The lovely Liz Loughrey recently released her inspiring single Rise UP! Drawing from Caribbean influences and Nina Simone’s message that an artist must use their voice to create change, Loughrey is using her music to not only get us grooving but leave us empowered to be better and give more.
The Winehouse Mag caught up with Loughrey, who is working on her 2017 EP, to chat about trailblazers Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. And why Rise Up! is more than a song but a movement. Chaka V.
TWM: I love to learn about an artist first experience of falling in love with music. Can you share one of those memories with me?
LL: I have really vivid memories of seeing my mom leading the worship at church. Her eyes closed, words sincere and passion oozing out of her. I eventually started playing in church with her. That passion was so contagious for me.
TWM: Who were some of your musical influences growing up? Why are they so important to you as a singer?
LL: While we’re on the topic of my mom, she was a musical influence in many ways. When I wanted to quit piano lessons, she wouldn’t let me. Who knows if I’d be that artist I am today if she hadn’t been so persistent and supportive from day one.
When I heard Billie Holiday for the first time my mind was blown. I draw a lot of inspiration from that era of jazz.
TWM: What inspired you to write the track Rise Up?
LL: I didn’t write Rise Up! with the intention of being a political activist or anything like that, but Nina Simone said it best: “You can’t help it. An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.” Unconsciously or not, that’s exactly what happened with ‘Rise Up!’.
TWM: We hear a lot about “movements” lately. Rise UP! is described as “more than a song” but a movement. Tell me about this movement?
LL: The #RiseUpMovement all about sharing the stories of those who are making positivity their focus. Every day we have the opportunity to Rise Up in our own lives and in the lives of others. By submitting a photo, sharing their story, and nominating one friend to do the same, the movement is growing and encouraging people worldwide to ‘Rise Up’ in their own unique way.
TWM: Canada, and in this case Toronto, is the home for a huge amount of amazing musicians and the world has taken noticed. Is that intimating as an artist or exciting?
LL: Nothing but exciting! The up and coming buzz surrounding Toronto makes this an amazing time to call this city home.
TWM: What’s next for you, Liz?
LL: I’m taking the #RiseUpMovement into schools to encourage kids to think big while discovering new ways to give back to their communities. The “Rise Up! Workshops” will take me to 20 more schools before the year is through. I’ll be back and forth to LA, writing and getting my upcoming EP ready for an exciting release in 2017!