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Music Is: An Interview with rising star Lyn Lapid on authenticity, youth, and the music industry

As the world sees a rise of social media stars and an entertainment industry burgeoning with increasingly youthful talent, it’s no surprise that agents, managers and producers are tempted by the call of greed. More often than not, these predatory adults swoop in to make a quick buck off these hopeful, inexperienced youth in need of mentorship and a guide to show them the ropes, ending in a short-lived career, their stardom spent and fizzled out, and completely taken advantage of.

It’s even more of a rarity that such youths speak out on their experiences and still find a way to hang on in the music industry. But for rising starlet Lyn Lapid, she did all that and more – making her claim to fame precisely because of a problematic producer, who she wrote a hit song about and went viral on social media.

Posting covers of popular songs on YouTube and TikTok since 2019, Lyn found herself scouted out and complimented for her vocals by a producer, who wanted to hone her talent and make her into the star he saw her for. But one comment rattled her, when he told her to sell out and put out music she might hate, as long as it was a way to get her foot in the door. But rather than giving up on her dream, Lyn instead wrote a catchy song about her experiences – ‘Producer Man’, which went on to receive over 50 million views on TikTok, even before an official release.

“After that incident, for a while, I thought it was going to be difficult to find a circle of people I could trust or click with,” says Lyn over Zoom. “Yes, you still run into people who have their own agendas and intentions for my music, and I learnt to recognise that and quickly cut those people out.”

Thankfully, Lyn has found a team that works well with her, at her current record label Republic Records. “The current team I’m working in really trusts in me. And I know that because they’re people who don’t just cast my opinions aside; they really listen to my perspective, want to know what I have to say, and never push my ideas away,” says Lyn.

That renewed sense of trust has led to the now 19-year old releasing her official debut – an EP titled The Outsider back in April. Comprising 8 songs of varying genres, The Outsider is resolutely soulful, yet playful, much like how ‘Producer Man’ made such a dark subject surprisingly catchy, and invites a smorgasbord of listeners to try this sample platter of what she’s capable of before ‘settling’ into any particular style.

“It was important to me to get an EP out before dipping my toes into full projects and put myself out there,” comments Lyn. “This EP is a glimpse of who I am as an artist, and for listeners to get to know my personality and sound. There’s so many different genres on it, and it’s partly me experimenting, and partly a statement to the world that I’m still finding my voice, and even in its title, not conforming to any specific genre of music just yet.”

The songs on The Outsider carry with them a sense of sincerity and realness characteristic of new artists looking to put themselves out there, a sweetness to the lyrics that ring with personal thoughts given melody. It tells us everything we need to know about her – she’s a sensitive young girl with plenty on her mind, a couple of fears and uncertainties, yet a quiet strength behind them that assures both the singer and listener that she’s moving on, growing up, and making sense of the world around her.

“I know that both myself and other artists struggling with listenability and the need to go viral,” she says, on the ‘catchiness’ of her songs. “Some end up creating work that seems very ‘filtered’ just for the sake of trending, and I do find myself tempted to do that from time to time as well, just to get clicks and views and engagement. But I’m glad I’ve managed to find a balance, where I write music that is still personable to me, and something others can relate to, and want to play.”

That sense of sincerity and being true to herself is important even when it comes to her stage shows. Having gotten her start mostly during the pandemic, where she was primarily posting videos online, Lyn is still relatively fresh to live performances. Currently on tour in the USA as an opening act, the self-proclaimed introvert is also conscious that her public persona differs from her private one.

“I’m not as talkative at home, but while onstage, I’m making a conscious effort to engage with the audience,” says Lyn. “It’s important to balance that out for me as an artist – it’s easy to put on a persona and push for views, likes and engagement on social media, but I find that quite exhausting. I did try it out a while, but over the last few years, I think I’ve learnt to handle my relationship with social media better, and put more of my own authentic personality out there.”

On the cusp of stardom and already having a clear voice amidst other hopefuls, Lyn Lapid is confident on the path she’s carved in this industry for herself, and is determined to shed the negativity associated with ‘making it’ on social media.

“There’s this negative stigma attached to artists who start out on social media, and they’re often not treated ‘seriously’ as artists, which I don’t understand,” says Lyn. “I’ve experienced that myself and it’s very hard to break out of the social media star image, and difficult to convince people that you’re a ‘real’ musician.”

“There’s a lot more youth in the industry today, with so many different artists in the entertainment industry,” she concludes. “For me at least, I know creating music is my passion, and I hope I can stick with it as a career and do this for the rest of my life.”

Listen to The Outsider EP on Spotify. Follow Lyn Lapid on TikTok @lynlapid, Instagram @_lynlapid, YouTube, Twitter, and her website.

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