“I always wanted to live in Los Angeles. It felt so sunny and open. I felt I could breathe out here, literally and figuratively. It’s suburban, but secretly urban. I haven’t stopped making the music I love.” ~Lisa Loeb
When Loeb takes the stage of the Newberry Opera House on October 1st, it’s certain that the audience will focus on her music as well as her style. Loeb has style. She has focus. She has an abundance of energy and spends time surrounding herself with those things that spark her own creativity.
As a singer-songwriter, Loeb gained national attention in 1994 when she became the first unsigned artist to reach No. 1 on the Singles chart with Platinum-selling, “Stay (I Missed You)” from the Reality Bites soundtrack. “Stay” received a Grammy nomination that year. In the years that followed, Loeb’s work continued to spark the interest of other professionals in the musical field and beyond. She does everything, and anything, but stay still. You might say her career is a complete paradox of the very song that catapulted her to fame. She’s not missing a thing.
In 1997, Loeb was Grammy nominated for her 1997 album, Firecracker. She appeared in the 1999 movie, House on Haunted Hill, opposite Oscar-award winning actor, Geoffry Rush. She’s formed working relationships with MTV, made guest appearances on The Chris Isaak Show and The Drew Carey Show. In 2004, Loeb co-hosted her own television series for The Food Network. That same year, Loeb received the prestigious Parent’s Choice Award with the release of Catch The Moon, a children’s CD with a companion book. She released her fifth album, The Way It Really Is, and starred in the television show, No. 1 Single, which aired internationally on E! Entertainment Network, serving as a producer of the show.
2007 would be the beginning of another milestone in Loeb’s career as she completes recording, Camp Lisa, and in 2009, launches the Camp Lisa Foundation—a charity which gives kids an opportunity to go to camp. Today, songs from Camp Lisa are featured in a new musical theater production which she co-wrote, Camp Kappawanna.
Camp Kappawanna made its debut at The Atlantic Theater Company in New York City in the spring of 2015. Loeb says she wants to take Camp Kappawanna on the road. “I want to share the whole summer camp experience,” says Loeb, “It’s really fun to watch. It’s a story about friendship building, self-confidence, and team work.” Loeb says she’s loved watching the show with different audiences, and that both kids and grown-ups enjoy and connect with it. “It sparks imagination and creativity. I saw grown-ups crying,” she says, “It was really cool to see the way it affected everyone.”
Loeb says that when she started making kids’ music, she didn’t really understand it, and that her inspiration is based more on the music she listened to while growing up. Some of her musical influences are The Beatles, Queen, and Carole King. “Carole King has such a vivid imagination, doesn’t she? I love her records,” she says, “I was always playing music when I was a little kid. I started writing songs with lyrics when I was a young teenager. My biggest breakthrough was Reality Bites in 1994.”
The popular 1994 movie Reality Bites stars Wynonna Ryder, Ethan Hawke and Ben Stiller, but as much as anything, one might remember Loeb’s song, “Stay (I Missed You),” as one of the primary staples from the movie’s soundtrack. Both song and movie are often credited with launching Loeb’s career. Indeed, “Stay (I Missed You),” could be touted as one of the most universally upbeat, depressing and miserable love songs … ever. That’s why we love it. It resonates with teenagers now, and our present and youthful 40 and 50 year-olds who remember the pangs of missing someone because of that song. But, we grew-up and recovered. So did Lisa Loeb, and after 20-years she continues her successful career by making music she loves, writing children’s books and theatrical plays, and quite possibly by becoming somewhat of a walking and talking fashion statement with her cat-like eyeglasses with stylish designs.
In November 2010, Loeb launched the Lisa Loeb Eyewear Collection, which features her eyewear designs. Each frame is named after one of her song titles. “People have been talking to me for so long about an eyewear line. It’s influenced by my own style. There are so many women that don’t feel confident wearing glasses. We have a great team that help design glasses. I want women to feel really pretty and know they look really pretty,” says Loeb. The Lisa Loeb Eyewear line is available at opticians’ offices, boutiques and all Costco stores.
Loeb is currently working on a kids’ record that’s due out in the fall. She says her show at the Newberry Opera House will be mostly grown up music with a couple of kids’ songs in the mix. (My advance request and personal favorite is the kick-A-song, “Do You Sleep?”)
Loeb says she has a great husband who is also very supportive, “We work well together and have a great balance.” Husband Roey Hershkovitz is the Music Production Supervisor for Conan (O’Brien). They married in 2009 and live in L.A. with their two children, and their diabetic cat Sweetie McGee. “She’s my wild indoor cat. My big girl.”
Welcome to Newberry, South Carolina, Lisa. Stay. I’ve missed you.
Lisa Loeb performs at the Newberry Opera House on October 1st. For ticket information, visit NewberryOperaHouse.com or call the box office at (803) 276-6264.