Lei Lei’s journey of music and personal revolution began in Dallas, where she created The Love Revolution, a evolving hybrid of music, art, performance, poetry, and creative collaboration that she’s nurtured and shared for nearly three years now. By day Lei Lei works as a massage therapist and holistic practitioner with over twenty years of experience, and creating space for healing is an essential ingredient in everything she does.
Because we believe in the incredible importance of this work and the strength of Lei Lei’s vision for her art, Spiderweb Salon invited her to produce her newest tracks with us + Corbin Childs at Shiny Sound Recording Studio, where the newest iteration of The Love Revolution was born: L.O.V.E. Truly a gift, L.O.V.E. is an EP following Lei Lei’s rule of threes, existing to give our community hope, and to give and the world a reason to practice love in a more intentional and thoughtful way, every day.
So, what is L.O.V.E.?
L - Lei Lei. Creator of The LOVE Revolution Continues…
O - Open. You have to have an open heart and mind to practice love.
V - Vulnerability. What artist is not vulnerable? Let’s expose all the secrets.
E - Experiment. To demonstrate a known fact, to determine something.
L.O.V.E. is a revolution in three tracks:
I Can See: I believe climate change is real and is happening now, so I feel I can see.
Tears: We are now seeing multiple people on one corner. It breaks my heart. Imagine if 10% of this songs profits went to feed the hungry. Sending that community love.
Yes: It is all about healing. Acknowledging that we need healing. What would you do?
To celebrate the release of L.O.V.E., Spiderweb Salon is hosting a VIP release party on Saturday, August 31 with performances by special guests and friends, including Anjelica Fraga, Kamyon Conner, Edyka Chilomé, Hathor Hendrix, and Nan Kirkpatrick. courtney marie, co-founder of Spiderweb Salon and co-producer of the EP, also interviewed Lei Lei to shine some light on her vision for a more compassionate world and share the story of The Love Revolution Continues:
CM: I truly believe this is such an important project for people to hear and participate in, and I know so much of your heart and soul is poured into your art. For those who may be new to it, will you share some of the story behind The Love Revolution / The Love Revolution Continues?
LEI LEI: This is what happened. Two white guys rolled up on me the day after Trump was elected on the east side of Dallas. Threatening me with a weapon and calling me racial slurs, they said, “n***** watch your back, Trump is in the white house now.” I was shaken and angry. I surrendered to the fact that hatred is alive and well. I went to see a friend in Deep Ellum and ended up at Deep Vellum Books: Deep Ellum, built by said negro’s ancestors. I cried, and cried and cried and cried. They offered me 60 minutes to do something. I sat for a few seconds and I was shaken to believe, that with my art and absolute love we can balance the addiction our society has to hatred and violence. And so it began.
The image of the Love Revolution is of my late brother. Killed in car accident. The last time I saw him, he was peaking around an open door to nail me with a “Texas snowball.” We use to have Texas snowball fights growing up. (Texas snowball = roll up socks). I only saw the left side of his face.
CM: How do you remain focused and inspired as a creator while also surviving in a white supremacist capitalist society? How can we help each other? What advice might you have for others who are struggling?
LEI LEI: As long as I am breathing, I am going to project love in this extraordinary world. In my song “Tears” I share some insight on what keeps me focused. “Every single day I meditate and pray for the life that I still have.” I also practice Qigong daily for an energetic balance because some things are out of whack. As I have matured, I have learned that money cannot buy self-respect, compassion, honesty, or love and that is what we need to sustain a healthy life.
Surviving is a choice. Having had a gun to my head and still on this planet breathing, I am going to say surviving is also about not being afraid to live regardless of what is going on out here. A good dose of “what the fuck” helps me with the extreme daily happenings. I believe practicing staying present is a gift for all of my yesterdays are gone and tomorrow is not a given, so right now is all I got.
We can help each other by being honest about how we feel, what we are afraid of, what we are in need of. What the problems really are. Stop comparing ourselves to others because we are barely talking to one another. I mean eye to eye I can see your emotion communication. Identify what makes you tick, what makes you happy. I found pushing love on people is making me happy.
Maybe you can help me with my anxiety if I trusted you would listen. Maybe I can help you with your depression if you trusted I would listen. We all are struggling. Someone who is not struggling isn’t going to use a gun for resolution. My advice to others who are struggling is to let someone know, a loved one, a friend, or a stranger can help relieve the pressures of life.
CM: How does collaboration and community manifest in your work?
LEI LEI: Life is all about collaboration and in every city I have performed the Love Revolution I have reached out to elementary and middle schools to see if they are open to a LOVE Mural. I have worked with local artist in the community to share in the love performances. Going out in a city to promote Love is really an ice breaker talking to strangers once they realize I am talking about love not sex.
A LOVE Revolution community is developing on my social media. People are now reaching out to me to share the love in other performances and different shows. After every show I have a Q& A to see if I am alone in the belief if we practice love, there will be love.
CM: You consistently share the Love Revolution in Dallas and even in Denton with us sometimes, but what some folks may not know is that you’ve taken The Love Revolution and your message of hope beyond Dallas, traveling to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Kansas City, and Atlanta. What’s next? Who do you think needs to hear your message?
LEI LEI: I want the Love Revolution continues to be in the big cities and small towns around the effing world! I see this as an opportunity to inject love into every conversation we have. Every single one. Maybe not literally but definitely energetically. With all the hate in this world right now, our climate, unclean water, the fear. We are imbalanced. So go into the belly of the beast and listen to their breath. We all are two legged. We all are on a planet that is on fire.
CM: How did you prepare to record this EP? What was your experience like recording with Shiny Sound Recording Studio and Spiderweb?
LEI LEI: In preparation for this EP I took three of my songs that really made me groove. I imagined people swaying in the love as I added the lyrics. My mantra was follow the love, hate is not sustainable. Follow the love, and here I am. I have had other recording studio experiences and Shiny Sound was tops! I love options in the studio and Shiny did not disappoint. Spiderweb is a web of people. Professional, loving, creative, inspired. Once one cell is in their web, your heart opens and community is felt. Having their support, interest, and ear for the love revolution has been a game changer. I am so grateful.
CM: What do you hope people take away from your art and music? What is your ultimate dream for this project?
LEI LEI: It’s an effort to build community. I hope when people see my art, this love practice, it inspires them to listen to each other. Our society is being deconstructed through political greed and lack of opportunity, so I want this revolution to reflect how we are all connected –that we are more alike than different. One moment can change a life when we listen. I want the music to be a spark, a love catalyst for our daily consciousness while supporting some movement and groovement to get through the day by day.
My ultimate dream with the LOVE Revolution Continues is to perform at book stores around the world, including their local poets, and sharing stories about love. I also want to have my music and images in that one movie that gets how important love is to sustain any type of nonviolent society, and to sell enough singles so I can give back to the hungry and homeless, and to the survivors of domestic and racial violence in all communities. Love Workshops for community health and wellness that include artistic expression. I’m working on it!
CM: What are some of your influences as an artist and healer?
LEI LEI: The unexpected loss of my younger brother/only sibling. Being a survivor of childhood sexual trauma. All of my past and present relationships and friendships. My multiple mental health diagnoses. My love for cycling. Supporting the relief of pain and tension in my clients. Helping the hungry. Feeling my emotions the moment they arise. Mother Nature. A belief that the madness, violence, and bigotry in our world can really change just like that if we believed it could.
CM: What’s next for you? The Love Revolution?
LEI LEI: One day at a time. I have put together an art book entitled “I am No One in the Oneness.” Full of poetry and paintings, drawings and dreams. Coming out in October. Until I click with that producer who wants to spread this love around the world, I will continue sharing the love where ever I am invited to perform. I will continue to look for avenues to share my healing art workshops to support others with their mental health, and I will keep on keeping on. The Love Revolution continues…is different every day when I open my eyes and live fully day by day.
UPCOMING APPEARANCES & EVENTS
Lei Lei has created an alternative health workshop entitled The Medicine Inside where she share the healing powers of Chi Nei Tsang with demos and meditation; the next one will take place on September 28th at the Pan African Connection in the Oak Cliff (Dallas). Find out more about her healing workshop and other Love Intensives projects at https://www.loveintensives.org.
September 5: Their Lives Mattered: A Dialogue Honoring Stolen Lives. a collaborative art project in remembrance of those lost to police violence in Dallas
September 26: Opening reception for collective | connection, Spiderweb Salon’s collaborative exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art
September 27: L.O.V.E. EP release party in Dallas at Top Ten Records in Oak Cliff
October 24: The LOVE Revolution Continues… at Deep Vellum Books!