We had the good fortune of connecting with Lea McNamara (L E A) and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lea, how do you think about risk?
Take risks. Never stop taking risks. I really resonated with this question because with every decision and direction I take in my musical career, there’s almost always a risk involved. I can also count many times I’ve threw away hundreds of dollars or signed the wrong contract because of risks I’ve taken. Ok well– think smart when you put yourself out there, but also don’t ever be afraid to mess up! I have this positive habit of finding the good in any situation (probably because I don’t want it all to be for nothing!). Moments in risks where I’ve maybe failed, I was still able to come out with new knowledge and new friends! Or putting out a risky song, if you’re like me or most songwriters, there’s always something revealing or a little secret in your music. People are going to hear, and some won’t be happy about it. But it’s my story to tell and it encourages others to step out of their comfort zone and share their experience. Every voice is valid. Anyways moral of the story, never be afraid to go the extra mile or try something new. If you stay comfortable, you’ll stay exactly where you are.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Well while I’ve been doing music my whole life (doing as in performing, creating, writing, teaching), I recently started to really put my effort in to making this a full-time thing! Once I permanently moved to Los Angeles in the Fall of 2018, I knew I needed to reinvent my sound and start really grinding on putting out the best music to represent who I am as an artist. With all the resources I’ve made and gained, I was able to start releasing music again. I was back in the studio summer of 2019 and released my re-debut single “Kiss and Make Up”. To my surprise, that song did pretty well (at least in my opinion as an independent artist) and racked up over 120k streams. Since then, I’ve been on the indie artist grind writing, collaborating, promoting, and marketing myself and my sound.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh my goodness, now THIS is where I really excel. LOL, as an extrovert, I’m always looking for new experiences and places to explore. I do take a lot of pride in knowing the best places to dance and get a drink in my area. Pre-pandemic, hands down without question we’d make it to the Good Nite in North Hollywood to sing karaoke all night long. Alternatively, any night is an adventure in Hollywood with me! Let’s just say I have some pretty exciting stories and I’m always down to create more! We could go to LONO and a mansion afterparty, or maybe The Den to visit my favorite bartender! Davey Wayne’s is always an old go-to, or I’d hit up my promoter and get into a cool club for the night. If an artist I love was performing that night, we’d hit up Hotel Cafe or The Peppermint Club to jive out to their tunes. The options are endless in this beautiful city.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
*Prepares Grammy acceptance speech* Haha, no but for real, there are so many people I could shout out for helping me get where I am today. Most of these people really believed in me and showed me so much encouragement and love throughout my life and my career. Where do I start? I’ll start with the OGs, my mother, Susan, for letting me jump right into music as a baby. My college a cappella group, Twisted Measure, for basically giving me the best group of people I’ve ever met and setting up an amazing start to my career in social media and digital content creation. My good friend and producer, Yuval for making incredible music for likeminded artists like myself. Is my time up?! *music starts playing* I’d also really love to give a shoutout to my musical neighbors and new friends Jessie and Ryan for being great mentors and lending a huge hand.
Kris Khunachak (photos at keyboard)