Lydia Seale doesn’t want fame.
The irony? She’s a singer/songwriter about to release a new album.
“I know that sounds crazy because most people are like, I want to be famous…I don’t,” Seale says. “I just want people to be impacted by my music, however many people that is.”
This summer, she’ll drop her newest album, Sing and Dance, featuring all original tracks.
For fans of Seale she says this album will be very different from her last release, 2013’s 13:13, taken from 1 Corinthians 13:13.
That album was reflective of where she was then, at 18, and her relationship with God. But Sing and Dance looks at where she’s been since, and it has been a journey for the Eastern Michigan University alumna over these last six years.
“I’ve gone through a lot in my personal life, and that’s really shown me a lot more about his (God’s) character, even when things are a hot mess,” Seale says.
Not surprisingly, this album is exceptional personal for Seale and covers some of her recent health struggles and a toxic relationship she went through.
Some artists may avoid topics like that but Seale jumped in feet first.
“I think there’s a certain degree of freedom in just letting the song be itself instead of trying to bury the issue, and sing what’s in your heart,” she says. “I’m not explicitly singing about endometriosis and fertility…as much as I’m not, I kind of am because that’s what my heart was feeling at the time.”
The album isn’t all as somber as it may sound though. Seale describes the “sing” side as really emotional and more intimate while the “dance” portion focuses on the joy that can come from making it through the really trying times, and realizing even though she wasn’t completely happy, she still had joy.
Hopefully, those who listen will find as much solace as Seale did while writing the songs.
“Every song, every word, every line I wrote was therapeutic,” she says.
Writing music has been an outlet for Seale since she was a pre-teen, and she’s been playing music since she was a toddler.
By 12, she had a whole library of songs she’d written, thanks in part to her dad, Randy, who co-owns Reflective Productions and Recording, along with her mom, Benita.
One Christmas, Randy got her a Macintosh computer with the audio software Pro Tools — which Seale says is the best audio software out there — and licensing to some software instruments.
He told her if she was serious they would upgrade her equipment. The creative juices came flowing pretty quickly, especially after she got a piano. Seale laughs that the creativity got out of control after that. (Studying classical piano for seven years at Flint Institute of Arts also helped.)
“I know I can sing songs and play instruments…but honestly, the thing that I’m most proud of is the diligence, the pure tenacity that they taught me for the things I love, and to pursue God first, then to allow everything else I do to flow from that, is all credit to them,” Seale says.
Seale’s parents also believe she can do anything, even when the odds are against her.
When Seale was born she had a birth injury called Erb’s Palsy, which limits the use of her right shoulder, arm, and hand. But her parents still put her in tennis and swim lessons, and plenty of other activities to help bring back some use. Her hand was completely paralyzed, yet, she’s been playing the piano since she was four. Clearly a disability hasn’t slowed her down any.
“That is the one thing about myself that I say is kind of interesting because I had nothing to do with it,” she laughs.
One could assume that her most aggressive musical pursuit would be her original music, but like a lot about Seale, she’s anything but typical. She says it’s actually her work as a worship leader at New Life Christian Fellowship in Grand Blanc.
Actually, her ultimate career goal is to become a full-time worship pastor. First though, she has to finish her masters in Social Work, which she’ll begin this fall at Michigan State University’s satellite campus at Mott Community College.
“I just have all these really weird career goals,” she says. “I’m kind of at a crossroads and I’m going to try to stretch myself in every direction.”
That obvious compassion she has for people plays a critical role in her current job as well as her future endeavors. Seale is a marketing/events coordinator for Ennis Center For Children, a non-profit adoption/foster care agency in Flint.
Seale jokes that whenever she drops a single and puts it on social media her Facebook analytics skills peak out. Even though that’s about as far as it goes when it comes to her music and job overlapping — especially with no desire to be super famous — those areas of her life do still influence each other on a regular basis, especially in regard to what she hopes to achieve.
It all goes back to leaving an impact, whether at church, her work, or through her music. No matter how big or how small it may be.
“That’s success to me, honestly,” Seale says.