Pin It
Favorite

Finding Her Voice 

Or, how Eliza Rickman learned to stop worrying and love the song.

click to enlarge art16123.jpg

Eliza Rickman had to overcome a lot to become a singer — namely, the fact that she despised the sound of her own voice.

From ages to 10 to 20, the Los Angeles-based performer says, she hated her voice so much that she refused to sing a single note. Her code of silence only ended when she was forced to take a vocal class at Azusa Pacific University, where she was studying ragtime piano.

“As luck would have it,” she says, “I was one of just four people called up to sing on the very first day of class.”

Despite breaking out in a cold sweat, she managed to belt out the required song, and to her surprise, her professor remarked that she should try out for the women’s choir.

“‘Yeah right,’” she recalls thinking. “But then, I didn’t hear her say it to anyone else.”

Rickman began to grow into her voice, training herself to sing by crooning over and over again into a four-track recorder. She penned a few dramatic, melancholy songs and started to perform them at small gigs around LA.

The only problem? As a solo artist, she had difficulty lugging around the heavy keyboards she took to shows.

“I was hauling around these 90-pound keyboards all over LA — and I’m about 90 pounds,” she says.

So one night, on a whim, she grabbed a toy piano instead.

The playful chirping of the instrument suited her somber vocals, creating a sound that was distinct, odd and more than a little spooky.

Rickman says the toy piano became her shtick for a while, providing the foundation for her debut EP, 2009’s Gild the Lily. But she has since rounded out her sound. Onstage, she balances an accordion, looping pedals and a full-size piano along with her toy piano.

No matter what her accompaniment, though, the audience’s attention will likely be drawn to Rickman’s former object of hatred. After hearing her sing, they’ll likely find it hard to believe that she needed so much encouragement to use it.

Eliza Rickman plays with Cyrus Fell Down, My Pinky Has a Name and Hannah Reader • Saturday, Jan. 29, at 9 pm • Mootsy’s • $5 • 21 • 838-1570

Tags:

  • Pin It

Latest in Music

  • Spokane Revival
  • Spokane Revival

    Why Tech N9ne continues to roll through the Lilac City on the regular
    • Apr 22, 2015
  • Bad Role Model
  • Bad Role Model

    2 Chainz advocates for legal weed and for people to use their brains
    • Apr 22, 2015
  • Audio Devotion
  • Audio Devotion

    Why it's OK to like bad music
    • Apr 15, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
2 Chainz

2 Chainz @ Beasley Coliseum

Tue., April 28

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Mark White

  • Fresh for Fall
  • Fresh for Fall

    Five hot new albums and what we thought of them.
    • Oct 5, 2011
  • Up for Review
  • Up for Review

    Our music team takes a crack at reviewing some of the latest local releases.
    • May 18, 2011
  • 'Hot Sauce Committee Part 2,' Beastie Boys
  • 'Hot Sauce Committee Part 2,' Beastie Boys

    They're back, and almost as good as they used to be.
    • May 4, 2011
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • War Games

    In Country unpacks Vietnam by recreating it
    • Apr 22, 2015
  • Audio Devotion

    Why it's OK to like bad music
    • Apr 15, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film

Music


Film


Hip-hop


long reads


Rap


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation