Updated: Jul 20
Lisa Mitts is a singer/songwriter, pianist, and performer who received Female Songwriter of the Year (Bronze) at the 2019 ISSA Awards (International Singer Songwriter Association), and is a multi-nominated finalist for the 2020 ISSA Awards to be held on August 15th.
Lisa has recorded with well known artists such as Allen Stone; Seattle artist/producer Brandon Bee, as well as in Franklin, TN at the famous Castle Studios with renowned Nashville musicians. Her music ranges in genres from pop to country, classic rock, singer/songwriter and contemporary christian to jazz and piano instrumental.
Q. You started Playing the piano at the age of six, when did you know you wanted to make music?
Although I was always around music as a child and into college playing piano, singing and sometimes in theater productions, I did not realize I wanted to actually write songs until well into my adult life…I got married fairly young and then really put my music aside to build a business with my husband and raise a family with four kids. It wasn’t until we moved from Jacksonville, FL to the greater Seattle area that I started to pick up my music again and write songs of praise and worship for our church. I am one of those stories that decided to pursue my dream in my 40’s as evidence that it’s never too late to do what you love to do!
Q. You are a sought-after artist, ISSA 2019 Female songwriter of the year and you've released seven original albums so far.. besides that you are a wife and mother...where do you get the energy from for everything you do?
Haha!! That’s a great question! Sometimes I am like that energizer bunny – go go go and then when my batteries are dead, I’m done. But really, I am very blessed and thankful because my husband is an amazing integrative health care practitioner and he practices 5-element Acupuncture and high-quality nutritional herbs/supplements. He has a thriving practice here and has always been focused on pro-active health…truthfully without his support to help keep me healthy, strong and energetic, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’ve been doing for 11 years now. Although there are times, like I said that I’m done lol!
Q. You have performed at many different events, is there such a thing as a dream location you would love to play?
Yes, I have performed in many places here in Washington State and a few other places in the country as well…that is one thing I am really missing these days with all the shutdown. I was able to perform at one of my dream locations last summer (and was actually scheduled to perform there twice this summer) at a big horse racing venue. My band and I performed outside to lots of people sitting in the stands – many were singing with us and coming up to the stage area. We were right by the winner’s circle and it was so much fun on a summer’s night doing what we love to do! If I could choose another dream venue to perform, I would pick any big beautiful auditorium or concert hall. The acoustics would be amazing.
Q. What would you say who influences your music the most?
Gosh, several artists have inspired me and my writing at different times…most recently I would say I’ve really been influenced by Stevie Nicks, both in my writing and working with my producer to create a similar feel and style in the music (I’ve had many people tell me that the video title cut of my last EP, ‘The Breakthrough’, as well as my upcoming new release ‘Breathe In Breathe Out’ reminds them of her) but there are several others that have really made an impact including Carole King, Sara Bareilles, Tracy Chapman, Jackson Browne and Dean Lewis.
Q.Is there someone you'd like to be on stage with?
Oh wow, any of the artists I just mentioned that influence me…but then again, I might be so nervous, I’d just stand there and forget what I was supposed to sing lol! But seriously besides them, it would be amazing to be on a stage with my producer Brandon Bee…I’ve worked with several very talented artists and producers, but I would say that Brandon has definitely helped bring out the best in me as an artist both in my writing and vocally. It would be both challenging and fun to perform with him since he works with many gifted musicians and artists.
Q. How important are social media for you and where do you see the advantages and disadvantages?
Keeping my social media content current and on point is probably one of my main job descriptions…although I don’t always like to have to do it, still it is absolutely essential as an indie artist today that doesn’t have millions of fans streaming their music. With SO much music coming from literally hundreds of thousands of artists all over the world, the only way to build a solid following or ‘tribe’ is to use social media as one of the best ways to share both new and already released music, new videos, live stream performances and inspiration behind the songs. I focus most of my time on FB and IG but I do have a growing Twitter following and working on getting my YouTube subscribers up. One thing I will say though is while social media is important, it isn’t a substitute for building real relationships with ‘super fans’ or what I like to call my ‘inner circle of supporters’. That requires actually connecting in the heart with communicationl
Q. You donate a portion of your profits to a foundation for helping survivors of sex-trafficking, can you tell us a bit more about it and how important is that to you?
Yes back in 2011, I was working on my 3rd album, ‘You Found Me’ with R&B artist Allen Stone, before he was signed to a label. While he produced my first 2 albums as well, this one was special because we were co-writing this project together. I’ll never forget we were in the studio writing one of the songs (‘Where Has Love Gone?’) that had much more of a dark vibe to it and the lyrics I started to write were really deep. I remember thinking ‘wow, this song is pretty deep’. It wasn’t until the album was released in October 2011 that my husband actually discovered the truth about sex trafficking happening here in the U.S. We were both so distraught about it (having two daughters who were at that time ages 11 and 18) that he turned to me and said ‘I think this is why you wrote that song because the feel of the song and the lyrics fit the reality of what was happening. Anyway, we ended up raising money in our small church community and hired a professional film director and we produced a music video to the song for the purpose of both bringing awareness to the horrific reality here in our backyard, and also to help survivors directly. We did that by starting a foundation called Destiny House Restoration Center. (for more info visit www.destinyhouserc.org )
By the way, the music video, ‘Where Has Love Gone’ went to earn Best Music Video at the 2015 Awareness Film Festival in L.A. and can be seen on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/RRL3thJQsIE
Q. What's on your Top 10 playlist of your favourite songs?
Well that changes depending on what I am in the mood to listen to but right now I am really into an artist I discovered after hearing one of his songs at the end of an episode of Blacklist (believe it or not, we just started binging on it on Netflix a few months ago)…his name is Don Brownrigg and I totally love his album It Takes All Kinds; I also have Dean Lewis, and several indie artists I have connected with on social media including David Vaters, Ryan Boyce, Emme Lentino, Sam Arjes, Justine Grove and of course Brandon Bee who has some beautiful songs.
Q. What's next for you? We know that a new single is on the way, tell us more!
I am super excited to be releasing 5 new singles over the next 7 months, the first one is coming out August 7th! I got to write these with Brandon Bee and am also thinking about putting all of them on a special EP because these songs are SO amazing. Between this new project and my recent one, ‘The Breakthrough’, Brandon has really captured who I am as an artist and has brought out the best of my songwriting and vocals through this project. Super excited for everyone to hear these next releases!
Q. Is there anything else you want everyone to know about you and your music?
Just that my heart as a songwriter and artist is to bring more love, joy, peace and healing to everyone who listens. There’s SO much darkness right now in the world but how much more love and light can we bring through music and the heart inspiration behind it? I love Jesus because He truly touched my heart at a time when I was so desperate (that’s another story) and while I have written a lot of Christian music, many of my songs and music since 2011 have crossed into several genres including modern country, R&B, rock and now alternative indie pop. I hope those who are reading this will add me to your playlists! You can find all of my music on Spotify, Itunes, YouTube and a ton of other platforms through CD Baby.
Watch a behind the scenes video here for 'Breathe In Breathe Out'