Lili Añel: Finding Bliss by Climbing the Wall
“ Climbing the wall is the easy part. Beginning the climb is the hard part. Lili Añel ”
When the weekend arrives, it is common to see people heading out to catch a live music show in New York, Philadelphia, and other cities across America that are popular artist havens. Some of the most interesting original music can be heard while walking on the boulevard passing by a small café or night club where indie artists perform live acoustic shows in an intimate setting of music, java and cuisine.
An indie artist is a free agent, free to write and perform whatever music they feel passionate about. They have the individual freedom of choice and power to do so in relation to their career. Along with that freedom comes the reality check that success in the business of music is not an easy goal for an indie to achieve. It is clearly a road filled with uncertainty. Success on the grand scale of national recognition and net worth are not guaranteed. Those who break through get there through unpredictable opportunities that are connected to the artist's sheer perseverance, tenacity, and time driven destiny.
The indie lifestyle is about writing, recording, performing original music and so much more. It requires multitasking off stage where the artist wears the hat of the promoter, the hat of the artist while somehow finding the delicate balance between the two. From writing new music to sending Facebook invitations about their next gig, the promotions and the creative must be part of the regular schedule of activities to be effective as an indie artist.
The dream and the goal of every indie on the scene are to one day attain the backing of a major label that will come in to their world with all the bells and whistles of top of the line promotions, graphic designers, fashion stylists and so on. They dream of one day just being the artist with all the support needed around them in place so that they can give full focus to creating music. Until then, they must continue their walk wearing dual hats. Just as a blade of grass can sprout through a crack in the sidewalk, there is occasionally an indie artist who arrives to higher ground by sheer fate or what some would describe as a lucky break.
New York native and now Philadelphia resident, Lili Añel, is one such contemporary indie artist who has arrived to national recognition with the grounded perspective of an individual who takes it all in stride. Her popularity as an indie artist is representative of her insight and passion to create original music that appeals to people from all walks of life. Her writing style lyrically speaking is based on the open expression of her inner truth many times awakened and revealed in an improvised jam session at a night club.
Añel shared in a recent interview about a night club where she likes to go to find her inspiration, the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City. It was the first club where she took to the stage and it remains her favorite. In her seasoning as a live performing artist, she has learned to connect on stage with the audience at hand and in doing so naturally transform any venue into her living room metaphorically speaking delivering in the concert experience the open book of her life... so far.
There's something for everyone in Añel's most recent cd release, I Can See Bliss from Here (Wall-I Records, 2013), a project she produced with Dale Melton and one that marks her 6th recorded release. The core essence of its content is autobiographical with each song unveiling a chapter in Añel's journey to date giving melodic insight into her victories and struggles as she takes constant strides to simply be herself. In the same breath, the songbook is transcending in that it can reflect the biography of anyone who has walked in her shoes.
With the foundation of the songs built upon Añel on vocals/guitar and Melton on piano/organ along with other seasoned musicians following their lead in studio, the project stands on its own stylistically as a unique contemporary musical fusion mix of Jazz, Latin, Afro-Cuban, Blues and R&B that creates its own authentic identity that is respectable in artistic integrity and mood.
Subject wise, Añel makes it a point to rise above the mediocrity of cookie cutter music in her creative writing,expression and the message behind her music. In the area of lyrical prose, Añel explores the depth of human suffering and triumph through poignant revelations and insight. Her songbook is conversational in lyrical format with a symbiotic message put to musical flow.