in the right profession because I am constantly being challenged and constantly facing and overcoming my fears. I am scared of being on stage, I am scared of expressing my opinions and feelings in public, I am scared of financial instability, I am scared of people judging me and most importantly I am scared of people not caring what I have to say. I feel vulnerable every day in this profession. However, when I look back at how much I have grown and how much stronger I have become since starting my band in 2009, I can’t help but feel proud of myself and grateful for the opportunity to challenge myself is such important ways. And none of the fears outweigh the joy that I feel when I write a song or touch someone else through my work.
TCU: What does success mean to you?
MG: I have always been very hard on myself, so this is a tricky question for me. I like to think that the simple fact of having a dream (especially one that feels impossible at first), and working hard and following through enough to make that dream a reality is a success in and of itself. It has taken so much courage and hard work for me to get to where I am with my music, so I honor that and consider myself successful because of that. However, I also know there is a long way for me to go and there are a lot more success to be had. But I’m okay with that, because the feeling keeps me motivated to work harder and continue creating and being true to myself.
If you want to learn more about Meagan and Lemolo, head over to www.lemolomusic.com and be sure to check out her sophomore album Red Right Return, it's incredible.