Liza Dries has an honest and sincere career. Her musical selection and her good judgment have crossed borders. The productions of this singular artist are a powerful statement, emblematic of her unfettered approach to music. Liza’s forthcoming “Tegenkomer” is a dazzling five-track EP that tells a story about her contrasting emotions through a contemporary, atmospheric sound and Dutch lyrics.
We took the opportunity to interview her.
Hello, thank you for answering our questions. I'd like to start by asking you about your technical approach to creating music. What gear do you normally wear?
Hi! So, I'm working a lot with my electric guitar and Ableton. I used to just play with an electric guitar and sing to it, but recently Niels (muse) and I started experimenting with live vocal effects and loops over Ableton/Logic Pro. It would be nice to work more with digital sounds and put the guitar more in the background in live settings in the future. Playing guitar live makes me nervous. What aspects does the equipment you use that you like bring to your production?
All songs on the EP started out with me playing around on the guitar and improvising melodies and lyrics. Once that is recorded, I love to work with all sorts of plugins, effects and samples in Ableton. The contrast of a very pure front vocal sound with heavier effects on the backing vocals is coming back often in my tracks. Niels has been a great help in the production, as he listens to slightly different songs than I do, it made creating the production an interesting process. Your EP is having a very good impact. What were you inspired by to create it? How do you turn your inspiration into a mechanically produced track?
Thank you! I find great inspiration in extreme emotions from the excitement and insecurities that come with being in love and being in new surroundings. Shortly after moving to Cologne, the first lockdown came, which made it a difficult time to get to know the city. We were inside a lot, it was hard to find a job and the studies would only start in october. I wrote a lot of songs in the evenings during this time and we spent many hours figuring out home recording. The result of this period of time would become the base of the EP. How has your sound evolved since you started?
I started out more like a singer-songwriter, just playing with an electric guitar and singing to it. Niels and I tried to figure out producing by ourselves, which makes me currently able to design the sound more the way I want the songs to have, like having wacky samples, background noises but also vocal layering and vocal effects. The sound became more important than lyrics over time, I used to write stories, the lyrics are now more abstract and playful. How is your sound evolving? What artists and genres do you enjoy mixing right now?
In the future I would like the sound to be even more experimentatial with vocals and digital instruments. In general I listen mostly to different types of pop music, most of the times with a somewhat more alternative and lighter sound. I currently really enjoy listening to Caroline Polachek, Blood Orange and Frank Ocean and would wish for my future music to have their modern authenticity. How do you feel your music influences or impacts your listeners?
I hope the music feels light, but meaningful to the listener. That even though you might not understand the lyrics, you can get the feeling through the sound. The EP is based on heavy contrast in emotions, the parallel of sadness and happiness that can flow together throughout days and I hope this will resonate with the listener. The music should be listened to when you're by yourself, while thinking about situations from the past or looking forward to the future. Great for lying in bed and staring at your ceiling. What makes you happy?
Changing surroundings somehow always seem to make me happy. Moving to a new place, almost as if it gives space for my brain to focus more externally than internally. Also making things, like songs, videos and drawings, the feeling of making something - also without a purpose - gives me a boost.