Hi Lisa, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I’ve been great! I’m very excited to release my first album!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Good Love”?
“Good Love” is the first single off my debut record. It was written for me by a wonderful pianist/songwriter Dan Policar whenever he had a moment free while he was on tour with Sean Paul. It is a fun, feel good love song with a catchy and memorable chorus. The arrangement by my producer Rob Mounsey gives the song a distinct sound, derived from an unusual blend of reggae, pop, indie, and jazzy horns.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I’ve been drawn to the reggae feel and the sound of the ukulele, so I asked Dan to write a song for me, with this in mind. Dan and I are both active in the jazz and pop world, and together we co-wrote three other songs on this album, which I can’t wait to share.
Can you tell us more about the upcoming video?
The music video for “Good Love” will be released on VEVO. A unique concept was formed by filming from the perspective of a dog, so essentially the camera is the dog’s eyesight! Puppy love has become the theme for “Good Love”, as seen in the cover art where the paws of two poodles form a heart! Sadly, right before filming, my own dog passed away. So this has become a dedication to my pup Little Duke.
The single comes off your new album Goin Your Way - what’s the story behind the title?
After earning my Bachelor of Music at McGill University in Montreal, I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to take with my music. I wasn’t sold on confining my career to only one style, despite my extensive training in jazz voice. One of my best friends and mentor, Lew Soloff, kicked off his successful career in the rock band, Blood, Sweat & Tears, yet this didn’t prevent him from making a name for himself in the jazz world as well. Lew was a guiding force and taught me how to break down musical barriers and blend different genres. The title track, “Goin’ Your Way” is an uplifting song I wrote to inspire people of all ages and walks of life. It encourages you to keep looking forward and to follow your dreams. Lew helped guide me to my path, and I hope that this album can help others find their way.
How was the recording and writing process?
Hearing my music come to life for the first time was one of the most memorable moments of my life. The entire recording experience surpassed anything I could have ever imagined. I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with an all around brilliant team. Everyone was just as down to earth as they were talented.
The first step in the writing process was to get my team of songwriters to understand the sound I was aiming for on the album. After this, we were able to come up with tunes that I hope will resonate with a broad audience.
What was it like to work with Rob Mounsey and how did that relationship develop?
Working with Rob Mounsey was EXTRAORDINARY. I had the opportunity to work with a world-class producer and arranger, and learned so much about music and how to approach recording. He listened to all of my thoughts and ideas and brought the best ones to life. It was a pleasure to work with him and I truly miss recording with him.
How much did he get to influence the album?
Rob not only produced the album, but he also arranged every track. Combining my many musical influences and his extensive experience in a variety of genres, Rob was able to hone my sound and tie the record together sonically. We took a true “Vocal Record” approach. Each track was strategically designed to support and emphasize the nuances and emotions of my voice.
You also have Lew Soloff playing the trumpet – how did he come on board?
Lew was the guiding force for this album and is one of the main reasons it exists in its present form. He introduced me to Rob and was involved throughout the process. It was only natural for Lew to play on the record.
What were you seeking for on the song that Lew is featured on, or did you just want to collab with him?
Lew plays throughout the album and is featured on 2 tracks, one of which is “I’ll Be Seeing You”. We had previously played this song together at a live concert and I remembered how powerful that moment was. I wanted to capture this feeling in a recording. Lew’s beautiful solo on the flugelhorn truly sings. I’m saddened to say that he passed away this March. This song has become a tribute to our friendship and will hopefully be a treasure to others as well.
Coming from a musical family – how did this background influence you as an artist?
My grandfather was a professional classical pianist in Hungary. He survived the war because he happened to be exploring New York during the onset. My father grew up in a musical setting, and is an incredible trumpet player and music teacher. The family tradition continued and I grew up around my father’s passion for jazz and classical music. Fulfilling my grandfather’s dream of becoming a successful artist in New York has always kept me very motivated.
Any plans to hit the road?
When I release the full album, I hope to travel and play shows all around!
What else is happening next in Lisa Gary’s world?
The next song I’m working on releasing is “I’ll Be Seeing You”, featuring Lew Soloff. This track is very dear to my heart, and I look forward to sharing it with the world.