INTERVIEW WITH LOCAL TALENT: LISA J ASTON
by Hush Hush Reporter SAMANTHA MILNE
Lisa J Aston has been working in the music industry for over 25 years, and has a wealth of experience as a multitalented solo musician, businesswoman, educator, publicist, artist manager, and motivator. She is also a filmmaker, and a certified Reiki (a Japanese alternative healing and spiritual practice) practitioner. It was a pleasure to chat with vibrant, warm-hearted Lisa; and plain to see that music is, as she describes, her “passion and purpose.”
“I knew, when I was five years old, that I wanted to be a singer,” said Lisa. “I didn’t know I wanted to be a musician, but I knew I wanted to sing.” Her grandfather had bought her a toy guitar, and she would put on her records and play and sing along – despite that she “didn’t know any chords or anything.” She just played what felt right, and enjoyed it. “Then I would make my family sit down and listen, and bless their little socks, they did,” she laughed. She grew up in an apartment with four adults, and there weren’t a lot of other children around for her to play with, so she immersed herself in her creative outlets.
“It’s interesting, because I’m bone lazy,” she says. “I don’t ever rehearse.” Lisa says that the only reason she ever practices is to harden her fingertips, and keep her hands in the right condition to play instruments. “With guitar, you have to.” Lisa has an aptitude for playing by ear, a skill that only comes with a natural talent and passion for music. “I hear the notes, I figure out there’s only X amounts of holes or frets – it’s got to be here somewhere.” She is also able to ‘hear’ sheet music as she reads it; to envision how it would sound if played. “With the violin, I learned to read [sheet music], but I’m too lazy. I got really pissed off with having to read notes when I could hear them anyway.” Musical ability just comes to her naturally – give her any instrument, and she’ll figure out how to play it.
Lisa has played in bands; performed alone; managed, taught and mentored bands and artists; and even managed the official fan club for INXS. She has provided publicity and touring management for the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Bob Dylan, Sting, and The Police. Her song, Restitution, was used as the opening theme for the US soap opera, Legacy Hill; and YOU was the flagship for Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Warrior – Ask Anything campaign, and campaign song for the Australian Orangutan Project. She founded House Concerts Australia, she wrote a book (Pop Stars & Idols: The Recipe for Success), and much, much more.
Recently, Lisa founded The Complete Artist Program: a unique, individually tailored course for musicians that promises to develop the mind, body, and spirit in order to benefit (or begin) a career in the music industry. It blends technical training with an understanding of the music industry and the business skills required to navigate it successfully, as well as meditation, self-understanding, and self-reflection; and includes one Reiki session. The Complete Artist Program is available in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast. The course runs for eight weeks, and begins in February.
For more information, visit www.thecompleteartistprogram.com.