By: Michaela Rodgers
If you’ve been on Litany’s homepage, chances are your ears have been blessed by the melodic voice of 23-year-old Trish Vega streaming from your speakers. The California native wrote her original song “Mother Dearest” specifically for Litany, translating the beauty and spirituality of the Lourdes Collection so powerfully into music. I had the pleasure of sitting down with the full-time missionary and gifted singer songwriter, and her interview revealed the profound truth that creativity is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that tastes uniquely sweet to each individual that partakes in it. She’s passionate about humanity, storytelling, and music, and I know you will be as inspired by her as I am.
Trish Vega is a full-time missionary at NYU in New York City, an unlikely place for a girl who grew up outside of San Francisco and went to college in Miami. When I asked her the controversial question, “East coast or West coast?” She replied, “Hard question! I have fallen in love with the people here…my conversion happened here…but when it comes to culture and beauty, my heart is still on the West coast. If everyone I loved here could move to the West coast, I’d be so happy!” When I asked her more about her home and her childhood, she smiled and looked off into the distance as she reflected on the days that shaped her into the artist she is today. “I’ve always had that creative bone in my body. I used to pretend to be Disney princesses, make set lists and fake props, and put on pretend concerts for my family and stuffed animals.” Her energetic nature makes it easy to imagine a little girl so full of life, though she expresses herself intentionally and humbly now, revealing a maturity that puts others at ease in her presence.
Though her parents aren’t particularly musical or creative by profession, her dad played the flute and encouraged her to sing and play with him. It was also his collection of concert DVDs that inspired an even deeper desire for performing that has never left her. “I was so enraptured by these performances and it was the first time I ever really paid attention to lyrics and music and performance all working together. I just felt this deep desire open up in me, like it hurt to watch because I wanted to do that so badly but I didn’t know how. Even to this day, it hurts to go to a really good concert,” she said with a groan, “I just want to be a part of it!”
Although she participated in plays and performances growing up, it certainly isn’t all about the excitement and attention for Trish. “At its heart, I have always loved storytelling and putting myself in other people’s shoes and exploring what it felt like to tell a story as if I were that person. I am fascinated by the psychology of other people, their stories, and imagining what it must have felt like to be them,” she explained. At this point in our conversation, I realized that there was way more to Trish’s artistry than just singing and songwriting. She explained that while music is what she gravitates to because it was what she studied, she does not limit herself to music if a story would be better told through other mediums. “Whatever medium serves the story best is really what I love doing.”
When asked where her inspiration comes from, she replied instantly, “Well prayer, for one thing, and also a lot of people watching! I love coffee shops because it’s a great people watching spot. I love hearing bits and pieces of conversations, what kinds of music people listen to, and how people talk. There’s a weird musical quality to that, whether they’re communicating something sad or happy or excited, those things can translate musically and evoke different melodies for me. I file these things away into a bank of human observation and then when I sit down to write something, I pull from what I observed.” This aspect of her creativity reveals the contemplative nature of her process, which also came into play when writing “Mother Dearest” for Litany.
“I have to really believe in a story in order to write something, and Litany’s story in all aspects was really fascinating to me. Hearing about Olivia and Veronica’s experiences at Lourdes and seeing how much of their inspiration came from the tactile experiences of witnessing physical and spiritual healing of the body through being clothed in water, I was so drawn to the great intimacy of that. I kind of just sat with that for a while and prayed, ‘Lord, help me feel how someone at the baths would have felt.’ Once I put myself in that place spiritually, it became fairly easy to write.”
It is so clear to see that her spiritual receptivity was truly the creative force behind the song because it complemented and coincided with the spirituality of the collection perfectly. We marveled on that for some time together and she exclaimed, “The Holy Spirit is wild, but He’s consistent! I think it’s so cool that even though I didn’t know the intricacies of their time and prayer there, I got to hear from them that my song fit their experiences. It was such a confirmation that we were drawing from the same wellspring of grace.”
To close out our Spirit-filled conversation, I asked Trish what she’d like to see from Litany in the future, in hopes that maybe her words might be a prophesy of some kind! “I think what I desire to see is something that I’m already seeing. I love how Litany is so intentional about integrating, highlighting, and celebrating each step of the process. In a way, I think Litany is giving us a model of how to view a human person—acknowledging every aspect of the person and how it contributes to the whole. Even in the way you’re highlighting different aspects of artistry and creativity and showing that these things aren’t in competition but that they’re a cohesive goal…Litany is not simply a fashion company but a catalyst for a movement that gives us a lens for how we can see another. I desire for the Lord to bless that!” As do we, Trish.
Trish Vega is a powerful, creative force to be reckoned with, yet gentle as the Holy Spirit that leads her. Much like her assessment of Litany, her music is multi-dimensional and highlights way more than a good beat and some words to match. Her process is prayerful and raw, and she produces music that draws you into contemplation almost against your will. If you don’t believe me, listen to her EP, "Sorrow," based on the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary, anywhere you find music, and see for yourself. You can find her at a coffee shop in New York City, or at @tstephi on Instagram.