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Check Out Marissa Lamar’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marissa Lamar.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Eight years ago, I was living a completely different life. I had spent many years very ill from neurological Lyme disease and was unable to function for about two years. I hid away, unsure if I was going to make it. Music is something that helped me get through some of the hardest days of my life.

I promised that if I got better, I would tell my story in a way that may help others going through something hard. When I started recovering I felt completely brain dead from the illness, the drugs I had to take, and just the overall burnout from the experience.

A friend of mine started teaching me piano. I took a bunch of journal entries and poems I had written throughout the experience and wrote my first EP. Within six months, I was doing shows around town (I lived in LA then). Music is now so much a part of who I am I can’t imagine my life without it.

I was able to make sense of what happened and find some comfort in being able to turn it into art, which in turn gave me hope and a purpose to inspire others in any way I can with my art.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I wish! It still isn’t! Haha. We’ve been making albums for a while now, have done many tours across the US, and have over 100 shows. We (Neil Briggs, drummer, and partner in the band), both moved with our families to Nashville to have a more centralized location to tour from.

Our best-laid plans (along with so many other people’s) sort of went to hell when the pandemic hit and shows stopped for quite a while. We decided to use the time to make more music and learn to produce/self-record. We did this and have gotten to the point of being able to record on our own, so this is a plus to all of it.

I also had a baby late last year. She’s six months old now and incredible. I’ve been navigating being a new mom and creating. I am finding my way and getting back in the groove.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
We make music! I’ve been writing poems since I was about eight years old.

I love words and the power they have to heal and spark ideas. I put a lot of thought into our lyrics, and what I want to say. I try to imagine writing a letter to someone when I write my songs, what do I REALLY want to say about this? What would I say to this person if I had the chance or the courage?

Musically we love to create dreamy melodies and textures under our folk songs. We love experimenting with sounds, textures, and layers in our music.

I’d say our music doesn’t really sound like anyone else’s, which has been a blessing and curse in a way. I am proud of what we’ve created, but getting broad acceptance or popularity has been a slow-building road for us (we’re still not there). We had to be ok with the slow build.

I would say what I’m the proudest of is our refusal to give up. Despite setbacks, we continue to make art and put it out into the world. We truly believe that art matters, that what you have to say matters and will make a difference in someone’s life.

I think there are always people out there who need your art, your story. Just stay true to yourself and what you want to say and create. You will find your people.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
I learned to let go of my tendency to try and control everything. You can’t control every aspect of your life, career, and path. Micro-managing every square inch of your life is a way to feel constantly stressed and miserable.

I learned that things don’t always go the way you thought they would, and that’s ok. It’s ok to take your time, breathe, and let things go when you need to. On a deeper level, I really felt the fragility of being human.

It made me want to live my life fully and wholeheartedly with the time I have in this life and do everything I can to help others feel less alone and inspired to create things.

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