INTERVIEW | L.A. Bliss Comes To Terms with Healing and Inner Peace
L.A. Bliss, aka Lisa Chambliss, makes music in Los Angeles, known for sunny beaches and prefect weather. Yet underneath the perfection are dark shadows — shattered dreams and expectations, the riskiness of life in the fast lane, and the anguish of devastating love.
With her latest single/music video, L.A. Bliss narrates her search for emotional healing and self-empowerment, while simultaneously forging her own supportive family of friends. The rest of the tale will be disclosed on her forthcoming EP, The Stranger Love, mirroring her journey to independence.
The video for “Stranger Love,” directed by Tinks Lovelace, depicts L.A. Bliss rolling along in a white convertible Volkswagen, with the wind ruffling her hair, as she sings out the sheer bliss of discarding her old baggage and plunging headlong into new adventures.
Because of her infectiously effervescent pop sound, chock-full of honest emotions, I interviewed L.A. Bliss to discover more about her music, as well as her journey to self.
How did you get started in music? What’s the backstory there?
My parents divorced when I was 4-years-old. I started singing to myself when I was alone. I would make up songs and lyrics to help me process the world around me. Music was a necessary release for me. I felt very alone back then. I was good at hiding my feelings. I was also good at re-directing my attention to things that made me happy like singing, dancing and acting. My imagination was another tool for escape. I wanted to sing more so I asked to join the church choir.
Who is your favorite music artist?
I really looked up to female ‘80’s pop stars from Debbie Gibson, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Whitney Houston, and the Bangles. When someone introduced me to Nine Inch Nails it really took me into my shadow side and helped get a lot of emotions out that I was burying inside. I love how emotional his music is.
What musicians influenced you the most?
I was influenced by all of those above as well as Britney Spears. She was the first one who really had the career I wanted. I was like this girl has my job.
What’s the music scene like in L.A.?
Honestly, I perform to practice and to be on stage because it makes me feel good. It’s like a euphoric experience when I’m on the stage. It’s hard to get anyone to come out in L.A. Everyone is doing their own thing here and the people who are at the venue are on their phones and half engaged. Maybe if I was in a small town I could draw a better crowd. I’m from a small town so that’s ironic.
Does living in L.A. help or hinder your creativity?
It helps me. For me, when I want to feel inspired I love to look at another person’s work and then it fuels me to go create. It doesn’t matter which kind of artist or medium I view. I get inspired either way. I do love that others are creating here so even if they don’t show up to my show some how they are lifting me up to keep going. My best advice to everyone is don’t look to others as competition. Look to them as we are all trying to create art for the benefit of the world. Or we should hope so. There is no one else like you, so shine as you. No one can duplicate that.
What’s the story behind the name L.A. Bliss?
My father gave me the nickname “L.A.” It stands for Lisa Anne. He had no idea my dreams were to end up in Los Angeles. My father’s nickname is D.W., Donald William and my brother is B.W., Brice William. Bliss is the last part of our last name, Chambliss.
You recently released the music video for “Stranger Love.” What inspired the song?
In the last two years I made a choice not to speak to my family. I was in a toxic relationship with some of them and I had to make a choice. I had to choose my happiness over the idea that family is family. When you are hurting so much over any relationship that hurts you and you can’t make them change; you can only change you. So I detached with love. Love for myself.
How did you hook up with the video’s director, Tinks Lovelace?
I found her on a freelance website. I chose her because she really got the story I was trying to tell. I love creating with other women for it’s easier to be vulnerable and there’s not another angle they are trying to work.
What do you want viewers to take away from the video?
That no matter how much you try to bury your past and your issues, they will always find a way to resurface. There is this dance we do with it. We want to hang on because that is all we know, but you don’t know that there is more happiness right around the corner waiting for you. You have to be brave and let go and make choices just based on what’s good for you. You have to heal and make peace with those memories and issues for it’s the only way one can be happy and at peace. Never stop working on you. The sunflowers represent the way I look at my past. I choose to look at it from a different perspective. It molded me to be the strong woman I am today. To look at my self-worth and realize who I want to be in this life.
What is your song-writing process? Do melodies and lyrics magically appear or do you spend hours trying to get a song to come together?
Sometimes it’s a subject I’m passionate about, where I have to come up with my point of view on the subject. Sometimes it takes months. Other times it’s a bolt of lightning and it comes to me quick. I always think of what does the world need to hear and do I have experience in that and what can I say about it? It can also be that I’m trying to wrap my head around an issue and I need to say something; talk it out. Or in my case, sing it out!
Most artists like to believe their music is evolving. Is yours? If so, is it becoming more pop-flavored or leaning toward other influences?
All you need to do is hear my old band, Warped Angel, I Wanna Dream album. You can hear my pain. I’m pretty transparent. I came out of the dark into the light but before I right about this next chapter I need to share the first act. It can help others.
What’s next for you musically?
I have an EP I’m working on. It’s going to be a little bit different in sound. It will be more Pop, Rock and Dance. It’s going to have some very vulnerable subjects for me but it will continue to help with my healing. It will be a dance of the dark and light that we all share.
Will you be doing any touring?
If I can help it. Or should I say to serve this soul, Hell Yes!