It seems the ups & downs in a musician’s journey are never ending, something any artist can relate to. However, once in a while, you come across someone who manages to put all the noise aside and focus solely on what’s important, despite all the strenuous challenges along the way. We caught up with Lani Lux to talk about her incredible journey.
Originally from Maui, Hawaii, Lani Lux – also known as Joanne Bautista -has been singing her entire life, but it wasn’t until about 3 years ago that she decided to pursue her passion. Since then, Lani came out with singles, music videos, and collaborated with various music artists.
When asked about some of the biggest obstacles she encountered along the way, Lani mentioned a few that, if you let them, may easily become ‘dream crushers’. “Learning to ignore all the naysayers,” says Lani, “I’ve had family and friends that are supportive, but want me to be in a field more practical since being in the music lifestyle wasn’t at all. Another one I would have to say is staying consistent with playing the guitar. Being a self-taught guitarist needs discipline and sometimes after working my full-time job, I find myself not wanting to practice because I feel lazy or tired. I know that if it’s something I really want to master, I have no time for excuses and I need to force myself to get it done,” she continued.
One of Lani’s proudest moments was making the music video for her single “Maui Wowie”. “I currently reside in New Jersey,” she says. “My mother’s side of the family still lives in Hawaii so I get to visit time to time but I always have withdrawals and miss them a lot while I’m here.” In one of the scenes of the music video, Lani’s parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents were all on the beach watching and dancing with her as she sang. “That’s the proudest moment of my life, having my family watch me do something that I love.”
Well, hard works pays off. Island 98.5 – Hawaii’s #1 Reggae Station aired Lani’s first single “Maui Wowie” which is a song she dedicated for her family back home in Maui.
Lani’s music is inspired by numerous artists, among them are Jimi Hendrix, Rihanna, Travis Scott, Jay-Z, and Kendrick Lamar – but it’s clear she carries her own original sound.
Have you ever reached a point where you felt things weren’t going the way you anticipated and felt like throwing in the towel?
“I always doubt myself. Whenever I feel like I’ve hit my peak and don’t get that ‘big break’ I always wonder, ‘What am I doing this for? Is all the money, time, and passion worth it?'”
What helps you in dealing with those limiting thoughts?
“Knowing how much time I’ve wasted. I’ve spent my entire life loving music but listening to everyone else tell me that it’s not possible or I won’t make it. Whenever I get lazy, I think about how bad I want to stick it to the people who want to see me fail. I feel as if I don’t have any other option because nothing else ignites this fire in my soul the way music does.”
As a musician, it’s very hard knowing these days who truly wants you to succeed and who is acting in self interest, especially with social media. “A new obstacle for me would be having to weed out the people I meet via social media that really want to work with me musically, or are just “sliding in the DMs”, Lani says. “I don’t have a manager and I do all my business inquiries on my own, so when I was a fresh new artist, I was very excited but at the same time naive when a producer would contact me wanting to collaborate. Turns out, a lot of them didn’t want to work professionally and they just wanted a conversation out of me. Learning how to be assertive and less naive is definitely a huge obstacle I am still currently working on.”
As an artist, you become your own brand, and we can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure that you’re surrounded by the right team who you know you can count on.
What advice would you give to musicians who are just beginning?
“Have patience. If you put out a song, and that song doesn’t pop off the way you thought it would in your head, don’t give up. Keep creating and keep bettering yourself as an artist. Collaborate and network with those who are like-minded as you. Don’t focus on what anyone else is doing or saying. Just hone in on your passions. Believe in yourself.”
In a post on Instagram, Lani wrote “I’m not worried about reaching my end goal of becoming an artist. I’m simply learning to enjoy the process and growing into the person I want to be. Don’t give up on yourself! Trust your journey and live life.” If we can take only one thing from Lani’s incredible story it’s that passion & sheer determination go a long way.
– To follow Lani on Daystage visit @itslanilux