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Photo by Lois Cohen
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Photo by Lois Cohen
pw-magazine-vienna-lyzza-defiance-lois-cohen pw-magazine-vienna-lyzza-defiance-lois-cohen
Photo by Lois Cohen
pw-magazine-vienna-lyzza-defiance-lois-cohen pw-magazine-vienna-lyzza-defiance-lois-cohen
Photo by Lois Cohen
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Photo by Lois Cohen

LYZZA: »I Want the Table to Burn, Have the Phoenix Rise«

October 31, 2019
Text by Christian Glatz
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Photo by Lois Cohen

Humble but with a bold voice, LYZZA is definitely going places. On the occasion of her upcoming release DEFIANCE, LYZZA shares her thoughts on touring, her new EP, and tells why getting a seat at the table just isn’t enough anymore.

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Photo by Lois Cohen

»Beats so good they could make you cry,« the description of LYZZA’s radio show on NTS Radio reads and could also serve as a subtitle for her own musical oeuvre. With her experimental electronic music, her highly acclaimed shows and her refreshing openness, the London-based producer LYZZA delights the audience and the media. However, the path that led her to become an artist at such a young age, she says, was not so different from that of others: »When I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere as a teenager, I found the Internet and Soundcloud and started getting to know people, started becoming a part of music Facebook groups and started putting out music and mixes. Apart from people liking my music, I think a lot of my first gigs were a karmic return from me just being a fan, supporting and just being kind to others! I feel like my ›come up‹ was able because many people who were in the same communities as I were all coming up and supporting each other.«

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Photo by Lois Cohen

Getting a seat at the table just isn’t enough anymore. I want to change all the faces at the table. I want the table to burn, have the phoenix rise from the ashes.

Though she doesn’t claim to speak for anyone but herself, LYZZA is among the young people all around the world not willing to resign themselves to the prevailing status quo: »I think a lot of people are just tired of growing up feeling like less just because we were born inhibiting a body that looks a certain way. A lot of us are born into a system that’s designed to work against us. Getting a seat at the table just isn’t enough anymore. I want to change all the faces at the table. I want the table to burn, have the phoenix rise from the ashes.«

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Photo by Lois Cohen

LYZZA not only keeps her audience on the go with her releases but is also constantly on tour. (Our Viennese readers surely still have a vivid memory of her appearance at this year’s Hyperreality festival.) When asked how important it is for her to perform her music or if it’s just part of the business, she answers pragmatically: »Certain things just bring you into different spheres. I just really like it; it gives me a certain freedom to move freely and it’s a moment where I feel like I’m finally allowed to take up space«. When she’s neither in the studio nor on tour and doesn’t host her monthly radio show, she runs the party series X3 in Amsterdam together with Nocturnal Femme and enriches the night scene with her activities as a promoter.

Recently, LYZZA released a remix EP to which Nkisi and Varg have contributed, among others. But opening up her music to other producers was also a new experience: »The thing I was the most nervous about was sending producers I look up to the stems of my vocals! I wasn’t used singing the way I was singing on ›IMPOSTER‹. But it was really cool to be able to hear something I came up with be interpreted and get a touch of magic by such talented people.«

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Photo by Lois Cohen

On her new EP »DEFIANCE«, which will be out on November 21, LYZZA moves away from the club and explores themes of relationships, heartbreak and resilience. It’s the first record she says, she feels confident about being released: »›Powerplay‹ was my first EP and that’s always quite weird. ›IMPOSTER‹ listening back to it is an okay body of work, but I think the mindset I was in at the time I was doubting myself a lot. ›DEFIANCE‹ definitely feels like a shedding of skin. It feels a little weird and new, but definitely feels like me.«

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PW-Magazine is a bilingual online magazine for contemporary culture.