A New Country Star

TFK catches up with a rising star, musician Lizzie Sider

Sep 16, 2013 | By Cameron Keady
ANGELA TALLEY

Lizzie Sider, 15, loves to perform on the big stage and hopes to become a role model and inspiration to others.

Lizzie Sider, 15, is a triple threat: she plays keyboard and guitar, and she sings. But the young country singer is anything but threatening: her music carries a message of hope for kids who have been bullied. Lizzie has just been included on the Country Music Association’s list of Who’s New to Watch in 2013. She came by the TFK office to talk about her growing musical career, charity work, and dreams for the future.

TFK:

How did your musical career begin?

LIZZIE SIDER:

When I was a toddler, I would line up the stuffed animals in my bedroom and perform for them. Performing has always been in my heart. I am from south Florida, but I spent my summers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I think that’s where I get my country influences. When I was five years old, I saw my very first musical theater production there. The next summer I started in the children’s theater program. I went on from there to sing national anthems for sporting teams. My first was for the Red Sox at Fenway, when I was 9, and since then I have sung for the Florida Panthers, Miami Marlins, and LA Dodgers.

TFK:

Did you ever want to be an actress?

LIZZIE:

For a time, I did think I might want to do musical theater, but country has always been in my soul. I began playing the piano when I was six, and then picked up the guitar a few years ago, so I moved more in the direction of a performance artist. But I would love to do both. Actually, I’d love to work in all areas of the entertainment industry!

TFK:

How did you learn how to play guitar and piano?

LIZZIE:

When I was around three years old, I would sit at my piano and play notes I thought sounded good together. At age six, I began formal lessons. In the beginning it was hard for my parents to get me to practice, but as the years went on, they couldn’t take me away form the piano. It’s become a comfortable place for me, and kind of my sanctuary. I have been playing guitar for a couple of years now, and I just started learning how to play the fiddle, which is really fun.

TFK:

Who are your musical inspirations?

LIZZIE:

My parents have always taught me to have well-rounded taste in music. Growing up, we listened to Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, and George Strait.  I’ve always gotten inspiration not just from country artists, but different types of singers, too. I love Foreigner, The Monkeys, and Leona Lewis. Some of my current inspiration is Kelly Clarkson, Eva Cassidy, and Faith Hill. I love so many different artists, and all of them are a part of me.

TFK:

Your debut single was called “Butterfly.” What was the inspiration for that song?

LIZZIE:

It is about my experience being teased in elementary school. During those years I would come home crying almost every single day. It was a really hard time for me. One day before I left for school, my dad told me that nobody has the power to ruin your day. That was really life changing for me, because I learned how to rise above situations where people tried to put me down. I want “Butterfly” to inspire others who have been teased or knocked down, to help them feel free like a butterfly.

TFK:

Does your album have a theme?

LIZZIE:

All eight songs I either solely wrote or co-wrote. I love taking from personal experiences, which makes my songs so much fun to perform. I keep a binder of all the songs I’ve written. It’s fun to look back on.

TFK:

You’ve been included in the Country Music Association’s list: Who’s New to Watch in 2013. How does that feel?

LIZZIE:

It’s really cool to be mentioned by such a high authority, especially in Nashville [Tennessee] where there are so many talented artists and people trying to make it doing the same thing I am. It’s a great accomplishment and an honor.

TFK:

Is there anyone you would like to do a duet with?

LIZZIE:

I have always dreamed of doing a duet with Charles Kelley from Lady Antebellum. I find his voice and stage presence really incredible.

TFK:

Earlier this year, you paid a visit to St. Jude’s Children Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. What other sort of charity work have you done?

LIZZIE:

I am part of a few organizations. One is called GWEN: Global Women’s Empowerment Network. It helps victims of mental and physical abuse. I am also involved with a group called I’m Bully Free. I want to help kids who have been teased like I once was, using the same themes in my song “Butterfly.”  What I truly want to do with my career is to inspire, be a positive role model, and reach as many people as I can.