Quick Q and A with Liz Longley

I absolutely love what Liz Longley says below about her relationship with her fans.  Liz is in it for the long run and so are her fans.  She’s been able to connect and relate to those who love her music and the love keeps on growing.  She’s not a flash in the pan or today’s “next great singer-songwriter.”  She’s been recording music since her college days at Berklee and has been slowly acquiring experience and adding many more people with open hearts and ears to her posse.  Since moving to Nashville, Liz has also been adding more music experience and connections and it’s a delight to see her continue to grow as an artist.

To learn more about Liz, visit her website.

Here’s a video of Liz singing “Outta My Head.”

You’ve recorded at least five CDs thus far.  What have you learned about yourself since you first started recording?  Have you been able to become more at ease with the process or is it a nerve-wracking and exhausting time?

It’s not a nerve-wracking time for me, thankfully. I enjoy the studio and find recording to be a rewarding creative process. To watch a song evolve from a solo acoustic performance to a realized recording is a beautiful thing.

Have you ever been surprised by the final outcome of one of your songs?  Did a song ever morph into a totally different entity than what you had started out with before you stepped into the studio?

Yes. On my latest record, Weightless, there was a song called “Never Really Mine” that I co-wrote with Ian Keaggy. It was an uptempo song that had some great parts but some things that weren’t clicking for me. Last minute, I played it for my producer, Bill Reynolds, and he loved the chorus but also felt something was off. He asked me to slow it way down. To play it as slow as molasses. That changed everything. But then suddenly the verse lyrics didn’t live up to it. I went home and rewrote the verse lyrics and it was like we had a brand new song. It’s one of my favorites on the album.

Your fan base is very loyal to you and has been since you first started touring.  You’ve said that it sometimes feels that many of your fans are like family members.  How do you figure you’ve been able to attain that kind of loyalty as opposed to some other musicians who have never been able to make that soul connection?

Never did I imagine the incredible people I would connect with while touring the country. It usually sparks from them saying hello after a show & sharing a story from what a song meant to them in their life. I think because I am vulnerable in my writing and on stage that they feel comfortable sharing. It means the world to me. Because of their willingness to be open, some of my most cherished friends were originally “fans.”

Tell us about Weightless.  How is this album different from the others?

The songs lean a bit more toward my pop/rock influences which is why I was thrilled to work with Bill Reynolds of Band of Horses. He’s an incredible producer. We spent three months on the record, experimenting with sounds that pushed the boundaries for me as an artist.

Here’s a brain teaser: Describe the sound or feel of each of your albums with one word or phrase:

Somewhere in the Middle: (Not sure!)

Hot Loose Wire: Acoustic 

Inside This Song: Floaty

Liz Longley: Nashville 

Weightless: Rock/pop

You have written many songs about break-ups and less-than-perfect relationships.  Is it true, as they say, that it’s easier to write songs when you’re distraught, discouraged and brokenhearted?

Possibly. I recently went through another break up and haven’t written about it at all because it’s easier to shut down and not tap into those emotions. It can be quite challenging to face your fears and your feelings on a regular basis. In the past I have typically been fueled by a broken heart but right now I’m looking for the good in everything and writing about that.

You must know that you’re a role model for many young singer-songwriters.  Do they often approach you for advice?  What do you tell them?

It’s hard to know where to begin as a singer/songwriter who wants to make a living making music. Different things work for different artists but what has worked for me is to play as often as possible & to always be myself. When I started out, I was my own booking agent for years. Me & Thee Coffeehouse was in my list of venues I wanted to play that artists I loved had played. I reached out to every venue and just tried to get my foot in the door with an opening slot. Some people have overnight success, but I recommend taking the slow build approach by making real connections with fans along the way. Those people keep coming back. If those same people saw me on The Voice (I will never go on The Voice), they’d be over it and on with the next thing soon enough. But a true connection has no expiration date.


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