by Reginald Duvivier
Lissie is usually described as a folk rock singer, which is a label that pops up whenever someone likes to play acoustic guitar. Her music might roots in the folk tradition but her talents transcend genre, she’s a solid singer and songwriter of the purest sense. She even found a way to make Kid Cudi listenable (and unintentionally helped give Schoolboy Q his first hit) by doing so. She recently dropped another great album in Back To Forever but the main reason she spoke to Couchsessions was because of her philanthropy work. She’s done work in Haiti and recently she’s hooked up with Hard Rock for their IMAGINE program. Now in its 6th year, Hard Rock’s global IMAGINE campaign fights childhood hunger and poverty through sustainable agriculture education and nutritional feeding programs. Hard Rock locations worldwide participate in IMAGINE through food drives, Hard Rock Ambassador contests and live music events.
How did you hook up with the Hard Rock Cafe for this cause?
I met Annie Balliro in London at the Hard Rock Calling music festival a few years ago. She works in their philanthropy division and is an amazing woman doing all kinds of wonderful things for people all around the globe. Hard Rock was generous enough to donate to my Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) fundraising concert as well as help fund my trip to Haiti! We’ve stayed in touch and she, knowing that I liked to get involved in good causes, asked me to be their U.S . Ambassador for the “Imagine There’s No Hunger” initiative. Such an honor!
Tell us about your experience supporting hunger relief in Haiti.
I have a friend in California who runs an orphanage and school called Changing Tides in Jamel, Haiti. We have played a few fundraisers for them and were invited to visit. The kids were bright and healthy, learning and being housed in a loving environment. The school has real community presence as well, kids who live in town can attend the school and the staff is all local Haitians. And now they’re expanding so they can take on more children. The hunger relief aspect in regards to my time in Haiti is just one element of what’s provided. The kids are well fed and nourished and participate in a feeding program where they bag up rice and beans and go into the community and pass out food to the elderly and families who wouldn’t otherwise be able to eat as regularly.
Why is it important for people to get involved with IMAGINE?
Sometimes it’s hard to know how to help. Hard Rock has made it easy for you! For example at our NYC show all ya had to do was bring $10 worth of non- perishable food items and you could help feed a family! It’s important in general for us to help those less fortunate than ourselves however we can whether that’s with our time or money.
What is first song you learned to play on guitar?
House of the Rising Sun
What’s your favorite new musical discovery this year?
What was your favorite record when you were a teenager?
The Black Album by Metallica
What’s the most annoying thing about touring?
All my self-discipline just goes out the window! If I’m in my own space I can have a routine and make time to do yoga, hike, make sure I’m eating nutritiously but on the road I lose all control over my environment so it’s a free for all! As I write this, my back hurts and I’m eating leftover pizza for breakfast! Haha
What was best thing you got to do this year?
We played Conan on Tuesday! That was pretty cool! I’ve always loved him.
What are your biggest hopes for next year?
To do things exactly as I instinctively think I should!