A sit down with a Side Hustler
This month we sat down with Dominican born singer and songwriter, Lee Burgos, who after 5 years of pursuing a full on career as Special Events Manager for one of the worlds leading hotel chains, decided to strictly focus on her music career. She is the epitome of a Side Hustler who has been able to secure a weekly residency at three NYC venues while continuing to grow her brand.
Thanks so much for taking time out of your way and schedule to answer some of our questions. We feel that sometimes Side Hustlers have so much on their plate that their followers and, in your case, fans, don’t know them fully so let’s get this started with the basic three “W’s” for those who may not know you.
Q: Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do?
Lee: My name is Lidabel Burgos but I am known as, singer-songwriter, Lee Burgos. I was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New York City since the age of 4 when I migrated with my parents to the United States.
Q: Our Co-Founder, Felix, was introduced to you about 4 years ago while having wine in the heights and has been a fan ever since. How would you describe the Lee Burgos brand and what it represents and why building connections as such is important for Lee Burgos?
Lee: I’ve always had big dreams and my passion towards music has become ever so firm and clear. As a pop artist, I am able to experiment with so many different sounds that creating music has become so fluent and freeing and this is what my brand showcases. At my live shows, my guests get a total sense of where I come from and how growing up in NYC and being influenced by different music and ethnic groups has marked me as an artist.
Building connections is immensely important to me; performing is not only standing in front of a mic and singing. It’s more than that! It’s about connecting with the audience and making sure they feel each word I spew and leave knowing they they were a part of something and that for those 2 set list, they were free of any inhibitions. I just love to evoke emotions in others; It’s part of the Lee Burgos Experience.
Wow! As someone who does special events for a living, evoking emotions in others is a key component in what myself and the team at CVG do.
(Q): You mentioned that you emigrated to the US at the age of 4. With the current state of our nation and the blatant views of discrimination from Trump, how do you use, or wish to use your platform as an outlet to provide comfort to those who are threatened by ICE, the President, and simply the racists in America?
Lee: Racism and discrimination are real issues that we faced before and still today and it’s just so sad to witness. I know people that live in fear not knowing what can happen tomorrow, next week or in a month if certain laws or policies are approved or put into place and as a result, changes their whole way of living. The world is super sensitive during these times and we are in need of love and acceptance. All I can do is express and give love to those around me and my followers on social media. I hope to bring comfort, hope, and love thru my music and give them a peace of mind and hopefully helping them heal.
Q: Healing is such a hot topic at the moment. How do you keep sane under stress especially juggling your three residencies while writing new music, recording an album, and making time for your friends and family?
Lee: Wow, umm it gets a bit overwhelming sometimes, I think my family and friends will definitely tell you how time consuming this is, LOL. Having three residencies, while writing music, and recording an album, requires a great deal of discipline; I repeat, A GREAT deal of it! But this is something that I really want and I want it bad. That’s the feeling that pushes me and maintains my sanity. Also, having the right people around you that want the same things as you or that simply support you, are a part of my own healing. They give me a reason to stay sane but also give me the soundboard I need to express myself.
Q: You make mention of your team often. From experience, we know that finding not only a trustworthy business partner, but a trustworthy team is generally difficult. What practices do/did you incorporate to ensure you chose a strong team that share your vision?
Lee: Finding a trustworthy partner or team in this industry is not easy. I believe in good vibes and energy and it’s something I truly follow, believe in, and incorporate into everything I do. If your vibe is off then I want nothing to do with you. I’ve gotten offers, where everything sounds magical and once you take a closer look at the contracts, they’re super sketchy. Experiences as such have opened my eyes and show me that I can’t do it alone and having a solid team is key but I can’t fully trust any random person that “wants to help”.
Q: Sounds like you’re very protective of your brand and rightfully so. On that note, do you feel that fellow indie pop artists in your realm of music pose a threat to your craft or are they simply peers whom you admire?
Lee: Not at all! I think music is for us all and everyone has the soulful right to create. I have so much respect for my fellow artists. And it’s truly amazing how us women are making a major presence in the Latin music industry around the world, it’s rather empowering.
Q: You bring up a great point about women’s presence in the music industry globally. Women seem to always be the topic of discussion as fans often times try to pin female artists against one another or better yet, our President demeans them any chance he gets. What is your stance on women equality and is this something you wish to voice your opinion on more, in the future? Also, what does being a woman mean to you?
Lee: I’m all about GRL PWR; there’s a big movement surrounding it and I embrace every minute of it. I think the unification and admiration between us women, in any and all aspects of society, is quite important. It’s something that I speak of often and it’s part of being a woman in the times we are living in. When it comes to the Latin music industry, we have shown great support for one another by collaborating and creating worldwide hits. For me, being a woman means being comfortable in my own skin and quite frankly, living in my truth.
Q: What is Lee currently listening to? Where do you get your inspiration from and which artists do you idolize?
Lee: Ufff my vibes when listening to music is very wide. I’m currently listening to a couple of artist, varying from Billie Ellish, Nella, Rosalia, and Ed Sheeran...and my all time favorite, which is one of my forever inspirations and I idolize, Laura Pausini. These are artist that are creating worldwide hits and are super inspiring at the same time. I love their creativity, their sound, and most importantly, their individuality. Oh and let’s not forget the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.
Q: Switching gears a bit, what does a regular day look like for Lee? Or does that even exist in your world?
Lee: Jajaja!! it’s does exist; kind of! Even though my regular day may be different from yours! Before I go to bed (it’s never before 11pm), I take a look at my agenda to get a sense of what’s happening the next day or the week. During the week, it’s usually all about, writing Sessions, recording ideas, meetings with the team, prepping, developing the music repertoire for my NY residencies, rehearsals, Family, friends etc... This is what a “regular” day looks like for me.
Q: Sounds like a busy work week but at least we’ve seen that you’ve been able to take some time off with your recent trips to Puerto Rico! What is on the horizon for Lee?
Lee: There is a lot in store! My team and I are effortlessly working on my new album which will be released in 2020. But before that, we have an awesome Hispanic Heritage Month concert event coming up in September which I will be unveiling on my social media platforms, next week!
On that note, we’re almost at the end of our time but let’s play a little round of word play before we wrap up. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear the following:
Culture - Evolves
Influencer - Unoriginal
Brand Ambassador - Responsibility
Trump - Hatred
New York - Home
Dominican Republic - Roots
Musician - Passion
Side Hustle - Gave me life
Self Made - Proud
Creative - Discipline
Vibes - Positive Ones
Minority - Unity
Unconventional - Art
Underdog - Hunger To Succeed
Diversity - Change
Check out Lee Burgos’ live cover of Aretha Franklin’s ,(You Make Me Feel) Natural Woman during the Lee Burgos: Unplugged performance in NYC.