It has been another exciting year at Jem Girl at the Piano, and I can’t think of a better way to end the year, than with a chance for you all the Get to Know Irish songstress Lisa Murray. I recently featured Lisa at the blog as she released a powerful song with a strong message Woman in the World and now it’s time to get to know her better, as a musician and artist!
Please share with us, how you discovered your passion for music and how it all began.
I discovered my love for music when I was seven years old. I started taking piano lessons and I instantly fell in love with playing music. However, when practising my scales and pieces I quickly discovered that I didn’t just have to play the notes in my sheet music but I could play the other keys and create my own melodic ideas. By the age of eleven I had started singing and writing my own songs. My dad taught me some chords on the guitar and I started writing even more. As a teenager, I performed in lots of local youth theatre productions of musicals like Les Miserables and Jesus Christ Superstar, which propelled my love for the performing arts even further. When it came time to choose a pathway for University, I knew I had to follow my heart. So I studied Music and Irish at Trinity College Dublin. And after my degree, I was awarded Berklee College of Music’s Outstanding Woman Scholarship to pursue my masters degree in Music Production, Technology and Innovation at their campus in Valencia, Spain.
Your current release Woman in a World is a very hard hitting, poignant song with a strong message. Can you share the story behind it?
Yes, of course. I wrote Woman in a World in January of 2022 after a spate of violence against women in the UK and Ireland. During that time, I tried to craft a tweet, a post or an Instagram story to share how I was feeling, but I found myself lost for words. So instead, I turned to my most authentic form of expression – songwriting. I wrote most of the lyrics on that day in January. I then added the second verse later in the year, after the Supreme Court in the US overturned Roe vs. Wade abortion rights law. Overall, Woman in a World is a reflection of the inner thoughts and feelings I have as a woman in today’s day and age. At a time when biases, sexism & brutal violence against women still happens across the globe, this song is an uncomfortable expression of the things people don’t talk openly about. My aspiration for the song is to raise awareness about the fears and frustrations of the women of this world for those who don’t understand them. Unfortunately, many women will resonate with the feelings and themes expressed in the song. I also hope this song will strike a chord with them, and help them know they are not alone.
You are a strong feminist like myself. Can we expect to see more feminist themes in your music?
Yes for sure. I am an extremely passionate feminist and I like to express that through my music. However, the rest of the tracks on this upcoming debut EP of mine don’t contain feminist themes. But I’ve got songs in the pipeline that definitely touch on feminist issues in a similar vein to Woman in a World.
For listeners that are just getting to know your music, please share your musical influences and artists you admire the most.
My musical influences are quite eclectic. I grew up listening to the likes of Fleetwood Mac, ABBA and Electric Light Orchestra and I do believe that those great artists of those eras have a huge influence on my musical taste and sensibility as a creator. I also love pop music and draw so much inspiration from the interesting production techniques used by artists like Taylor Swift, Sigrid and Marina.
Now that the world is fully on the other side of 2020, can we expect to see you perform live?
Yes, absolutely! I’ve been performing live a lot lately. This year alone, I’ve had the opportunity to perform in New York City and London for the first time, which was a real dream come true! I hope my music will take me to both new and familiar places around the globe in 2023.
I read that you enjoy being a music producer and producing your own music. How has your experience been with this and what has the journey been like as a female music producer in a typically male dominated industry?
My experience being a music producer and audio engineer in such a heavily male-dominated industry has had its challenges for sure. But I absolutely adore the creative freedom and autonomy that being my own producer gives me. It can be really daunting for women and gender minorities to enter into the production and engineering space because it is quite typically male-dominated. That’s why I dedicate a great deal of my time to uplifting women and gender minorities in the music industry through my work as the Chapter Director of shesaid.so Dublin and I have also done a lot of work with She Knows Tech over the past number of years.
Any teasers on your forthcoming projects?
My debut EP Empty Heart will be released in early 2023, and I’m so excited to share this music with the world, as well as all the visual content we have created alongside the tracks themselves. I’m also about to spend a couple of weeks over the holidays writing and recording demos for my debut album, so there is a lot of new music on the horizon for 2023!
Thank you so much Lisa, for taking the time to chat to Jem Girl at the Piano. I am excited for your forthcoming EP! You can keep up to date with Lisa, on Facebook and Instagram. Merry Christmas everyone!