Elizabeth Elie, also known by her rap alias “Lizzie G,” is an up-and-coming rapper in Chicago who is also an integrated marketing communication graduate student at Roosevelt University.
The Torch interviewed Elie on how she started rapping, what she plans to accomplish and her inspirations.
Q: Why did you decide to start rapping?
A: Ever since I was young, I had a knack for music and hip hop. I knew how to play piano, and [I] taught myself how to play the drums. I started playing with music softwares, such as Fruity Loops, and then started making my own beats.
Q: Who are your influences?
A: I have always listened to female rappers such as Missy Elliott and Eve. I loved their creativity and their willingness to break into the world of hip hop for a female artist.
Q: What makes you unique from other rappers?
A: What differentiates me from others is that I am an educated female rapper with a degree, and [I] am still pursuing higher education, in progress of receiving my masters degree. I don’t have anyone managing me or writing my lyrics to my songs. I do everything on my own, from the recording production to writing, to booking gigs, to promoting myself on social media and designing and creating my own marketing materials to pass out.
Q: What is the process of writing a song like?
A: A majority of the times I am about to write a song, I have to be in a certain mood or in my own zone. Often times, something catchy just comes to mind and I write it down so I can revisit it later. I write my own lyrics to my songs, and I usually do that by sitting down and focusing on what I want the message to be and how I can articulate that message in a creative and interesting way to my fans.
Q: What were some of your recent gigs?
A: Recently, I had the opportunity to perform my music live, internationally. My first live show was in Paris, France March 12 at an Irish pub called The Highlander. … I went to Paris for a market exchange program with my graduate class, and beside the educational portion, we had free time to tour the city and be on our own. So, I performed to a full audience who enjoyed my performance and received me well. I also went to Haiti in April to brand, promote and play my music, as well. I went out there under the circumstances of a death in the family, but I got a chance to do mission work and give back to four families in need on behalf of my sorority Delta Sigma Theta.
Q: Has your experience at Roosevelt influenced your rapping?
A: My experience at Roosevelt has definitely influenced my rapping and helped enhance some of my techniques I am studying in my program. I am learning how to properly brand myself and add value, and utilize all channels of media to create a maximum effect on my audience and listeners.
Q: Who is one person you would dedicate your first studio album to?
A: I would dedicate my first album to my mother, because she has been my number one supporter since day one. Despite a lot of family issues, my mother is a strong, God-fearing woman. She supports me by allowing me to venture out and express myself in a positive light, and encourages me to be the best I can be but also keeps in mind to keep God first. Of course she supports me, too, with financial contributions and being a listening ear when I want her to hear a new song.
Q: Where do you hope to be in five years?
A: In five years, I hope to be signed to a major record label. I want to be viewed as a positive female rapper in the music industry that no one has ever seen before until I step on the music scene. I do a lot of free performances, but I soon hope to gain revenue from them so I can give back to all those who helped me get to where I am. I also want to donate to organizations that are helping to rebuild Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010. I want to go to Haiti four times a year to give back to my native land with an army of donations and needed supplies that will help further children’s education. I want to travel internationally more frequently to perform my music in other countries and connect with my audience on a more genuine level.
Q: How can people find you?
A: My fans and listeners can watch my videos on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/lizziegman. They can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr at @Lizzieeg30. I also have a Facebook group that fans can become a member of if they search my name, and they can listen to songs on my MySpace page myspace.com/lizziee30.