Singing A Happy Song. We Find Out More About Local Vintage Singer, Lizzy Rushby.
We catch up with local vintage singer Lizzy Rushby about pursuing a vintage singing career, where she shops for her vintage style and who would she ultimately love to duet with.
Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview. Tell me about yourself, where did you grow up? Thanks Lilith. I’m a Leicester lass born and bred and have lived most of my life near Victoria Park. Leicester’s a great city that punches well above its weight. From our festivals to fine dining hot spots, I really love it here.
At what point did you decide to pursue music and signing as a full time career? I started the process of changing careers about six years ago. I’d done training in the past in performing arts but never pursued it, which I regretted. I found myself working in an office for a charity when a colleague asked if I’d be interested in going to acting evening classes with him. I jumped at the chance, which led to a chain of events that got me to where I am today!
Who would you say your musical inspiration is and why? I’m very inspired by people who decided to pursue their passion later in life regardless of their industry, it takes a huge amount of courage as well as fighting your own psychology which is telling you it’s too late and to stick with what you know. For musical inspiration I listen to artists across the decades, I love Ivor Novello, Vera Lynn and Edith Piaf as well as the Rack Packer and rock n roll. I listen to modern artists too like Adele. Every artist has their own story and every voice is unique.
Your style reflects your song choices, but is your personal style similar to your on stage style? I do love the vintage look and find my personal style is often a homage in some way. The vintage look is surprisingly easy. Look out for some good tailoring and a few classic cuts. Or for 50’s dress down go for some great jeans and a big sloppy Joe jumper or fitted shirt.
Where are your favourite places to shop, both locally and online? I really love Audrey Stats Boutique which have everything from clothing to vintage hairstyling books, and you can shop in store or online. For formal wear Divine on Silver street is a must, and the ladies there are so helpful. Leicester is full of hidden gems
Tell me about your musical style, how would you describe yourself to someone who’s never heard you sing? I’m often told I have that vintage sound, especially in my tone. I grew up listening to old songs and singing along to the older musicals such as The South Pacific, Oklahoma, Mary Poppins and The King and I, and these very much shaped my singing style. I’ve started to sing some of the Country music classics too which is a little different. The voice is a fun instrument to play around with!
What’s your favourite song to perform and why? It would be impossible for me to pick a stand out favourite and I find myself going through song phases like anyone else. I always enjoy performing “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”, Betty Hutton’s “Oh so quiet” and anything by Dean Martin or Sinatra. I started as a wartime singer and songs like “Bless ‘em all” and “The White Cliffs of Dover” will always have a very special place in my heart
What’s been your favourite gig to date and why? I’ve performed at such a great variety of events I feel I’ve been given a lovely long highlight reel in my head. I’ve sung “The White cliffs of Dover” to an elderly gentleman in his hospital bed, entertained at a couple of awards ceremonies and sung for the Royal Air Forces Association in Blackpool. Among the weddings and corporate bookings I still sing in residential homes up and down the country and love how older audiences join in, they know every word!
Where would you absolutely love to perform and why? The Birmingham ICC is currently on my vision board! The big corporate events are a great chance to glam up in long formal wear and sing those fantastic Rat Pack songs. I’d love to sing in the States too, whatever your industry you’ve got to think big!
If you could collaborate with any musician dead or alive, who would it be? Duetting with Dean Martin in front of a live audience. I love everything about his voice and you can’t beat the experience of singing live! As a self identified “lady crooner” I think we would sound great together! For a living artists, maybe I’ll head to New Orleans and sing alongside some of the great blues voices in the bars there, bourbon whiskey in one hand, microphone in the other.
If you could give someone advice who wants to break into the music industry, what would you tell them? Tip one would be to look honestly at your motivation and what your definition of success is. Many people equate success with fame, but sustainability really comes from a love of the craft and being willing to work hard for you audience. Tip two would be to find mentors. Tip three is more of a heads up that as you own boss you’ll be doing a lot of things that don’t involve singing, and therefore you’ll still need lots of other skills and knowledge. I’m still at a computer more times than I’m on stage!
If you had a dinner party and could invite five people, dead or alive, who would you invite and what would you ask them? Florrie Forde, Dolly Parton and Dean Martin. Finally I’d invite my maternal Grandparents as both passed before I became a professional singer, I’d ask if I could sing to them and I’d thank them for the influence they’ve had in my life.
Where do you see yourself in five years time? Ultimately I want to entertain in the States and spend some time there as I’m fascinated with American culture and plan to take a trip to Tennessee later this year.
I’ve got plenty to keep developing over the next few years. I’m an associate singing teacher and vocal coach for singinglessonsleicester.com. I’m gradually developing more country material in any spare moments while my main rehearsal schedule continues to work through the songbook of the Rack Pack and some classic Rock n Roll. I’m also rehearsing a selection of Sam Cooke’s songs so that I have a more soulful string to my bow.
Singing live is what I absolutely love to do, there is something very special in the moment that you create between an audience and yourself, it’s a real privilege.
To find out more about Lizzy Rushby and find out where she will be performing next, check out her website and follow her on Facebook. Have a little listen to Lizzy Rushby as she sings the ageless classic , Wonderful World.