1. Hello Elizabeth, can you give me a short background about your life before you became a country singer?
I grew up in Illinois north of Chicago! I have two sisters! I didn’t just perform growing up I also played tennis, figured skated, volunteered, and hung out with friends. I spent time all over the Midwest as I have family in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. I loved driving into the city of Chicago and shopping and reading menus at restaurants I would pick to go to but also enjoyed my time in the country picking strawberries, baking in Grandma’s kitchen, boating on the lake and both sides of my family have roots in farming (Iowa family farm for over 100 years and my Grandma grew up on a farm in Illinois). I went to a big public high school called New Trier High School, then University of Wisconsin-Madison and then graduated from Vanderbilt University. My family is a big part of who I am and we’re known for having fun, talking a lot and our home-made rice krispie treats haha!
2. How did you know you wanted to become a country artist?
I have always loved music and performing! I grew up playing piano for over 13 years, was in like 18 musical theatre productions (Winnetka Children’s Theatre), Kenilworth Union Church Choir, School Choir, Dance classes, if it involved performing I was involved. I’d make up songs with friends. I used to even put on performances in our backyard for our neighborhood and make my sisters and friends be in the show.
I grew up listening to everything! I wanted to a spice girl like every young girl my age. My Mom even let me dress up like them (the pictures are embarrassing haha)! By High School, I was mostly influenced by country music though by the likes of Dixie Chicks, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan who helped take me into the country direction and ended up in Nashville really by fate. I was down in Nashville interning at a music publishing company and saw what people like FGL and Chase Rice were doing on social media and touring and I said, “I can make this happen.” My parents have always said, “if you are going to take a hold of your career you have to do it yourself and work really hard.”
Overall, I’ve been doing the music thing my whole life, but I didn’t really start to take it seriously until senior year of college when my first album went up on the charts. Since then, I’ve been running my own record label, Roar Records LLC, and my own publishing company, Elizabeth Lyons Music Publishing, all from my couch and apartment in Nashville.
3. Who are some of your musical icons?
Taylor Swift, Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Dixie Chicks, Spice Girls, Britney Spears, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Rolling Stones, Carole King, Madonna, Katy Perry, Dolly Parton, Earth Wind and Fire, Eric Clapton, Hans Zimmer, the list could go on…
4. If you could do a duet with a famous singer or group who would it be and why?
Taylor Swift because she’s not only an incredible entertainer and songwriter but she runs her business and has a hand in every aspect of it which I admire and love.
…or Sam Hunt I got to open for him a few times and I just absolutely LOVE his music and crew.
…or Luke Bryan I wrote a song about him and his fans are the BEST. It would be fun to collaborate with him. I feel like were similar in having big personalities and genuinely love entertaining people.
5. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years in your career?
I hope to be put on a Spotify playlist, played on Sirius XM again, play the Grand Ole Opry stage, nominated for a CMA, ACM and Grammy. Most importantly to be happy and healthy surrounded by my amazing family and friends!
6. If you were not a singer what do you think your career would be?
If I were not a singer I would probably be on the business side of the entertainment industry or an entertainment lawyer.
7. What is one thing you are most proud of your career so far?
Music is a really powerful thing. I have the ability to make people happy which is amazing.
One of the things I often tell my band is that at any given show we play, it’s not about how many people are there. It’s not about how great we played. It’s about how it makes people feel.
We have the ability to make people smile and to give them big hugs. More people need love and joy and I’m able to do that. You’ll find that in all of my songs there’s that little piece of hope. A lot of my music is fun and upbeat.
I always try to give back in everything I do. I have people who have been supportive from the very beginning. From my teachers growing up, to my family members who encouraged me to follow my dream, to the fans who have come out to watch me play. I also have a band that’s been with me for the past two to three years.
I’m lucky to be doing what I love to do and that’s the best thing about it. But I can only do so much on my own – it takes a village to do all of this.
8. What is one of your own songs that is your favorite?
I’ve Never because I Never thought I’d have recorded a second album, selected Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star Top 3, sold over 75,000 songs, charted #1 Music Video, played on CMT and Sirius XM The Highway or played Major Music Festivals, or find love or be living my dreams. You never know in life. Never stop believing in hope, because miracles happen every day.
9. Is there anything new coming up in your music for the rest of
2016 or 2017?
I just released the “I’ve Never” Music Video on iTunes on October 24th! It charted #4 on iTunes All-Genre surrounded by Bruno Mars, Ariana Granda, Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, The Weekend, and Pitbull and #2 on iTunes Country Music Video Charts right below the incredible “Forever Country” video shot by CMA featuring all the legends like Dolly Parton, Luke Bryan, Reba etc and above videos by Country royalty like Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Florida-Georgia Line, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert Its still charting and I can’t believe it! Filled with so much love and feel incredibly thankful and blessed! I shot the video at my friend Josh Lynn’s beautiful southern mansion in Belle Meade, TN exploring the property and at their baby grand piano intertwined with shots of the different cities mentioned in the song. The shoot was just me and my director Cameron Chiles, his assistant, Meg Boes who did my hair and makeup. Patrick Tohill produced the project! They did a great job!
10. Where is your favorite venue to play?
Either Milwaukee Summerfest which I’ve had the privilege of playing 4 years in a row or anytime in my sweet home Chicago at Joe’s on Weed St, Joe’s Live, or Windy City Smokeout, Wrigley Field or at U.S. Cellular Field. I couldn’t pick between the two cities!
11. If you have to give advice to a up and coming country artist what would you tell them?
As an independent artist, I’ve had a hand in several aspects of the industry and I love helping up and coming country artists and people who want to be in the industry. I’ve been lucky to have amazing mentors along my music journey so I enjoy giving back and sharing my knowledge like I’ve recently spoken at CMAEDU chapter events giving advice. But overall my advice would be it takes “Patience, Persistence and Perseverance”!
12. What is one of your favorite quotes?
1 Corinthians 13