Archive for the 'The Songbird' Category

08 4th, 2010 Liz O

Sell Out or Being Smart

liz-o-picture1Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a true artists that can shatter the charts, warm hearts, and bring in the money that we all dream about?   Have you wondered whether actually achieving all these things means an artists has to sell out musically to really hit big?     I have.

In this addition lets tackle that question the best I can.

What Is A True Artist Anyway

female-vocalistI often think about what it really means to be a true artist.  Is a true artist one that sings like an angel?  Is a true artist a musician that although cannot sing, has the ability to master the art of songwriting?  Is a successful artist an artist that knows how to sell catchy music? Is a true artist one who knows how to speak to the very depths of person’s soul?  Can one be a true artist and have all of these components.    I have always wondered if a musician could be all about the music while still maintaining mainstream success.

There Is A Choice To Be Made

inner-struggleI have always thought that you could either have one or the other.  But through molding my dreams and aspirations and studying real music, I have found that it is possible to be a successful pop, R&B/alternative and Country artist and still have a great inspiring or empathy driven message.  For me, I want it all.  I want to be recognized for my God given talent, but never conform to mainstream “crap music”.  I am not saying do not write the occasional feel good song, but I believe that music is supposed to speak truth.

Beating To Your own Drum

celine-dionI look at artist like Celine Dion, Whitney Huston, Mariah Carey, Green Day, and Shania Twain, and I see greatness.  They were still able to dominate in the mainstream while singing truth and life.  This is the type of artist that I would like to be.  I think that underground music is great and just as inspiring, but I believe that more people that you can reach and inspire, the better.  So no matter the genre of music that you write for, make sure that you can always be a “crossover\ artist”; this is an artist that stays true to their genre but can supersede musical boundaries.  This is every artist’s dream.  I believe that you when you strive for that, you become the music.  Having the guts to just be yourself if probably the hardest struggle as the end result could mean the listening audience takes you or leaves you.   Put your heart on the line and put it all in your songs because the last thing you want happening is feeling like you’ve left something on the table.

If anyone has anything to add we welcome comments here at Euphony Productions.  Tell us what you want to see and read about and we will do our best to deliver.

Contact Liz O

06 16th, 2009 Liz O

Liz O Speaks Out

liz-o-pictureLiz’ Take On Songwriting

So I gave this some long thought, about what songwriting meant to me, what it should mean to the listener, and what is going on today in music that upsets me.    Lets see if any of you feel the way I do.  If you do go to the Euphony Productions Forum and speak your mind   (The link at the side that says “Euphony wants to know what you think”)   We are looking for all of your opinions on anything about music or the music industry.

What Does Songwriting Mean To Me?

When writing a song, I believe that one has to draw it from a “place”.
A lot of songs today? Oh they come from a place alright. Money.  A theme
is picked in the music business that all the rappers and all the singers
decide to start flowing about and everybody gets on that train and
franchise off of that idea.  Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy some of the
more recent “swagger” themed songs and “I’m the hottest girl all up in
the club” songs.  But these are not songs that can supersede time.

There Has Got To More Out There

Maybe I am a little more meticulous when it comes to songwriting, but
there has to be a time where a songwriter writes for fun and a time when
they write for the real sake of music.  I believe that every song should
have a meaning other than money, hoes, pimps, cars and alcohol,
clubbing, banging the next person you see, and how hot you are.  There
absolutely should be songs about fun, what’s hot, and other amusing
topics, but don’t you think it’s time to get some meaning behind the
music? Don’t you think there’s a little bit of overkill with the
ridiculous dance songs and big beats filled with meaningless lyrics?

Contact Liz O.

05 29th, 2009 Liz O

Dear Diary Part Two

liz-o-picture3Growing My Musical Roots

As a musician and songwriter, I found that as I matured in my understanding of music, my genre interest began to widen.  I did not grow up in a household that only listened to one particular type of music, but many.  I listen to everything from Phil Collins, to Rod Stewart, Elton John,  Luther Vandross, Diana Ross, Celine Dion, Madonna, Chicago, Classic rock and Motown, and even Nigerian music.

inner-struggle2With Life And Music Come Hard Choices

Because my music taste were so vast, I had no choice but to classify the type of music that I write as Neo-Soul, R&B, and Pop.  I have to say though that calling my music anything more that R&B was a bit hard for me at first.  I took my eyes  off the real focus at hand which was the talent that God gave me and I started to focus on things that had nothing to do with music.  I used to feel guilty about being an African American artist, and not having gone through a hard life.  We all have our struggles, yes, but as a young artist, I used to believe that in order for me to make it in the music business being an African American I had to have a certain type of voice, a certain type of look, and a certain type of persona.  Little did I know that I would let these misconceptions stop me from exploring who I was.

artist-starting-out-picture2It Is A Brand New Day

Now that might have been the case back then, but now in 2009 when everybody is musically doing everything I can be whoever I want to be.  I look at inspirations such as Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Prince, new artists like Jazmine Sullivan and Keri Hilson, and of course Corine Baily.  These are all African American artists that choose to be unconventional and in fact soared in their careers.  I came to know that it is not about fitting in it is about standing out and getting noticed.

original3Carving Out A Place Of My Own

My music is influenced by contemporary, pop, electronic, dance, R&B, and jazz.  When I became of age to realize that my talent was meant to supersede boundaries, I embraced the artist that I was and found out there are a lot of African American artist who grew up in great homes, lived great lives, and still could be successful in the game without having to sing and express poverty, death, and superficial issues.  I believe that as an artist, your life is your testimony, and it is up to you to incorporate that into your talent.

female-vocalist2Look At How This 14 Year Old Girl Grew Up

Now, my voice has become a lot stronger and more powerful than it was when I was fourteen.  I used to think if I could only run my voice and do all the riffs that other successful African American singers do, I will have it all, if I can only start writing a certain way I’d be set.  But guess what, I can run the heck out of my voice now, I can write an amazing R&B song, but I now know that through it all the point was never to fit into a stereotype it was to discover my full potential and soar.  And now when people tell me that I sound like Jennifer Hudson or I can hit Mariah Carey notes, it gives me pleasure for the right reasons now, and not the superficial ones it would have given me years ago.  I would feel just as content if they never told me to be honest.  Because if I do not sound like these great divas, guess what, I sound like Liz O.  It’s music, art, expression, life.  If you know you have a talent but you are unsure right now how to classify it, do not worry, the classification will come with the success.  Right now, find what makes you the artist that you are.  And you will find that through exploring the wide array of talent that you have, you are more powerful than the artists that stick to one category.  My art, my music, is not determined by the color of my skin, but by song in my heart, and the stroke of my pen.

icon for podpress  Weak (Original Cut): Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

As always keep up the dream and don’t let ANYONE talk you out of it.

Contact Liz O

05 20th, 2009 Liz O

Dear Diary Part One

liz-o-picture2Life As A Young Musician

What singer/songwriter doesn’t have a unique beginning story?  Mine is a not so common tale of a young girl full of dreams who has not found her pot of gold yet but at least discovered a beautiful  rainbow at the end.   I do have a story like a lot of you might too and mine goes a little something like this.

female-vocalist1My First Song

I wrote my first song; well it was actually a poem, about my two best friends at the time as well as my sister.  As I wrote it, I subconsciously put a melody to it and before I knew it, it had a hook, a chorus, three verses, and a message!  It was amazing to me and since then I have written close to 300 songs.  Now even though I was only eleven years old, I knew that ordinary people did not just turn poems into full-blown songs.  It was a talent that I knew I had to explore so I started my recording career by looking in the yellow pages for a producer.

supportThanks Goodness For My Parents Support

It was a long time ago but I remember it like it was yesterday sitting on my floor and opening up that big yellow book call the Yellow Pages and telling my mother, at age 14, “You know all of those songs that I sing to you every night?  Well I want to start recording them.”  Now a child that pulls out a phone book one day as I did and recommends that they record some lyrics they wrote to their parents will more than likely be brushed off.  That is what most would think and do but because my parents did not brush it off as a child’s silly little dream, I was able to step into my destiny.

recording-studio1My First Time In A Real Studio

Now I may not have known it at the time but it stuck with me through today.  I walked into my first studio wide eyed and full of dreams and walked out with both parents by my side and a little cassette with my very own voice on it.  Never mind that it had no music on it as I was more than excited and did not even think about the no music part at the time.  My Parents called me a superstar and it felt amazing and was such an ego boost.  I think all parents should support their children’s dreams providing they are empowering ones.

looking-backLooking Back

It really boggles my mind to think sometimes of where I am today compared to where I started a 14 year-old girl with a cassette tape with my first song “To Be Your Girl” on it.  I also wonder where I would be now if it were not for my Parents supporting me way back at age 14.  Now although it was an amazing experience, the road was not always as easy as it was being a 14 year-old singer/songwriter with supportive Parents.  It taught me one thing and now it is my turn to teach that lesson to all of you 14 year-old boys and girls out there too.   If you have a passion for music, I mean a true calling,
DO NOT GIVE UP no matter what anyone says!  That desire is in you for a
reason so let it grow and become a fire inside you that could never die.

determinination-picture1Every Experience In Life Is A Opportunity to Grow

I did not understand a lot of things when I sacrificed every Saturday from age 14-15 in the studio for hours at a time recording, practicing, and playing piano for hours on end.  I see it a lot more clearly now and in fact, it’s crystal clear. Everything that you do leads up to and prepares you for your destiny and your dreams.  So if you are the one that goes to nightclubs and sings with or without pay, keep doing it.  If you are the one who takes the expensive vocal lessons because you have a feeling it will benefit you in the future in some way, do it.  If you are the one that writes the unconventional but poignant lyrics, go ahead and continue doing it because no one was meant to express those feelings inside you like you will.

In closing I share my first song I ever recorded with you all called “To Be Your Girl” written at age 14 thanks to the love and support of my Parents.

icon for podpress  To Be Your Girl: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

As always keep up the dream and don’t let ANYONE talk you out of it.

Contact Liz O

05 17th, 2009 Liz O

One Female Music Artists Struggle

liz-o-picture1Chicago Artists

I believe that Chicago is home to some of the greatest musicians that we will ever know.  With movers and shakers like Kanye West, Chaka Khan, R.Kelly, Common, Lupe Fiasco, Disturbed, Smashing Pumpkins, Fall Out Boy, Jennifer Hudson,  and The Academy Is just to name a few,  we do not lack in talent.  But with that said, it seems to me that it is a lot harder to break out into the Chicago music scene than it is in other thriving music cities such as New York,  Los Angeles, or Atlanta.

chicago-musicians2The Frustration

I have been in the music scene for eleven years, and have done everything that a hard working artist should do when it comes to seriously pursuing their career. From doing everything from TAXI to performing at clubs and events, to calling record companies myself, I have tried it all.   Success to me does not come without a burden and a price.  But this is relevant to all musicians.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love my city and I love everything that it has to offer, but it seems like in order for an musician to break into the big music scene, they have to go out of state to get discovered, THEN come back to Chicago and in a way, show them what they have done to make them proud.

chicago-picture2So Does A Female Music Artists Have to Leave Chicago To Make It?

Music is an art, a passion, a culture of its own.  And to me, Liz O, Chicago has bred and continues to produce some of the world’s best talent.  It does inspire me a little bit more that I as a female artist come from a very prominent and talented city, but with the inspiration comes the realization that I have to work a little harder to get my voice out there.  I have a friend that is aspiring to do the same thing in New York City and it seems that she has better luck.  Living in a city like New York City, you are SURROUNDED by music venues that can open up the door to your dreams.  So for me, as a Chicago female artist, I am going to continue to do everything I can to get into the business and exhaust all the resources that I have in Chicago before I venture out to other cities.

original2Originality Is Everything

I will say that one thing that helps me is being different.  I mean how many R&B artists are out there today?  Many.  But how many R&B/Neo-Soul/Pop artists are out there today?  Not too many.  You have to make yourself different from the mainstream.  The other day I saw a group on MTV that had all their instruments made out of washing supplies like an old school wash board, a bucket, and a banjo, but they were jamming! So the key is to establish yourself as an individual and not just another singer within the genre that you fall into.  I love Chicago, I love the inspiration that it gives me for my work, and I hope that all of you Chicago artists continue to work hard because your dreams will come true.

Until next time I wish all my fellow music artists all the best,

Contact Liz O

icon for podpress  Weak - by Liz O: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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