Photo Credit: Katrina Sorrentino
Nothing can stop you when you’re young. At least that’s what a million and one songs, TV shows, and movies have sold us on. Unlike those pop culture lessons rooted in fantasy, reality can sometimes have other plans.
At 19 Liz Vice thought she had her whole life ahead of her. A bucket list was made and spending the next few years dealing with hemodialysis was not a part of it. Despite that, and a kidney transplant, Liz Vice still had plans, goals, and a bucket list to check off. After following the music to New York City, she got started and today is giving her fans a little gift in the way of her most recent single, “It Was Good” while she makes moves planning out the next album. Find out when you can expect more music from Liz Vice, her Lion King connection, and more…
Kendra: Being the middle child myself, I know all too well what it’s like to be the shy kid just stuck in between the chaos of their siblings and the world around them. Do you ever wish you could go back and tell your younger self to break out of her shell sooner?
Liz Vice: Can I give you a virtual hug. You understand!
There are many times I think about what or who I’d be if I could go back and mentor my younger self. I loved the piano so much. My mom worked her butt off so we could go to private school. We could not afford piano lessons so I would sit there as the kids would dance their fingers across the white and black keys. I would then invite my friends who had been able to take piano lessons, to come to my house and place painters tape across the keys. I would sit at this little keyboard my aunt bought me for hours and hours. When we would go visit my Grandmother in LA, I would sit at her piano.
Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t just have self-motivation to keep practicing but that time has passed so instead of sinking in the “swamp of sadness” (name that movie), I have to practice being present. It’s always too easy to be strapped in a seatbelt of the past or collecting worries of the future. I also have to remember being ill really affected any long term plans I had for my life and yet don’t want to use that time as a reason to stop discovering who I am. “Who I Am” can be illuminated differently in various situations. Being away from my closest friends and family and building relationships in a city notorious for loneliness, I see certain attributes of my character highlighted, flaws, insecurities, strengths, and braveries.
Kendra: When you left Portland you headed to New York City. Were you ever toying with the idea of LA, or even somewhere like Atlanta for their music scenes?
Liz Vice: I made a bucket list at the age of 21. NYC was at the top. So many of my favorite childhood movies were about NYC. Not the cool and posh side but the gritty-street-smarts side and so my original dream was to be an actress in movies and then to making them. I was born in LA and have been there enough times to know it wasn’t for me and once music kind of became “my thing,” a door to use that gift within a worship pastor position for a church opened in Brooklyn. Honestly, I thought the music would fade but this just brought me closer to more music makers on the east coast, not even just in NYC.
In the past six years I’ve learned that with music, I can live anywhere in the country with a reliable airport. I am slowly discovering the many faces of music in NYC but to let you in on a dream, I’d love to work on a third record in the UK with their soul/R&B scene.
Kendra: Seems like you made the right call either way! Now, “It Was Good” is serving as the bridge between 2018’s Save Me and what’s to come. What made you want to release a one-off single instead of waiting until a whole album was ready to go?
Liz Vice: Honestly, I never think of these things. It just felt right. Honestly, “It Was good” was in celebration of Save Me and a thank you to those who supported me. Plus, in my own life, I sometimes forget how it’s an actual honor to be able to sing for people. How often does one get to gather a group of people from various backgrounds and life stories and speak over them something that’ll remind them how to see and heard and needed they are. I would not be doing music if it wasn’t for the villages that come around me and keep me moving forward.
I never thought I’d make a second record but sometimes I can’t tell “My Calling” what to do if I’m being led by the Spirit. The Spirit had something to say and I learned how much more the same we are than different while celebrating our differences.
Kendra: Speaking of, do you have an idea of when that new album will be out?
Liz Vice: Who knows! I once had someone tell me that “inspiration is for amateurs” but the way music was introduced to my soul was feeling and living life and having something to say. So, I could spend loads and loads of time trying to squeeze something out, but I also know I write best with the right people and/ or time.
Kendra: Just for some fun, as someone who grew up belting out The Lion King soundtrack in their room, which song from the soundtrack would you have wanted to redo for the remake?
Liz Vice: “Circle of Life” was the epic jam but honestly, I’d do a cover of “Be Prepared.” I would be a great platform to be dramatic and I think I’d kill that dialogue.
Kendra: You’ve got a show at the end of June, but what else in on the books for this summer?
Liz Vice: I am going to be performing at private events and doing a music residency in New Mexico in July and August. Maybe the third record is leading me and calling shots more than I am. Other than that, I am going to try to explore NYC and reconnect with friends I’ve not been able to see since being on the road so much. There is an amazing jazz vocal workshop that Barry Harris does in Manhattan and so maybe that’ll influence the third record or maybe it’ll just be a special time for me.