By Agustin Leon
This is it. Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who dreamed about interviewing the beautiful and talented Elizabeth Huett, we’re going to encourage you to dream impossible dreams because this one just happened. I managed to catch up with Elizabeth just after CMA Fest 2015. The town was still buzzing with festival goers so we had a bit of a logistics challenge to get a place quiet enough to chat. I will forever be thankful she put up with me since I’m quite a rookie at interviewing people, but she was friendly and patient and never shied away from a topic.
Elizabeth is warm, funny, open and positively dynamic to talk to. I’m glad I had the time to converse in fanboy fashion at her meet and greet after Showcase Stage performance, because if this had been our first chat I might have not been able to talk. Her voice has this electric quality of just drawing you in, you feel energized just being in her presence. She’s one of those people born to inspire who make you feel like you could accomplish worlds of things after a brief convo. She’s been steadily reaching towards her goal of performing as a solo artist.
It’s time we find out a little more about Liz. For that reason, I’ve tried to convey her answers as accurately as possible in my first ever interview with the talented singer/songwriter. The words are hers. The typos will be all mine. Zero censorship. Here. We Go.
What first inspired you to get into music?
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve just been so fascinated and just intrigued by the arts, especially music. I loved acting as a child as well and tried to get into dance but I kinda figured out, you know, by about seven or eight years old that my first passion was music and singing specifically. I think it’s just kind of something you’re born with, you’re kind of born with it in your DNA and it’s just sort of like an instinctive love. If you have it, you can’t really escape it even when you try to put it down you always end up coming back and wanting to create and be artistic. It’s definitely been a love that’s existed with me since I can remember.
What have you learned about performing you wish you knew before you got started?
Well, one thing that I’ve learned that I wish that I’d known the whole time is that if you’re on stage and you’re not enjoying yourself the crowd isn’t enjoying themselves either. They can feel it. People are intuitive. People that come to see a show if it looks good on stage, if it looks like it feels good to the person on stage trying to convey the message and the emotion of the song then the crowd loves it.
Just the opposite rings true as well. If the person on stage feels uncomfortable, feels insecure, feels stiff or checked out or whatever, the crowd is not going get as much out of it. So authenticity is SO important… so just do and sing and write and perform what you love and what makes you feel good… and that’ll come across and the audience will feel good as well.
What kind of music are you listening to right now?
I’m currently bumping the new Brandon Flowers record. Brandon Flowers is the lead singer of the Killers and he makes solo albums as well so this is his second solo album. I got it like two weeks ago when it came out on iTunes and I’ve been listening up and down. It’s really inspiring. I really love the choices he makes and kind of how free and weird he allows himself to be with his lyrics and melody and stuff. So I’m really into it.
And also I’ve been listening to – let me look up the name of it, I just got the record. My friend Audrey told me about this band Roman Candle. I want to make sure I have the right name… (looks up in her iPhone) Oh yeah, that’s them. And the record is called Debris.
And also my friend that’s producing my songs for my EP he’s in a band called Sleeping Wolf and it’s just like pure straight up rock and roll and it’s so badass so I’m listening to that too. So there’s a very eclectic blend of music going on in my speakers right now.
OH YEAH – and the brand new Kacey Musgraves, because she’s just… the shit.
When is the music coming out?
Well, we don’t have a specific date yet, but planning for the end of the summer. It’ll be just an EP at this point, but I’m so excited about it. The reason why it’s taken me over two years now to finally go for it is I feel like I really wanted to focus on developing myself. While I was a background singer I was very focused on that so for the first four years after moving to Nashville I wasn’t giving my energy to my artistry. So I kinda had to check back in to that gear and get myself back on track with that. It took me a good chunk of time to hone into who I am in my music and what I wanna say and the style I want to portray and the sound of the music and the right producer… learning and studying more about the craft of songwriting through trial and error I guess…
I didn’t want to rush anything so I gave myself the time to do the homework and wait on songs that I’m really proud of.
If you were playing a show and could add any songs from another artist to perform live, which would they be?
I’ve already started playing shows. Last week I played a show in Atlanta and I covered Tom Petty’s “You Don’t Know How It Feels” and Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer” and I covered my good friend Fancy. He’s an amazing pop artist, he has a single out on radio called “Goodbye” right now and I covered that too. So yeah those are three artists that I love so much.
For sure I love Tom Petty and I love the Eagles. I’m a huge Don Henley fan – he’s one of my favorite songwriters of all time.
Oh, and I also cover Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” but I wouldn’t say I necessarily sound like them, I just love that song. I think it’s so smart and so well written. So yeah, those are the covers I would do.
You have one free day between two huge projects to yourself. What do you do?
On my one free day… If I’m on the west coast, I go to the beach. And if I’m Nashville, what would I do? I usually go hike and sleep in (laughs). Yeah, just try to have some solitude. I’m such a people person, I get energy just being around people but if I’m not intentional about taking care of my quiet time I’ll go weeks without ever being alone. So I find that when I’ve been really, really busy and I finally get some downtime I have like a strong desire to want to just be alone. That’s usually what I do when I have an off day. Just kind of spend some time with myself and do something outside like go to the beach or go hiking and read a book. Keep it simple ya know… Yeah that’s just what I do to decompress.
A lot of fans still miss having you along with Taylor Swift and The Agency. Anything you want to let them know?
I miss it too! Haha. For real, by far one of my most cherished chapters of my life to date. But… if seasons never ended, new ones could never begin. I really needed to go seek myself artistically and take that scary ass leap, for myself. I’m so glad we are all still in touch and I know we always will be. Family is family, man.
Ugh gaw now I miss it tons now just thinking back!
Have you had a chance to listen to 1989? Any songs you particularly love from it?
Um duhhhhh! (laughs). Obsessed. “Clean”, “This Love” and “I Wish You Would” are my favs lately. But literally every radio single she’s released goes straight to my “Addicted” playlist. She is legit a legend among us.
Any message you want to give to all your fans? (we go to video for this one!)
Yeah that was the take we went with! Unscripted, unplanned I just wanted this to be as natural as possible. And that’s the impression that I got with Liz, she had just a way to naturally making things happen. She’s been gradually going from helping other people shine to finally taking the spotlight for herself. She has that spark, that firecracker energy that just seems to charge the air around her when she speaks. And you want to share it, you want to tell the world about her. She’s that great.
You don’t have to take my word for it. You’ll soon know who exactly this singer is. I know you want to know what she sounds like. Check out her latest video showcase for a taste. In my head, I hear some Lady Antebellum, some Fleetwood Mac and now that I think of it, there’s a hint of the Eagles in her music too, but there’s mostly Elizabeth herself and that is another experience. An experience I want to relive soon.
Until then – I can wait, Liz. Go be amazing.
Coming up on the Calendar:
- July 6: The 1989 World Tour – Ottawa, ON – Canadian Tire Centre.
- July 7: The 1989 World Tour – Montreal, QB – Bell Centre.
- July 10: The 1989 World Tour – East Rutherford, NJ – MetLife Stadium.
- July 11: The 1989 World Tour – East Rutherford, NJ – MetLife Stadium.
(Sources: Elizabeth Huett, TheSwiftAgency.com)