Planetary Group took some time to get to know Lisa Heller, an LA-based artist who makes heartfelt pop music.
Planetary Group: Tell us about your latest release. How did you come to create it?
Lisa: My upcoming single is called “Cheetos N Coke”. Um, “Cheetos N Coke” is a song that I wrote about my personal struggles with an eating disorder – that’s something that I’ve struggled with since I was a lot younger, 13 or 14 years old, but I actually haven’t openly talked about it in a song before. I’ve touched on a lot of personal topics, but this was one, I think, that was a little harder to write about and has taken a long time to kind of open up about.
So yeah, [it’s] something that I’ve struggled on and off with since I was 13 years old and something I probably will always deal with, but I think it’s really important to find ways to cope. Songwriting and journaling is a great way for – that I’ve found – to really be helpful for me. So yeah, I ended up writing a song just in my apartment in LA. I’m on the keyboard right here, and just yeah, this was like my safe space to kind of open up about stuff. And I ended up writing this one day and I decided to turn it into a full-on song.
It’s a little scary knowing that the song is going to be out in the world and sharing about this personal struggle, because I think a lot of people kind of try to put on a face that says that everything’s great. And a lot of times I am happy, but you know, I don’t know. I think it’s important to talk about struggles as well. So yeah, this is “Cheetos N Coke”, and I think it’s my most important song yet.
PG: Share a bit about your musical journey, from when you first started making music until now.
Lisa: So I started making music when I was 13. I think looking back, it was kind of right around the same time I started going through other struggles, like depression and anxiety and the eating issues as well. But I didn’t know it at the time because it wasn’t really something people were openly talking about.
I think that music really saved me – I came home every day after school, after cross-country and track practice being really stressed because, I don’t know, I grew up being a perfectionist, so I wanted to have straight A’s and be on varsity and some things I did do okay in and well in, but I never felt good enough. That really kind of triggered me to feel really anxious and also [caused] some of my eating issues as well.
I think that music is the one thing that’s been there for me this whole time, something that I’ve been able to lean on, even if I didn’t feel like I could lean on anyone else or trust anyone else. It’s carried me through. So I ended up giving it a full-on shot when I moved here a couple of years ago in LA and yeah, that’s kind of my journey so far.
PG: Let’s talk about the music that you love. Pick one album for each category below & tell us a bit about it!
- An album you grew up listening to:
Lisa: I think that it’s really hard to choose a favorite album, but I remember that I never really fully fell in love with pop music as much as a lot of kids my age. When I was even as young as four and five years old, I remember my parents putting on more adult contemporary music on the radio, and I just absolutely loved it, whether it was The Fray or The Script or early Coldplay back in the day.
I absolutely just loved all of that music. And I could really relate to the emotions that they put in all their songs. So I think those are some of my biggest inspirations when I was really young.
- An album that inspires you as an artist (I’m sure there are many, but pick one of your choosing):
Lisa: I think that I’ve more recently been tapping into all different genres and I’ve kind of listened to more of the “sad girl” pop music, but also have continued to listen to rock & indie, even some rap music. I think it’s really important to just fully understand all the different genres that are out there.
- The album you currently have on repeat:
Lisa: I’ve been listening to a lot of MISSIO – I don’t know if you’ve heard of MISSIO the band, but they have this really cool song from a few years ago called Middle Fingers, and I think it’s really, really good.
PG: What do you want people to take away from your music?
Lisa: When people listen to my music, I want them to relate to something, hopefully, that I’ve written about and hopefully feel a little bit less alone. Cause I think that everyone goes through their personal struggles, no matter how big or small they are, and I think that it’s important that everyone knows that they’re not alone in those struggles.
People ask me, how do I describe myself as an artist. And I say I’m just like you, I am you, I’m just someone who’s happened to turn a career into music and I’ve gone through the same struggles as any other person. And I’m a human being with emotions. And I hope that that comes across in my music and it comes from a really genuine place of stuff that I’ve personally gone through. So I hope that that helps someone.
What’s next up for you?
Lisa: Next up for me is a tour coming up this spring that I’m pretty excited about. It’s going to be my first headlining tour. In addition to that, I’m going to be releasing a single called “Cheetos N Coke”, as I mentioned, later this month, followed up by another single that I haven’t even announced yet.
And there’s going to be a bunch more singles and an EP & album on the way. So I’m super excited. Please keep listening to my music and stay tuned for more coming soon!