There are a lot of things to love about Lee Harris. One experience of his monthly Energy Update is enough to know why over a hundred thousand people tune in every month to get Lee’s pulse of what’s moving energetically and collectively for so many. Lee has a gift for intuitively reading, interpreting and translating energy in a way that gives insight, understanding, clarity and not least of all, hope and empowerment to his audience. He is also extremely genuine, kind, funny and almost surprisingly grounded and down to earth for someone with such strong ethereal ability.
And all of that is just the beginning and an entry point for many, into a rich world of highly transformative and deeply healing offerings from a globally-acclaimed messenger, leader and multi-talented artist, who truly embodies the spirit of what it means to be a renaissance man.
Among these are Lee’s channeled spoken and written messages, which launched his career as an intuitive messenger and transformational leader over a decade ago. Then there’s his vast library of guided meditations and healing sound journeys on a range of topics from Cultivating Joy, to Money, to Sex and Sexual Energy. There’s also his increasingly popular online courses, the most notable of which is his annual Rebirth course, which takes people through an intentional discovery and visioning process to set the tone for the year ahead.
Dig a little deeper and you might come across a few hidden gems in the Writing section of Lee’s back catalogue of creations, and a new book to boot, Energy Speaks, that’s being published by New World Library and due out in late March of this year.
Shining throughout his body of work, and often subtly but powerfully underscoring and interwoven into his potent intuitive messages, channels and content, are the angelic singing voice and healing musical expression of a truly gifted artist and songwriter.
A closer look at the man behind the Lee Harris Energy world of wonder-filled creations, reveals a true artist and lover of many art forms, whose first creative passion was for music. A powerful visionary committed to creating a positive impact on the world and inspiring others to do the same, Lee is a gentle, old soul deeply committed to thriving in this human life and using his voice as a healing balm and guiding force to his ever-growing community in these unprecedented times.
It is our great pleasure to present this feature on Lee Harris, and to shine a spotlight on his music. In this intimate interview, Lee shares about his journey from pursuing a traditional music career to his unexpected success as a channeler and healer, and the emergence of a truly one of a kind offering that features sound healing and live music as key, essential ingredients. Lee also shares about his passions and inspirations, including his more recent discovery of painting and visual art as an expression and outlet. Last but not least, Lee’s wisdom, warmth and healing energy permeate his thoughtful and heartfelt responses as he opens up and shares more about some of his own greatest creative challenges and breakthroughs, and sheds light on a powerful message that continues to come through with urgency in his work.
Chris Assaad: Though you are most widely known for your monthly energy updates and your transformational offerings, you’ve described music as your “favorite art form” and “your deepest source of connection to Spirit.” How did your journey with music begin and what makes that form of expression so special to you?
Lee Harris: As a kid, I loved to sing along with songs I would hear on the radio, and later, in shows at school (musicals and concerts). My mum tells a story that when I was 5, I was given a solo in a school Christmas show, but that I never told her I was doing it. So the day of the show, she’s there to watch and she saw me walk alone to the front of the stage, and immediately started to panic, as she thought I was doing something wrong. I sang a song called ‘My Pigeon House’. She still remembers that to this day. I have no memory of it now, but I do remember feeling confident as a kid with anything to do with music and singing, as at school and in shows, I could learn and remember melodies very fast, and also create harmonies to musical lines. I didn’t realize I had an affinity for it – I just thought that’s what everyone did at the time. But now I see that I had an ear for music early on.
Music was my sanctuary as a troubled teenager. Listening to music was a place where my sensitivity could rest, and my emotions could expand, and I could escape from what I was struggling with in my internal life. I devoured a lot of musical theatre between age 8-14 and from then on, singer-songwriters became my gurus, with their message-based lyrics, and emotionally liberating music. I didn’t start writing my own music until I was 21, and I was shocked when it happened. The experience of hearing melodies playing in the ether, sometimes with lyrics too, and then bringing them to the guitar to craft and write was just pure magic to me. It felt like the best thing in the world and it was about a year later when I started to verbally channel my guides, which I also didn’t foresee. I see the two as very connected.
People feel music first, and understand it second. We all want (and trust) a direct experience, and music is a seemingly invisible force that we culturally have learnt to let into our bodies, hearts and minds.
CA: What have you discovered, personally and in your work as a transformational leader and facilitator, about the healing power of music?
LH: That music goes directly to our senses, our feelings and our soul, without the mind being a gatekeeper that we need to navigate first. People feel music first, and understand it second (if mental understanding ever becomes something people do around music). We all want (and trust) a direct experience, and music is a seemingly invisible force that we culturally have learnt to let into our bodies, hearts and minds. When I run my transformation events and retreats, if they are longer than a day, I always bring live musicians and/or drummers into the room. Music becomes the pulse underneath the work we do, and for many, it helps them feel their way into the work and themselves far faster. Plus, it makes it more fun for all of us!
CA: Your latest musical release is entitled “This Is The Voice” and you’ve shared that it was “a joyous labor of love to create”. What was the inspiration behind that song and what was the creative process like in bringing it to life?
LH: I’d agreed to record a channeled message on ‘Feminine Energy’, and as is often the case, I knew that creating a song for it would be the way into it for me. That I couldn’t create the spoken word channeled message, until I first had the song. So I created a mantra, the centerpiece of the song, that Davor Bozic and I then fleshed out across a seven day period, adding other vocals and instrumentation. We were on a tight deadline as we were both headed to Costa Rica to run a retreat, so in theory, we really didn’t have time to do it. But music, when it’s alive, doesn’t care about your plans – haha! It was fantastic and so nice to be consumed by something that had such a power and strong driving force energy to it.
CA: In 2012, you independently released a full-length album entitled Golden World. This project came after several years of having put music on the back burner during your rise to success as a channeler and intuitive guide. What was your experience of coming back to your passion for music and how did you feel knowing you had an established audience ready to receive your newest creation?
LH: The irony was when I had the vision for Golden World, I thought it would be easy to do and the idea for it happened in a really great time in my life. But as soon as I embarked on the project, so much fell apart in my personal life, almost overnight, so the whole thing actually took two and a half years to complete, and the nature of it changed as a result.
I didn’t really know what the audience for my channeled work would think of the album, but I knew I had to do it for myself, as I had neglected music while the other work became in demand. Perhaps the most interesting (and surprising) part of the process for me was I went through so much self-judgement about my singing voice while making that record. I was very unhappy with my vocals in the first year of recording, and was much happier with my songwriting and our production work.I felt this internal pressure to not mess the album up as a vocalist, and that was tough. So it became a real healing journey for me as a singer. My voice as a speaker and channeler had found an audience, and I no longer judged my speaking voice at all. But my voice as a musical artist, wasn’t in that same place. So those sessions in the vocal booth were painful, difficult and like going into the boxing ring with my own mind. But the process worked out great, as I committed to keep going at it, and eventually, I got over my own mind, tired of all the self-doubt and was able to finally accept myself and my voice in a new way. I’m so proud of that album now, the vocals, and the beautiful work Dan Burke did on it as co-producer and instrumentalist, and it remains my favourite full length release so far. I hear that comment from a lot of my audience too.
It is important to finish something. Produce things, get them out into the world, not be afraid to tell people your ‘thing’ exists.
CA: Your live events and workshops have evolved over the years and blossomed into a beautiful blend of teaching, group facilitation, energy work, channeling, live music and sound healing. How did live music and sound healing find their way into your transformational work?
LH: It was organic, really. I got put with Davor Bozic from Slovenia, who I collaborate on nearly all my recorded music with lately, onstage in Vienna, where I was a guest speaker at a conference. We clicked and I didn’t realize Davor had such a wealth of musical expertise and experience, but on an instinct, asked him to collaborate more with me. He felt the same, so we started working together in live workshops, with him bringing instrumental music and percussion to my healing work, and then we made a pop album called ARISE together too. We found, as the years went on, that songs add a great element to channeling and meditative spoken messages, so that became a new thing too and it has evolved organically over the years. Kirtan artist Narada Wise would do the live workshops in the USA and Canada with me, and Davor would do the European events.
CA: A big part of your work and your live offering is channeling wisdom in the moment for your audience on a specific theme, often with live music as a companion. How do you go about preparing for this and creating music to match the theme of the channels?
LH: Occasionally, there is a song from the back catalogue of albums that has never been performed live but seems to fit what’s going on in the room that day, so we will rehearse and play it together, sometimes an hour or less before performing it. But more often than not, we literally write brand new songs to order on the day, which lets me craft lyrics that directly relate to things that were said and shared by participants in the workshop sessions. This adds a certain pressure at the events and means you don’t get much free break time during a long day and evening, but it’s a great way to literally ‘channel’ the group into a song and works so well. And you choose the songs intuitively for what you sense the evening message will be about. Sometimes my mind has wondered why a song we’ve written is so gentle and sweet, and I’ve learnt now not to question it, as often the channeled message (which I never know the details of beforehand) might be strong or impactful, so the gentle song was the necessary balance. It’s amazing how it always works out.
CA: What guidance can you offer to any multi-passionate creatives and artists out there who are often faced with the pressure to choose and focus on the one thing that they can do best?
LH: Ha! That hasn’t worked well for me. Even in my work every day, I wear many different hats, between CEO, Creator, Collaborator, Author, Speaker, Intuitive, so I think if you are built that way, which most people in younger generations are these days too, you will suffer if you don’t get to express the different sides of yourself. But that said, it is important to finish something. Produce things, get them out into the world, not be afraid to tell people your ‘thing’ exists. I think often finishing and marketing your own work is the stumbling block for people, so they don’t choose to focus because they’re afraid of what might come up in and for them if they finish something and put it into the world. Sabotage yourself first rather than be criticized by others, which is a dangerous place for us to be, and actually causes more harm than putting something out into the world despite your fear of the response.
I had many people in the early years tell me what I ‘should’ be doing to be successful rather than helping me become more of who I was. And I was so wanting things to go well for me that I think I took some of it to heart more than was good for me. It took many years for me to let go of what other people thought and start to tune in on why I made music, and trust what felt right and good to me.”
CA: It’s been said that musicians deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people experience in a lifetime. Have you had any experiences of rejection on your journey as an artist? If so, how have you dealt with and overcome them?
LH: I had many people in the early years tell me what I ‘should’ be doing to be successful rather than helping me become more of who I was. And I was so wanting things to go well for me that I think I took some of it to heart more than was good for me. One guy who owned a music studio, saw me at an open mic and offered to give me feedback. After listening to a demo of mine, he told me that a song I wrote wasn’t finished and I should rewrite it because the chorus didn’t rhyme and he kind of told me off about it. I was really shocked but sort of believed he could be right, and then he told me I should try to write and sound more like THE BEATLES, which was his favourite band. But then other people started to connect with that song and several told me it made them cry. So I realized, while I would never be The Beatles, I could write a song that made people feel. But it took many years for me to let go of what other people thought and start to tune in on why I made music, and trust what felt right and good to me.
CA: In addition to your gifts for music, writing, channeling and speaking, it seems you are also an avid and prolific visual artist, and have even recently launched an online gallery for your art. What do you love about painting and where does it fit into your already full creative flow?
LH: I found art in 2010 during my tough time, and would on and off have these bouts of painting, just intuitively letting things happen on the canvas. I am more regular with it this past couple of years and I find it really meditative and moving. Challenging too, as there is a lot to learn, but when it’s flowing and you get to play and express, it’s such a luxury to get to do it. It calms me, and very occasionally really annoys me too, but that’s a great ride to take with art – let all your feelings fly when you make it. I also love it because it’s a brain break and I can listen to music while I do it!
CA: What are some of your most essential practices for maintaining your center and well-being, and staying grounded amidst the fast-paced flow of your work life, and the energetic demands of constant content creation, travel, holding space and being a guide for so many?
LH: Like everyone, there are times I do well with that and other times where balance is more challenging. For me, the biggest key in all of it has been learning to recognize the signals of overwhelm in me. I can run a lot of energy for a period of time, but I’m definitely an ambivert – someone who goes between extroversion and introversion. I spent years not understanding that about myself, so I would crash and burn or push myself. Now I know what my limits are more, so in busy periods I try and include painting, listening to music, going and being with our cats, sitting quietly with my husband, or anything else that is not a ‘doing’ or stimulating activity. I also workout five or six mornings a week and that helps my energy stay strong. But the older I get, the more I enjoy moments and short bouts of silence in order to replenish – sitting looking at a tree, or the wall, or watching what the cats are doing helps me come back to the present.
CA: You often talk about “the wheel” of creativity and wisdom that we all benefit from and can equally contribute to with our own expression. Who are some of your greatest heroes (musical, spiritual or otherwise) and what moves, motivates, or inspires you most about them and their work? What have you learned from them?
LH: I would say two of my first big loves musically were Kate Bush and Tori Amos. Kate is extraordinary, as is Tori in a different way. With those two, I loved the power and the elaborate sonic worlds Kate would create in her productions, then the raw intimacy and genius piano work from Tori. This past year it has mostly been Sufjan Stevens, Johan Johansson and Olafur Arnalds. When a musician creates work that feels like it fits you like a favourite outfit, it’s heaven. And it’s an undefinable thing. Maybe it’s the way the song sounds in the production, or the way it was written, or the voice of the artist. It’s like a communion experience with your mind, body and soul when that happens.
As for heroes in life and spirituality, I loved “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz when I first read it twenty years ago, and I gifted copies to friends.
In life, I think the heroes to me are those who persevere in difficult circumstances in life. Who continue to show up and demonstrate their spirit and life-force. But equally, most people I meet are having to be a hero about something in their lives that we may or may not know about. They’re a caregiver, or an overworked parent, for example. That to me is being a human hero and I meet people like that all of the time and I try to see that as clearly as I can and be more compassionate about the unseen struggles of others.
CA: One of the prominent and recurring messages in your writings and channeled transmissions this past year has been, “You are needed and now is your time.” Who is this message for and what does it mean to you?
LH: We are living in very new and uncharted times on Earth, and I know that fear can make people recoil or panic about what they’re seeing, and I can understand that. But, and this is what the message is about, we aren’t here to shy away from life. Sure, in moments, that’s fine. But we are here to create the new, every day we’re here, and too often we get encouraged into patterns and habits that don’t let us do that. So the message is really a call to arms beyond that, and to live for today.
We are living in very new and uncharted times on Earth, and I know that fear can make people recoil or panic about what they’re seeing, but we aren’t here to shy away from life. We are here to create the new, every day we’re here, and too often we get encouraged into patterns and habits that don’t let us do that.”
CA: Are you currently working on any new music? Do you have any plans to release another album in the near future?
LH: Yes. Davor and I are working away on an album that will be in the same vein as “This Is The Voice.” You never know quite how long these things take, especially when you don’t do music full time, but I am hoping we should have it out by the fall of 2019.