We caught up with Lizzy Jane to talk about her new single “Heartbreak,” being a woman in dance music, and her Red Rocks debut.
Equipped with endless creativity, a fire-burning passion, and an admirable work ethic, Lizzy Jane is an artist who has quickly become known as a force to be reckoned with in the dance music space. First capturing listeners as a humble vocalist and producer on the rise from Tampa, she soon made us see her for what she really is, which is a full-on triple threat.
From songwriting and vocals to live instruments and production, Lizzy Jane combines her talents across the board to create some of the most beautiful tracks to grace our ears. Some of those standout tracks include “Sunlight” and her recent release “Heartbreak.” Not only multi-talented, Lizzy Jane is also quite the clever gal, as she, like many other artists, used the time during the pandemic to hone her skills and find her purpose in the scene. Now, she takes every opportunity to share her knowledge and give a platform to her peers via the Lizzy Jane Podcast (formerly known as The XO) and Lizzy Jane Radio, which feature guest mixes and guest speakers from all corners of the dance music industry.
These projects and her tireless work have helped propel her career, leading her to where she is today, playing major festivals, making her Red Rocks debut, and releasing fantastic tracks that continue to win over more fans. With such an amazing 2023 in her rearview mirror, we sat down with Lizzy Jane before the end of the year to find out what fans can expect from her in 2024.
Stream Lizzy Jane – Heartbreak on Spotify:
Hi Lizzy Jane! Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today. Some might consider you a full-on triple threat, combining your numerous talents, including vocals, songwriting, producing, and playing instruments. What is your favorite musical outlet, and why?
My creative process is always interesting in the fact that I never do or approach anything the same way, like an order of operations to making a record or anything like that. When my brain is simply yelling at me to ‘create,’ I always take to Ableton because I often find, even though it was the last technical aspect I learned in my musical journey, it is the fastest way for me to lay down a solid, cohesive idea. I turn on the metronome, grab a synth of my choice, warm up my mic, and simply play. Knowing a lot of my solo discography and understanding that it all comes from a basic melody and piano before taking to the digital world and incorporating sound design is crazy for even me to conceptualize.
Your most recent release, “Heartbreak,” displays a vulnerability that listeners can easily relate to while enjoying an incredible sound design. What thoughts or experiences did you channel when writing it?
I would say most people think of ‘Heartbreak’ as the way of leaving someone they love or someone you love leaving you. As records should allow a space for everyone to interpret and relate to the song in their own way, “Heartbreak” was really special to me as it felt like it was my way of letting go of past chapters of the Lizzy Jane project.
Coming from the indie/post-alt and hardcore world, I’ve always aspired to incorporate live instruments as well as my vocals, which I have been doing since 2020, into the Lizzy Jane project. Growing and changing will always leave that uncomfortable type of feeling in your body, but that’s how you know it’s right. Taking risks, following my own vision for art in the electronic space… I feel like I encompassed every last bit of that in “Heartbreak.”
The lyrics at the beginning of the song, “Take take take..It’s so fake fake fake..how I feel”… Well, that’s how I felt about making music I didn’t thoroughly enjoy or what I believe I am most creative/ strongest at making. Making music for the sake of fitting in a box so it gets signed to x label or that I can fit on tour with x artist… it’s not being true to myself, my vision, or my artistry. So, I had to let it go. It broke my heart to leave a chapter of my life and the project that was such a massive building block, but it was essential to let go so I could grow and evolve as an artist.
This year has seen you embark on a massive run of shows, and you recently made your Red Rocks debut in support of Gryffin. Can you share what that experience was like?
Red Rocks was simply a dream, for lack of better words. I was an extremely lucky girl to have the opportunity to take such a historical stage two nights in a row. I felt like I was built to be on stages like that. All of the work, the journey, and the ups and downs are worth it when you feel the way that I did on that stage for those two nights.
I was blessed to be paired with such a fitting artist, such as GRYFFIN. His fan base and their music interests couldn’t have been a better match for me, all of the new music released this year and playing all of my unreleased music for 2024. It was a surreal feeling that left me inspired beyond words, probably the most inspired I’ve been since I played my first festival in 2019. After night two, I looked my manager in the eyes and said, “I don’t care how hard we have to work. We have to come back next year and play at a later time,” and I will work every day until that happens next year.
Your entry into the dance music space has been quite unconventional, with many listeners finding you through your podcast and guest mix series. Do you feel this multi-dimensional path has set you up differently compared to other artists rising through the ranks of the scene?
Ya know, it’s a very intriguing thing to think about. For a very long time, I wanted everything to be separate. I wanted Lizzy Jane to be its own thing, XO RADIO to be its own thing, and then THE XO PODCAST to be its own thing. I’m not sure why I thought that way. I didn’t want it to take away from the artistry, like, ‘Oh, well, if the podcast takes off, I don’t want people to think I’m not a real artist and I only get bookings /ext for the podcast” and vice versa, I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong… and I was wrong for thinking that. I am me. I am a multi-media-faced individual who has her foot in many endeavors, and if one endeavor helps grow the other, then so be it!
After that, I re-branded THE XO PODCAST to THE LIZZY JANE PODCAST at the beginning of 2022. Now, the podcast is my baby. I truly believe the radio show was a prelude to the podcast. I wanted to give up-and-coming acts a space to let others hear their music showcased in a DJ mix. Household names like Nitepunk, Moore Kismet, Ace Aura, and many more did some of their first mixes with me. The podcast was an expansion of this concept. It allowed the artist to have more of a voice than just the music, giving the listener a real opportunity to invest in whoever the guest is, what they are all about, and learn about their life and creative process. Season 2 of the podcast is coming in January of 2024, and I cannot wait!
Speaking of your podcast, The XO began in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. What has been your biggest takeaway from your work on the podcast? Who have been some of your favorite guests on the show?
Yes, The Lizzy Jane Podcast, just like my lovely dog Akira, were both COVID babies! [Laughs] I needed something to do; all shows had come to a stop, and I liked to talk about music and the industry a lot. So, in the era where everyone has a podcast, I naturally started a podcast with little to no knowledge of anything else but my own past experiences as an elementary artist in electronic dance music.
I learn from every conversation I have. I love learning, especially in a way where I don’t feel like I’m learning… and I would like to think our listeners learn, too. There’s so much to take away from each experience anyone has had in their journey of maneuvering through the music industry. Some of my favorite guests (and conversations to date) have been Wreckno, Must Die!, Funtcase, Maddy O’Neal, and LUZCID. Everyone is special in their own way, and there is something to learn in every conversation.
The dance music industry has a history of being a bit of a Boys’ Club in an already very cishet male-dominated world. How has that challenge impacted you, and how did you surpass it? Do you still struggle with it today? If so, how do you deal with it?
I am very thankful to have always had a strong circle of males supporting me and offering aid and advice if needed along my journey. Thankfully, the male counterparts I have come to know who are not so genuine have very rarely lasted in my life. We are very lucky to have so many more women on the front and back end of this industry now, more than when I started this endeavor five years ago.
In my opinion, changes within this industry have always come from women being placed in positions of power. Whether it’s presence within an agency, a label, or a management company, the more women there are, the more women will be accounted for and considered for certain opportunities. Women and men who are advocating for women in music must hold others accountable in the workplace when making important decisions and continue to do so until we start seeing an even ratio of female and non-binary representation on lineups, tours, agencies, and so on and so forth in dance music.
The last thing I will say is to book women not for the sake of booking or signing women. We are not a token. We are not one and the same. Book women, sign women’s tracks, and support women in the electronic dance space because you believe in them and believe in their project, art, and voice. That is the best thing you can do for women’s continued growth and equality in electronic dance music.
As a woman in dance music, what advice could you give to other women, nonbinary, or femme-identifying people trying to enter the space as a DJ/producer?
Be yourself. Find yourself. Commit to yourself. Creating art is a gift; as a woman, you have a special voice in this industry. Do not let others tamper with that voice and change it into something you don’t want to sound like for the sake of ‘virality’ or ‘sellability.’
Finally, what can we expect from Lizzy Jane in 2024?
You can expect it all! [Laughs] For real, my debut EP is coming in early 2024. The first single from my EP, IGNITE, comes out on Jan 18. It’s called “Washed Away” and is easily one of my most personal records to date. My first headline tour. I have a drum and bass EP that we are also hoping to get out next summer at the latest. I have some awesome collabs in the works with some incredible artists. I’ll be visiting select new cities supporting an incredible act on a tour that hopefully I get to announce soon as well! 2024 is the year we’ve been prepping for. I’m excited to have everyone and hopefully lots of new people along for the ride.