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Updated: Jan 30

Interview: Elena Charis

Since 2016, Lyon Bravo has captivated audiences with her multifaceted presence as an influencer, producer, and independent recording artist, delivering compelling content across online platforms. Beyond the usual lightheartedness found in electronic music, Lyon infuses her creations with a profound message.

In a recent interview, Lyon provides insights into the inspiration fueling her songwriting and underscores the importance of collaborative efforts. She shares details about her influences, the recognition she received from actress Jessica Alba, and the significance of exercising freedom of speech, particularly in the current societal climate. Join me as we delve into a conversation that unveils the depth behind Lyon Bravo's artistic journey.

TKK RADIO: As we dive into the conversation, Lyon Brave, I'm curious—is that your stage name, or does it happen to be your given name? 

Lyon Brave: Lyon Brave is more than a stage name—it's a brand that embodies the genius behind the music, a moniker that reflects the brilliance within the art.

I find your perspective intriguing. Many influencers seem hesitant to express their true thoughts, but your music reflects a sense of bravery. Sharing your art with the public is undoubtedly a courageous endeavor. Could you share what ignited your musical journey?

Growing up in a family unable to afford piano lessons, I faced significant challenges. However, my determination led me to self-teach by sneaking into churches and public spaces with a piano. Despite the financial struggles, I pushed forward, eventually earning a degree in Professional and Performance Arts from the University of Akron. This journey paved the way for international performances in China and South Korea, showcasing the resilience that defines my music.

The saying 'If there is a will, there is a way' truly resonates with your journey. You've not only pursued music but also positioned yourself globally, investing in your education. It's truly inspiring. I'm curious, do you utilize your skills as a pianist in producing your own music, or do you collaborate with others on your projects?

Collaboration is at the core of my creative process. Recognizing that each individual brings a unique perspective and talent to the table, I work extensively with professionals in the music industry. This collaborative effort ensures that every element of my music is finely tuned, benefiting from the diverse expertise and creative energies involved. It's a collective journey that elevates the quality and impact of my work.

The concept of 'teamwork makes the dream work' is evident in your journey. As a producer who collaborates with others, I'm curious about your favorites who serve as inspiration. Would you mind sharing some of your favorite producers that our audience might want to explore?

Lyon Amor Brave and Missy Elliot 

"Party Animal" stands out as one of my favorite songs of yours. The production evokes a nostalgic vibe similar to the 1998 songs "You Get What You Give" by New Radicals and "Praise You" by Fatboy Slim. Could you share the inspiration behind this captivating song? 

"Party Animal" holds a unique origin. While Fatboy Slim's influence is undeniable, the inspiration for this track stemmed from a night at a lesbian bar called Slammers in Columbus, Ohio. Despite not identifying as a lesbian myself, the vibrant energy and atmosphere of the venue became the catalyst for crafting the infectious beats and captivating melody of "Party Animal." It's a testament to the diverse and unexpected sources that can inspire the creation of music.

In this song, you touch upon the theme of "finding yourself," highlighting the significance of cultivating inner calmness in the present era. As an independent artist, striking a balance between music and personal life can be challenging. How do you navigate daily obstacles and manage to find that sense of peace amidst the demands of your profession?

Daily obstacles are a bitch, music is the easy part, it's where I am the best, feel my best and do my best work. If I did more music, my life would be better, the less music in my life the worse my life gets and I really need to take note of that, music is my gift.

Your passion for current world events shines through your music. I'm intrigued, given the challenges in finding songs addressing today's society in mainstream music. What prompted your shift towards a more conscious direction in your music, particularly within the electronic music genre, known for its generally lighthearted themes?

After graduating, my journey led me to travel extensively to various countries, bringing about a profound culture shock that connected me to our shared humanity and expanded my perspective beyond borders. This experience ignited a deep sense of care for the entire world, transcending national boundaries. I believe in the power of music as a force for change, and with that conviction, I shifted towards a more conscious direction in my music. While acknowledging the gravity of world events, I also recognize the importance of celebrating life. It's a paradox—a recognition of the challenges we face, yet a call to celebrate existence through the profound and uplifting energy of music. If we're confronted with the potential of world conflicts and human flaws, why not unite in the biggest rave in history? It's a powerful way to amplify the joy of living amidst the complexities of our world.

With that in mind, what music has been a source of inspiration for you throughout your life?

Throughout my life, a diverse range of music has been a constant source of inspiration. As a child, the "Lion King" soundtrack left a lasting impression. I found joy in the timeless melodies of The Beatles and The Beach Boys, the rhythmic brilliance of Chuck Berry, and the lyrical prowess of Eminem. The dynamic sounds of Beyoncé, the pop energy of NSYNC, and the progressive vibes of Tool added further layers to my musical palette. Additionally, the interactive experiences of playing Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero played a pivotal role—music was not just a sound; it was like the air I breathed, influencing and shaping my musical journey.

That's truly impressive! It's incredible to witness the diverse range of music from various genres that has been a source of inspiration throughout your life. Some readers may not be familiar with iconic figures like The Beach Boys or Chuck Berry in today's context, who were known for their innovativeness and pioneering contributions. In a similar vein, your own creativity shines as an innovative creator. The 'Keanu Reeves shuffle,' set to an electronic-dubstep track, stands out as one of your unique creations. What sparked the inspiration for this dance, and can we anticipate another exciting dance challenge in the future?

The inspiration for the Keanu Reeves shuffle, set to an electronic-dubstep track, draws from my admiration for "The Matrix." The film's themes resonate deeply, highlighting the truth that many of us live our lives as mere cogs in a system—unauthentic and out of our control. The dance serves as a symbolic battle cry, a reminder of the ongoing struggle between truly living our lives and simply existing. It's a call to wake up, and if you're awake, well, then you've got to dance. As for future dance challenges, anticipate more exciting and thought-provoking creations that encourage us to move, awaken, and live authentically.

A battle cry? That's remarkable, especially considering the ongoing news war determining the content shaping our societies. Similar to Neo in the Matrix, it seems we've been handed a digital pill when it comes to the concept of truth. Your unapologetic expression, often utilizing freedom of speech through your art, is commendable. What words of encouragement would you share with individuals starting their musical journey, especially those grappling with uncertainty about the topics to explore in their writing?

Hey, fellow music creators! Here's a vibe for you: music is your canvas, and there are no limits. Feel the freedom, let your soul speak, and write the music that resonates with your deepest vibes. In this artistic journey, uncertainty is just another color on your palette. Embrace it, ride the waves, and create from the heart. Your voice, your story—it's what makes your music truly yours. So, don't hold back, let the vibes flow, and enjoy the ride!

As we look back on your time at the University of Akron, specializing in Professional and Performance Arts, it's clear that your passion for the creative arts runs deep, perhaps a facet not widely known until now. Could you elaborate on the inspiration behind this profound interest?

My dedication to The Creative Arts is deeply rooted in a commitment to authentic self-expression through my God-given talents. Unlike certain individuals, I didn't have the financial privilege to invest in my music career early on, as I wasn't on a show like "Degrassi," making a substantial income per episode. However, I firmly believe that true talent transcends fame and financial backing.

My focus has always been on cultivating and honing the innate gifts bestowed upon me. I view my artistic journey as a genuine exploration of the creative depths within me, a journey guided by passion rather than the pursuit of fame. While some may equate success with celebrity status, I find fulfillment in using my God-given talents to create meaningful art that resonates with authenticity. It's about connecting with an audience on a profound level, showcasing the richness of my creative abilities independent of the paths others may have taken.

Establishing meaningful connections online can be challenging, and discovering emerging talent is hindered by controlled algorithms. The quest for raw talent seems increasingly daunting. Could you shed light on how you strategically utilize social media to amplify and promote your work?

Honestly, social media isn't my strong suit. I'm not particularly adept at navigating the intricacies of various platforms. While some may strategically leverage social media for promotion, I find myself less inclined in that realm. My focus remains on the art itself, and I rely on the genuine connection with those who appreciate my work, even if it means taking a less conventional path in the digital landscape.

Choosing a less conventional path can indeed bring about positive outcomes. If you were to suggest one song from your projects for our audience to explore, which would it be, and what makes it particularly special?

If I were to recommend one song from my projects for our audience, it would be "Boogie Down Bronx." This track holds a special place as it encapsulates a smooth rhythm that invites you to dance and have a good time. However, keep an eye out for an upcoming release called "Believer," which delves into the profound impact of the war in Ukraine on us all and explores themes of faith in God. It's a powerful and meaningful piece that I believe will resonate deeply with listeners.

It's commendable that you consistently address current world affairs. Utilizing your platform for positive impact is crucial for influencers. Reflecting on the events of 2023, what would you say is one key lesson you've taken away from those experiences?

One key lesson I learned from the events of 2023 is the importance of not giving up. The year began in a complete nightmare—my car broke down, my living situation was terrible. However, by the end of the year, there was a significant turnaround. My bank account improved, I got a brand new car, distanced myself from negative influences, and witnessed a growing buzz around my music. It's a testament to resilience and the transformative power of perseverance in the face of adversity.

The mantra of 'Never give up, never surrender' holds significant value, especially in the context of self-love. 

Looking ahead, could you share insights into your upcoming musical projects for the year ahead? Additionally, what can we anticipate from you this spring?

In the upcoming year, exciting musical projects are on the horizon. I'm eager to get "Colors" on the radio, especially around beach parties, as it's a vibrant and fun song about love, romance, and embracing a youthful and unconventional spirit. Interestingly, my biggest fan base is currently in Moscow, adding an international flair to my reach.

For this spring, I have ambitious plans. I aim to release several music videos, visually complementing the diverse stories within my music. Additionally, I aspire to delve into songwriting for other artists, expanding my creative contributions. Ultimately, my goal is to transition from my current job and embrace music full-time, allowing me to fully dedicate myself to the craft and share my art with a broader audience.

Moscow? That's truly remarkable. It's impressive to see that you've already formulated a game plan for your music; having clear goals is crucial in this journey. As we conclude our interview, I'd like to ask if there are any individuals you'd like to recognize as outstanding supporters of your music and brands?

As we wrap up this interview, I'd like to express my gratitude to the outstanding supporters of my music. I've recently learned that my work has made its way onto Jessica Alba's playlist, and I'm truly honored by her recognition. It's incredibly humbling to have individuals of her caliber appreciating and supporting my art. Their encouragement and support inspire me to continue pushing the boundaries of creativity in my musical journey.

Jessica Alba? It seems you're on a promising path with your music. I look forward to seeing your work in 2024.

There you have it. Thank you, Lyon Bravo, for participating in this exclusive interview with TKK. Your insights are truly appreciated, and we value your time.

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