Interview with Liza Weald
Liza Weald is the indie folk-project of the 20-year-old Dutch singer-songwriter Lisa de Bruijn. After releasing a number of singles, she has brought them together to create her debut EP Shape Of The Dunes and the title song is her new single ‘Shape Of The Dunes’.
The track is about wanting to be part of the memories of your significant other. It is wishing for the impossible – wanting to be a part of their life before you met – but it stems from a deep and growing love, “everyday there is more of you in me”.
The intricate fingerpicking guitar pattern lulls you into a trance-like state and allow Liza’s gorgeous vocals to wash over you and the male backing vocals are intended to symbolise the meeting of a man and a woman.
The entire track is is enchanting and mesmerising and infused with gorgeous gentle sounds and magical inflections that convey a powerful sense of being totally enthralled by your partner and wanting to draw closer to them.
It was lovely to speak to Liza about her new music, her inspirations and the artists she can’t stop listening to…
Who or what first got you involved with music/song-writing?
I always loved standing on a stage and telling stories to people. When I was five years old, I started going to theatre classes for kids at the weekends. I danced, sang and acted in my spare time, usually transforming the yard into a big theatre hall and using my dogs as an audience. Later on – around 12 years old – I started combining the storytelling with music and started taking guitar lessons instead of theatre to become a singer-songwriter.
What music did you grow up listening to and which artists had the biggest impact on your sound?
My parents are big lovers of classic rock, so I grew up listening to Pink Floyd and the Doors. Around high school, I landed in the folk scene, listening to Ben Howard, Fleet Foxes and Bear’s Den. I believe they’ve had a massive influence on my sound.
Why did you decide to release music under the name Liza Weald?
When I write music, I like to just close my eyes and envision myself sitting somewhere deep in the woods or on top of a mountain. I wanted to translate this vision into an artist name so it had to be something combining my fist name Lisa (or a variant) with a word describing the feeling I get when I’m in/around nature. “Weald” is an old English word for ‘woods’ and can spiritually be translated as ‘mystical’ or ‘fairytale-like’. So my artist name became Liza Weald!
Can you explain to us the inspiration behind your latest track ‘Shape of the Dunes’?
‘Shape Of The Dunes’ is a romantic, warm folk song, about the desire to be a part of the memories of your significant other. How you actually already wanted to be a part of his/her life, way before you’ve met. What characterises the song are the nice fingerpicking guitar patterns and the combination between Lisa’s lead vocals and the backing vocals of her male band members, symbolising the encounter between a man and a woman.
Is there a theme that runs through your EP Shape of the Dunes?
Lyrically: my love for nature and my search for love and embrace.
Musically: I wanted to incorporate traditional folk elements into the music, as well as folky instruments and lots of arrangements and harmony. String quartets, brass ensembles, polyphonic vocals, banjos. My acoustic guitar and vocals playing the leading roles in the folk play. I also wanted to let calmness and comfort run through the songs like a thread, and it makes my heart smile knowing that it has provided my audience with exactly that since the EP came out.
What has the process of making the EP been like? Any challenges? Favourite parts?
In 2019, I travelled to Canada to visit my family by Lake Huron. There, I stood face to face with the most beautiful nature scenes I had ever seen. Every morning when I woke up in my tent, I grabbed a guitar my uncle had made himself, walked through the forest among the fireflies, and sat alongside the Lake after a swim. There, I wrote ‘Take You Home’. Being so deeply moved by the calmness this place gave me, I wrote to my future child hoping that he/she would get to live at a site like this.
Do you have a favourite song on the EP? Or a favourite lyric? Why?
My first favourite lyric is “down where the grass is growing on our feet” (Take You Home) because it completely sums up the theme of the EP: becoming one with nature.
My other favourite is “you make me bloom like the flowers on your window sill” (Shape Of The Dunes), describing very visually how I feel when I’m in love.
If you didn’t live in Rotterdam, where would you want to live?
In a mini van by Lake Huron.
What artists do you think deserve more love and recognition?
I have two good friends who are also very talented singer-songwriters: Philippine and CHARLOT. Philippine makes pop music with country influences, CHARLOT pop noir with classical influences. They work really hard to grow and find an audience and will both release their debut EP this year. They deserve all the attention in the whole world!
What can we expect from you within the next 12 months? Any releases planned? Future gigs?
I’m already writing my new EP, following the process of unlayering yourself, and revealing the centre deep inside. Songs about accepting the good and the bad days, self-love, looking in the mirror and seeing your number one priority looking right back at you. In this EP, I want to dive into new sounds, creating a more fresh folk-pop sound with electronic elements.
by Eveline Vouillemin ©