Written by Maria Arroyo
This past week I got the chance to interview Conor McMullen, the founder, and CEO of the multi-media platform, Lucid Project, an ever-changing brand that mixes music and mindfulness into one complete package. It was a couple of months after moving to Miami from Washington D.C. in search of a bigger music market that McMullen found himself the victim of a horrible accident from a careless driver involved in a hit-and-run. Since his strenuous recovery and rehabilitation, McMullen was able to dive straight into what he wanted more than anything: to create something where music and mindfulness are brought together in hopes of “erasing the taboo on mental health.”
“I started the Lucid Project a little prior to the accident. In October of 2017, we were getting ready to go to a Halloween party where we started kicking ideas around creating a music brand… I’ve been rolling it out and building it from that conversation since,” McMullen explained.
“After my accident, I was in recovery, in and out of surgeries, etc. While also trying to breathe life into the Lucid Project,” McMullen shares with me. “It wasn’t until the accident that it forced me to dig even deeper into a lot of things, which spurred the decision to use music and mindfulness in the brand. It’s always been in the back of my mind, but the action was really pushed to the forefront of the brand. It’s been a lot of work, but I wouldn’t trade the whole experience for anything.”
This idea of mindfulness is one that many have not thought to wrap their heads around, and the music industry is no different. Like McMullen said before, there’s been this feeling of forbidden when it comes to anything relating back to mental health, and he wants to start a conversation to bring an end to that.
“I’m trying to erase the taboo behind mental health, and if I can do that in an interesting way and use music as a vehicle to move it, then that’s what I want.”
We then got to talking about where his passion for really diving into the art of mindfulness and the conscious, and he traced it back to his grandmother in the 70’s.
“My grandmother was way ahead of her time. She was doing yoga during this time when it was still very new to western culture, and I think it trickled down. Growing up, I would see my mother doing these breathing exercises and exercises to calm the mind, and I remember thinking ‘what is she doing?’ We didn’t know what was going on, but as my siblings and I got older, we could see how it was relevant. Mindfulness has always been a part of my life, but more so for the better part of a decade where I slowly started introducing it in my life through yoga, meditation, etc. I was researching and reading about different practices all around the world, and understanding how beneficial it can be for everyone.”
McMullen also shared with me that his dad was also a DJ in the disco era, which explains the music side of his developing brand.
“It’s definitely brought me to where I am now,” He shares. “I’m making my own unique little recipes,” he says, with all of the influences and inspirations of those people in his life.
I asked McMullen, “Why did you choose to create this brand using EDM-style music?” I thought the direction was a bit odd, but I was inclined to figure out the reasons for this.
“Well, it’s more like house music,” McMullen explains. “It’s like a subgenre of EDM, which is a derivative of the 70’s disco era. At this time, that music kicked off with ideas of positivity and love and interconnectedness, and all of that is at the core of the aesthetic and vibe that we want to create. The music we play also promotes positivities and togetherness, but with some jazzy undertones. It’s more subdued, providing more of an ambiance to facilitate a more mindful experience.”
Something else I noticed when I was gathering some basic information for this interview was this strange word that kept popping up throughout Lucid Project’s Instagram page. It was the world ‘Aluna.’ There were mentions of ‘Daily Doses Of Aluna’ that kept resurfacing, and I just knew this had to be a vital part of his project as well.
“So a buddy of one of my friends was coming up to D.C from Columbia, South America. He says, ‘I know you’re doing music stuff, let’s have you help us build your music thing here.” During our time in Columbia, we found out about these indigenous people, the Kogi people. It was a beautiful culture. They describe themselves as stewards of the planet. Their region is also one of the most biodiverse on the planet with everything from glaciers to rainforests.
This group uses the word ‘Aluna’ to represent consciousness, and I thought to myself, “Man, what abeautiful concept.” During my recovery process, I found myself realizing that instead of saying consciousness, I’ll introduce this beautiful and different concept and get people to start thinking about it in a different way.”
McMullen shares this as his inspiration for his ‘Daily Dose Of Aluna’ and to further his understanding and practices of mindfulness.
As I started to bring the interview to a close, I asked McMullen if he could share anything else that he’s been working on, or anything we should be expecting from Lucid Project.
“So we are relaunching Lucid Project in the late fall of this year. I don’t wanna spill too many details, but that’s coming up.”
He also shares that they are still live-streaming, and even having upcoming interviews with different people in the industry, and will continue to promote his music and mindfulness brand.
“I actually just wrote a book,” he shared. “It’s titled ‘Be True. Discover Your Inner Hero.’ and it’s about my whole experience: personal insights in recovery and things I’ve done that have helped me. I’m hoping that maybe others can take it in a minute or two and implement those little bites of mindfulness. I want to plant the seeds in people’s minds so they think about it a little more.”
His new book ‘Be True. Discover Your Inner Hero’ came out this past Sunday, on his birthday, in fact! It’s available on Amazon Kindle, and a hard copy of his story can be bought here! He also said that all of the printed copies are printed on 100% recycled paper, with a focus on bettering the environment.
“I’m trying to add a bit of uniqueness to it,” he explains. “And with the physical copy, I’m asking people to add one goal or a personal hobby, and I’ll write a personal note or inspirational message on how I think they should get started!”
It’s important to talk about these things, and this talk with McMullen was immensely eye-opening and very refreshing. I’ll leave this interview with something that is so vital and at the very core of everything Conor McMullen wants to create.
“The world would be a better place if we all looked out for everyone.” – Conor McMullen