Q&A with Singer-Songwriter, Liz Proteau
By Bridney C.
It is a pleasure to interview Liz Proteau for the Sweet Scoop.
Liz is a 26-year-old singer-songwriter from Hartford, Connecticut. She grew up in a musical household where she and her siblings started singing and playing instruments.
She also played instruments and sang in her church and throughout school. In this edition of Q&A, Liz Proteau elaborated on her favorite song she has released, described her creative process, and discussed her upcoming EP, Joy.
Bridney C: How would you describe the music you sing and create? Do you have a favorite song you have released?
Liz Proteau: The music and sound I tend to create is kind of vibey, orchestral, or theatrical in some way. Some of my influences are Kendrick Lamar, Jhené Aiko, Bon Iver, Billie Eilish, and Hans Zimmer. I like using strings and angelical vocals in my production.
It is hard to say which original song is my favorite so far, but I guess currently it would be my song Hold On. I originally wrote the song in 2013, and at the time I didn’t think much of it. I didn’t feel its true impact until 5 years later when I decided to sing it for a show. After that performance, I knew it belonged on my new EP, Joy. I ended up writing a cello duet to go with it and was able to record the song in New York City. The song means a lot to me and showed me that you never know when a song is ready to be realized. I had no idea something I wrote 7 years ago would make sense to me now. Sometimes it takes time and patience.
BC: What can you tell me about your upcoming EP, Joy? What type of sound can we expect? How many songs will be on the EP?
LP: Joy is my most recent project, which will either be released this year or 2021, whichever feels right to me. The sound of this project is very different from my first EP, AEROBICS since it focuses more on acoustic and stripped-down instrumentation. The songs surround every facet of joy and how I have come to understand it. Joy is also my middle name, so the project as a whole is a representation of that side of me. The EP also has a through-line of interludes speaking on the love my great grandparents have and created for each other. It is very dear to my heart and is a reflection of the deepest parts of me.
BC: What is your creative process like? What kinds of things inspire you to write?
LP: The process is different every time. Usually, the music and chords come first then the lyrics, but there have been times where I wake up, have a chorus in my head, and the full song is done in 20 minutes. I have so many voice memos and notes on my phone. The key to creating is to listen and be open to anything that comes and trust it. Record it. Write it down. People inspire me the most, from observation to conversation. I pull inspiration from my experiences too. I’m grateful for those in my corner who inspire me and support me in all my creative endeavors.
BC: Have you performed locally at shows or open mics? If so, where? What is your favorite venue to perform at?
LP: A lot has changed since the pandemic. Currently, you can find me at the Hygienic Art's Dine-In Days in the Art Park music series in New London every Friday from noon to 3 PM. Once everything goes back to “normal,” I am going to plan a small Connecticut and New York City tour, which will be exciting.
One of my favorite places to perform is The Bowery Electric in New York City, although nothing beats a great basement show either. For me, it doesn’t matter where what matters is the people and the energy we create.
BC: Musically, what are your goals? Is music simply just another niche of yours or would you like to possibly pursue a singing career?
LP: My life and career will always be involved with music in some way. I started taking dance classes because I want to be a stronger performer and have more of a social media presence. I also have a love for film and want to compose film scores. Singing and songwriting will always be a joy of mine, and if I were to write songs for a musical or production that would be awesome.
I want a life where I am performing at my best, writing, producing, or composing bigger projects, and helping others reach their highest potential.
BC: If you could be any flavor ice cream, which one would choose and why? Why? How does this ice cream flavor connect to who you are as a person?
LP: Yooo I love ice cream. I have a lot of favorites, but honestly, for me, nothing beats vanilla with melted peanut butter. I guess this reflects the way I am because at the end of the day I enjoy the simple things.
My second favorite flavor would be Ben and Jerry’s "Half Baked," which reflects how I love to live freely and not take life too seriously. That, or I’m impatient to some degree because I’d rarely wait for full baked cookies.