There is something a little odd yet strangely comforting about an artist who chooses to leave their profession at a young age when they have already enjoyed considerable success and seem destined to go even further.
Australian blues – jazz singer/songwriter and guitarist Lanie Lane has done just that, announcing her retirement from the music industry at the tender age of just 28.
She has already achieved more in her short career than some who have been in the industry twice as long, having won an AIR award for Best Blues and Roots Record for her debut ‘To the Horses’ as well as seeing it peaking at number 12 on the ARIA charts.
While her latest album ‘Night Shade’ reinforces the high regard in which she is held, Lanie has decided that she no longer craves the world that co – exists with music and instead is leaving that world into a world of the unknown.
And she couldn’t be happier.
“I’m really happy with life right now,” she enthused.
“I just love life and I love creating and I love living in the moment.”
“I think we are all intristically creative as human beings but when we are raised it’s all conditioned out of us to open up these channels but in reality it is our natural state to be creative in whatever way we choose. It doesn’t have to be artistic, it can be any number of ways.”
“I’ve basically given up my music career and the industry side of everything and I don’t know how I’m going to pay rent in two months – I don’t even know – but I trust that it’s going to work out. I’m living really day to day and loving it! I love not knowing and being free in that way and not buying in to the need to have this and that and to impress other people or have the validation of others or society or whatever. That’s how I love to live and I think more and more people are starting to feel that way. It’s being more receptive to life rather than conditioning.”
It’s not that she has suddenly lost her creative spark or lost her love for music, it’s more the fact that Lanie is listening to her inner voice when it comes to making decisions, rather than falling into the unwanted trap of treating music as a profession.
“It doesn’t feel right any more,” she offered. “It’s not driving me. I mean obviously music is a big part of who I am and it’s in my blood and in my spirit but I don’t want to do it in the conventional industry way. The music industry is just that – an industry – and I’m not a commodity. I am a creative being so I will always create and I will always make music in different ways but I don’t need to pursue it as an attention seeking thing any more. It doesn’t serve me and I don’t think it serves anyone else either. Also, my body told me too because my body was suffering. Everything about the career musician thing just doesn’t suit me. I never got enough sleep; never got to eat properly in the way I wanted; never had any stability or solidity or nurturing that I need because I know that’s a part of what I love and what I need in my life and being on the road and trying to work to someone elses schedule doesn’t suit me.”
“When I first started out I said to myself…. as I entered the world of music I saw people that had been doing it for decades and loved it but I also saw people that had been doing it for decades and were so bitter and so bored and so ungrateful and not loving what they were doing. I saw young people that had just entered the industry that were already jaded and tired and it was just an attitude of apathy or ‘I deserve this’ or ‘I’m so cool’ and others were so passionate and loving it and in awe of being able to play their music so you get the extremes but I said to myself if I ever got to the point where I was bitter, jaded or depressed or ungrateful that I would stop.”
Although currently not enjoying the music industry and preparing to step out of it, Lanie says that her time in music was an experience she enjoyed for the most part and something that helped her find inner peace.
“It was a part of my path,” she explained, “and I truly believe my soul planned that and inside I really wanted to have that experience of life and as a human being that’s my way of understanding why we are here and why we learn these lessons and so it was a big part of my life lesson and I am extremely grateful for it but I feel that I am done with it now.”
“I’m moving into new areas. I guess through my own healing and spiritual path I have really healed alot of my own stuff and I think it always has to start with yourself before you can have a positive effect on the world and I’m ready to share that now with people and take what I’ve learnt from my own emotional healing and reach out through music and art and poetry or just through a one on one connection with others.”
Despite her ongoing inner turmoil with the industry, Lanie says that there was never a time that she would let her personal feelings get in the way of this current tour and that she is doing this tour with her heart 100% behind it for her fans.
“Exactly,” she said.
“I easily could have not done the tour but I wanted to fulfil the obligations and make the final connections with my fans and say thanks. It’s not like I’ll never play again but it will be more of a thing that will happen in a different way. It might be less structurally set up – there’s a reason why it’s called an industry – because it is set up so it’s easy to get stuff done whereas where I want to do music in the future it will be less structured. But for now i really want to finish these shows and say thanks to everyone who has supported me.”
Lanie Lane will play at the Tanks on Saturday April 18 from 6.30 p.m. Tickets available via Ticketlink