Listen & learn to love.
Liz Vice has always had a love for storytelling. The Portland-native-turned-Brooklynite started her career behind the scenes in film, only to accidentally find herself behind the mic. Liz Vice’s sound is a fusion of Gospel & R&B. Dynamic, soulful vocals & deep, spiritual lyrics give her work a timeless feel.
Describe yourself in 3 words:
Tall. Dark. Lovely. Kidding, I mean, those words are true but I would say, loyal, perseverant, curious.
Can you tell us a little bit about your playlist?
I’m a girl who grew up in the PNW in the ‘90s. I got a list of ladies. If you listen you’ll notice more of the women have sultry, raspy, deeper voices. I have a feeling hearing my mother’s voice singing through the house as a child has influenced the female artists that I listen to.
Do you miss the Pacific Northwest?
I miss parts of it...when I really needed to think and get away, I could drive up the Columbia river gorge and drive through and by mountains, hills, waterfalls. Now I live in a city where the mountains have been replaced by tall buildings, the hills have been replaced with trains, and waterfalls with people. I miss laying in the grass and being surrounded by trees. I miss my family and my friends. I’ve been mourning the transition lately and allowing myself to make roots in NYC for the time being. Home is really where my heart is and that is in people.
How did the political landscape affect your writing process for your new album, “Save Me”?
Oooh, sis, this political landscape is so heartbreaking I sometimes feel like my tears have run dry. I sense that we’ve become so about being right. Being left. That people are literally losing their lives. Enough is enough. It’s no longer about our “rightness,” it’s about how do we actually work on building bridges instead of walls. Hearing one another. It’s really hard to hate someone when you know their story.
Can you tell us more about the themes of femininity you explore in “Fancy Feet”?
Oh man, most of my life I’ve been told that I come off as “super strong” and one man explained that it’s not in an aggressive way. I travel. I have a business. I carry myself in confidence and I’ve never been verbally thankful for it. As a woman who desires to be married one day, I’ve always sensed my strength and courage scared men off and for the first time ever, this year, 2018, I thanked God for making me strong and courageous. I’m tall. I have my own thoughts. I am pretty damn funny. I actually really like myself. Fancy Feet is about loving who I was created, fearfully and wonderfully, to be and honestly, when someone can do that, it’s contagious.
I once had a woman interview me and asked why it was important for me to empower women, I don’t really remember what I said fully. I do know that when I laid my head down that night a thought came to me, “I want to empower women because I am one of them.” I am a strong and courageous woman and I want my sisters to feel free to embrace that.
What role does faith play in your art today?
Faith is what, being sure of what you hope for. I have faith that one day LOVE will demolish darkness and so I can write songs about people coming together because that’s what I hope for. I believe in a Jesus who was killed because of how he loved. I believe in a Jesus that told us that to love others, anyone, everyone, you are actually loving Him. Even loving those who don’t believe in Him because while we were still blind to who He was and is, He gave up His life for us. That means, I can love anyone and not worry about it.
That’s why I feel so honored to tell my story of faith to so many people in the places I get to sing. I am not perfect nor will I ever claim to be and that’s not even the point. The point is that one day, ALL PEOPLE, will come together in one place and see the Source of Life and be healed of hurts and pains and man, that gets me out on stage when I see another shooting at a school, racism, our food industry, children literally being taken from their mother’s and father’s arms. If it breaks my heart, I know it breaks God’s heart and I do believe that it will end. Until then, I will not keep my mouth shut and I will continue to fight to get on stage and scream it from the top of my lungs “LOVE wins. LOVE has won.”
What advice would you give to a 20-year-old Liz?
It sucks you’re stuck in this hospital room. Oh, sis, it’s so hard and I know you want to give up, but know, you’ve not been forgotten and you’re gonna do some powerful things in the name of Jesus who is LOVE.
Who’s one artist on your playlist we need to start following immediately, and why?
Moda Spira. She’s my friend. Latifah Alattas has a story to tell and I’m excited for her honest to bless a whole lot of people. It ain’t a fairytale but it’s one that will empower and remind people that pain is universal but that there is hope in the dance of pain. The healing feels so much more powerful.