Following the lead of so many of her contemporaries, singer/songwriter Liz Longley turned to Kickstarter when she was ready to make a record. After raising nearly $55,000, the Berklee School of Music graduate made the record she wanted to make with guitarist/producer Gus Berry. Longley also relocated from Boston to Nashville and signed on with Sugar Hill Records, adding a little folk-pop goodness to their roots-based roster. The eponymous effort finds Longley mining the all-too-familiar terrain of lost love.
Kelly McCartney: So… Kickstarter. It served you well. Do you think crowdfunding is the way this thing is going to keep going — whether it’s Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Patreon, or whatever?
Liz Longley: I love Kickstarter and am so thankful for the opportunity it provided to team up with fans and make a record. The album I made with 650 fans through Kickstarter led to a record deal, in my case, so my next record will not be crowdfunded. For fans and creators to be able to share in a creative endeavor like that is a unique experience and I think it’ll continue to be a popular route.
KM: When you were making this record, you put a camera in the studio and streamed the whole process as one of the Kickstarter perks. How in the world did that not make you self-conscious?
LL: The people who were tuning in already believed in the record enough to fund it. I knew most of the names of the donors through meeting them at shows over the years. I knew it was safe to be myself and create freely.
KM: Heartbreak is what ties the whole thing together. Seeing as it’s such a universal experience, how do you find ways to say, “This sucks!” that haven’t been said already?
LL: Every relationship is unique. I used specifics from my experiences to make it more real for the listener… and a metaphor or two to add another dimension. The song “Bad Habit” compares my relationship with a guy to his relationship with cigarettes, for example.
KM: Do you think people are born writers or is it a skill that can be taught (and not just refined)?
LL: I think it can be taught. I certainly hope it can. I’m still learning!
KM: Dealing with Boston drivers notwithstanding, tell me about your time at Berklee. Was it everything you wanted it to be?
LL: It was more than I thought it would be, honestly. It shaped me as a writer, helped me grow as a performer, and connected me to a network of incredible musicians that I still share the stage with to this day.
Liz Longley’s self-titled Sugar Hill Records debut is out now and is available – HERE.