"Liesbeth Is A Rising Star"
1. Liesbeth you grew up in a small town in Belgium, but it seems you have big dreams of a singing career, tell us how you became a singer?
When I was seven years old, I saw the musical ‘Snow White'. I went with my parents and my sister. After seeing the musical, I lived in the fairytale for weeks. I dreamed of being the actress who played Snow White and I was singing and acting all the time. I dreamed to be on the big stages, but... I was a very realistic child. I knew it was hard to get there. And that you had to be very talented. So I became very sad and shy and I stopped singing. Just for my pets, which I can imagine, was very funny and cute. Until my 14'th birthday, I saw more musicals and became a huge fan of the Broadway musicals too (Chicago, Beauty and the Beast, Les Mis,...). So the dreaming never really stopped. I went to a music school and learned to play the flute. There were musicians in the family for a long time, so my mother send me to the school. I got older and discovered some other music. My father loves music, in particular, Blues and Jazz and some Rock. I did not like the hard and rough stuff, but I got the chance to listen to some different music than musicals. As a teenager I listened to Dolly Parton, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holliday, Elvis Presley, Patrica Kaas, Lara Fabian... Which was extraordinary for someone of my age. And when my parents discovered my passion for music and singers, they took me to concerts. They saw how I enjoyed to be in a theatre, looking at my idols. And so the dream grew bigger.
On my 14’th birthday, I got the chance to sing at school. I wanted to try it. I wanted to know what people thought of my voice. So I sang at school with a friend on a Valentines party. My first number for an audience was ‘Hero’ from Mariah Carey. My parents came to the party and heard me singing for the first time. They were so surprised. They were so amazed. My father was so proud of me. They suggested I should go and take some lessons. So from then on, I did. I got some confidence and took some classes at the school were I already played the flute.
But... The only class that was able to join at that moment, was some classical singing. I was very unhappy there and had to sing songs that were too high. My voice wasn’t able to do classical singing. And after two years, I stopped singing. The dream of being on a stage as a singer, never disappeared. So when I decided of trying to go to the conservatory, my parents were taken by surprise. I’ve been looking for a new singing teacher on the internet. And so I’d found one. I took some Jazz and Musical lessons and I felt progress.. I did my entrance examination. And on my 17’th, I got in. I was going to study Musical. And so the dream got real.
2. Who inspires you and why?
Of course, some female singers. I love strong voices. I love... the heart and the lyrics of Adèle, the riffs of Jessie J, the soul of Aretha Franklin, the vocal range of Lara Fabian, the jazz hands of Norah Jonas, the feelof an Imelday May and the guts of Lady Gaga. And of course the body of Beyoncé. ;-)
All of them have a different style. And all of them have something to offer to an audience. They tell about a moment or some affairs or happenings in their lives. They comfort people with lyrics and they make women feel strong and independent. Adèle got me through most of my break-ups. Isn't that crazy? I don't even actually know her. She inspired me so much. She sings openly about her heartbroken days and nights. On her last album, she wrote a song about her baby child. I have to cry every single time I hear it. She writes so honestly and pure. That's the most beautiful thing a singer can do. What these women taught me, is me having appreciate who I am and what I do. It's hard to survive as an artist. And it's hard keep believing in yourself. But they started also singing in little places, while people were talking... Not listening... I'm living in a country so small, possibly not reaching 100 people with my singing on a concert. But when I sing, I always look for a message, I look for a feeling. Something that people will recognize or remember afterwards. I'm singing to tell a story through my voice. And it makes me happy.
I once sang on a concert and I touched a woman with my song, who was in the front. And after the concert, she came to me and thanked me. She thanked me for the spirit I brought by singing. Thanked me for the power I gave her. She told me she was very ill. And two weeks after my concert, she died. I got a message of her family, where they thanked me again for singing. Because she told them and she had said that she was grateful for the music and the joy that day. It's something I will never forget. It's a gift for an artist, how small or big you are. And it gave me hope and warmth, that she sincerely listened to me that day. That people still do that. And I will listen to every artist's story and music, that will ever cross my path.
3. What advice can you give girls who have aspirations for singing and acting?
Oh my... I’m only 24 years old. I’m just a baby myself and I have to learn so much. Every time I have to sing a show for the first few times, I doubt. I doubt about my technique, about my looks, about my size... Or I think I will lose control of everything. Just stay relaxed and keep breathing. The most important thing for singing is to relax your muscles. Do your warm-ups every time before you go on stage and then your voice will follow.
I teach little kids and I see so much dreams in their eyes. As I said before, I sometimes stopped dreaming. Never do that. Dreaming is the power of moving forward. Dreaming and some common sense. I'm so very thankful to my parents and my family. They give me support and trust. But especially... They taught me how te be disciplined and critical. And so I became stronger.
I will always say to my children in class what they can do better. And then tell them how good they are. How good they are for keep trying. Keep trying, kids.
4. What are your future plans and aspirations?
I always wanted my own band. Before summer, some musicians asked me for a Funky band. I was so excited. Rehearsals start soon and the release will probably be in January or February 2018. Fingers crossed. Someday I will write my own songs. I doesn't matter if they will be heard. I just wanted to have music of my own.
5. Where can we keep in touch with you and what is your next project?
You can follow al my activities and shows on my Instagram page called ‘bettyroose’ and Facebook 'LiesbethRoose'. Maybe soon my own website... I have a band where you can book me for weddings, receptions and parties. http://www.singusasong.be/ In september 2017, I start a tour with a Belgian singer. I got the honor to be one of his backings and we’re going to tour with him and his orchestra through Germany and some Nordic countries. I’m very excited about that. Singing and traveling, a most wonderful combination. And... Me... I'm looking forward to Christmas. The most beautiful time of the year. Thank you for the interview, Devin. After our talks, I have a new female idol. You've taught me a lot by talking about your experiences in life.
Thank you, Devin
Liesbeth (Also called Betty)