Interview with Lyia Meta

Divine Magazine
Divine Magazine 7 Min Read

Lyia Meta is a Grammy ® balloted (1st) considered artist, an international multi award-winning singer and songwriter, and an exhibited visual artist.  

Born in Malaysia and currently based in the country’s capital city, Meta finds her greatest influences in rock and blues, yet she fearlessly defies genre barriers in every project she creates, consistently delivering a refreshing sound that speaks to listeners across generations worldwide.

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Has your musical journey had a deliberate direction, or did it simply gradually evolve in whatever direction it found?

My musical journey has evolved over the years I spent honing my craft.  Whether vocally or in performance, I always persisted in giving my best, as anything less was simply never an option.  As part of the process I often failed, stumbled and even lamented as to why I didn’t achieve some of my goals, but with my never-flagging strength, determination, and a truckload of discipline, my hard work continues to pay off!

What’s next for you?

I have a few projects in the pipeline.  I am currently demoing a few new tracks I wrote in the metal genre.  Bob McGilpin, my co-producer on my recent EP “15013,” and I are working on some stuff, and Denise Dimin, the songwriter of five of the six tracks from “15013” and I have discussed recording more music together in the future.  I also plan on collaborating with a few more artists.  A lot of moving pieces as I navigate this world of music!

Are you creative in other disciplines?

Yes!  I am a passionate visual artist with works having been exhibited in various exhibition halls and galleries in Asia and the United States.  My commissioned pieces have found homes across the globe.  More importantly though, my art is an extension of who I am and even shows up in my music via album covers and videos.  Coming from an artistic family, it was something I always took for granted.  For a very long time it was something I steered clear of, as it could be all-consuming, but today, it is like balm to my soul.  I can’t see myself living without it, which is why it’s so fulfilling to meld my art with my music!

 What is your current music project about?

My recently released EP “15013” is my collaborative effort with Los Angeles songwriter Denise Dimin.  “15013” fuses blues, R&B, soul and even dips its toes into the warm waters of jazz.  It’s me flirting with those genres as I work to bring them together and infuse my own character and voice into the colourful palette that is “15013.”

I worked with seasoned Nashville producer Bob McGilpin.  He is intuitive and so am I, so it was a pleasure and very gratifying to work with someone who understood where I was coming from!  I co-produced “15013” and spearheaded its direction.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have the video for the lead track, “DAYLIGHT,” become a FINALIST at The Vesuvius Film Festival for both Best Music Video Clip and Best Music Only.  The DAYLIGHT video was also a FINALIST at The Rome Music Video Awards for Best Original Song.  As I explained before, I consider the video a testimonial of my interpretation of the songwriter’s work.

Of your own music, do you have a favorite? If so, can you pin down why?

I never have favourites.  It’s difficult to assess on what level I would choose considering the emotions that gave birth to each one, the lyrics that I penned to share those emotions, and how much time and effort went into the creation and completion of each song.  But living in current times, the song “WE ARE LORDS,” which I released in July 2020, is definitely a defining song for me of one the darkest periods in the world of performing arts.  The song is an anthem for the downtrodden and the helpless and conveys the anxiety felt by many as our world went dark overnight.

Do you sing in the shower? What songs?

Yes, I do — I think my entire neighbourhood can hear me!!!  I sing anything from “The Sound of Music” to gospel, classical and blues!  I don’t do rock because the acoustics in a bathroom would ruin it!!!  I find myself singing “Amazing Grace” a lot and recently I’ve been composing tunes and verses for new songs.  It is all very stressful for my poor cat as she patiently waits outside for me to emerge!

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If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be?

AGAINST ALL ODDS:  The Birth of Lyia Meta

What makes you nostalgic?

Listening to songs from yesteryears.  It’s like a diary that I didn’t pen and everything in my past that was once blurred and shoved far back in my mind becomes today once more.

What was the last TV series you watched on TV? 

I’ve rediscovered “The Mentalist.”  It’s made me look at things from different angles.  I really enjoyed the series’ writing.

What historical figure would you love to see in 21st century life? 

Joan of Arc!  For the longest time, and for reasons I find difficult to explain, I’ve always found her very fascinating — a life and death that was so tragic.  Without delving into the politics that steered those times and her ultimate sacrifice, I would think that in the 21st century the life and rise of Joan of Arc would be a beacon of strength and hope for women in our world today.  She was my first superhero.

Lyia Meta-Daylight (Official Video)

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