• August 2016

Where Can Music Take You?

Confucius said, “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”

And really, who doesn’t like music? It triggers memories, calms your nerves, changes your mood, and scientists suggest that music can make you smarter. What’s more, upward of 28 million people in the United States play an instrument, according to statista.com — and odds are good that many of them have dreams of performing in front of a crowd.

So, fess up. If you’ve ever wanted to be a rock star, raise your hand.

Eli Lieb raised both arms when we asked our August 2016 cover boy about his journey to music stardom.

“Defying all the odds of being an independent musician has been tough,” he admits. “You’re basically told that you will never make it. To believe in yourself and not listen to anyone else’s opinion can be very challenging. You really have to be resourceful and figure out how to compete on a shoestring budget with people who have millions backing them. But this challenge can also be greatly satisfying if you actually do start to achieve significant success.”

Scroll down for more information about Lieb. And click here to read our Q&A with the rising pop star.

Also in this issue:

We leave you with this parting thought from Victor Hugo: “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”

Here’s to making beautiful music! — Hope Katz Gibbs, publisher, Be Inkandescent magazine • founder, Inkandescent Public Relations • hope@inkandescentpr.com

Eli Lieb: The Making of a Musician

Eli Lieb is an American pop singer and songwriter. Hailing from Fairfield, Iowa, he began his musical journey in New York City, where he started working on his songwriting and performing.

Lieb released a debut solo album in 2011 and was soon featured in US Weekly, Out, and other national publications.

When his father died in 2012, Lieb took a sabbatical and returned to Iowa. During this time of reflection and regrouping, Lieb began recording covers of songs that were popular and meaningful to him and releasing them on YouTube, where the videos soon picked up a natural, organic following.

With a growing fan base, Lieb once again turned to his own songwriting. In 2013, he went to Los Angeles to work with other writers for few weeks and further his career. The weeks-long trip turned into a relocation.

Since then, he has collaborated with artists, writers, and producers, including Adam Lambert, Cheyenne Jackson, Hey Violet, Laura Marano, Forever In Your Mind, John Feldmann, Simon Wilcox, Crystal Bowersox, and Stacy Jones. He was even featured in the 2014 Grammy Awards during the presentation of nominees for Best Pop Vocal Album.

In July 2013, Lieb released his original song “Young Love.” Music blog Idolator called it “an instantly catchy, uplifting pop/rock anthem that sounds like a cross between Katy Perry and Bruce Springsteen.”

The song’s theme was a bit of an autobiographical story of a young man coming out as gay. The song and the video struck a chord with many people, thanks to its instantly catchy pop hook and the message of being proud of who you are. Within a year, Lieb’s “Young Love” garnered more than 2 million YouTube views.

Later that same year, Lieb was inspired to record a cover of Wrecking Ball after hearing it only once. He recorded an acoustic version with just his voice and a lap dulcimer. Within two hours of posting it online, it went viral and was promoted in social media by singers Lambert and Lucy Hale, and celebrities Rosie O’Donnell and Bob Harper. Lieb once again received immediate press support, appearing on CBS’ “The Insider” (formerly “omg! Insider”) twice, YouTube’s “What’s Trending,” and other shows. Lieb’s cover of “Wrecking Ball” reached a million views in under a week, and in less than a year, the video had been viewed more than 3 million times.

When Lieb was approached by the Leo Burnett advertising agency to write an original song for Allstate Insurance’s #OutHoldingHands campaign, he wrote a song called “Safe in My Hands” that accompanies an animated short film of the same name. Released in June 2014, the song and a dance remix are both available on allstate.com/lgbt. The feeling and message of the song got the attention of the producers of ABC Family’s “The Fosters,” where it was featured as the closing song for the second season finale.

With more than 30 million YouTube views, and verified status on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, his personal interaction and presence as an independent artist keep him moving forward.

Click here to read our Q&A with Eli Lieb.

What Does It Take to Be a Rising Pop Star?

Be Inkandescent magazine asks a dozen questions of musical phenomenon Eli Lieb. Enjoy! — Hope Katz Gibbs, publisher, Be Inkandescent, 2016


Be Inkandescent: Tell us about the first moment you remember knowing that you wanted to be a musician.

Eli Lieb: I remember when I was 16, I picked up my brother’s guitar, sat on my bedroom floor, and taught myself how to play. As quickly as I learned guitar, I started writing songs.

Be Inkandescent: Did you think you’d make it as a professional?

Eli Lieb: Actually, yes. I have such a deep connection to music that I knew it was going to be the thing I would do for a living. I’ve never had a “plan B.”

Be Inkandescent: What was the moment when you knew you had “made it”?

Eli Lieb: Well, I don’t really know if you ever have those moments. For me it’s been such a gradual incline over the years that I don’t really think I can pinpoint a specific moment. It’s been a series of great moments that keep on allowing me to do what i do.

Be Inkandescent: What do you consider your greatest success to date?

Eli Lieb: I honestly think it’s seeing how much I have helped people in their lives. I have always been very open about who I am, and I think that has given a lot of people the strength to do the same. It’s a part of my career that I never saw coming, but has been the most gratifying.

Be Inkandescent: What have some of your biggest challenges been?

Eli Lieb: Defying all the odds of being an independent musician. You’re basically told that you will never make it. So to believe in yourself and not listen to people’s opinions can be very challenging. And in general, being independent is much more of a challenge. You don’t have the resources or money that a major company has and can offer. You really have to be resourceful and figure out how to compete on a shoestring budget with people who have millions backing them. But this challenge can also be greatly satisfying if you actually do start to achieve significant success.

Be Inkandescent: Much of your work is in the LGBT community. Tell us about that passion, and some of your big successes in this area.

Eli Lieb: I wouldn’t as much call it a passion as it is just who I am. I have always been a very big advocate for living your life as authentically as you can and never being afraid of who you are. I feel fortunate that I have created a big enough platform to be able to affect the LGBT community in that way. I’ve never shied away from my sexuality, and I’m glad that makes others feel more confident with theirs. I’d say my biggest success on the LGBT side of things would have to be my campaign with Allstate Insurance. They approached me about teaming up for a campaign showing their support to the LGBT community. I wrote a song for the commercial and was also in it. So, I became the face and voice of that campaign.

Be Inkandescent: You also were approached by the Leo Burnett advertising agency to write an original song for Allstate Insurance’s #OutHoldingHands campaign. You wrote a song called “Safe in My Hands” that accompanies an animated short film of the same name that was released in June 2014. Tell us about that experience.

Eli Lieb: Funny, I didn’t know the next question was about Allstate! It was a great experience. Allstate really knew what they wanted and I’m glad I was able to give them that. It was wonderful being a part of an LGBT campaign on such a big platform. We spent quite a lot of time developing it to get it to the place where it really was a manifestation of their initial idea.

Be Inkandescent: What would you advise young kids to do if they aspire to grow up to become professional musicians?

Eli Lieb: Always, always be authentic and never create something only to be the way you think someone else wants it. All great pieces of art always come from a place of authenticity, where you are making it because you love creating, not because you are trying to please someone.

Be Inkandescent: What suggestions do you have for teens and adults who are hoping to break into the music business?

Eli Lieb: I think you really need to understand that you are going to have to be as much a businessperson as you are a musician. I can’t stress enough how important understanding that is. There are so many talented musicians in the world trying to make it, but a lot fewer who really understand how smart you have to be about it all and really look at yourself as a business.

Be Inkandescent: Who is your role model in the music industry?

Eli Lieb: Honestly, it was a friend of mine who has become a very successful writer. I continue to learn so much from her. She has really helped me understand so much about songwriting that I never understood before.

Be Inkandescent: You also have been meditating for much of your life and, in fact, worked with the David Lynch Foundation to promote the Transcendental Meditation (TM for short) movement. Tell us about this practice, and what it does to help keep you centered and grounded.

Eli Lieb: I’ve been doing TM since since I was 5 years old. Was born into it, but that’s usually around the youngest age they teach you. It’s really the backbone of who I am and how I live my life. It just connects you deeper to yourself and makes you have a better understanding of the things that really matter. It has helped with my creative life, my personal life, everything.

Be Inkandescent: What are your big dreams and goals for the future?

Eli Lieb: My main goal is just always to be able to create and sustain a happy existence. I’m truly not doing this for fame or praise. I just want to be happy and fulfilled.

Why am I whispering when I have something to say?”

– Eve Ensler

He who knows he has enough is rich.”

– Tao Te Ching

We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

– General Omar Bradley

The quality of your life is directly related to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.”

– Tony Robbins

If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more.
 If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”

– Oprah Winfrey

Everyone is a mirror image of yourself—your own thinking coming back at you.”

– Byron Katie

The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.”

– Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., U.S. Supreme Court justice

The best reason to start an organization is to create a product or service to make the world a better place.”

– Guy Kawasaki

Inspiration and genius — one and the same.”

– Victor Hugo

If it isn’t good, let it die. If it doesn’t die, make it good.”

– Ajahn Chah

If it really was a no-brainer to make it on your own in business there’d be millions of no-brained, harebrained individuals quitting their day jobs.”

– Bill Rancic, "The Apprentice"

What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?”

– Jim Butcher, White Night

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

Part of your destiny is to live in the zone of maximum satisfaction.”

– Martha Beck

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

– Mark Twain

Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic selves. We must learn to respect them. We must learn to listen.”

– Sarah Ban Breathnach

My goal was to tell the life side of the story. We have become a nation of voyeurs that expect sensationalism, and that offends me.”

– Kathleen Jo Ryan

Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds.”

– Thomas Dunn

Almost anyone can start a community, but it takes real talent and commitment to get people to show up and keep coming back.”

– Andy Sernovitz

A man without a smiling face
 should not open a shop.”

– Chinese Proverb

If you would create something,
 you must be something.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A lot of people have ideas, but few decide to do something about them now. Not next week. But today.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Atari

Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

– Andrew Carnegie

The music is all around us. All you have to do is listen.”

– August Rush

We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”

– Winston Churchill

You may ask me for anything you like except time.”

– Napoleon

This is the age when magical technologies make more and more radically fun ideas plausible, even easy. You’re only limited by your creativity.”

– Martha Beck

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”

– E.B. White

Entrepreneurs are willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise.”

– Victor Kiam

That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.”

– Henry David Thoreau

When I dare to be powerful—to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

– Audre Lorde

Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.”

– J.K. Rowling

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”

– Henry Miller

Confidence is the most important thing you can teach someone… if you can teach them confidence, you don’t have to teach them anything else.”

– Vin Diesel

No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it”

– Andrew Carnegie

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

– Andrew Carnegie

As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

– Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

You must have chaos within you, to create a dancing star.”

– Frederic Nietzsche

My task is really not to change myself but to become familiar with who I am.”

– Maureen Cook

History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.”

– John F. Kennedy

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.”

– Alfred Adler

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

– Albert Einstein

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

– Leonardo da Vinci

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

– Lao Tzu

There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”

– John Lennon

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

– Carl Rogers

We are not meant to resolve all contradictions, but to live with them and rise above them.”

– William Blake

Whosoever knows how to fight well is not angry. Whosoever knows how to conquer enemies does not fight them.”

– Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

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