“Mist” is Lighthouse’s first release – a calming instrumental single with warm, pulsing pads and minimalist melodies layered over lush strings. Streaming “Mist” is an engaging and tranquil experience – where all revenue generated goes to Mental Health America.
Lighthouse isn’t your everyday artist – Lighthouse is a project releasing calming music to address everyday mental health struggles while putting the listener in a better headspace. All proceeds from streaming are donated to organizations that support suicide prevention and provide mental health resources.
LADYGUNN interviewed PJ Walshe, the artist we know as Lighthouse and one of the founders of the project itself.
Take a deep breath, donate by pressing play, and read about the inspiration behind the project, the creative process behind “Mist,” and what we can expect from Lighthouse in LADYGUNNS’s exclusive interview.
“Tell us how Lighthouse differs from other artists today and what inspired you to launch Lighthouse?
The purpose of Lighthouse isn’t to be a solo artist, instead it’s a project with a larger mission.
This project is really dear to my heart – in the eulogy I wrote for my friend who died by suicide, I refer to him as a lighthouse to the people around him. He was a beacon of optimism and kindness to people everywhere – on the baseball field, in the classroom, at home. Countless times, he pulled people away from their struggles and provided them comfort. He was a kind, optimistic leader. His support was unconditional.
I want this project to emulate the qualities he possessed and share the information and resources I wish I was more aware of while he was here. We weren’t having conversations about mental health before he passed. Imagine if we were? There are far too many people with similar firsthand and secondhand stories that include this silence. We’re in a crisis, and it’s time to initiate those conversations.
“Mist” is the first release by Lighthouse. Can you talk about the production of this new instrumental single?
The roots of “Mist” are those strings you hear at the beginning. They’re lush but also bold and dramatic. From there it was finding the right balance of drama and simplicity. I knew I wanted the song to come off just as engaging and present as it is reminiscent. I think the lonely-sounding whistle that comes in embodies that juxtaposition best. When I recorded and processed that, I knew that would be the focal point of the song. Just 3 notes. I wanted to introduce it, tease it, and take it away. There’s actually an extended version of Mist that plays with that whistle quite a bit but it was TOO dramatic, borderline stressful.
You’re donating all the revenue from your song “Mist” to Mental Health America. Please tell us why you chose Mental Health America and how Lighthouse will continue to support mental health organizations.
The goal of The Lighthouse Project is to assign each song to different non-profit organizations. “Mist” is the first release, so I knew I wanted a large org that covered all the bases on a national level. If you look at how MHA began, the founder (William Beers) was mistreated and abused in mental institutions. He experienced firsthand the issues with mental health treatment and stigma, and started a huge reformation rooted in fair treatment and awareness. I’m excited to keep partnering with both large and local organizations and communities for future releases.
How do you get yourself into a space to create your music? Do you have a particular ritual/routine?
Candles. A lot of them. Other than that, as long as there’s a keyboard, I’m happy.
What do you want the listeners of “Mist” to get from this song?
Peace. Energy. Clarity. I want “Mist” to make listeners feel present.
What impact has music had on your life so far?
Music is everything to me. I started taking piano lessons when I was 4, and fell in love with it quickly. As I grew up, writing, listening and playing piano took on a greater role, and began to help me manage my own struggles. When my best friend took his own life in 2017, I leaned into music really heavily. It was a source of consolation and optimism. But it was really hard to get into a creative headspace when he passed. Now, I feel like I’m in a better place, and I’m taking a more grounded approach to making and sharing music.
What’s a major goal you’re working towards?
I want Lighthouse to grow a thoughtful community of listeners and thinkers. Of course, growth should always be our goal, but the larger our community is, the more listeners there will be and ultimately, more money will be donated to mental health organizations with people in the field. Donations are a major component of charity and goodwill, but are inaccessible to many people. Lighthouse breaks that barrier and makes financial contribution more accessible.
How do you envision Lighthouse, as a project, growing over the next year?
Right now, I’ve got a few really great partners that are equally as passionate about this mission as I am. As that team solidifies, I want The Lighthouse Project to be recognized as a reliable place for resources, a place for conversation, a go-to for music that provides clarity, and a place for artists to creatively volunteer. I’m really excited to work with other creatives – artists can donate their talents and choose organizations to donate the song’s proceeds to.
Are there any other mental health organizations that you can recommend our readers donate to?
If you have money to give, I suggest donating to smaller, local organizations. You can find local mental health organizations by searching your state’s local National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI affiliate. There, it will suggest local organizations you can donate to who are promoting mental well-being by offering resources. But – we are in the middle of a pandemic, it’s completely understandable if you’re not able to donate. If you’re able to stream music, stream “Mist” to help light the way for someone else.
CONNECT WITH LIGHTHOUSE
story /LADYGUNN Staff
photo / Liam Sheehan