Laura Lizcano for The Meadow

interviewer: Sara Sharif (@sarangelic)

interviewee: Laura Lizcano (@lauralizcanomusic)

Laura Lizcano is a Colombian-born singer-songwriter based in Philadelphia. Influenced by artists like Norah Jones and Natalia Lafourcade, Lizcano combines her formal training as a jazz vocalist with her love for folk and pop music. This combination of styles is evident within her own lyrically-driven compositions. 

​Lizcano has performed at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts for the Sittin In’ Series at Innovation Studio and at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in New York City as the featured vocalist for the Temple University Big Band. She has also opened for Gaby Moreno and Sammy Miller and the Congregation at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. Most recently, she has been featured in the virtual Wawa Welcome America Festival and Philadelphia's iconic Philly Folk Fest in 2020.

 She follows her self-released debut EP, Chance on Me (2018), with her first full-length studio album, Heart, which will be released on Oct. 16, 2020.

Laura's ideal 2021 Summer

"I would go to visit my family in Colombia and then I would go to Europe to see some friends! I would also spend a lot of time hugging my friends! Can't wait to hug my mom without fear of making her sick."

* in relevance to our issue #3

t h e   i n t e r v i e w

1. Please start with a little introduction about yourself!

I’m Laura Lizcano (she/her), and I’m a Colombian singer-songwriter based in Philly. 

 

2. What genre would you say your music belongs to?

I would say it’s a mix of things. It’s jazz, pop, and folk. 

 

3. What is the story behind your musical journey?

I grew up with a lot of music around me. My brother is a bassist, and I grew up listening to him practice and going to his orchestra concerts. My parents played a lot of good music around the house, too. But I also grew up when Britney Spears was huge and I became infatuated with pop stars in general. I just wanted to sing. After high school, I went to Temple University to study jazz voice. Post graduation, I recorded my first project, a live EP called Chance on Me, and this year I released my first album, Heart

 

4. And how has your journey been so far? 

It’s been really great. Of course, being in this industry is super difficult and you have to work incredibly hard, but this is all I’ve ever wanted to do. For me, it’s incredibly fulfilling to bring my music to life. 

 

5. I absolutely love your debut album, “Heart”! Tell us what this album means to you and what inspired you to create it.

Heart is a very personal record. I tend to write songs that are about my life and the people in my life. So, I’m quite literally baring my own heart to listeners in this album. This album is important to me because I get to speak my truth and immortalize it in this really beautiful way. For me, that has always been the most important part of singing and creating music--the opportunity to communicate what I need to say. So, this album is filled with so much of who I am.  

 

6. Which is your personal favourite song from the album and why?

My favorite track is Corazon. I really love the way the arrangement of this track is so different from all the other songs-- there are tons of textures. I love the way Dariel Peniazek plays the guitar on this track, and the simplicity of the drums by Gusten Rudolph. It’s also one of my favorite melodies I have ever written, and it has one of my favorite lyrics too: 

“Yo estoy aqui lista para confesar todo lo que no he podido hablar,

Y tu estas aqui, quieres escuchar mis versos, quieres ver my corazon abierto.” 

“I am here ready to confess everything I have not been able to say, 

And you are here, you want to hear my verses, you want to see my open heart.” 

7. Do share more about the making and BTS of, “Heart”! 
The recording process was amazing, but I also had an amazing time creating all the visuals for Heart. I really wanted this imagery of the singer-songwriter offering up their soul for the audience, so for the album cover I bought a raw cow heart (sorry vegans) and we photographed me holding it on a platter. Allis Chang photographed me, did the art direction, and created all the backdrops for the album cover and all the single covers. It was an amazing part of the creative process. 

 

8. Is there a general, and maybe, a more personal theme to your music?
Yes, I am an immigrant and I moved to the United States as a ten-year-old. Back then, I really did not feel like people were listening to me and I was aware that many folks didn’t care to understand me. I became a professional song-writer, not just because I love music and singing, but also because I want to make sure I always get to say what I need to say. I live for those moments when I can have the audience in the palm of my hand, and I know that they’re hanging on to every note and every word. It’s powerful. It’s healing for me being able to do that. 


9. What is your creative process? 
For me, lyrics almost always come first. I do a lot of free-writing and I build out verses and choruses from ideas that come out during these free-writes. After I have some part of the structure written down, I start building out the harmony. Then, it just becomes kind of like a puzzle that you have to solve to finish the song. 


10. Who is your musical inspiration? 
I’m super inspired by Latin American songwriters like Mon Laferte and Natalia Lafourcade. I also love Norah Jones and Fiona Apple. I think all of their styles come out in my own songwriting in different ways. It’s kind of cool watching little things that I love about these people come out in my own stuff. 


11. Any musical tips from your experience for our musicians out here?
Oh, man! I would say, above all, remember that it takes time! You won’t write your most amazing song in an hour and your voice won’t go from zero to hero over time. It takes practice and dedication and love and patience and kindness. I think if I could go back to my college self and tell her something it would be that she just needs to be more kind of herself. 


12. So, what should we expect next, in the near future?
I don’t know! The pandemic has made it really hard to think about releasing new music or tours or anything like that. So, I would say my future just holds more of me writing a lot and holding on to a bunch of material until I know what the right thing to do with it all is! 


13. How do we gain access to your music? 
My music is available on Bandcamp, and all other streaming services!
Physical copies of the album are available only through
Bandcamp.

YouTube!

©2020 by pastel serenity.