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  • Smooth Jazz Network

Lisa Addeo: Behind the Beats

Updated: May 4, 2022

Each week we'll take you 'Behind the Beats' to learn more about the artists that play on our airwaves. This week: Lisa Addeo.

Your new single “Stay With Me Tonight” is very lyrical in its melody. What was your inspiration for this tune?

The tune was originally called ‘Castle By The Sea’ and it had lyrics. The only thing that’s constant is change! It’s a story about a girl who lived by the sea, dreaming about the love of her life and she finally meets him. He falls in love with her and asks her to stay. It’s another one of my mushy romantic love songs! I can’t help it. I like a happy story, and this is one. I changed the title to "Stay With Me Tonight" because that is the part of the story where her dream comes true...and I believe many people can relate to the thrill of hearing those words from the right person! Like I said in one of my live streams, I’m a romantic, so it seems that’s where the story often ends up.

This is the 5th single from your album “Listen To This.” All have been strong on the charts and this sounds like yet another hit. How did this album come about and why do you think it has produced so many hit singles?

Thank you. I hope you’re right! I had been on the hunt for a collaborator that shared my vision and the sound I wanted to develop. I had always heard a tight groove crawling underneath sparkly piano melodies. When I found the work synergy with Nils, I got very excited and inspired. He took my ideas, like with the #1 hit Listen To This and together, one track at a time, we grew and shaped what became the Listen To This album. One track on the album, High Heels, was produced and co-written by Adam Hawley. I look forward to similar collaborations because it’s really fun and I’m consistently energized by the creativity in our genre. So I guess I would say the hit singles have come from inspiration, finally realizing a sound I could really connect with that was uplifting, and I think we all want to share what we like with others.

How does it feel to hit #1 on Billboard… and all of your chart successes these past few years?

It feels amazing and what a ride it’s been! Reaching the top of the chart is, of course, a thrill. Simply being accepted and having the music enjoyed by such wonderful fans, is the true gift. I’ve been embraced by this wonderful Smooth Jazz community of radio programmers AND fans, and I love the people and collaborators I am meeting. Fun, fun, fun. We walk this earth for a short time and sharing this journey with people that love this music as much as I do is a dream come true.

You have collaborated with several smooth jazz artists on this album… Any highlights?

Every single one of them is a highlight. I feel deeply honored to work with some of the most talented, dedicated and giving artists and musicians on this record. Being in the trenches with the level of mastery and excellent musicianship I have been fortunate enough to experience with ALL the musicians on this record, has really touched me. Each is a master of their craft, from the featured performers and producers to the sidemen. They each bring their passion and it's a privilege to have them be a part of this amazing journey.

You are not only a pianist, but also a vocalist and composer. Tell us about the aspects of each talent that gets you excited.

I love a good sounding piano, that’s always a good place to start! Ear candy. When I was shopping for the Yamaha C7 I have now, I told every salesman in every store that I was only ‘dating’ each piano and wasn’t ready to make a commitment! Haha.

When I sing, it’s an experience very different from playing the piano. My breath and timbre and, I know this sounds strange, but it connects me to everything and everyone. It almost feels like a meditation or a prayer when I sing. Then when I combine that with the piano, I get a feeling that I’m right where I’m supposed to be, and nothing else matters.

As for my songwriting, I write something new every day. Eventually, some of them grow from seedlings into a garden of melodies, harmonies and rhythm. I love the process of going from a blank space into a fully realized piece. And each melody tells a story. Otherwise, it's not ready for prime time!

How about your love of outdoor sports?

Nature is SO inspiring to me and so are sports. You get to push the envelope and I like that. In nature, there are treasures everywhere, if you just look. The other day I took a close up picture of a beautiful purple flower on a side walkway that I’ll bet nobody even paid attention to. It was bursting with colors with its own unique design and if that flower could sing, I know it would be a song that would make us all groove! I love being out in the middle of the ocean, any golf course anywhere and feel so alive and inspired when I’m out in the sun and the breeze, surrounded by nature and working up a sweat. It makes me feel alive, energized and full of gratitude.

How have you handled this past year and what are your plans for the remainder of 2021 and onward?

Although I did my best to roll with the punches, looking back, it was emotionally challenging and definitely draining. I moved 5 days before the pandemic hit, so I had a lot to keep me distracted, organizing my new crib. It’s hard to believe what we all did and had to do! Sitting at my piano was my refuge and my safe place. Unlike all the wacky things we had to do during the pandemic, it was familiar and has always been home to me through good times and not so good times.

To see people a bit more relaxed and smiling, makes me feel hopeful and gets me excited to continue laying down more new tunes. Looks like I will spend the remainder of 2021 collaborating and making a new record. I actually have about 5 different album projects I'd like to get underway! I have ideas and I won't rest until they all see the light of day. If only I didn’t have to sleep or eat, I could get a lot more done!

Any advice for up-and-coming musicians?

Yes I do. Don’t EVER give up. Never ever ever! Act with honor, have integrity, be grateful and be true to yourself. Have fun. Be kind. You have a gift you are charged with sharing and you must do so. Sign up, damn the torpedoes and give it your all.

Keep in touch with Lisa Addeo via her website.

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