Lzzy Hale, who we all know as the powerhouse vocalist and guitarist of Halestorm, doesn't shy away from admitting her struggles with self-doubt. In fact, she credits these internal battles as a driving force behind her success.
From the tender age of 14, Lzzy dedicated herself to making it in the music industry. This commitment wasn't without its challenges. Unlike many musicians, Lzzy writes music with her voice first, then translates it to guitar. In a recent interview with Ola Englund she explained that this unique approach, while fundamental to her sound, had her questioning her legitimacy early on.
"When I'm writing a riff or a lead, I will depend on my ear and my vocal – I'll almost write it with my voice first and then figure out how to play it. I grew up thinking, especially in my early 20s and 30s, 'I'm somehow wrong.' Because nobody I know has done it that way. I only realized later, 'No, that's what makes me myself.'"
This self-doubt, often referred to as "imposter syndrome," could have easily derailed her career. But instead, Lzzy used it as fuel to push herself further. As she explains, "It still happens. I was on stage the other night, and I just said this to the audience, 'It's so wild to me to think that I'm doing this.' I got into rock at 13, had no idea what I was doing – still don't – could barely play, didn't know how to write a song, didn't have a rich uncle in the business, and, for some reason, we're pulling it off. And it's still happening, still growing."
"You get to a certain point, where, for me, it's about letting go of a lot of that stuff, understanding that it's not egotistical to say, 'I deserve this.' Somebody actually enlightened me with this interesting perspective – the definition of luck is the combination of preparation and opportunity. So, when you say, 'I'm lucky to be here', you shouldn't be feeling that in a disparaging way. When someone gave you the chance, you were ready for it, because you worked really hard for it." Lzzy added.
But self-doubt isn't all bad. In fact, Lzzy believes a healthy dose can keep artists grounded. "There's no reason to go the other way and go, 'I'm the best thing of all time and I deserve to be here,'" she says. "It's a grand balance of things, but understanding who you're not is almost as important as understanding who you are."
Her message for aspiring artists is simple yet powerful: "Anybody just picking up an instrument, learning to sing, or whatever it is – you make a noise until you like it, and then keep making that noise. It's that simple, and that complicated."