My Inspiration: Lizzie Esau – Haven’t You Heard? | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Photo By Victoria Wai

Lizzie Esau follows up her debut single Young Minds Run Blind with her first offering of 2021, Haven’t You Heard? The track was recorded at home during lockdown and was produced and co-written by Steve Grainger. With its grooved/grunged-up, contemporary live lounge ambience, soulful vocals and soaring chorus, the track is an honest breakup song reflecting on being left for someone else. 

Here, Lizzie tells us what inspired her and this latest single…

Since as long as I can remember I’ve always been writing little songs, rhymes and melodies before I  even really knew what I was doing. It was around the age of seven where I began to understand that  what I love to do most is write songs and from there I didn’t really stop. I remember from being  very young I always loved very melodic and catchy tunes and would listen to a lot of music passed  on from my dad which was mostly bands such as Keane, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and then listen  to artists like Björk and Eva Cassidy inspired by what my mum would listen to. I think growing up  around a wide variety of music I have definitely taken elements from many different genres into my  own writing. I would say today I am particularly inspired by alternative pop music, incorporating  elements of rap and electronic/ indie rock into my music. 

I began putting music out onto Soundcloud over two years ago which were often inspired by the  likes of Imogen Heap as I’d write all the songs on piano and then use logic to give them a more  electronic feel. Although I enjoy this way of writing and working I was always keen to incorporate  more real instruments and find collaborators. This all came together when I met Nottingham  producer and multi-instrumentalist, Steve Grainger, who I have worked with on my two single  releases.  

Haven’t You Heard? 
Unlike my debut single which was looking at things from the perspective of society, my second  single, ‘Haven’t You Heard?’, is very much inspired by a personal experience. I initially wrote the  main part of the chorus a few years ago and never thought to use it or take it any further until one  night when I’d been listening to lots of Imogen Heap, who loves to layer vocals and add interesting  harmonies, so I decided I wanted to record lots of layered vocals onto a track and randomly re  discovered this one. From there I wrote new verses inspired by R&B artists I had been loving such  as SZA began to tell the story of what happened all those years ago. Once I had my rough piano and  vocal recorded, I decided to send it to Steve Grainger again who elevated the track and made it what  it is now. We decided that although the verses are quite smooth and slick I wanted the choruses to  contrast and represent the pain of heartbreak through the use of heavy guitar. I particularly love the  track ‘Kyoto’ by Phoebe Bridgers which I think inspired me to want to build up the choruses into  something more grungy and real, juxtaposed with the more stripped back and emotional verses.

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