Live from Anne’s garden: Gabriels | Anne’s garden
And you were going to get into opera at some point, weren’t you?
Lusk: For about six months, yes. I took a singing lesson, and I had done chamber music in high school and all that. And then I had a singing teacher. Her name was Miss Sweeney. I was at West LA College. She was like “You were born to sing!” So I started doing the classic stuff that she was doing. She gave me individual coaching. I had another coach, there’s a school called the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, which only offers scholarships. So I was like, “Oh fuck, I’m going to go this route. It’s awesome. I will make a lot of money. I have a diploma and I will sing. What’s better than that?
And then I met Nate Dogg and he took me down the street. [Laughs] He didn’t take me to the streets, but I met Nate Dogg and started working with him. I actually dropped out of college, not because of him, but it was the first time I met someone who was actively working in the industry. He’s written a lot of records for other artists, so now I’m writing with him, recording with him, and I was like, ‘Oh, this can really be a full-time thing’, and it was kinda transition out of it, to be honest.
What was the idea behind the name of the new EP “Bloodline?”
Lusk: The thing about lineages is this concept of [how] often, where we come from and things that have happened in our past can get in the way of us for the rest of our lives. Because you come from a certain place, you can’t do that. Because your mom or dad did this, you gotta do it. Or even like alcoholism, gambling, there are all those things that [seem] damn.
On “Bloodline”, the last line is “don’t let it destroy you”. Like, you don’t have to go that route. You can be better than your situation, you can be better than your situation. You are not the things you’ve done in your past, or the things I’ve done in my past – and I’ve done things, we’ve all done things – that doesn’t control or enforce what happens with the rest of my life. And that’s where “Bloodline” comes from.
Even just seeing our parents and what they went through, that should really be motivation, and that’s for all of us. Our parents worked their fingers to the bone so that we could have better opportunities and better things. And not everyone comes from this circumstance. But no matter the circumstances, you can definitely be better and bigger.
Did you grow up listening to church music?
Lusk: Yes. I wasn’t allowed to listen to secular music, really. So it was nothing but the gospel. I didn’t even know the Motown stuff, really. So it was gospel and jazz. I could listen to jazz, because it’s safe. And I’m pretty happy with the way I was raised. A lot of people hate being raised in these really restrictive environments, but for me it kind of taught me that it’s okay to be different and that I don’t have to follow the crowd.