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Sunday, April 17, 2022

Spotlight on Lyric Serendipity- A vocalist with a heart of gold, a sense of humor, and talent that rocks!

Back in June of 2011, Lanai Jarrico interviewed Lyric Serendipity who was a musician manager for Guitar Zane at the time. As a manager, she offered some great advice about the music industry in Second Life, her hopes for the future, and the musician she worked with. 

11 years later Lyric is still involved in the music scene in Second Life, except now she has made a name for herself as a performer who shares her talent on stages across the grid and involves herself with charity events like Together As One (TAO). She is a vocalist in the Rock, Pop, and Blues genres from the 60’s to the ’90s and apparently makes a mean guacamole. According to her profile,  Lyric is a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, sauteed in garlic, and best complimented by a nice Pinot Grigio...or a cold beer on a hot day. Her best friends are the voices in her head. She says she is a total slacker, but she works very hard at it. A rock n' roll chick with a fun and charming personality, Lyric's penchant for belting out classic tunes is only surpassed by her ability to draw you into her performance with her sexy voice and sassy demeanor. All that plus sarcastic wit - how can you resist? She will take you on a roller coaster ride thru the decades, with the songs that made you, love, lust, heartache,'s rock n' roll.

 The SL Enquirer met up with Lyric after a TAO auction to raise money for KiK Foundation; an organization that provides humanitarian aid for children around the world. Lanai Jarrico interviewed Lyric Serendipity who was a musician manager for Guitar Zane at the time. As a manager, she offered some great advice about the music industry in Second Life, her hopes for the future, and the musician she worked with. 

SLE: Beautifully said Lyric! Second Life has definitely been through many changes in the past decade. From the 2011 interview, you were hoping real-life music executives would come into second life and sample all the talent we have on the grid. I don’t know if that happened yet but do you still feel the same? How do you think the music scene can grow and improve?

Lyric: lol… I was so na├»ve. I now think it’s a good thing the music industry hasn’t found us in SL. It would ruin the SL music scene as we know it. We don’t really want the outside music industry invading our little corner of music and pulling rank on the cover songs we do. We have a nice underground thing going on. We’re fortunate that we can just log in and choose what live music experience we want to go to at almost any hour. Where else can you do that?  When I first came into SL, it was a smaller community with fewer performers and not many venues. I think SL music evolved and became more business-focused over several years. When the management groups came in and bidding wars started over artists who have a more significant following, it got a bit crazy, in my opinion. During that time, performers who chose not to go with a management team seemed to be looked over. I may be biased since I came in as a musician’s manager (pre-management companies), but I liked it better when musicians had one manager who handled their SL music career. They had someone who believed in their music and promoted them as artists. Back then, venues weren’t so focused on booking musicians who brought avatars to the sim. They just wanted to book a mix of artists they enjoyed listening to, regardless of who came to the shows. Musicians weren’t so focused on how much a venue would pay them to come to perform for an hour either. 

Some management companies did very well for themselves, but the music seemed more fun before the dawn of official management. It became more competitive and less about just supporting each other. I do understand the financial side of it all, though. Money changes everything, as Cyndi Lauper says…

It seems we may be reverting back to individual management. At least it’s my hope. Most of the more prominent management companies have closed in the past year. A few are coming up behind them, but I see more artists looking for someone to host during shows or looking for help with promotion more than booking and scheduling. Venue owners don’t seem to be putting as much emphasis on who an artist’s wrangler is and more on if they are a good fit for the venue and people who come looking for music. I encourage performers to find someone who appreciates you and your music and bring them on board to help manage your SL promotion and hosting for shows. You will get much more support doing that than being one of many performers in someone’s stable.

SLE: That was very insightful from a fan's point of view. It’s hard to tell what goes on behind the music scene. We have heard many musicians say they enjoy the music side, not the business side, so we can see where management companies are needed but I can also see your point of view about doing it all yourself again. So, can you tell us when did you decide to take the stage and start performing in Second Life?

Lyric: As I mentioned, I initially was brought to SL by a very popular musician of the time (shout out to Guitar Zane and GZ fans!). I managed him for a few years, but I had to step away from SL because my RL needed my full attention. When I came back a year or so later, he was ready to leave SL. I thought about finding another musician in need of management, but I am also a musician. I play keys and guitar, and once upon a time, accordion! But my first love has always been singing. I played in garage bands and at house parties as a teen, usually singing and playing rhythm guitar as needed. The biggest obstacle for me has been – stage fright. It’s why I stopped singing and playing for many years in RL. By the time I was in my early 20s, I had found that I froze whenever I had tried to sing or play in front of people. I forgot the lyrics. It was awful!

An amazingly talented performer friend of mine here (hey Strum Diesel!) and a well-known RL comedian friend (hey Ant!) prodded me to just try an open mic in SL to see how it went. So that’s what I did. I was sooooo nervous! As I took the stage and looked out into the audience, I realized performers I knew, and some I didn’t, were tp’ing into the venue. The word had gotten around that the manager chick was doing her first live performance. The people I’d been booking into our club, and going to listen to, came over to support me. I was standing up there, in front of all these excellent, seasoned SL performers and managers, and I thought I would throw up! Talk about stage fright! I was horrible, I’m sure, but they all cheered for me and told me to keep singing.

I took their advice, and here I am today.

SLE: We are glad you did too and from all of us that have enjoyed your music, please tell this comedian Ant that we thank them very much. Who would you say were your biggest influences in getting involved with music?  They can be anybody.

Lyric:  My RL influences are many and eclectic. My mother introduced me to The Beatles at a very early age because she was a major fan. My 13yr old self felt like I was uncovering hidden treasures when I found bands like Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Guns n Roses, Jefferson Airplane, Blondie, Van Morrison, The Mamas & The Papas, The Who, Meatloaf, AC/DC, Joan Jett, Neil Young, The Ramones, Eric Clapton, Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen, Heart, Carly Simon, Black Sabbath, The Kinks, The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Steppenwolf. I should just say that most classic rock is the music I love best. I was also inspired by the MTV superstars back in the day – Journey, ZZ Top, The Cars.

In my early 20s, my stepfather entered my life. He was a concert violinist who also taught violin at the Harvard Conservatory of Music and played for the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra during the summer. He introduced me to American standards, show tunes, classical music, and Arthur Fiedler, John Williams, and Keith Lockhart. During the orchestra season, he and my mom would go wherever he picked up gig work as a fill-in. He’d take a spot for a season or two with various orchestras. He played for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, The Omaha Symphony, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and The London Symphony Orchestra, to name a few. He also had a 3-year job playing in the orchestra pit for a production of My Fair Lady that Andrew Lloyd Webber built a theater for in Wiesbaden. I was out on my own by then, but I would hear all about their adventures, the musicians, and the actors they got to rub shoulders with. Listening to him practice, talking music with him, and attending shows kept my desire to perform and be involved with music alive – even when I was busy having babies and being a mom for many years. I put the music aside, but there was always that spark there.

As for SL influences, as I said, Guitar Zane and Strum Diesel really are the ones who gave me the push I needed to go for it in SL. Many performers inspire me to try new songs and styles too. I need to shout out Ecnad (sadly, no longer in SL), Kickin’, and The Night Owl – incredible venues with amazing people who love music. They believed in me very early on and booked me often when I was really, really green and could barely get through a show. I also want to thank the SL music lovers and fans who have followed me around the grid all these years. I see you out there, and I appreciate your support much more than I can ever express to you directly. Seeing you come to my shows is everything!

SLE: We will pass on your gratitude to your fans! Word on the street is you are a bit of a firecracker aside from making a mean guacamole. We are told you have a great sense of humor too. What words of advice would you give to people both inside and outside the music industry that take things too seriously and forget to have fun? Also, share that recipe lol.

Lyric: I dunno about a firecracker. Maybe I’m more of a sparkler…shooting off bits of sparkle here and there, but I’m pretty static at the core. Lol, I’m an introvert, which is odd when you’re also a performer. You pour your heart out on the stage in front of people, but you’re not entirely comfortable having the spotlight on you. I think many people either think I’m shy or maybe even aloof. It’s not that at all. I just kind of keep to myself until I’m comfy around people. I can also talk your ear off or be very silly once I know you. I’m a bit quirky, or so I’m told. Lol

My advice would be to never let anyone or anything ruin your SL experience. The point of being in SL is to create a space that brings you joy. Why log in if all you’re dealing with is turmoil and heartache? Unless you’re into that kind of thing…

Find things you love to do. There’s so much to do in SL! We all kind of get into a rut and stay in one area we feel comfortable in, whether the music community, fashion, shopping, RPGs, or even building. You log in and just go to that as a habit.

Take time and explore. Find new and exciting experiences. Meet new and interesting people. Some people can’t do that in RL, but all things are possible in SL! We’re all real people behind these virtual beings. Just like in RL, there will be people we don’t get along with and people we absolutely adore. Stick with the people who bring you happiness. People you can laugh with and lean on when you need to. Avoid the rest.

Also, if you perform, run a club, create clothing, blog, or do anything in SL that feels a bit like a job… don’t let that be ALL you do in SL. The burnout is real! All work and no play make your SL too stressful.

Oh, and the key to good guac is lime juice and just the right amount of jalapeno

SLE: Excellent advice and thanks for the tip on the guac! Can you tell us what music means to you, your choice of music, and describe what it feels like to perform for a virtual audience?

Lyric: Now that I don’t feel like I’m going to vomit every time I take the virtual stage, it’s actually fun to get up there! I don’t know if I’ll ever lose the nerves entirely, but it’s so fun sharing the music I love with people. It’s the universal language of shared emotions and experiences. I really try and perform the songs people have forgotten they love. One of the best comments I see at my shows is, “OMG! I love this song!”. Then I know I’ve chosen well. I want the music to evoke memories and try and make my shows feel familiar and fun. Even if a song stirs a sad memory or brings someone back to a time in their life that wasn’t very pleasant, I want people to go on that journey with me. Let’s revisit the music that is part of our collective history. For the most part, my setlists are songs that make up the soundtrack of my life. I have way too many songs on my list for a reason. 

I know my musical memories may not be the same as others, so I try to accommodate when people request songs or suggest I learn new songs. It’s about performing the kinds of songs the crowd feels like hearing during any given performance. I have core songs I do that I rotate in and out, but my goal is that no two shows are ever exactly the same songs. I may have a setlist ready to go, but I will change it up on the fly if I’m getting requests for completely different kinds of music. I try to give the people who come to my shows a fun time that they’ll hopefully want to return and experience again and again.

SLE: We always love to see musicians using their star power for charity events like TAO so we couldn't resist outbidding everyone to win a date with you! Can you tell us a little bit about that event and any others you like to help raise money for?

Lyric: The TAO People Auction was a trip, eh? Lol That was the first time I participated in something like that. I’m glad you won me. I was a little nervous about who I might be sold to or if anyone would even bid on me at all!

I was also asked to do a Meet and Greet event for TAO. People came and asked me questions, and I sang a few of my favorite songs. I attended some other performer Meet and Greets as well. It’s a great way to get to know the person behind the performer.

TAO (Together as One) is a unique and amazing experience that happens 4 times a year. The event always raises money for children’s charities. It’s such a powerful and special thing to be a part of. It is the brainchild of Winter, who everyone knows is a fantastic performer. He created this 3-day music festival to help raise money for children’s charities. It has become so much more than that. There’s a market where some of SL’s best creators set up shop and donate their profits. There are also raffles for goods, and several performers raffle off free shows. There are fun things to do around fairgrounds too.

Many venue owners and businesses sponsor the event. I’m going to name-drop a little.

These amazing people were sponsors for the TAO Spring Festival - Pangea Estates has provided Winter with the land for the TAO Fairgrounds to live on.

V-side radio provides the stream we all use during our sets. Many venues take over and throw daily after-parties. The festival stage is officially turned over to them for late afternoon and evening shows during the 3-day festival.

This time around Love Kats, Swamp Water Blues, Glow Live Music, Terry’s Place, The Warehouse, Scarlets, Southern Nights, Sapphire Beach Club, Club Noir, and Club Originals were all festival sponsors. Through the tremendous efforts of Winter and his team (Hey, BB, Taila and Kissi!) and because the SL community is always so willing to give, this past festival brought in a total of 1,325,000 $L! That’s crazy, isn’t it?

I have supported Brique Topaz and the Feed a Smile organization for many years. I have sponsored individual children and performed events at Lavender Field. What she’s done in Kenya is truly amazing. Charlize Bellic and the Second Life Cheerleaders do a monthly RFL event that I often participate in. They’re fun and have a theme to them. The SL Cheer Squad and Cure Chasers have an event at the end of May. I’m booked for that. It’s 50s-themed.

I’ve participated in events for Team Diabetes of SL, Survivors of Suicide group, Wounded Warriors, The American Lung Association, The American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Awareness, Autism Awareness, Stand Up 2 Cancer, PTSD Awareness, One Billion Rising Org, KIKA and of course, Relay for Life. I hate to say no to a show when it’s for charity.

SLE: A lot of our avid readers are large music fans. Can you tell us if you have a group and calendar of events our readers can join to follow your performances around the grid? 

Lyric: Yes! You can join my group either by checking out my SL profile, coming to a show and clicking on my board or through this link - 

My calendar is a bit bare at the moment, but here’s the link for when I ramp up the show schedule again -

I have a subscribo on my tip board too. I always send a susbribo notice, but sometimes I slack on the group notices. I urge your readers to come to a show and click the board to get on my subscriber’s list.

You can also get a texture with my weekly schedule on my board, and I have some fun gifts too.

SLE: Who would you like to see interviewed next in The SL Enquirer? ( It doesn’t have to be one person. )

Lyric: I think shining the spotlight on the people who work tirelessly to herd musicians and set up events for charities would be awesome. Even talking with some of the hosts who work in venues would be interesting. If you ask venue owners and performers, they’ll tell you finding good, responsible, and dedicated hosts are not easy. There are some great ones out there, though. It would be interesting to get to know them and find out what it takes to put on a happy face and greet people, cheer on performers, and promote the venues they work for every day.

I’d also be interested in hearing from music lovers who attend and support SL music. Not so much who, but what they’re listening to? What makes a show a good one for them? Performers usually only get direct feedback about really good or really bad performances. It would be great to kind of take the temperature of the SL music-loving community to see what they like and don’t like about performers and venues.

SLE: Thank you we will definitely look into interviewing from a venue host and fan perspective on the music scene! If you had the rare opportunity to stand on the virtual world stage take and drop the mic to tell the virtual world what they need to hear about the music scene, musicians, venues, and fans in Second Life. The pros and cons and how we as a whole can contribute to the massive amount of talent that performs in the virtual world. Go ahead and name-drop!

Lyric: Hmm, so many things I could say. I’ll just speak my truth about what I’ve observed as a musician’s manager, club owner, fangirl, and performer throughout my SL career - because someone has to say the quiet things out loud.

I’ve been around long enough to witness many changes and cycles in SL music. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows behind the scenes, even though we put on our professional smiles and try to portray it that way in public settings. There are divas and bullies. Elitism and nepotism. It’s not all fair and good-hearted camaraderie. Sure, we all love music and want to be supportive. But you also have a bunch of performers who do this for their SL living and venue owners trying to pay tier, sharing the common goal of wanting to bring in as many people as possible to shows so they can earn linden. Don’t believe me? Ok. Let’s stop paying people to come play. I think we all know how that would go over. That’s the reality of it. It is a competitive business.

Navigating a music career or keeping a venue open for the long haul in SL is tricky. It’s done with a lot of work and a bit of luck.

So, since you’ve given me the chance to say my piece, I’ll end with this -

To music lovers and venue owners – I urge you to expand your musical horizons! Do you really want your SL music experience to only consist of hearing the same performers do the same sets day in and day out? There is so much more to experience! We all have our favorites, but if you keep your listening experience limited to the same handful of performers, you’re really missing out. Don’t be a music snob. Step outside your comfortable listening patterns and explore. Not everyone has a promotion team or feels comfortable spamming the masses. Not everyone has to be Celine Dion or Pavarotti (an Ed Sheeran or Ariana Grande? – who’s popular on the radio? Did I mention I’ve been in SL a long time?). Check out a Courtney Love or a Kanye West. Why not? There’s room for all kinds of musical experiences. Go listen to people who aren’t in your inbox on the daily. It’s good to support your friends but spread the love if you really want to support SL music and help it thrive.

To new performers and those who want to be performers - Just do it and keep doing it! Don’t let the size of your audiences, the places that won’t book you, or the people who think pushing you down elevates them take up residence in your head. ‘Imposter syndrome’ will try to creep in and take over. Don’t let it! Don’t think that because some performers are being paid more linden than you, or because they are booking into the popular venue of the moment and you aren’t, you are ‘less than.’ Much of that is a product of good promotion and who they know. Some people will try to knock you down because they mistakenly think that elevates them. We all have bad shows, silent crowds, and days when we question why we’re doing this. You will eventually find your stride. Keep doing what you do, and the right people will find you. I’d rather perform for smaller audiences because they appreciate my setlist and what I offer as a performer than be in front of a large crowd, mainly there because it’s the popular place to be. Or worse, they feel they have to come to my shows to maintain a friendship. Don’t give up! You need to develop a slightly thick skin and believe in yourself to survive the ever-changing landscape of the SL music scene.

Someone once said to me that when you make art of any kind – music, dance, painting, photography, drawing, writing - you provide an experience and ask people to come along for the ride. Don’t think of it as getting up there to put on a show. Share your emotions, expression, and interpretation of the music – and invite them into your world for that hour. Ask them to take that journey with you. If you look at it that way, I think it helps you keep going. You’re sharing a part of yourself, and people who want to go on that ride with you will come. Nothing else should matter.

When you have a low turnout or are doubting yourself in any way, when you look out there and see even one person has shown up for you, thank them for taking the journey with you.

Additional Information:

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Preferred Contact: Inworld NC (messages get capped) – Lyric Serendipity

Article from 6/3/2011


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