** Liza will be in Volume 1 of SYLVAN Magazine - Read the entire story here - www.sylvanmag.com
The wind held a chill and the alley was very dark. I approached a familiar door that led to an unfamiliar home. I called, Liza answered, opened the door and we gave each other sweet hugs. The lighting was warm and so was the air. We sat across from each other on an old, floral couch and began to talk. “I just write everyday,” Liza said as she described her life, work, and her debut record The Colder Months. “It’s a life style - being continuously observing rather than going about life waiting for something big to happen and then writing. It’s constant.”
When I first met Liza I knew her as a friend of a friend. She was charming and sweet and inquisitive. Thoroughly interested in the life of those around her, I could tell that when she walked into a room, she brought with her a very special energy. Now, a 20-year-old singer songwriter, currently touring, writing, and going to school, Liza is using this unique energy to enter into the large, and often scary, music industry.
“Comparison is a thief of joy,” she went on to say, pressing into the idea of fame, success, and comparison. “It will take everything, and it will leave you with nothing. No one else can tell the stories you can tell. Yes reality will set in with questions like, ‘how will I make money,’ but if I’m supposed to play Madison Square Garden there’s no other person who will fill that. No one can write my songs, but I can’t write Brandi Carlile’s songs and there’s no shame in that. There’s no shame in the fact that you have 2000 Pinterest followers and someone else has 5 million. It’s all just numbers. 15-year-old me wanted to be famous, but at this point I don’t really care. Whatever stage is supposed to have my name on it, it will happen. I believe that no matter what I’m supposed to do there’s not a person on earth that could take it.”
As she spoke I realized a side of her I had not picked up on before this meeting. Ambitious and extremely confident, she spoke about her upcoming plans. “I’m hoping to conquer the late night scene and slowly but surely have a very singer - songwriter career. I want to speak to the people that want to listen.” Liza has shows booked this summer in Europe as well as a living room tour going through the east this spring. As she travels she will bring this strength with her, this ability to delight in and motivate other's and even her own success. "I’m passionate about people finding that thing that sets them on fire, despite the fact that it’s not going to promise money right away," she said and I felt the room settle in on our conversation.
When I stepped back into the dark alley I felt a sense of anticipation. This young woman is going somewhere, and she knows what she wants. As I walked I thought about the rarity of this, the authenticity and beauty behind this 20-year-old's words.
Photos - film by Leah Gray
Video - shot + directed by Zachary Gray