Her’s digital cover for October 2022 is Irish singer-songwriter Lyra.
“Clothes are just clothes. If you feel bloody good in them, then bloody wear it.”
There is nobody in the Irish music scene quite like Lyra, with her distinct music style and a fashion sense that immediately captures us.
Having previously seen Lyra at the Pilot Music Festival the Government put on ahead of reopening the country, I was blown away by her talent and stage presence. But it was her personality that really shone through, which only made me more excited when I found out I would be sitting down to chat with her for Her’s October digital cover.
Entering the room, Lyra hugged everyone there – something that wouldn’t have ever happened the last time I saw her in person.
Running late, she was immediately in hair and makeup, showing us the look she was inspired by for the shoot; if anything, it was the most Lyra-inspired look I had ever seen. But it wasn’t until the clothes arrived that I knew I was in the presence of a star – to say I wanted to take each piece home with me and create my own small fashion show would be an understatement.
Chatting to Lyra as she sat in glam, it was as if I was catching up with an old friend; she is the most down-to-earth musician I have spoken to. With a new single on the way as well as a tour at the end of the month, there is a lot to be excited about but it’s never something Lyra will let get to her head.
“I keep a very close-knit crew. All my team are very close to me and I’m not afraid to open up and talk to them about something if I’m feeling lonely or if I’m feeling the pressure of something. Even that day that I wrote 29 Box [her new single] and I was feeling absolutely rubbish about myself. I picked up the phone and I can ring my manager and be like ‘why haven’t I done this? Why haven’t I reached that?’ and talk it through. I feel like that mentally keeps me very sane. As you can tell by now, I’m a massive talker and I do believe that once you express something to somebody else, a problem shared is a problem halved,” Lyra told Her.
“I try to have my family with me as much as I can. I always say to my dad ‘do you want to come on the tour with me?’ – I feel like having family around is very grounding and it feels as if you’re at home no matter where you are.
“When I’m not on stage belting it out in some diamante outfit with thigh-high boots, I’m at home in my tracksuit with no makeup on, Sudocrem on my face, wiping crappy nappies. That is my life, I do very normal things when I’m not writing or not in the studio or on the road and it just reminds me that that is my life. I’m just lucky that I have this separate life where I get to be this artist, but I’ll always know that’s my true self.
“As an artist, I’m very aware this can be taken off me at any point. There is a lot of extremely talented people out there and there is people who would fight to be in the position that you’re in, so I always have to think this could be gone in the morning so back that ego right the hell down, girl.”
Lyra’s new single 29 Box is all about the lower points in our lives, something any one of us can relate to. Reflecting on those moments we put ourselves down while scrolling through social media, it’s about the times we compare ourselves to others and question our self-worth.
Mental health and ensuring her own is looked after in the industry Lyra is in, is a task within itself, but it’s something that she prioritises.
Speaking about the single, she says there is a strong message she is trying to get across. While acknowledging the good side to social media, Lyra is aware of its dangers and hopes that through her new music, she can spread the message of not being alone in our feelings and the impact that social media can have on not only young people, but everyone.
@thisislyraofficial #29box coming soon ? #newmusic #music #video #singing ♬ 29 Box – LYRA
While she loves the aspect of social media that allows her to connect with friends and family who might be abroad, or while she works in the UK, the darker side to social media is where the song originated from and it allowed Lyra to show a more honest side to her music.
“I was sitting down going through it and comparing myself to a few other people on Instagram and feeling maybe I wasn’t doing as well as I’d hoped and I wasn’t reaching the goals I’d set up for myself and kind of just really beating myself up that I wasn’t good enough. I just broke my own heart, I was really upset about it and I tried to pull myself out of it. Some of this isn’t real, per se. We all try to portray our best lives, as do I. That’s not something I should compare myself to on a day I’m not feeling the best about myself. I sat down, initially on my Garage Band, and put four chords out and literally started singing the song that is now the single. It’s just a very raw, honest version of me. The words are pretty raw,” she said.
“It’s really important for us all to keep in our minds that what you see there and then isn’t somebody’s life. We all have down days, we all have days where we don’t feel good about ourselves, we have days we feel great about ourselves but comparing this situation is not healthy for our own mental health. I wanted to write it to say to people that we all go through this, please don’t feel like you’re on your own. Don’t feel as if everyone’s judging or you have to be held to this standard. We’re all living different, separate lives and just keep that in mind.”
Bringing our chat on to a lighter note, and not being able to avoid the question while there are thousands of euros worth of clothes staring at us, we begin to discuss Lyra’s unique on stage style.
With a sense of style that can only be described as ‘Lyra’, the Cork native says that she gets her inspiration simply from herself, choosing pieces she likes and items that stand out to her. She doesn’t look to others for inspiration and even better, she doesn’t care what others think of it – if it fits and feels good in that moment, it’s heading for the stage.
“I just love fashion in general and I love being given the opportunity to wear something I can’t wear every day. I really try to embellish that and really have fun with what I’m wearing. You see the likes of Lady Gaga; one minute she could be wearing jeans and a T-shirt and the next minute she’s coming in in a meat dress. There are no rules to fashion and I’ve really taken that on. My style is just something fun, that I’m enjoying, that really expresses me at that moment in time. I don’t think there’s any rhyme or reason, it’s just things that I see and I’m like ‘I love that, I would feel amazing in it, it would give me that confidence on stage, I want to wear it’,” she said.
“At the moment, I’m going through a phase where I’ve put on a bit of weight and even at Electric Picnic I was like ‘will I wear this leotard? It’s very tight, it’s very revealing’ and yes, you will wear that leotard because your body is going to fluctuate and it’s not going to differentiate whether you wear this outfit or not. You want to wear the outfit, you planned to wear the outfit, wear the f**king outfit and it was actually really empowering. I actually feel so confident now that I’ve made that mental decision to not let anything rule how or what I’m going to wear. If it doesn’t fit, put a few stitches in it and it’s grand.
“Clothes are just clothes, if you feel bloody good in them then bloody wear it because my weight goes up and down and left and right but I’ll always still wear what I want in that moment in time. I’ll always bate myself into a catsuit even if it’s two sizes too small for me, I’ll be wearing it if I want to wear it. Some days I wear massive tulle dresses and I could be the skinniest I’ve ever been, it doesn’t bother me. I just love having fun with it.”
Lyra’s new single ’29 Box’ is out on October 7th and you can catch her on tour across Ireland starting on October 27th.