We had the good fortune of connecting with Eric Lumiere and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eric, what’s your definition for success?
I used to base my own success on what the world thought of success, which is mostly on accomplishment and tangible achievement. As I’ve gotten older, however, and also done more introspection, reflection and meditation, I’ve realized success, like many things, is really up to our own definition. There is no definition of success that is the True definition. We make it up. Even if most of the world believes in one type of success, it does not make is so. When I google the word “success”, the definition that comes up first is “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” So if I want to go by that, I first get to choose what my aim or purpose is. And I’ve realized that if I get to choose what something means to me, I want to choose in a way that supports my own upliftment and encouragement, not in a way that blocks or hinders me. I find basing my success on achievement often leaves me discouraged and disappointed, and even ‘feeling’ successful in a moment is not a lasting experience. So more and more as I’ve learned about myself and life, I find that its greatest purpose is in learning and growing and that journey, not the results along the way. Now I look at success in how I am learning and growing in my life, rather than what I am accomplishing, though I celebrate those ‘wins’ too. I know from my own experience and working with many others that we are already so critical and hard on ourselves, more than we know, and that it’s so much easier to judge our shortcomings vs celebrate our wins, even the little ones. And so I’ve taken my definition of success even further by adding a lot of compassion and empathy for our human process. It’s my experience that just being alive, being human, living and dealing with this world, learning and growing is a massive success on its own. The least we can do is give ourselves credit for continuing to wake up and do the best we can with our circumstances and what we know. And of course, we can continue to celebrate all the ‘wins’ and ‘successes’ in our lives no matter how big or small. It’s up to us.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When I was young I was super shy and sensitive. I didn’t know how to relate to the world or others for the most part, so when found choir in 3rd grade, I found a way to express and share and create that I hadn’t known before. And it was almost clear from then on that music would be a massive part of my life. I continued to focus on music and went to NYU for Music Production, Songwriting and Business at the Clive Davis Dept of Recorded Music where I was still figuring out who I was as an artist and what I wanted to share and how to share it. I liked lots of different music and didn’t just want to do one specific thing.
As fate would have it, I was lucky enough to meet a classmate who was in a DJ duo called Filo and Peri. He heard some of my songs and wanted to do a dance version of an acoustic song I wrote for songwriting class. “Anthem” ended up being released on Vandit Records and debuted in the UK Top 40 and also reached #1 on the Billboard Dance Airplay chart. I was extremely lucky and blessed.
It was not all sunshine and rainbows from there, and I don’t think is it ever that way. I didn’t even really LOVE dance music at the time this success came, and I didn’t have a manager or know how to take advantage of it. This was still before Spotify and the explosion of bedroom producers and I was young and not very motivated by success or achievement. And though I loved music, I wasn’t clear enough on what I wanted to do with it.
So even after college, I slept on my mom’s couch and then also lived in a guest house for a period of time. I was spoiled with some financial support (and made some decent royalties) which is great but also not very motivating in terms of working hard! I didn’t really have an unconscious need to prove myself either. I’ve learned over time that life is basically a classroom and we all have our life curriculum’s we’re each learning and it’s all perfect for each one of us. It’s like we all have different areas of mastery and strengths and unawareness and deficiency.
For a while, I continued to do dance collaborations here and there and some gigs but really I still didn’t know what I wanted or had the help I needed to find out. Even now, after 80million streams on Spotify, and lots of songwriting and toplining success, I’m still clarifying what I want to really do with my life and share. It’s an ongoing discovery. I just know that I want to share what’s really meaningful and most fulfilling to me, which ties into what I’m going to share next.
There is nothing more valuable to me than the self-work I’ve done in my life. I’m lucky to have been brought up in a spiritual community where working on ourselves, our limitations, blocks, misbeliefs, judgements, etc…was normal. But I still had to choose into the work, as it’s not the easiest path to ‘face our demons’, however, it is definitely the most rewarding in my experience.
Being human is not easy, and I’m so grateful that I had the opportunities to work out my challenges in safe spaces with other people also working on their challenges. Just like studying a certain subject in school, we wanted to study ourselves and expand our awareness so that we could be more free, more confident, more joyful, peaceful, and loving etc etc.
Through doing this work and continuing to learn about myself, I have found there is truly nothing more valuable, because this is the work through which we can truly find fulfillment and happiness, regardless of our worldly achievements or what anyone else thinks.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m quite a homebody with my wife and my dog, but if I had a best friend in town, we would definitely get out and have some fun. We would go to Malibu Farm cafe on the pier and Staircase beach, which is beautiful and not too touristy and allows dogs. That’s one of our favorite wknd activities. We would go to Urth Caffe in Santa Monica and walk around down there, enjoying the beach and westside.
We would go hiking up in the mountains below where we live in Tarzana…honestly there’s great hiking all around the valley and westside. It’s awesome to get away from the noise of the city and enjoy the views and cleaner air 🙂
If it was open and we were younger (lol), we might go dancing at Short Stop in echo park which has some amazing DJs playing killer mashups. So many places get overcrowded though and it’s just a bit nuts.
If my friend was staying a week, we would probably do a couple days up in Ojai or Santa Barbara, two of my favorite places outside, but close to LA. They’re some of my favorite places in CA.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people and organizations I am grateful for, but right now I’d like to thank the University of Santa Monica and their programs in Spiritual Psychology for really giving me the tools to show up in my life in a greater way and fully own my human experience. Being a creative, it can be hard to focus on the details, nitty gritty, business side of things, but USM has really helped me heal and let go of blocks and judgements that have kept me from showing up and sharing myself and my music in a bigger way.