BWW Interview: Grammy Nominated Singer-Songwriter LISA LOEB Appears at the Copa Palm Springs, 12/11

BWW Interview: Grammy Nominated Singer-Songwriter LISA LOEB Appears at the Copa Palm Springs, 12/11

Grammy Nominated Singer-Songwriter Lisa Loeb brings her signature vocal stylings to The Copa Palm Springs for one special performance, December 11 at 8:00 pm. Loeb is a touring artist, author and philanthropist who started her career with the platinum-selling Number 1 hit song "Stay (I Missed You)" from the film Reality Bites. A trailblazing independent artist, Lisa was the first pop musician to have a Number 1 single while not signed to a recording contract. She followed that remarkable feat with the hit singles "Do You Sleep," "I Do" and "Let's Forget about It " and the albums Cake and Pie and No Fairy Tale, among others. The Los Angeles based mother of two is well known to parents and kids for her albums Catch the Moon (with Elizabeth Mitchell) and Camp Lisa (with sales benefiting the Camp Lisa Foundation). Lisa's recent film and television appearances include John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight," "Orange Is the New Black," "About a Boy," "Hot Tub Time Machine 2," "King of The Nerds," "The Muppet Show," and Sprout Channel's "Sunny Side Up Show." I had the chance to catch up with Lisa as she was preparing for her upcoming Copa Concert. Here are a few excerpts from that conversation;

DG: Where did you grow up and how did life lead you into a career in professional music?

LL: Well, I grew up in Dallas Texas and I think that from a very early age I was just destined to become a musician and performer. It's something that I always loved, out of all of the different things I was able to do at school and in my life. I've just always enjoyed performing. Even though I was a shy child to start out with, by the time I was fifteen I decided I wasn't going to be shy anymore. But, I always had a connection with getting up on stage in front of people and connecting that way. Whether it was doing musical theatre or getting up in front of people with my guitar and playing for them that way - I weasels in a dance troupe and I did a lot of theatre growing up, and I always loved it. Summer camp was also probably one of the first places I really had a chance to perform regularly.

DG: Do you remember the first time you ever performed in front of an audience?

LL: Well, I don't even remember. I did it from such a young age. It was part of our school curriculum starting when I was very young. I do remember thinking that maybe I should focus on writing music when it came to going to this theatre program in London, before senior year in high school, and I had started writing a lot of songs on my guitar and I had a guitar that I had borrowed from somebody in London and the kids seemed to want to come to my room and listen to me play my original songs. And they wanted recordings of my songs. They wanted me to make a cassette for them. And that just made me feel like, wow, this might be something that I do professionally - that I might have a knack for this.

DG: Do you write your songs "solo" or do you collaborate with others?

LL: I started collaborating with other writers about ten years ago. Up to that point I was very committed to writing by myself, mostly. Every once in a while I would write with someone else, but I felt most comfortable writing by myself. I found that both logistically - because I', so busy touring or spending time with my family - umm, and also creatively- it seems to really work well to write with other people.

DG: Where do your song ideas generally spring from?

LL: There's really no specific, general place that they come from. They come from anywhere from my own personal experience to things I've seen or witnessed or read about - things that come into my consciousness that I see or read about or see on T.V. - movies - sometimes ideas come from my collaborators. Sometimes when we're working on a project we feel there's a need for a certain kind of a song so we work from that area of influence. Songs come from a musical idea and we try to figure out what that music is saying and go from there. So they really come from all different places.

DG: Do you also cover songs of other writers?

LL: I do sometimes. I keep meaning to cover more songs. It takes a lot of work for me to learn lyrics.

DG: With so many career successes, what stands out as a protest career accomplishment so far?

LL: I would say that I'm still doing it today. I mean, honestly, when I look around - with my experience - it's really hard to maintain a career for many, many years. I didn't realize that when I was starting out. I think, for me, success was initially getting songs on the radio and selling as many CD's as possible. And that's not a bad goal. And that's fun when that happens. But just to be able to still have a great audience that I can connect to - people who are interested in listening to my music and being involved in other projects that I create - umm, I realize that I'm very lucky and I'm very proud of that.

DG: You mentioned musical theatre earlier. Do you have any Broadway aspirations?

LL: You know, I do. I'd love to do Broadway. I had a small experience with Broadway. I got to do a Stephen Sondheim workshop in New York City of the musical Assassins. And that was amazing. So (Broadway) is something I have on my radar and I'm looking out for in the future.

DG: Would you write for musical theatre?

LL: I actually have. I had a musical that opened in New York earlier this year. It's a Summer Camp musical. It was Off-Broadway at The Atlantic Theatre. It was a kids musical called Camp Kappawanna.

DG: Are you looking to take that musical further?

LL: Yes, we're still trying to hone the script. It's in great shape but I think we need one more performance and then we want to get it on the road.

DG: What can audiences expect from your show at The Copa? Is there any kind of theme or through line?

LL: It's going to be the songs people have heard on the radio - I have to do that because that's what I expect when I go see somebody perform. So, people's favorite songs to do at Karaoke, as my own. And also, I'll play songs from my newer rock album - this album called " No Fairytale". I'll play some songs that are not even on records yet, some brand new songs that I've been working on. I'll probably play a couple of kids songs because they're really fun to play and grown ups seem to really like them. And, you never know if there will be a cover song that pops into it.

DG: Are there any new projects in your pipeline that you want to share?

LL: Yeah. I have this new song called "Champagne I'm Ready" that just came out on Amazon, that you'll want on your New Year's play list. It's something you'd probably hear more in a dance club - but it's called "Champagne, I'm Ready". I have a kids project called "Nursery Rhyme Parade" - it's a full on Nursery Rhyme collection of over 30 songs that came out with Amazon. also, a few weeks ago, I have an eyewear line that people should check out - they can find it in an ophthalmologist or optician's office or they look up www.lisaloebeyewear.com. Or they can find my glasses at Costco.

DG: Advice for aspiring young musicians or performers?

LL: Just do it. Do it. Get good at what you do. And then if you find that you're having success, whatever your version of success is, start putting a team together. Find someone who can work for you on the business side of things because it's hard to do everything yourself. Even though it's good to always be involved, find people who can be a support system on the business side. Also, if you can, hire a good publicist and think about marketing - it's good to start out with a good thing and be able to do what you say you can do, but then you need to connect with professionals who can help you get the word out there.

Lisa Loeb appears at The Cope Palms Springs on December 11 at 8:00 pm. For tickets or further information on this, or upcoming, concerts visit www.copapalmsprings.com.

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From This Author David Green

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