Folk Trio Luci Share Story Behind Hopeful Epiphany, “Watch it Rise”

A portion of the proceeds from this tune are going to The Precious Kids Center in Kenya, unifying action can be taken with ‘Watch It Rise’ simply by streaming it online, or by donating via Bandcamp to Luci’s fundraiser for the Loveland Foundation.   

Videos by American Songwriter

By: Luci (Ariana Tibi, Ashley Maietta & McKail Seely)

Guided by our commonalities, the world is presently rising up as a whole. The fight for racial equality and system reform is charging ahead with the strength of hundreds of years, carrying with it an impactful, uplifting shift in humanity.   

Music and art have always been trustworthy sources of healing and reflection. After five years together, we (Luci) made the decision last November to release one final song. We wrote Watch It Rise back in 2016, but it has remained the song we end all of our live sets with. It’s the song that serves as a guideline for moving forward.  

Watch It Rise started out as a simple response to regret,” Ashley says, “and evolved into this empowering beast of an epiphany. That’s the beauty of songwriting; songs can emotionally shapeshift to accommodate their listener.”

Watch It Rise was written by the three of us, produced by Justin Glasco (Anderson East, The Lone Bellow) who also played keys, mixed by Trevor Muzzy (SonReal, Lady Gaga, JLo, Nicki Minaj), featuring drums by Matt Musty (Grace Potter, Keith Urban, Train), Jamie Harmon III (Jake Davis Band) on bass, and Mauricio Guerrero Jr. (Gloria Estefan, Phil Collins Todrick Hall) on lead guitar

Luci began in 2015 with no expectations. We hardly knew one another, except that McKail always came up with the best guitar foundation, Ashley could harmonize with anything (even a whistle), and Ariana had an unquenchable obsession with lyrics. We also knew that we could always count on one another for support. Even with completely different backgrounds, we were forced to embrace our unique characteristics in order to get the best sound. We became best friends and sisters overnight. 

In the summer of 2019, we went on a two-month national tour with Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo. We’d spend midnight layovers writing songs in airports, indulge in the chocolate Pat & Neil left in our dressing room and make friends with the locals in each city. But as the band endured a growth spurt, so did we as individuals. When we came home, we decided to take a break.  

In the middle of the run, Ashley’s uncle Al Clerc (a big Luci supporter), passed away after a battle with brain cancer. It was heartbreaking for everyone. One of our last performances together was coming together for Uncle Al’s funeral to sing his favorite song of ours, Watch It Rise. We made the call to record that song in his honor and to use it as a chance to raise money for a special needs orphanage the Clerc family supports, the Precious Kids Center in Kenya.

We recorded Watch It Rise, using harmony as a replacement for words. We had release plans, but you can probably guess what happened next: coronavirus. Everything stopped. We stayed in our respective silences. While the world was in limbo, so were we. 

After Trevor Muzzy completed the final mix of Watch It Rise it was as if all of our internal troubles slipped away. The message of the song is simple: hope. When something ends, find the hope to “plant another seed and watch it rise.”  

“The message we hope others see in this story is togetherness.” Ariana says. “We’re three very different women who found a way to not only harmonize with each other but deeply love and support one another. It’s crucial that we highlight our commonalities, not our differences, right now.”

On one airplane ride, Ashley wrote an a cappella song called Love Don’t Love, and we’ve always used it as the intro to Watch It Rise. Just a week prior to the delivery date, we each recorded it from our respective bedrooms, singing a virtual harmony together for the first time in 6 months, and mixed and mastered the song ourselves in less than a week.

Watch It Rise reminds me of the rebirth that naturally happens anytime something comes to an end.” Mckail says. “I believe that as long as we feel the emotion and trust in the process, the dark will always find the light.” 

We were given the opportunity to reignite our sisterhood, to be grateful for it. Through our music we hope to lift up anyone going through a struggle right now and to say thank you to our families, friends, and fanbase for supporting us throughout the years. 

We need to be fighting for each other right now, for black communities and the victims of injustice. We share one planet, one colorful home full of possibility and connection. Music was our way of finding that common thread and we hope it can ignite a spark in you, too. 

(Ariana, Ashley, and McKail)

Buy EP to donate to the Loveland Foundation on BandCamp.
For the first year, 30% of proceeds to the The Precious Kids Center 

Photocred to Justin Higuchi

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