Lyra Star’s talent goes beyond the music. In her recent music video for her song, “Under The Water,” we watch Lyra move in ways that are inhumane and flawlessly captivating. As a movement artist, contortionist, writer, and musician, Lyra speaks through motion and sounds like it’s her first language. Adding to the incredible uniqueness she brings to her genre, Lyra has a writing style that we found both engaging and thought-provoking, different from that of other artists in the R&B world.
It was in the making of “Under The Water” that Lyra began to incorporate her physical talents with her musical side to make her performance something new and fresh to the industry. We fell in love wit Lyra Star through her passions for art and her talent that extend far beyond your average artist. As a result of watching her music video for “Under The Water,” we wait anxiously for what comes next from Lyra.
Discover “Under The Water” here.
Welcome back to BuzzMusic, Lyra Star! We’re amazed by your fluid and flexible movements within your recent music video “Under the Water”. What made you want to incorporate two forms of self-expression within a music video (being contortion and singing)?
Contortion is a very unique and beautiful art form, and people have always loved watching me do these movements with my body. I initially wrote the song on a loop pedal, and I started working on doing interpretive contortion dance after layering on the vocal harmonies, thinking I could make it into a performance act somehow. Then I decided to record the song because I found a producer here that really likes electronic music and beats. I had worked with him on a vibey cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Red House," so I approached him about doing this song. I had a vision for the video of doing contortion in the water... I just thought it could be really beautiful. The last video I released for my song "Paper Moon" received a lot of attention and views because people loved watching me do my yoga practice, and I realized how much my flexibility and grace and control are something that people appreciate. This song is also about me coming out of my shell, and in some ways I wanted it to serve as a reel for my skills as a movement artist, as I really want to get into the performance world a bit more. It just seemed very fitting, and everything else kind of evolved from there as far as culminating the artistic vision. I am also really wanting to get my music and my art out there, and the contortion is such a unique skill that I'm hoping it will make me stand out as an artist.
There’s one scene in particular that caught our eye, being the captivating moment where Lyra Star was doing contortion under the rain. Was this the most challenging aspect of the music video shoot? I'm not sure what the one "captivating moment" is that you are referring to since I'm doing contortion throughout the video. Which scene are you talking about? The most challenging aspect of the music video shoot was doing contortion in the rain. The rain room in DtLA is essentially a giant shower, and that water went from being like a nice warm shower to freezing cold. I was shivering like crazy in between takes, teeth chattering, the works... I had to wrap myself in my puffy jacket and a towel. I knew it would be cold and wet, but it was pretty intense... I had to focus a lot more on the movements and concentrate on what I was doing with my body. I was relieved after that part of the shoot was done because I knew the hardest part was over (we filmed those scenes first).
We’ve heard that Lyra Star had an amazing team to help support and execute the music video for “Under the Water”. How did your team make the shoot easier for you, and what was the dynamic like behind the scenes? I had the most incredible group of people... we all worked really well together behind the scenes. Tonya Kay, a friend of mine that I met at one of the yoga studios where I teach here in LA, is an incredible director... she also knows contortion and the body, as she is a dancer and performer herself. She knew how to draw out the emotions necessary for the scenes where I was singing, and she was very calm and direct with the shots she wanted to get for the contortion in the rain room (and also warned me beforehand that this would be the most challenging and taxing part of the shoot for me physically). Andria Chamberlin, the cinematographer, was very calm and collected the entire shoot.... Tonya a list of the shots they wanted to get prior to shooting, and Andria executed everything beautifully from behind the camera. They were also very precise when setting up the lighting in each space. Tonya went to each location to scout it out the week prior to shooting as well, so she knew what to expect from each room. My makeup artist, Chloe Kelsch, is incredibly focused, and she worked really well with Taylor McPherson, who brought in sustainable glitter to create my look for each room. James Cruz did my hair, and he graciously stepped in at the last minute when Kellie had a sick child that she had to care for. Victor Broden came in like a rockstar, taking photos in the rain room, one of which was used for the cover art. It's hard as a photographer to come into a shoot and not be able to set up any lights... we were so limited on time, and I didn't have it in my budget to schedule time for an entire photoshoot. Therefore, he had to work with the dark lighting, and he still captured some great shots. My lovely friend Carli Lind was excited to snap behind the scenes photos and video to document the creation process. Everything went so smoothly, I could not have asked for a better team backing me up for this project.
Seeing as your music video for “Under the Water” is Lyra Star’s first display of contortion merged with music, do you think this project will lead the way for more music videos like this?
Yes, this is just the beginning. I consider this to be a breakout work, and I've already received a lot of positive responses. I am in the process of getting together another beatbox song along the same lines, and I am hoping to create a video for that one as well. I want to continue incorporating the two art forms, and at this point, video is one of the best ways to do it. Obviously, it is expensive, so I will have to figure that part out. Ultimately, my goal is to definitely to continue to create art like this as much as I can.
What's next for you, Lyra Star?
I have two songs in the mixing stage right now that I will be releasing later this summer. My goal in 2020 was to produce more content and release more music, and I feel proud that I have been successful with that so far. Basically, what's next is new music, revamping my website, and hopefully making another video soon when time and budget allows. The world is a strange place right now with everything going on, and I'm not sure when performances will be allowed again, so that part is TBD.