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Nineteen year old classically-trained pop/soul vocalist Liz Loughrey (pronounced lock-ree) has been called many things; a youth prodigy, a musical savant, the future of vocal music. But one thing she hasn’t been called, is a singer who needs studio enhancements to help showcase her vocal prowess – which is nothing short of mesmerizing.
“When I open up and sing a song, people listen. It’s simple. And it’s something I’ve known for quite some time,” explains the buzz-worthy Toronto-based vocalist who counts Etta James and Amy Winehouse as influences. What music scenesters who have seen her perform are beginning to notice is that despite her youth, Liz Loughrey has a genuinely old soul. “I’ve always gravitated towards the soul and jazz masters, from Aretha Franklin to Billie Holliday. I was always the only kid listening to that classic material and it’s filtered into my style, even to this day.”
For this burgeoning vocal chanteuse, the plan has always been to record music for the music masses, driven by her massive voice. “Music has always been that higher calling for me. I’ve seen and done many things, but in the end, all roads always end right back at music. There’s never really been a Plan B.”
Liz’s early legend – for those in the know – really began when she wrote her first song at 12. When she started flexing her vocal dexterity and broad vocal range by posting Youtube cover songs at the age of 14, her life started to change. Loughrey’s buzz began to build, her social media metrics started to take off, and she developed a committed cultish fan base who would tune in to see what she’d be singing next. Soon thereafter, industry insiders began taking notice, and before she knew it, a few of her cover songs were getting featured in entertainment mogul Ryan Seacrest’s (American Idol) Youtube cover song competitions, where she placed in the top five.
If there’s one thing that’s been made clear during Loughrey’s inevitable rise it’s that her music-first, take-no-prisoners approach to music creation is what drove her to work as hard as she did to develop her craft on many levels; as a talented vocalist, and as a multi-instrumentalist who plays piano, guitar, and drums. But it’s her most impressive instrument – her vocal chords – that’s what has literally led her to winning dozens of vocal and talent competitions across North America. “All of these competitions taught me how to deliver on stage,” admits Loughrey, who plans to wow audiences on her first North American tour in 2015.
There will always be the inevitable comparisons to a young Alecia Keys, only because Loughrey’s music is driven by vocals and keys; she’s bi-cultural (Irish father, Trinidadian mother); plus she is inarguably easy on the eyes. Like many of the finest vocalists of our time, including Whitney Houston and Jennifer Hudson, she might have picked up a vocal skill or two through osmosis at the local area church from her mother. “My mother was the worship leader at church, so I grew up hearing her passion for singing, and I believe that’s what triggered an early interest for me.” Fast forward to spring 2015 where Loughrey’s forthcoming debut EP Soul Play will be released. Soul Play promises to demonstrate her broad vocal range over a multitude of musical genres. “Genres are always a struggle for me, because I love them all,” admits Loughrey. “My songs are more feelings driven, versus genre driven. You’ll feel it, versus wanting to categorize it and put it in a box.”
Recorded in London, Los Angeles, Miami, and Toronto, the release of Soul Play will act as Loughrey’s official coming out party, and will expose the world to what a number of industry tastemakers in Toronto who’ve seen Loughrey perform “live” have already known for quite some time – you can’t fake talent.
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