Irish songstress & devout feminist Lisa Murray pours raw emotion into the hard-hitting new musical release “Woman In A World”, which has been motivated by a spate of violence against women in the UK & Ireland, followed swiftly by the overturning of Roe vs. Wade in the USA.
With a strong feminist streak and a huge passion for women’s issues such as abortion rights, violence against women, rape culture, the gender pay gap, and any issues pertaining to the lack of safety and support for women in the world, Lisa devotes a lot of her time towards closing the gender gap in the music industry, heading up the Dublin Chapter of shesaid.so and having worked closely with SheKnowsTech over the years
Lisa has kindly spoken with Fierce & Fabulous Revolution regarding the release of the impacting song “Woman In A World” & being a prominent voice for readdressing the gender balance in music. You can find the full interview below.
Hey Lisa, thank you for this interview. Can you start by telling readers a little bit about yourself?
Lisa: Of course! I’m a singer/songwriter and music producer from Ireland. My music combines autobiographical and narrative story telling with my production skills to craft relatable songs that deal with themes such as heartbreak and modern womanhood. I started producing music when I was pursuing my undergraduate degree in Music at Trinity College Dublin and I fell in love with music technology. I was then awarded Berklee College of Music’s Outstanding Woman Scholarship to pursue my masters degree in Music Production, Technology and Innovation at their campus in Valencia, Spain.
When did you first discover your passion for music?
Lisa: When I was seven years old I started taking piano lessons and I instantly fell in love with playing music. I quickly discovered that I didn’t just have to play the notes in my sheet music but I could play the other keys and make my own melodic ideas. By the age of eleven, I had started singing and writing songs. My dad taught me some chords on the guitar and I’ve never stopped writing songs since.
Have you always known that you wanted to pursue a career within the music industry?
Lisa: I actually wasn’t always certain that I wanted music to be my career. I really loved school and did well in most of my classes, so it was a tough choice when I was choosing what to pursue for my university degree. At different points, I considered studying psychology, veterinary and biomedical science. But I realised that music was the one thing that has been with me since I was a child and it’s what I love most in this world – so I decided to study Music at Trinity College Dublin.
How would you currently describe your musical style?
Lisa: I would describe my first three singles as cheeky pop. My songs like ‘i unfollowed u’ and ‘if i ever see you again’ are tongue-in-cheek heartbreak songs with summery vibes. ‘Woman in a World’ is a more serious acoustic ballad. This is the first single from my Debut EP ‘Empty Heart’ which is coming out in Spring 2023. This EP contains a series of more serious (but equally as catchy and cheeky) songs that all surround themes of heartbreak and unrequited love. I would say my sound takes inspiration from Taylor Swift, First Aid Kit, HAIM and Fleetwood Mac.
You recently released the hard-hitting single “Woman In A World”. How did the idea for this song come together?
Lisa: This song came to me the day after a young woman named Ashling Murphy was killed in a rural part of Ireland. She was a 23-year-old primary school teacher and Irish trad musician who was out jogging when she was attacked and killed. The whole country came to a standstill to mourn the loss of such a bright young life. At the time, I tried to write a tweet, Instagram story or online post but I was lost for words. So, instead, I turned to music to express the fear, frustration and heartbreak I was feeling as a woman in the world.
This song is a reflection of your inner thoughts & feelings about being a woman in today’s day & age. How did it feel to put these thoughts & feelings into the creative journey of the song?
Lisa: It felt quite cathartic to bare my soul and lay down all my thoughts and feelings as a woman in this world. When I start to write a song, I don’t always know how I feel about the topic until I start to sing about it. So usually the songwriting process is what helps me to unravel the messy ball of emotions and thoughts running through my mind. It’s a really therapeutic process for me.
What does this song personally mean to you?
Lisa: To me, this song paints a sad but important picture of womanhood in today’s world. It outlines my feelings and thoughts as a woman in this world. Women constantly have to have their guard up and take extra steps to ensure their safety. In 2022, this is absolutely bizarre. People are so quick to give us advice on ways to be vigilant and stay safe, instead of taking steps to make the world a safer place for us to live our lives.
What message would you like listeners to take away from this song?
Lisa: My aspiration for the song is to raise awareness about the fears and frustrations of the women of this world for those who don’t understand them. Unfortunately, many women will resonate with the feelings and themes expressed in the song. I hope this song will strike a chord with them and help them know they are not alone.
Over the years, you have been a prominent voice for readdressing the gender balance in music and beyond, through working with SheSaid.So & previously She Knows Tech. What inspired you to start addressing these issues?
Lisa: When I started my career in music, I was shocked by the lack of female representation I saw – particularly in the music production and audio engineering space. Then I learned just how poor the representation was on a global scale. The USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative study found that only 2% of producers and audio engineers were women. I’m really passionate about bridging this gender gap because I know so many incredibly talented women who would make great producers and engineers if they were just given the right tools and opportunities to learn and get into the space.
What are some of the key things you feel need to be addressed when it comes to equality within the music industry?
Lisa: I think some of the key issues that need to be addressed are gatekeeping and lack of representation. The music industry can be an intimidating and daunting place for anyone trying to break into it, particularly for women and gender minorities who don’t have as many role models to look up to. In the music production and audio engineering space in particular, most of the information is gate kept and not openly shared. This can make people feel like they’re not “good enough” to pursue a career in this area – which is not true! As a woman, seeing mostly men at the top-tiers of the industry amplifies this self-doubt further. The work that shesaid.so and She Knows Tech do aims to highlight talented women and gender minorities to give our communities more diverse role models to look up to.
What advice would you offer to someone who was looking to pursue a career within the music industry?
Lisa: My advice is to just go for it! Everyone starts somewhere and the majority of the people in the music industry are driven by their love of music. If you want to pursue a career in music but don’t know where to start, look at resources like shesaid.so, She is the Music and She Knows Tech. There are a bunch of initiatives and communities out there that are set up to help you find your feet and pursue a career in music. If you’ve got the passion and the drive and you’re willing to put in the work, you will get very far!
Finally, is there a message that you would like to share with the readers of Fierce & Fabulous Revolution?
Lisa: Remember that you can do anything you put your mind to! Continue to be the fierce and fabulous icons that you are and always stand up for what you believe in.
All proceeds from sales and streams of ‘Woman in a World’ are going to be donated directly to Women’s Aid Ireland. So if you can afford to, please consider purchasing ‘Woman in a World’ on Bandcamp for as little as €2. It’s for a great cause. https://lisamurray.bandcamp.com/track/woman-in-a-world
If you can’t afford to donate, add the track to your playlists, share it with your friends and play it when you can – as the streaming royalties will also be donated!
You can check out “Woman In A World” on Spotify below or via Bandcamp here.