Lisa Fischer is a “soul” singer in the truest sense. Fame and fortune are not goals she strives to attain so much as being able to use her God-given talents to bless others. With a voice that defies human understanding and speaks to otherworldliness uncontained by space and time, Lisa Fischer is a one-woman phenomenon.
Fischer’s 1991 album, So Intense, earned her a Grammy Award and the respect of mega artists like The Rolling Stones, Sting, Nine Inch Nails, and Tina Turner, with whom she has toured the world brightening their star power in the role of backup singer. Although she has shied away from stardom, others have claimed it for Fischer. Many of her colleagues and peers revere Fischer and have crowned her an industry legend. “That’s a powerhouse voice. I think of her as a star. She’s a star,” shared rock legend Sting about Fischer, who had no idea that her appearance in the Oscar-winning 2013 documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom would alter her musical journey and add velocity to the trajectory of her stardom.
Never wavering from her pure desire to perfect her craft and share her gift with the world, Fischer broke out of her comfort zone and decided to put together a band and go on tour in 2014. Fischer and her band, Grand Baton, have no promotional swag, hit singles or salacious music videos to lure people to attend their shows – they are just riding a fantastic wave that respect, great musicianship, and a transcendent experience that is unforgettable. We caught up with Fischer on tour and got a greater understanding and appreciation of the woman with the magical voice.
If you had to choose one word to describe your musical journey and career what would it be?
What do you aim to give through your music and what do receive?
A timelessness if only for a little while… a circle of love and joy.
What role do you think image plays in the success of an artist and can you talk about how your image has evolved over the years?
According to the art and the artist, it varies. As a background singer, you become the vision of the artist that you work for. Within my current journey, I’m striving to be comfortable in my skin and to love myself as much as possible.
How do you define success?
Peace with sprinklings of excitement.
Is there anything musically you’d still like to accomplish or experience?
I like to follow the path and see where it takes me. I’m open to the fear of failure though it can be extremely uncomfortable, it’s also an opportunity for learning after licking one’s wounds. My biggest dream is to see how sound vibration can be used in a viable medical platform.
What do you want people to know about you that they don’t presently?
The sound of anger gives me major anxiety.
Why do you sing? What’s your motivation?
It’s like drinking water when you are thirsty or like breathing air… I need it to live completely.
Your band is all male. Can you share a little about what that experience is like working with all men and touring?
I tend to look at JC, Thierry, and Aidan as souls though they are also amazing men and musicians. They’re kind and sensitive and it’s been such a joy touring with them.
Are there any artists out presently whose musicianship you are in awe of?
Concha Buika, Laura Mvula and Alabama Shakes!
What’s next for you? Any plans to record new music?
What ever the universe will allow. I hope to do more live shows and experiment and play… perhaps capture that experience to share with others. I want it to be a living and breathing thing.
For more on Lisa Fischer and her band Grand Baton, visit lisafischermusic.com