We had the good fortune of connecting with Lava Dreams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lava, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I’d say the most important factor behind my success is my determination. (I could also call it Love).
I’ve been a songwriter most of my life – for as long as I can remember. So, I was writing songs and giving performances way before I ever got any good at it. Yet, no matter how badly I ended up singing or playing my guitar… no matter how much I disappointed myself, I would always come back and pour myself into another song. I think that’s because ultimately, I know music is a gift – one I hungrily receive. There’s something about being a musician that feeds me and nourishes me in the depths of my soul. Music has always helped me survive my darkest moments- giving me an open space to process my negative experiences and transform that energy into real strength. I could never give up on being an artist, because it’s just who I am. And success is pretty much inevitable, if you never give up.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m especially excited that my art is becoming more and more integrated. I’ve been given the opportunity to direct and edit my own music visuals (with a video production company called Stellar Image Studios) – and for the past several months I’ve been working on a new video for my song, “Simple Magic”.
It’s easy for me to have a grand vision, but it’s much more difficult to bring that vision to life and execute it in a satisfying way. Add to that, I’m having to really disregard what anyone else might think of the finished work. When I’m creating, I can only do what feels best in my bones – and that happens to be putting myself out there in a really bold and courageous way. If nobody else likes it, I’ll still be happy and proud of myself, because I dug down deep to pull this out- and I grew.
In my eyes, I am a successful artist as long as what I’m putting out is true to myself. Being so vulnerable is incredibly difficult at times, but that’s also what allows the moment to resonate.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If you’re in Kansas City, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art has gotta be on your list of places to check out. Definitely have brunch at Seven Swans Creperie – trust me. If we’re in spring, summer, or fall, you’re in luck! Plenty of beautiful parks here for an afternoon walk or a peaceful place to read a book. Pop into Monarch or Messenger coffee if you need a good caffeine fix and a cute spot to catch up with friends. Dinner and drinks at Westport Cafe will leave you so satisfied! Other restaurants to try: Corvino, Vietnam Cafe, Aladdin Cafe, Wah Gwan, Chai Shai, Baba’s Pantry, La Bodega, Tacos El Gallo… good food is my happy place.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to shoutout two of my closest friends – Duncan Burnett, AKA “Young Almighty”, and Morgan “MJ” Jones.
Duncan (now my producer) saw me perform in 2019 with tracks I had produced on my own. I’m so grateful we met that night, because he truly did see me in that moment- well enough to introduce himself. Before anyone else, he was the first to come to me and say, “I see you. Your music is real. I want to support you and help you succeed… Let’s do something together.” The rest is history.
MJ came into my life a little later, when I happened to be in a really vulnerable space. (A serious relationship of mine had just ended and I was in need of a true friend). She had just moved into town and I previously knew of her reputation as a talented music photographer. We initially met up to talk photography and art, but we had way too much in common to leave it at that. Since then, she’s been one of my greatest supporters.
I’m encouraged daily by these two and I want them to know how much they mean to me (so much)!!
Personal photo: Morgan Jones Simple Magic Music Video Stills: Stellar Image Studios/Lava Dreams