We here at Narrative, recently had the privilege of interviewing singer, Jill Baylon (known by her stage name, Lola). What makes Lola so unique is that she is willing to write and sing about very personal struggles, that many do not freely open up about frequently. Her music is inspiring, refreshing and real.
If you listen to the interview that our very own Joshua Stanley was privileged to have with Lola, you will be able to hear the unique reasoning behind her stage name and mission as an artist. One thing about her that is so prevalent in the interview and in her work, is her true desire to help people by opening up about her own struggles. In the music that she creates, she does not simply want to share her struggles, but share hope. Hope that things get better. She is willing to be open because she wants people to understand that they are not alone in their struggles, and they also are not stuck in them either.
All too often, people allow themselves to be defined by their struggles and failures. Lola is an amazing role model of someone who owns her flaws, but also who does not let those things define the person who she is. She chooses to define herself by her best self, not her worst self, and she shows us, her audience, how to do that same thing while owning every piece of our own journey. Lola does not allow her flaws and failures to define her. Instead, she owns the fact that she has grown so much as a person after overcoming various struggles, and she does not need to feel stuck being defined as the person she once was before overcoming those things.
Lola shares personal details about struggles such as heart break and an eating disorders in a way that not many people are willing to do. Not many people are willing to open up about such personal things to the whole world, in the real, authentic manner that she does. In the interview, we learn that she is willing to open up because when she creates, she is not only creating for herself. She is creating for others too-- she is creating to give others hope, hope of moving on. She says that she wants to tell the whole story of what she has been through to show people yes, “I am past it, I have experienced that, but this isn’t something that I have to keep like, holding onto…” We don’t have to hold onto our struggles, we can move on. That is the message that Lola seeks to spread through her music. Her music is unique in the fact that she shares her struggles, but does not dwell on the struggle. Her focus and message is not of being stuck in a struggle, but of being able to find hope in a struggle or hardship, no matter what it is. Lola wants her audience to know that their story does not end in the struggle. What a beautiful message that is!
In her interview, Lola says “You never know who you are going to influence through your art.” She encourages people to create with what they have, and to create something for good---to help others. She is motivated by others and touching lives. What if we were all motivated to create for this purpose.
Whether you are a writer, a photographer, a storyteller, or motivational speaker… whatever your creative talent may be… what if you, and I, and everybody made it a point to create with the motivation of helping others instead of just ourselves? How many more inspiring and helpful songs, and blogs, and books may be out there if we cared less about how many reads or listens we got, and kept our minds and hearts focused on the one person that we may be able to help? Lola spoke about the fact that even if her work doesn’t seem popular or to be doing well, when she gets messages from even just one person about how her song gave that person hope, it makes it all worth it. Her goal is not to push her religion on people, but to create good things and share her hope. What would life look like if we all lived like this? If we all lived with such intentionality and purpose? Don’t underestimate your power to create something that can help someone. Take it from Lola, life has so much more purpose and joy when we are living to help others.
So what can you created today? What is holding you back? Stop letting it, and start creating because you never know who that one person out there is that you could help if you just try. You have a purpose that is so much greater than yourself. Like Lola, choose to live it out and even the hardest struggles you have faced can be used to inspire and help others.
*I strongly encourage you to listen to the attached interview with Lola. She is authentic and open and her story just may help you feel more encouraged to create in whatever way you are called to. Because her story shows us that there is a greater purpose in creating, and that purpose is something that we definitely all want to be a part of, whether we know it right now or not.*