East London singer-songwriter LIZZI has just released her debut EP ‘After Hours’, which mixes up a range of influences and Pushes them through a new soul hue. It’s more than that though, with her songs having the sort of immediately engaging smart yet introspective soul/pop music that’s been attracting attention from tastemakers and those close to the pulse.
We decided to find out a little more, so we caught up with LIZZI on her EP, lockdown and more.
Hey thanks for talking to us – firstly, how are you coping with lockdown? Has it affected any plans? Or rather, how much has it affected plans?
I’ve been a bit up and down but now I’m getting used to it, it’s definitely become the new normal. Some days I’m appreciating all the free time and others I’m feeling boxed in but it looks like there is an end in sight now! My boyfriend made a good point in saying to me “See this as the time to do the things which you normally wouldn’t have the time do to.” I had THE best summer planned but that’s all been wiped out now sadly, but we’re all the same boat with that. I also had to postpone my headline show at the beginning of April which sucked.
Have you been able to do anything creative in the time?
Yes, but I’ve really tried to take the pressure off of myself and only do something creative if I’m really feeling up to it. My boyfriend DJ’s so I’ve been learning to DJ and delving deep into finding new music for mixing which I’m loving. I’ve also been collabing with other artists remotely which has been fun and producing new material. I also shot the visual for “Personal”, a DIY video filmed in the living room and streets around my house. I’ve learnt from lockdown that I like to keep busy otherwise I get anxious that I’m not using this time wisely, which is silly but oh well!
Whats been soundtracking your lockdown? Any particular albusm or artists or what have you?
I’ve been on a big music discovery, especially since learning to DJ, I’ve been listening to a lot of jazz, house, dub and afrobeat. I’d say the album ‘Who is Jill Scott’ by Jil Scott, Letherette and Francis Bebey are my lockdown favourites.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get to the point your at now, and who were your big inspirations?
I loved singing growing up and my Dad taught me the guitar when I was 18 and I’ve been songwriting since. I moved to London after uni and picked up music production. I started off singing and writing much more folk/acoustic music and my sound has morphed over the past 5 years as I got more into soul, R&B and jazz music. My big inspirations are varied; from Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell’s songwriting to Erykah Badu, Aaliyah and Sade’s groove.
How would you describe yourself as an artist?
I’m a neo soul singer-songwriter and producer with a blend of R&B and alt-pop. I would say my songs are all a bit sultry and silky; I want them to be the kind of tracks you can put on it any setting and they bring you some kind of warmth.
You’ve got an ep coming out, that goes through the stages of emotions? Tell us a little more about that?
The EP captures different phases of my last long term relationship; the highs and lows and learning you take away from it. “Longing” is about the early days of yearning and uncertainty, “Careless” is about being cautious, “Try” is about giving everything but still not managing to get things back on track and “Personal” is about betrayal and hurt, as well as, letting go.
How do you write, or pick songs?
It varies every time, normally though, I write alone just because it’s allows me the time and space to get into a rhythm, although I co-wrote ‘Personal’ and that was a really fun experience. Normally I put down some drums, keys or guitar and improvise singing over those with whatever melodies and lyrics come to mind and base the song around that feeling and mood. Once I’ve written the lyrics and melody I produce it myself or build it up from there with a producer.
Whats your favourite song from the EP and why?
“Try” has a special place in my heart because it takes me back to a place of limbo in my last relationship, the feelings were very raw and still vivid to me now. It really captured a period in my life that was very tough.
Are there plans for an album? What are you working on now?
Yes possibly an album or a second EP. It depends on how the songs I am working on now shape up, but yes more music incoming. I’ve been producing these myself so I’m excited for these to come out, they feel more authentic.
Diffcult to say but what plans do you have for the rest of the year – if and when lockdown is relaxed?
I can’t wait to be in the sun with my friends! So hopefully that and I’d love to go on holiday but we’ll see. It might just be a British seaside break, which would be super nice. I plan to do a dj set debut, put on my headline show (if possible) and release new music towards the end of the year. Keep your eyes peeled!