I had the opportunity to sit down with Lizzie & The Makers frontwoman, Lizzie Edwards, about her upcoming album, her life, and the innovative new platform, Jukebox Concert Bites, which is opening new doors for emerging artists to connect with fans across the country, often on personal level, through binge watching delivered to bars via AMI Jukebox.
Lizzie & The Makers second studio album, Dear Onda Wahl, embroidering their strong Southern rock with art-rock, dream-pop, and subtle elements to spawn something of their own. Released on November 5, it is among the rare records that combines single-minded artistry with widespread commercial appeal.
Built around Lizzie Edwards’ soaring, natural-power frontman Lizzie Edwards’ soaring timbre, the upcoming LP is produced by Grammy winner Mario McNulty (David Bowie, Prince) and guitarist Cure Reeves Gabrels (Tin Machine, Bowie). Their influences, alongside the expressive six-string and textured pedal steel of Edwards’ writing partner (and Gabrels protégé) Greg McMullen, ensure an thrilling, deeply dynamic – and sometimes otherworldly – take on the traditional.
Defying her constant comparisons to Janis Joplin, the classically trained Edwards hails a soulful mezzo-soprano formed by Memphis soul legend Ann Peebles, the Heart’s Wilson brothers, and jazz icon Billie Holiday. He is firm, yet vulnerable; challenging, yet proudly flawed.
OR: Who inspired you in your early years?
LE: Billie Holiday, Bonnie Raitt, and my dad!
HIR: Any idea when the lights went out and you knew music was going to be your career?
LE: Maybe when I was in 7th grade.
OR: What artist did you compare to?
LE: Stevie Nicks, Chris Robinson, Annie Lennox, Janis Joplin
OR: Is there an artist you would most like to collaborate with?
LE: Mavis Staples
OR: How have you and your team developed a fan base? Is there a distinctive strategy?
LE: Yes, we recently connected with Emerson Amusements and the AMI Jukebox Concert Bites team. When I heard about what they were doing, we signed up. They recorded one of our favourite shows from Bowery Electric and are now bringing a small version of the concert to fans via the TV screen in the bar.
OR: Were the Jukebox Concert Bites people easy to work with?
LE: They are! Bob Rose is their talent manager, refreshing, creative and fun to work with. He is entirely aligned with our band’s goal of building our fan base. We held our first ever Jukebox Concert Bites event at the ACE bar in Manhattan on October 6th. Our partnership ensures that the AMI jukebox will promote Dear Onda Wahl; plus, every song I publish will be available on thousands of AMI jukeboxes across the country.
OR: Some people believe you are near giving up hope. Can you share your thoughts with us?
LE: I mean, I feel until you came out you were all the time on the cusp! It’s a constant grind and I’m lucky because I love what I do. You never know when or if a breakthrough will occur, so it is vital to take them one after the other and focus on the now.
OR: Where have you performed? What’s your favourite place?
LE: So many places! I love Rockwood Music Hall and The Cutting Room and the Bowery Electric. I also love Hotel Cafe in LA and hope to be back there soon!
OR: Do you have an upcoming event?
LE: October 13th at Bowery Electric and November 10th at The Cutting Room.
OR: How do you think the influence of the Internet has been on the music business?
LE: While I believe the internet helps bring your music to people around the globe who may not be listening to you, unfortunately it all appears to be based on algorithms and not talent.
OR: How would your best friend describe you?
LE: My friends would absolutely describe me as kind, funny, intense, empathetic, and passionate.
OR: What is the best piece of advice you have ever given that you would share with an up-and-coming musician?
LE: Don’t compare yourself to other artists, focus on your voice and be your most genuine self.
OR: Do you have a cause that resonates with you?
LE: Yes, I’m pro-choice and was involved in a fundraiser on 10/23 that raised money for pro-choice organizations in Texas.
OR: If you could change something about this industry, what would it be?
LE: It would be great if musicians could get paid enough to make a living, particularly through streaming services. I have three jobs aside from being a musician so I can pay my own bills and also be capable to afford my band, record, do merch, etc. People do not realize how expensive it’s to run a band and nobody seems to want to compensate us for our time and talent.
OR: What’s next for you?
LE: We will be releasing our next album Dear Onda Wahl on November 5th! Hoping to tour in support of it.
OR: Thank you for taking the time to interview me. Best of luck in your upcoming events and new album releases.
LE: It was my pleasure.
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