LYRA: “after covid, I just said yes to everything”

by James Hendicott
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Cork superstar LYRA – the stage name of Laura McNamara – has made waves in the world of pop in recent years with huge hits like ‘Falling’ and ‘Edge of Seventeen’, tracks that, effectively, explore her own life. The pandemic break proved a chance to perfect this.

“I definitely developed more as an artist. I suppose I felt like I came back stronger, more of a fight and more clear I know what I want to do,” LYRA says of the period. “I wasn’t going to let it go. So I went hell for leather, threw myself into everything, with TV shows, podcasts, time in the studio, bigger live shows. I just said yes to everything.”

That’s starting to shine through. New track ‘You’ has a “dancier feel,” according to LYRA, as it’s “about a night out. It’s about this big break up I went through, one of those times where you’re just thinking will I ever find anyone like that again. And I went through a lot of soulless dates, with no spark. And then I went out on one night out with my girls, and had a bottomless prosecco brunch.”

“I randomly met this guy, and he looked like Drogo. I like to think that I look like Khaleesi (two characters from Game Of Thrones), so it felt like a match made in heaven. It was about that spark coming back. I was sick of writing ‘woe is me’, and so I wrote about something fun, something that will make people want to get up and dance.”

“When I’m on stage, I like to be able to connect with a story I’m telling,” she explains, “so I like them to be true stories, not reading from a script. I think you can tell when people are telling a story. I like to go back into the emotion at that time and take the audience on a journey with me. During some songs, I look angry, others vulnerable, because I’m going back to who I was at that time. For ‘You’, I dance, because that’s where I was at that time. It’s a way for people to get to know me.”

“That, and let’s be honest, it’s a lot easier to write a song about things you know, too. Sometimes people suggest ideas for songs, and if I’ve never experienced those things, I don’t do it. It’s so much easier that way.”

Alongside the music, Lyra’s gathering a reputation for talking about health and wellbeing, in particular on a series of high-profile podcast appearances. Her curation of ‘Rock Against Homelessness’, which takes place in the Olympia Theatre next month, is another example of her outgoing sense of charity.

“Mental health is not great sometimes in this industry,” she says. “You have to take a lot on yourself. I’m lucky to have an amazing team around me, but at the end of the day, it’s kind of a bit of a mind game. I like to take care of myself, and when I get invited to speak about it, I thought, I would like an artist that I aspire to be to talk about this stuff. So I do it. It’s about giving back.”

“I’m a big control freak when it comes to my music. Lyrics and melodies are near enough 100% me. I love doing my own fashion, styling, and being very hands on with my photoshoots, so I put a lot of pressure on myself. I guess that means if I do mess up, I know I gave it everything. Nothing gets handed to you on a silver platter, you have to work for it. I’m going to give it 110%.”

Dublin Gazette – Digital Edition – April 6, 2023 – Dublin Gazette Newspapers – Dublin News, Sport and LifestyleCLICK ON LINK TO READ MORE IN THIS WEEKS DIGITAL EDITION

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