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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Coily Girl of the Week: Singer, Lizz Fields

Lizz Fields... is not your typical Philly brand. Although the lighthearted beauty was classically trained at the famed Creative & Performing Arts High School with the likes of Boyz II Men, Amel Larrieux and the Roots and even though she hails from Philly where soul music runs through the veins of the city bearing such fruit as Musiq, Jill Scott and Bilal, this songstress stamps her own sound on the scene.

Bridging the gap between what we hear in Philly and how it's produced in Europe became her mission in order to break the mold of old. This is how her inadvertent album "ByDayByNight" was born. Oddly enough Lizz Fields wasn't quite the popular kid growing up nor was she an outcast. An outside observer with a great sense of humor is probably most accurate. Being made fun of in school for not having a conventional church voice is what led Lizz to this thing called jazz.

The playfulness of scatting, the creativity of improvising and the general ease in tone seemed to fit her like a glove. She began to incorporate her sound with gospel music when she joined her church choir. After gaining the confidence to share her voice, Lizz expanded her audience by performing in local clubs such as Zanzibar Blue, Brave New World and The Five Spot. Lizz also expanded her skills by performing in several plays in the city including "Sparkle" where she played the troubled character of Sister. It was her portrayal of Sister that won Lizz the coveted Barrymore Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical in 2001. This is also when Lizz Fields and Damon Bennett began working on Lizz's demo.

Lizz moved around a bit to expand, to learn, to grow. She went to Brooklyn and picked up a part-time job at a local furniture store. This is where the magic began. After her recording sessions with Damon in Philly, Lizz would hop on a cheap bus back to Brooklyn just in time for her shift at the furniture store. There she would play her new music to critique and hear what they had accomplished. There is also where patrons of the store would ask about the music. That's when Lizz decided to burn a few copies, create some artwork and see if she could indeed sell her wares. Much to her surprise, Lizz could sell her music and that music made it to retailers around the world. Lizz began filling orders for 50-200 units at a time. Suffice to say she quit her part-time job and "ByDayByNight" became her full-time gig.

To date "ByDayByNight" has sold nearly 11,000 units around the world mostly by word of mouth, radio support and live shows.Lizz has managed to breakout of the habitual "Philly" sound and cultivate a sound that's all her own and her live show is a representation of that. The live interpretation of "ByDayByNight" is vibrant and infectious and her fun-filled spontaneity draws the audience in like family. Her unique and captivating vocals are uncontrived, loose, animated and warm. If you're already a fan, Lizz's live show will make you fall in love with her. Just ask her audiences in London, NYC, LA and Chicago where she has already rocked stages. Now with the support of Unisex Records (UK) and P-Vine (Japan) where her album is currently licensed, Lizz has been able to expand her team of supporters as well as her fan base. At the start of 2004, Lizz embarks on collaborations with DJ Spinna, DJ Jazzy Jeff, King Britt, Taz and 4Hero to lend her lyrical and vocal touch.

So Is Lizz lucky or is she a stunning representation of success happens when preparation meets opportunity. Well, this is not the end of the Lizz Fields' story. Stay tuned...Lizz Fields, unconventional yet familiar.

**Purchase Lizz's latest album "Pleasureville at

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