Lydia Salnikova has found success at some of its highest points including being nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance along with being featured on 60 Minutes with her old band, Bering Strait. Even with all the achievements there is still a lot to discover about her. Now an independent artist for nearly ten years she has become a renowned session singer, musician, arranger and producer. Her music has gone from focusing on a country sound to being “more in the vein of acoustic introspective emotional singer-songwriter soft pop genre” as she described it.
We actually got the chance to speak with Lydia about 5 year ago as she was promoting her first solo album, “Hallway”. Since that time so much has occurred as she’s released a second album, “Valentine Circle” (2013) and a 6-track concept EP titled “New Heart” (2014) which was “inspired by and dedicated to the theme of new parenthood”. Even through all the changes one thing has remained, music is an art for her, and as such it defies boundaries as she’s had the chance to work with different clients from around the world. Even with the experiences of working with respected personnel it’s never been about the artist per say, but as she stated, “It’s about the kick I get out of the creative challenge or inspiration associated with certain projects.” Some of the experiences that have really given her a challenge she said have been, “I got to sing background vocals on a country album written entirely in French and I even got to rap a few times, although that’s not really my strongest suit.” These are the experiences that bring her true joy. Lydia graciously said, “If tomorrow I get a call for a session at Abbey Road Studios, I will probably hop on the next plane to London!”
She has witnessed so much change around her not only in her music and personal life, but in the industry as a whole as the rules have changed. She stated that, “As an independent artist, I enjoy a lot more freedom of artistic expression and experimentation. Not to mention, being able to own my music.” Even with those freedoms comes a whole new set of challenges and limitations including “having smaller budgets to work with and not having a big team to help deal with all aspects of artistic life.” As these challenges can bring her down at times, she remembers why she got into music in the first place which was “to simply make music which in itself is a privilege and a beautiful thing.” Many of the changes that have occurred have aided her in numerous ways as the digital age has made it easier to work with clients all across the globe without having to physically travel to their location. She can receive projects and tracks directly over the web and just work on them from her studio which has “helped keep the cost more affordable for [her] clients.” With all the changes has come a new sense of wisdom as she stated that, “It’s taught me that there is no one right way to do anything and when working on someone’s else project, I check my ego at the door and the focus is on reflecting the client’s vision of the piece I’m working on, rather than my own.”
Lydia has gone through many renowned experiences since we last spoke including having the opportunity to perform for NASA, her music being played in space and recently having a son, Sam. She is gratified by all her experiences as she understands these are the things that build material for her music.