About Lisa Spykers
Lisa is an Aussie traveling Soul/RnB singer-songwriter & multi-instrumentalist with a voice capturing the velvet tones of 70s Soul queens. She blends old soul sounds with dabs of Motown, 60s & 70s soul/RnB, Pop and a contemporary twist driven by honest & direct lyrics.
In 2013, Lisa left her teaching career to become a full-time traveling musician. She has performed in bars, restaurants, house shows, as a busker and at community events in North America & South East Asia, particularly Long Beach, LA, Vancouver, & Kuala Lumpur.
Lisa has been interviewed several times on radio in 4 countries and has visited nearly 50 countries in the last 12 years. She has also participated in blues jam sessions on every continent (except Antarctica) & has sung alongside renowned touring artists who have performed with the likes of Prince, Lee Ritenour & Hall & Oates. Lisa recorded with RnB hall of famer (of the Ohio Players) Dutch Robinson in 2016 (to be released in 2017).
Lisa started piano lessons at the age of 7. Her father bought her a 10 cent one octave toy keyboard with colourful singing frogs from a stall at the local school fete. She managed to play all the nursery rhymes straight away by ear, so her father bought a little Casiotone keyboard. She soon outgrew that too. Her father made a huge investment at the time & bought a beautiful Kawai piano. Her parents never once nagged her to practice. Lisa was self-motivated & went down the classical route, as that was what was available to her growing up on a farm in rural Victoria, Australia. From high school, she auditioned for the undergraduate music course at The University of Melbourne & went on to complete the Bachelor of Music Degree at the Conservatorium of Music in 2001.
Lisa discovered her heart really wasn't in being a concert pianist. She also liked the idea of working with kids, so she became a piano teacher. She first started working in primary schools as a sub-contractor instrumental music teacher and steadily built her private teaching studio from home. Lisa spent a lot of time communting too as she had students in her home town Seymour, neighbouring town Avenel, & in Brunswick, Melbourne. She later broadened her skill set to also teach guitar, singing, songwriting, and school of rock tunes to the youth in the inner Northern suburbs of Melbourne. For a few years, Lisa ran the instrumental music program at Brunswick East Primary School which culminated in the children performing at various community festivals, recording music videos & performing a fundraising concert at 3RRR radio station. In 2011, Lisa went back to university to do a graduate diploma in primary school teaching, expanding her teaching skills with literacy, numeracy, the arts & physical education.
Lisa finds she can hold a tune...
Unlike many singers who started at a young age, Lisa is a so-called ‘late’ bloomer. In 2005, she decided to travel the USA in search of as many jazz & blues gigs as she could see. In 6 weeks, she attended over 40 performances. Upon returning to Australia, Lisa felt an urge to begin singing, so she did! After nervously sharing her new interest with her keyboard teacher at the time (Mr. Tim Neal – a highly-regarded Hammond organ player), he encouraged her to share her voice & start performing. 3 months later, Lisa was accompanying herself on the piano, singing the blues & other older hits. Her first gig was at a regional antique café called WB Gadd in Avenel, Victoria.
From covers to original songs...
Lisa sang jazz and blues covers for awhile, floating between a couple of groups and performing in bars and at private functions. It was fun but it wasn't quite where she wanted to be. In 2008, she decided to travel for nearly 4 months on her own through West, East and South Africa. She made it to 10 countries. Coincidentally or not, she penned 10 country/roots songs in her first month home. It was a really tough trip and the songs poured out. Lisa had started to become a songwriter.
Lisa's soul voice emerges...
In 2010, Lisa met Linc Yow Yeh and they collaborated on some original tunes to create beautiful harmonies combining their soulful voices. They began performing gigs around Melbourne and in 2012, made their debut at Folk, Rhythm and Life Festival with a full band. It was Lisa's first ever festival appearance.
At the end of 2013, Lisa quit her jobs & decided to travel and play music on a more permanent basis. While not always easy, the experience has enhanced her songwriting, her understanding of herself and the world, her skills & knowledge by taking on various activities outside her musical ones & life's lessons from her encounters with all types of people around her. She has made even more connections though couchsurfing and meeting up with friends (and friends of friends) worldwide.
Lisa has traveled a lot over the last 12 years. She hasn’t counted lately, but she believes it to be around 50 countries. On her travels, Lisa seeks local musicians to have jams with, books performances & attends as many shows & community events as she can. Lisa believes in soaking up the atmosphere of a place & seeks creative communities wherever she ends up. Lisa has been fortunate to sing in the USA, and countries in South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. Her goal is to sing on every continent. Someone please book her for Antarctica!