Local Tourist Interviews: Lisa Lonewolf

Lisa Lonewolf
Local Tourist

Just as beautiful and talented as she wants to be, Lisa Lonewolf is a 21-year-old singer-songwriter who was born and raised in the small town of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

[quote]I was always different. I wore yellow for 4 years and I had big hair, every other kid was white. It’s a small town here, and 21 years ago, having a black mother and a white father – my sister looks white and I look mixed, so people would always tell me I was adopted. I hated where I lived, and I didn’t like who I was because I couldn’t fit in no matter how hard I tried.[/quote]

Do you think this neighborhood helped to mold you into who you are today?

I’ve always had to be okay with being different. Being in a place where I was forced with those things really taught me early on to be okay with people looking at me and not really understanding who I am. I didn’t even understand who I was, and that was a really rough time for me, but now I am really proud of who I am, and where I come from. I am definitely a small town girl, and love my Packers, and Badgers! Wisconsin is an awesome place to grow up and I wouldn’t want to be from anywhere else.

Where are your parents from?

My mom is from Brooklyn, New York and my dad is from Connecticut.

What do they do for a living?

My dad is a physician, and my mom went to school for bio chemistry, but now loves to teach yoga and farm.

At what age did you begin honing your skills?

I’ve always wrote songs secretly, and played piano since I was 3. I would always improvise and have fun with it but at a certain point, I didn’t enjoy it anymore and wanted to play basketball, and do karate. I have ADHD, so when I lose interested in something, I try something else.

At what age did you decide to take it seriously?

It took tearing my ACL twice before I realized that I wanted to try and go public with my music. My boyfriend really wanted me to sing for him, and I decided to take a chance. It was so freeing to express myself, and my pain, and my frustration, and my confusion and my happiness, just everything that makes me me everyday, and put it into words and sounds, and vibes. I love it. I’m really glad I took a chance and now I am not shy at all. I’ll sing for anyone!

What was the preparation like?

I write from the heart. Whatever I am feeling, I try to make it into music. Writing isn’t like a certain process, I just go with it.

Did you have to sacrifice any sleep?

I hate being tired, and I am a big baby about it, but yes I will stay up late and grind with my team. I drink a lot of Red Bull and knock out whatever needs to be done! Some of the best times of my life are those late nights in the studio, making great music with great people.

Are you a night owl?

No, I’m definitely a morning person. My nickname is ‘Grandma’. Because I go to bed at like 10:30 & I’m not a party animal either. I’m just my own person, but I will definitely do work when it needs to be done. Day or night, I can’t wait to have a place where I can go to record or even write late at night. Right now, my grand piano is at my parent’s house so I can’t really use it late at night anyways.

What would say is your earliest and most vivid moment of music?

I remember listening to Yo Yo Ma, Peter Phippen, and dancing to the Grateful Dead or the Rolling Stones. My dad had a great collection of vinyl and I always thought they were super cool. I was always inspired by all these different artists.

What would you say is your biggest fear?

I have anxiety so I am pretty fearful of a lot of things. That’s a part of life and I am okay with that. I’m pretty open about my weird phobias. I hate spiders though. I am a huge diva. I don’t really like to be outside with bugs and stuff.

How do you plan to overcome that fear?

My anxiety is just a part of life and I don’t really use it as a crutch or an excuse. I definitely take control of myself and I am really open about my feelings about things that bother me.

What do you like most about what you do?

I love to be able to speak to people, and feel with people. I want to be the leader, and that role model for young people that want to aspire to be and do great things and for them to want to lead those who come after them as well. I am trying to lead by example and show young women you can definitely be beautiful, and strong, and well-spoken and sexy, and still be respected. Young women have so much pressure on them to be a certain way, and act a certain way, and like certain things. Just like growing up, it’s hard to be different in a world that really doesn’t tolerate a whole lot of change. I want to show those people that you can be all the acceptable womanly things in life and still be an individual that people love and respect.


Are you a songwriter? Where does your name come from?

I am a songwriter and singer. My name actually happened by accident. When I started doing music, I was already going by ‘Lisa Lonewolf’ on Twitter and Facebook because I didn’t want to put my real last name on the Internet. I like people knowing me, but not really knowing me, if that makes sense. I always thought it was weird to have all my info out there for random people to see. Anyways, when I finished my first song, I didn’t really have a name so my boyfriend just saved it as ‘Lisa Lonewolf’ and it stuck every since.

Who are your biggest influences?

Beyoncé! I love her. She is seriously so amazing. I love how she holds herself, and how creative and beautiful she is. She has swag but she is still so stunning and smart. The way she comes out and reinvents herself with each album is pretty close to perfect I would say. I love her look and everything. I could go on and on about her. Justin Vernon is another artist from Eau Claire that has been super successful over the years. He definitley showed me that it is possible to become whoever you want no matter where you are from. Just because you don’t live in New York City, doesn’t mean that you can’t be a great international musician. It was really cool to see his music take off, and I always wanted to have a career as amazing as his. My mom and dad are my last influences I will speak about. They definitely have shaped me and my values to be something that I am proud of and I am confident in. I know how to make good decisions and I love that they allow me to be myself. From day one I was different, and they were 110% okay with that. Whatever I was interested in or wanted to do, they supported me fully and made sure I had what I needed in order to be successful. Even though a lot of things that I like are not interests that we share, they still understand that I am an individual and celebrate that with me all the time. I love them to death!

What were you doing before this?

I was a huge basketball player but I ended up tearing my ACL twice and never fully came back from those injuries. I had dreams of playing college ball but after I tore my ACL for the second time a month before graduation, I knew basketball just wasn’t going to be my ‘thing’.

What would you do if you weren’t doing this?

I would go to school and probably be a teacher. This is funny, because I actually hated school growing up but I love kids, and I believe in every kid’s potential. No matter what, I definitely want to work with kids in some way as I grow. I want to be the role model that I never had, and put things into perspective for kids the way my parents did. I want to teach people things that I learned in ways that a textbook probably couldn’t. Those were always my favorite teachers. The ones that made me care about things that a textbook never could!

How important is planning when it comes to your industry?

It’s important to a certain extent… I mean, you want to have things planned, but you can’t force art. Art is what it is when it is, if that makes sense. You can’t plan greatness but you can plan how hard you will work every day to attain it.


Who have you collaborated with?

I write a lot with my boyfriend, $tarbound. We have a few songs together. Also, a few really talented local rappers from Minneosta that people should not sleep on like Finding Novyon and Reeves Junya. They were on some of the first tracks I ever released. It meant a lot to me for them to work with me when I first started because I didn’t really have any content to show them when I approached them, they just worked with me and we created some really awesome stuff! I’ve done a few other small projects but nothing huge. I really would like to work with a lot of people. I am always down to vibe and just make some awesome art. Nothing has really come up yet though.

Is there anything else you’d want people to know about you?

I’m still young. I’m still learning but I am so excited for the opportunities that have come up after I felt like I had lost everything after my injuries. I have become a stronger believer in everything happens for a reason, and good things will happen to good people. I am funding all of my projects at this point. Travel, clothing, studio time, videos, everything… and I choose to do it the hard way by working a 9-5 instead of selling my body or selling drugs or whatever. I feel like this is the right way to go about things. Like I have said before, I want to be a good role model for young girls, and that is a huge part of my identity. I am not one of those females that will sell out just for a bit of attention. This may mean I’m not going to get a lot of “attention” right away, but I think my look and my vibe is working. I get a lot of respect for respecting myself and that’s how I always want to be.

What’s next for you?

Right now, I am still working as a full-time manager at American Eagle. I love the company, but I would love to be able to do music and fashion. Being creative is such a freeing experience. My life would change for the better if I could express myself more throughout the day. I will definitely be dropping my album this Fall, and also be releasing some singles soon. I will keep pushing away the best I can, and making music as much as I can. I love what I do, and the person that I am becoming, and best of all I love that I can share my journey with all of you.
I finally found my voice. It took 2 ACL tears, but I finally realized I am meant to be alone. I am a loner, and I am finally proud of that. Being a loner doesn’t have to be a negaitve thing, it’s just a fact. I am okay with being myself, and I want to share my story so other people can begin to embrace their own identies as well.

Eric Fobair (Interviewer)
Richardine Bartee (Editor, Assistant Interviewer)
Brendan Meier (Editor, Post-Production)

For more Lisa Lonewolf, just click here and visit her official website for regular updates.

Written by Manny King John

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