Sometimes people come into your life for a season. Other times people camp out in your life and stay forever. Chris Lizotte is one of those camp-out-and-stay-forever people for me. When i was 16 years old i was in a band called Wild Blue Yonder. At the same point in time there was a band playing around LA and OC called Labor of Love... or Passion to Pass (i can never remember which name came first). The guys in my band LOVED this band and took me to see/hear them several times. Chris Lizotte was the front man. We eventually played some shows together and became friends. Chris began working with the Vineyard in Anaheim, and as we had several mutual friends that attended there as well, it became our mutual musical place to congregate. Chris wound up married to my boyfriends sister. I wound up married to his wife's brother. we are now related and have been brother and sister for over 25 years!
Chris has had a profound effect on my life as a spiritual mentor and musician, songwriter and artist. his humility, his authenticity, his heart... they all serve to sharpen me. He's one of those people that's hard to talk to about real stuff without crying... i believe that's because he's covered in Gods anointing and filled with the Spirit. the light in him shines bright. He continues to encourage me as a writer and has always supported me in ways that others haven't. i'm grateful for his influence on my life and in an effort to let some of his insight filter down to you, i asked him to answer our music monday questions.
1// what part do you play within the music industry?
I am a Worship Leader first. And I still contribute to the industry as a songwriter/artist mostly with Vineyard Music. I've also written songs that have been recorded by Crystal Lewis (the most amazing voice on planet earth!), Kim Walker-Smith, Maranatha Music & Vineyard Music.
2// briefly describe how you got where you are; tell us your story.
I got started by having loving mentors at The Vineyard In Anaheim, Ca. take me under their wings and teach me how to love God through music. Folks like Kevin Prosch, Eddie Espinosa & Chris Wimber have poured into my life. I've gotten to make records with Vineyard Music and Metro One Music, and have been blessed to play and lead music in a number of countries. Now I'm grateful to serve as worship Pastor at Little Church by the Sea in Laguna Beach, CA.
3// what advice would you give someone that wants to do what you do?
I would say start with the basics like learn your instrument well, write a lot of bad songs until a good one shows up, and ask God to illuminate your path.
4// whats your take on the future of the industry? where do you see it going? will digital music take over the world?
It already has. In a way, maybe a purification is happening? Now playing music is purely for the love of it. Now that music is mostly free, our motive becomes love.
5// in light of the current climate of the music business, would you advise an artist to seek support from a label or take the more independent, do-it-yourself route of social media outlets ie; kickstarter? or what would you say are the pros and cons of each?
I would say we're now well into the beginning of the end of record companies as we've known them. I have a son that's in 2 different bands and has many friends in bands. They don't even think about getting a record deal. It's not even a thought for them.
6// what advice would you give an aspiring song writer as far as how to go about pitching a song to an artist?
My experience in that has only been about relationships. I don't know much about pitching songs.
7// what is the best way for an aspiring artist to get their foot-in-the-door?
The door certainly has changed. Not sure there is a door anymore? Or at least it seems it's been kicked in for good. The beauty is anyone can post their music for all to hear on the interweb. I'd say playing live is the best way to get out there. And the best way for hearts to be moved by your songs.
8// how does one get a demo heard by the right people?
9// what is the Christian industry looking for as far as future talent?
I still dunno.
10// how do/did you balance parenthood with life on the road?
I didn't go out for more than a week or so at a time. One time I went out for 3 weeks. Our first born was 3 months old. When I got back he had grown 2 inches. I missed 2 inches of his life. I didn't like that.
11// itunes or physical product you can hold in your hand?
I'll always love to touch and feel what I hear.
12// what artist(s)/music are you listening to and/or inspired by right now?
Have you heard Michael Kiwanuka? Beautiful!
The new Beck record is great!
Anything by Crystal Lewis.