And that’s a pretty apt summation, though, based on the series of staggeringly great singles she’s released over the past year — “Horoscope,” “Say U Would,” “XTC,” — we’re pretty sure there are a few folks she forgot: Namely, ’90s R&B icons like Aaliyah and TLC. Genre-busting producers like Timbaland and the Neptunes. And, of course, the one and only Britney Spears.
“I love Britney. Love her. I still watch the Britney episode of MTV ‘Diary’ all the time,” she laughs. “Like when she’s going to get her ice blended coffee, and going to the Millennium Dance studio? Oh, it’s so great. I probably know more about her than she knows about herself.”
All of those influences are apparent (in one form or another) on Liz’s debut EP, Just Like You, which is available for free download through Mad Decent/Jeffree’s.
It represents not only the culmination of years spent experimenting with her sound — “I started working with writers and producers when I was 13,” she explains — but the next logical step in her unique brand of music, a collection of songs that careen from cool, coital R&B and syncopated pop to rattling Bmore Club and glitchy UK Garage.
Only, you know, if ‘N Sync had done it.
“My music has always been a bit R&B, but I’ve always been a pop baby. I love Max Martin, and when people like Britney and ‘N Sync started collaborating with people like the Neptunes and Timbaland, because I think they kind of paved the way to where I’m at now,” she said. “I did my research on this one, starting when I was a teenager, and I’d unwrap an ‘N Sync CD and read all the liner notes … it’s wild, because back then, I’d say ‘One day, I want to work with these people,’ and now, I’m getting to do that.”
And, as is the case with all the greats, Liz’s look — which could casually be described as “an Internet explosion” — goes hand-in-glove (or something) with her envelope-pushing pop … and though she hesitates to call her style carefully constructed, well, let’s just say she’s been taking notes over the years.
“I remember watching Beyoncé and Ciara videos on ‘TRL,’ and being struck by the visual component and the vibe they created,” she says. “But, I’m a girl from the Valley, and I’m not really trying to be someone that I’m not. I think this whole generation is very obsessed with the Internet, if you don’t exist on the Internet, you don’t exist, so my look is kind of a play on that. I just try to include things that I love, that visually excite me, things that feel nostalgic to me … but, you know, I definitely dress myself.”
And, taking cues from her pop heroes, Liz isn’t content to merely savor the digital release of her first EP. Instead, she’s already plotting her next move … like, for starters, getting her label to release Just Like You as an actual CD.
“Oh man, you know I want that to happen!” she laughed. “And I’ve got so many songs written that I’m already thinking of a full-length album … I’m always moving on to what’s next; that’s how my brain works … I’m always thinking about what’s going to be hot next year, looking for new producers and collaborators. So I would say ‘Just wait and see!’”