We catch up with new girl on the block Liz, to talk ’90s nostalgia, warming up for Blondie and dressing tight like TLC
She may be the new girl on the bl0ck, but this Cali kid has been working with some of the hottest producers in the game. Cutting tracks which grind the best of Y2K-pop and Aaliyah-style R&B with UK bumping garage beats and BMore Club hooks, her noise is infectious to say the least. Layering late ’90s on early ’90s her formula landed her a spot opening for none other than Blondie at SXSW. Having also collaborated with Young Money rapper Tyga on the track ‘Don’t Say’, Liz already has a lineage of irresistible popstar jams behind her. We caught up with the girl herself to talk ’90s nostalgia and dressing tight like TLC…
So what did you grow up listening to?
I grew up listening to an eclectic mix of music. I studied classics like the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Carole King, Aretha Franklin, and David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, and the Four Seasons…singer songwriters like Alanis Morissette, Jewel, Fiona Apple and Ben Folds and then, of course, pop and RnB artists on top 40 radio like Britney, Mariah, Janet, Michael, Aaliyah, TLC, NSYNC, etc. I’m also influenced by classical music because I was a serious ballerina for over ten years and was always exposed to music from a plethora of composers.
So a bit of everything then! There are some serious 90s sounds in your music, who are your 90s music greats?
Janet! Honestly, anything by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Max Martin, and Darkchild.
Aside from the music, what other relics of the ’90s are you most nostalgic for?
The fashion! Jodeci and TLC dressed so tight… I love being comfortable and wearing baggy stuff. They had effortless swag whereas I feel a lot of artists these days tend to try too hard.
Agreed! Talk us through your new ‘Just Like You’ EP, where did the inspiration for it come from?
My ‘Just Like You’ EP was an exploration of pop and RnB meeting the underground. A lot of the producers I curated for it had never worked with female vocalists before, aside from messing with samples. It was an experimental process that ended up being successful and really fulfilling. I like how every song on the EP has its own flavor and identity. My album is going to be in the same spirit.
Let’s talk about SXSW, you opened for Blondie at how was that?
I love Blondie! Debbie Harry is an icon and I’ve always looked up to her and her style and attitude. It was really surreal to play before them. They killed it.
You’re always photographed looking very fashionable, how would you describe your style and which designers or brand are you usually fronting?
Underground TRL. I’m pretty much always head to toe in stuff I find at Freak City, V Files or F As in Frank Vintage. I often rock Kangol, vintage FUBU or Freak City’s FUBU X Versace line, LA Rap, Lazy Oaf, KTZ, and lots of Nike.
Which other emerging artists are you currently backing?
SOPHIE, Wave Racer, Lido and Tourist are my favorite producer/dj artists right now, all of whom I’ve done work with recently. As far as vocalists, I’m really happy to see my friend Charli XCX killing it these days. I respect how she’s just doing the same exact thing she’s been doing all along. She’s a boss. I’m a fan of Hannah Diamond from the PC music crew. I’ve definitely been part of the ‘positive’ movement I feel is emerging in the underground, and it’s nice to see other artists who seem to have the same sentiment.
We love Charli! What does the rest of 2014 hold for you?
I have a lot of new music coming out – collabs and singles from my album which is slated for early 2015. I’m also touring on the Mad Decent Block Party tour this summer/fall!