Music lives in that place where anything can be picked up. It can become a different statement in someone else's hands than in my hands. The fact that it can be passed from hand to hand is something beautiful, almost spiritual. It means different things in different places, and I approached this record as if there is no history. I was just a voice, and I loved it.
With her latest album, Dreaming Wide Awake, Lizz has simultaneously delivered a record with no history and yet one that embraces the history of jazz, gospel, rhythm- and-blues and the singer-songwriter tradition. It is a record where Lizz Wright's voice and vision seamlessly marry songs once performed by Neil Young, Fats Waller, The Beatles, Madonna and Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass to self-penned originals and her collaborations with some of today's most gifted songwriters to create one of the most strikingly original albums of the year.
For the new album, Lizz chose to work with Craig Street, a producer famous for his work with a broad palette of singers (Cassandra Wilson, k.d. lang, Me'Shell NdegéOcello) to shape an incredibly personal album that Lizz feels best reflects who she is right now: When I first met Craig, he asked me what I liked to listen to and I said I really like stuff like Jeff Buckley, Damien Rice and Sarah McLachlan. I love songs that create moments. At the same time I had this dilemma where I've been trained to sing gospel, choral music and a little bit of opera and was very used to being technical. But I wanted to make the move away from those styles.