When folk-rock musician Lissie Maurus cools her heels from touring, she likes to sit on the porch of her Ojai, California home, soak in the gorgeous California sun, and watch her dog play in the yard. On other tour breaks, when she’s traveling home to Illinois to visit family and friends she relaxes in a different way: a trip to Target. “There’s something soothing about grabbing a coffee and walking around Target, just looking around, taking it all in,” she says with a laugh. Who can’t relate to this kind of retail zen? Lissie has been on the professional music scene since 2008 when Lenny Kravitz invited her to open for his Love Revolution Tour. In 2010 Lissie dropped her debut album Catching a Tiger the same year she was recognized by Paste Magazine as the no. 1 best new solo artist. Her most recent disc, Back to Forever, came out this past October. The rigors of touring, playing, and creating music for a living has given Lissie an appreciation for finding ways to stay grounded and present—doing yoga, going for hikes, getting together to connect with friends. The appreciation for these practices also gives Lissie the energy and mental bandwidth to focus on pursuing her dreams. “You have to keep checking in with yourself,” she says. “What are your goals? What are your aspirations? Ask ‘what would I really enjoy?’ and define those things in your own terms.
If you could describe yourself in one hashtag, what would it be?
Tell us about a girl in your life who rocks.
My sister Annika. She's extremely compassionate & well educated and has dedicated her life to helping others. She works at a clinic that provides girls & women with reproductive health care.
What are your dreams/goals/ambitions?
To ultimately be happy really. I want to create and share music that I'm proud of, that moves people and earn a good living doing it, own a beautiful home, fall in love, have a family.
What are you most proud of?
Hard to pick one specific thing. I'm proud of myself at the times in my life when something is hard and I push through anyways and something good comes from it!
What piece of advice changed your life?
Something I read in an astrology birthday book:"Reveal yourself. There are few lasting virtues in being cool. Serve what is best and most unique in yourself."
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Healthy and happy! With a foothold in the music industry,, to be commercially and critically successful with my music, hopefully I’ll have won some awards and been on SNL by then too! With a family in a house that I love somewhere surrounded by nature and ill be active in causes close my heart such as ALS research.
What is the number one item on your bucket list?
Hmmm not sure it's #1 but I'd love to visit Vietnam.
Who has been the biggest female influence in your life and why?
Again hard to pick one, it’s been a mash up of my mother & sister and then different women I have met along the way in my life who have been great confidantes and inspiration. From grade school to the present.
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and what did you learn from it?
I moved out of LA to a house in Ojai, ca (where I live now) sight unseen. I'd never visited Ojai but I had this feeling I was gonna love living there! And I have. I've learned to trust my gut.
Why are you THAT GIRL?
Well I'm not sure I am!!! Haha! But if y'all think I am I think it's because I don't hold anything back. If anything can be said about my music and I, it’s that it’s authentic and I put a lot of heart into it. That is the focus of what I do, not my look or image but the music.
*Interview conducted and compiled by Sheila Moeschen, IATG Senior Editor
Featured image courtesy BB Gun Press, Photographer Andrew Whitton