29 Jun Juliet Lyons: Billboard-charting Artist & ‘Cinderella’ Vocalist
We caught up with Billboard-charting artist and composer, Juliet Lyons. She walked us through her career in music, the composition process, and her experience working on the ‘Cinderella’ trailer.
Melodie: Hey Juliet! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. What have you been working on lately?
Juliet: I released an album of acoustic New Age instrumentals with my co-writer John McLean Allan, which debuted at #1 on iTunes and Amazon, that was fun! But mostly this year has been all about songs with vocals, I have written/recorded 60 of them this year, mainly for libraries/synch, and also as a session vocalist for other writers/composers.
You recorded 60 songs this year? Amazing! So, how did you first get started in music?
I was a singer since I was a kid, then started getting interested in writing songs when I was working as a singer on cruise ships in my early 20s and had some extra time on my hands on those sea days! After years of just writing songs, I started dabbling in instrumentals. Initially I didn’t think I could do it because I’m not an excellent player of any instrument – I’ve always been primarily a singer. But I discovered that in creating production music, being a good producer was more important than having professional-level piano or guitar playing skills.
You mentioned that you were a singer since you were a kid, what was the first album you bought?
Michael Jackson – Thriller, on casette!
Great choice! When did you first start writing music for picture? And how do you find writing for popular TV shows now?
I had some of my songs signed to music libraries that also represented instrumentals, and so I started sending instrumentals across to the libraries. As I got better at producing, they got accepted and soon started getting placed. I think my very first placement was in 2011 – an instrumental version of a song, on a show called ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ I was so excited to have my first credit.
I think sync has become more and more competitive through the years since that first placement. There is a LOT of music out there in a lot of libraries, but the good news is that thanks to streaming services creating more and more original content, there are also more and more shows in need of music.
Interesting! What’s your favourite thing about being a composer?
Other than doing what I LOVE for a living which is of course the very best thing, it’s nice to work from home in my sweats ha ha! And the cue sheets never get old, it’s just awesome to be able to say your music is on TV.
What has been the highlight of your experience in the music industry so far?
There have been several pinnacle moments so far, and singing on the ‘Cinderella’ trailer was very special. I got to see the trailer in the movie theatre, sitting with my family. The theatre was packed with an enthusiastic audience and people cheered after the trailer. Being a little teeny, tiny part of what moved that audience in such a positive way was such a cool feeling.
Your vocals were featured in a Disney movie sounds like an exciting experience. You’ve been described as having “one of the most evocative and ethereal voices“ as a singer (which is super cool!) – do you think being a singer helps you as a composer?
Yes, I think singing has helped me write instrumentals for sure. I think singers have a deep connection with melody, and when I am writing my instrumental melodies I will consider if it is singable. If it gets too busy, too range-y, or too abstract with intervals or rhythm, this could also be distracting when it’s placed against picture, or atmospheric layers, the only setback is that it’s monophonic.
That’s very interesting to know, but before deciding if the song should have vocals. What is your writing process like?
It varies – sometimes I will start with a melody, sometimes beats, sometimes lyrics, sometimes a chord progression. But it is helpful to me to have a brief, a deadline, a collection I’m working on. That’s the motivation to get me to sit down and get to work.
What DAW do you use?
Logic. I love it and have never felt the need to try anything else.
As musicians, we love music and we have our own favourites. Who are your favourite bands or artists?
Definitely towards the top for me is Bob Marley – the music hasn’t aged, his messages are just as relevant as ever, and those reggae vibes are so simultaneously uplifting and relaxing.
You have such an inspiring music career, but we want to know what keeps you busy outside of music?
Wait, are you supposed to have a life outside music, ha ha?! My two adorable dogs – Chuckles and Marcel, yoga, and traveling when possible.
As a Melodie artist, do you have a favourite track of yours in the Melodie library?
Hmm! I’ll go with “You Hurt Me Bad,” which is a melancholic, mildly tense Trap vibe. That’s my favourite style to write on the instrumental side.
“You Hurt Me Bad” is a fantastic track. Thank you so much for your time, Juliet!