Liz Longley is a Nashville-based, East Coast-bred musician with a penchant for lending her nuanced, genre-bending vocal, piano, and guitar playing talents to illustrate her inventive, pop-inspired original music. With a career spanning well over a decade, Liz’s songwriting talents have been recognized by such noteworthy institutions as the BMI John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship (for “Unraveling,” inspired by a family member’s challenges with dementia), and the International Acoustic Music Awards (for “When You’ve Got Trouble”), and her music has been heard across many major digital music and television programming formats. Most recently, a crowdfunding campaign to secure the master recordings for album ‘Funeral for My Past’ (out September 18, 2020) garnered the artist three times that of the goal amount, further solidifying Liz’s strong fanbase connection, and her songs’ connections to the listener on a foundational, mentally- cathartic level. Read on to learn more about Liz as this month’s Music for the Mind Artist spotlight!
How would you describe your music in three words?
Reflective. Dynamic. Emotive.
What is the earliest music memory that made you think, “I want to do that!”?
Fourteen years old, I was asked to sing my first original song to the packed high school auditorium. When I hit the last note of the song, I got a standing ovation, and the overwhelming feeling that music was what I wanted to do with my life.
You’ve been had a lengthy, and poignant, career as a songwriter, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and performer, with many accolades from numerous high-profile entertainment entities and awards to boot. Thinking back on your career, how has your music-making process grown and changed over time?
The music-making process has been the one constant. The recording process changes depending on the producer, the studio, the musicians involved, etc., ... and maybe I’m better now at knowing how to best serve the music, but the writing process is the same. I still write songs from the same place, with the same hope that they’ll connect with people.
Allen Toussaint once stated, “Music is everything to me short of breathing. Music also has a role to life you up-not to be escapist but to take you out of misery.” With this quote in mind, how has music gotten you through hard times in your life?
Writing music has often felt like journaling to me. It helps me to make sense of what is going on in my head. Just listening to music allows me to take a deep breath, to see the bigger picture, and to feel understood in the hardest moments.
What does the phrase “Music for the Mind” mean to you?
I believe music is healing, for the mind, body, and spirit. Let it in, let it resonate with you, and it can be your medicine.
In addition to music as a cathartic measure, what other resources or coping tools do you use for your own mental well-being?
I get by with a little help from my friends and family. Having a safe place in someone is essential to my mental well-being. I value the people in my life who allow me to talk out my thoughts and feelings, and who offer another way to see things!
To listen and learn more about Liz Longley, head to:
Official Website: https://www.lizlongley.com/
All photos by Patryk Larney for the Brett Thomas Doussan (BTD) Foundation.