Following her appearance on the Deluxe Edition of Welcome To Strangeland, Liz Suwandi was thrust into the spotlight when Tech N9ne spoke out on his desire to make her the first female act of Strange Music. The news created a buzz online as fans speculated on Liz Suwandi’s status with the independent label. We reached out to Liz Suwandi to ask for her reaction to Tech’s announcement and see just how she felt about breaking new ground as the first lady of Strangeland.
Tech recently revealed that he wanted you to be the first lady of Strange Music. Do you feel any pressure from that?
I definitely feel pressure, it’s kind of hard to not feel pressure. That’s a pretty big title. That’s an honor to even have that be said about you. Of course, I was completely shocked when I actually saw the interview. I was amazed. I didn’t realize that he felt like that about it and was that serious about it. He didn’t call me or tell me anything, I found out about it when everybody else found out. There’s definitely pressure because I want to give the fans something great because that’s what they deserve. At the same time, I feel like, what I would like to create for them is something that they’ve never seen before. My focus is more on, can I create what I need to create and give it to them? Can I do that specifically for Strange fans? That’s my question to myself basically. Can I do it for the Strange fans? I believe I can, yes.
Do you think you will join Strange Music?
I’m definitely willing to see what happens. I know I’m definitely going to continue working with Strange and continue doing projects with them. It’s been about two years since I’ve been working by myself on music and freelancing without a label or without any help. I’ve been doing this for the past two years now. It’s great to be recognized that’s for sure . I’m very happy about the fact that I’ve been recognized. I would love to be able to continue to work with Strange, I don’t know where things are going to go. I have no idea what the future holds. I’m just going to continue working on music and doing the best that I can do. I’m going to continue pushing my own boundaries as far as writing and as far as being an artist goes. Continuing to develop my own art. Wherever that takes me is where it takes me. If it’s with Strange or somebody else or if it’s on my own, that’s the way it is basically. I’ve learned to not ever get my hopes up too much about anything in this industry. I’ve put in a lot of work, god knows I’ve put in a lot of work. It’s great to be rewarded when you feel like you do good work. All I try to do is the best work that I can do at any point and time. That’s what I’ll continue to try to do. Whether it’s with my friend’s garage band or whether it’s with Tech N9ne or a major label, I’m not really too tripped out about it. I’m going to be who I’m going to be and that’s not really going to change. That’s how I feel. If people like it and they love it, that’s great . Not everyone is going to love everything I do, but not everyone is going to hate everything I do either. The point is, I’m growing as an artist and pushing my own boundaries. That’s basically what I’m dealing with myself.
Do you still face obstacles as a female artist?
I think definitely. As a female artist you deal with a lot more than being a male artist. First of all, you get pushed in a certain direction. We live in a very superficial world and people do want you to look a certain way, you get that thrown at you. A lot of times if you do look a certain way, people have a hard time taking you seriously. They don’t really realize how much you put into your writing and your art. Like, “Hey, why is this person’s writing more relevant just because they’re a man and mine isn’t because I’m a woman?” You know, you put just as much feeling and art into your own stuff. The music industry is one of the most difficult industries, especially for women. It is, it’s hard. They’ll throw everything in the world at you – your age, your looks, do this, do that. You have to be all these things. I think a lot of female artists sometimes get lost in the superficiality of it. They forget to look inside themselves for the beautiful art and for the great lyrics. They get trapped up in the way they look. That’s one of the biggest battles. On top of it, people automatically look at you as the weaker sex . They want to control you, they want to control what you do and how you do it. It gets a little frustrating at times. I think that if you’re intelligent and you’re strong, you’ll be able to see through it no matter what. I feel like the cream rises to the top as far as that goes . I know that the industry has been very focused on male hip hop stars and male singers, because of the nature of the business, a lot of really great female artists get lost in the haystack. It can be very difficult. You have to figure out, “Am I going to run the industry and stay true to myself? Or am I going to let the industry run me?” That’s a question I’ve had to deal with from a young age. I just basically do what I do and I do art, it’s not going to stop. I’m going to keep doing it. It’s a pretty simple solution for me. It’s not always, for sure. It is a very difficult world for females. You’re not just judged on your talent. You’re judged on a lot of other things that are pretty ridiculous things to judge an artist on. That is the case, that is how you’re judged. It’s entertainment nonetheless. It’s just the way the world is. Like I said, real stuff shines through. Real people are going to see something real. That’s basically the bottom line.
What can fans expect from you as far as your solo projects?
I’m working on an alternative/dub step/ rock/electronica – I know I just threw a lot labels at you, but it’s a fusion of several different kinds of music. It’s probably going to be closer to what they heard on “The Real Thing” and less of what they heard on “Poisonous”. I play guitar so there’s probably going to be a couple of acoustic tracks on there. I’m working on an EP and Playing With Perception is the name of the EP. Based off of our discussion, I think you get it. The idea behind it is to fuse a bunch of different genres together. Our generation is listening to everything, all kinds of genres, so the album is not going to be any one kind of particular sound. All I can say is you’ll have to wait to listen to it and make your own decision.
– Victor Sandoval, Assistant Editor Strange Music
Follow Victor on Twitter: @VicMSandoval