AVIVA-Berlin: You are the daughter of jazz guitarist and composer Chuck Loeb and Spanish singer Carmen Cuesta. How come you could develop your own, individual style despite this strong heritage/family background?
Lizzy Loeb When I was small, my parents were always playing music that they enjoyed: the Beatles, Elis Regina, Jobim, etc. But as I got older I started to be very interested in finding artists that I loved, which turned out to be mostly singer-songwriters: Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Sting. So I became infatuated with songwriting and what made the ones I loved special. Pop songs are pretty different from jazz as they have more form, so both strongly shaped me as a musician and songwriter.
AVIVA-Berlin: Music has always played a part in your life, in what ways did your parents inspire you to become a musician?
Lizzy Loeb: They never pressured me to play music, but I was strongly attracted to it. I was always singing and playing instuments, and there was a lot of jamming in the house growing up. They were so finely tuned as musicians and performers that I learned a lot simply by watching.
AVIVA-Berlin: Is it easier to be successful with successful parents or is it sometimes even harder?
Lizzy Loeb: I think it´s easier...I hope it´s easier! I have made a lot of invaluable connections thanks to them. Plus they are supportive of a music career, I´m lucky because I know many whose families are not.
AVIVA-Berlin: Because of your live shows you have been to Berlin a lot. What do you like about Berlin?
Lizzy Loeb: Berlin is a magical city where being an individual is endorsed, not looked down upon. The people respect and support the arts. I´m pretty certain that the most receptive shows I´ve had have been in Berlin so far. The city itself is steeped in culture and dense with history, which gives you the feeling of being the star of your own film when you walk down the street. I´m thinking about moving there.
AVIVA-Berlin: What do you love and miss while you´re on tour?
Lizzy Loeb: I am one of the few who love airports. I can look at the shops, observe the people. I love seeing those going on long awaited trips, or listlessly awaiting a business trip. I am also one of those who strikes up conversations with fellow passengers. Every single person is interesting in their own way, I find. I miss my family mostly when I´m gone. Although it´s gotten harder to miss them because we speak on Skype so much! And also my bed.
AVIVA-Berlin: Why is your album called "The One"?
Lizzy Loeb: I mean it in the way that you are an individual, no matter who you are, but we all go through similar rites of passage and emotions. I hope that my music gives the listener comfort in the lyrics that they can relate to. We are all humans, going through life, and any way in which we can feel less alone has to be good.
AVIVA-Berlin: Your grandparents are Jewish from Russia and Germany – how do you live the Jewish part of yourself? (I read that you were raised catholic.)
Lizzy Loeb: I have lots of Jewish friends, and grew up in town with a lot of Jewish residents. It is a lovely culture, warm with a sense of humor. I don´t practice and I was raised Catholic but have been to many Bar Mitzvahs and lived the culture thoroughly.
AVIVA-Berlin: Where exactly in Germany and Russia does your familiy come from, did you ever visit the places, would you like to do some research?
Lizzy Loeb: My grandfather was from Düsseldorf. I would love to visit one day and see if I can find the old family home. I haven´t done much research but a relative has, so I have some photos and family trees to look at. I have always said that my heaven would be to float back through history and observe all those on my family tree all the way back - see how they lived, what their passions were, to see where our qualities or personalities coincinded. What could be more interesting?
AVIVA-Berlin: I learned that you know some important Jewish/Yiddish phrases such as "oy gevalt," "chutzpah," and "mavel tov," etc. "Valentines Shmalentines" I found in your blog. Do you have some more? What do they mean to you and which one do you love most?
Lizzy Loeb: I absolutely love that the Schlamiel spills the soup on the Schlamazel. It makes me laugh. I also love Schmutz, and wiping imaginary ones from my friends faces.
AVIVA-Berlin: If you were to have a child/children, what would you pass on to them, concerning religion, traditions? Would you tell them they have Jewish roots/origin. If so, what especially would you teach them about it?
Lizzy Loeb: I haven´t thought about it fully yet, but I know that I would want them to grow up with strong morals, spirituality and sense of right and wrong. I think belonging to a faith can help with that, as I myself am not sure yet, it´s going to take time to figure out which one. I have spent quite some time investigating other spiritualities and find myself recently drawn to Buddhism.
AVIVA-Berlin: I read in your blog, about how you were in search of a record company – now you have one, congratulations! How did it come about and did you expect this success?
Lizzy Loeb: I met Tom Glagow through my parents, and I am very glad. Everyone at Care is so warm and supportive and I really hope we can have a lasting and very successful relationship together.
AVIVA-Berlin: At the age of 15 you took up the guitar and began writing and singing your own songs, which quickly became your passion, and ultimately your choice of a career.
Were you ever in doubt of your career as a musician?
Lizzy Loeb: I was always secretly very sure that I would be a musician. It was so natural to me and so fun that I couldn´t picture doing anything else with my life. Also there is constantly so much to learn in this field. I always have something new that´s occupying my brainspace. Also I am constantly discovering new or old artists that inspire me. I think it is so addictive because it´s a world that is always changing shape for me.
AVIVA-Berlin: Did you ever have other plans on how to make a living?
Lizzy Loeb: Honestly, no. I might not have said it aloud or to other people. But it was always my secret plan. I knew that I would have a lot to give musically. I had a few moments growing up where I felt encouraged to sing. People seemed to be intrigued by my way of singing, so I took the positive feedback and ran with it! I went to a liberal arts college and ended up in a duo playing Brazilian music, and then I went to an arts college, commuting from home, and eneded up recording a lot of my record during that time, and having a group with a fellow female guitarist. So I decided that if I kept going back to music, it must be a sign. I also do a lot of drawing, painting and photography. I have been drawn to all the arts since I was small.
AVIVA-Berlin: The singer/songriter Becca Stevens said about you before your show at A-Trane in Berlin: "She is amazing, her songs are so beautiful, balanced, like a balanced meal."
If you think of a meal in terms of your songs and work, which meal would it be, and why?
Lizzy Loeb: First of all I love Becca Stevens. She writes such interesting and beautiful songs that push the envelope. She is also a great guitar player! I think it would be the typical Thanksgiving dinner: turkey for your protein - the anchor of the meal, sauteed brussel sprouts for your veggie that makes the meal enriching, cranberry sauce a challenging piece but adds so much, stuffing which adds a full girth to the mix, sweet potatoes add a splash of color. And then of course a soft touch of sweetness that is pecan pie!
AVIVA-Berlin: Your mother is Spanish, your father is American with a German/Russian background – you grew up in both the US and Spain. Did all of this influence your music in any way?
Lizzy Loeb: Absolutely. Both cultures have had so much to do with what I was exposed to. And the landscapes are so different in the two countries I call home. Segovia is dry and flat and everything seems to be sepia-toned. NY is green and robust and bustling with energy and people. They coming back and forth has allowed me to be an outsider in both places which is essential for the art of observing.
AVIVA-Berlin: You are one of the singer/songwriters who really has to say something – what is your main message/philosophy on life?
Lizzy Loeb: You aren´t alone. I mean you are - you are born alone and you die alone, but you are not alone in what you feel, you aren’t alone in seeing beauty and your experiences. I want to put into words and music what you might not be able to say out loud.
AVIVA-Berlin: You have co-written with the renowned German trumpet-player, Till Brönner, two of your own songs in a soon-to-be-released motion picture "Between Tomorrow And Today". How did this come about and how was working with him?
Lizzy Loeb: This came about because my father and Till worked together pretty frequently. Till´s brother, Pino Bronner wanted to help me produce some music, so we got together in Berlin, and I think that experience gave me the courage and confidence to continue playing music. It was an incredibly inspiring experience to work with them both. They are class acts in the world of music. Since then I´ve been lucky enough to play with Till, and write together for that film as well.
AVIVA-Berlin: What are your plans for the future?
Lizzy Loeb: I want to make music that challenges the boundaries of pop music, and I want to learn something new everyday and put all of that into songs. I want to play music to bring something positive or encouraging to the listeners. Oh, and win lots of grammies.
AVIVA-Berlin: Your next projects? Are you working on a new album?
Lizzy Loeb Absolutely! I am writing and recording all the time. I can´t wait to make a new collection of songs and put it into the world. I want to work with all different kinds of musicians, and make lots of art without censure, whatever the outcome. The sky is the limit!
Check out for Lizzy Loeb at:
Weiterlesen auf AVIVA-Berlin:
Lizzy Loeb - "The One" (German)
(Copyright photos: Sharon Adler)