Showbiz Analysis with Country-Pop Artist Lizzie Sider (Parade.com)
Published by Parade
Oct. 17, 2014
Written by Dr. Nancy Berk
At the age of 16, country-pop artist Lizzie Sider already has a strong presence in Nashville. The young woman, who recognized her love of performing and songwriting while in elementary school, has wasted no time pursuing her dreams and using music as a positive social force. Sider recently joined me for my podcast Whine At 9 to discuss her early launch into the music industry and her work in bullying prevention that has taken her to schools all over the county.
Poised, confident, and wise beyond her years, Lizzie Sider is as comfortable doing an interview as her peers are hanging out at Starbucks. Given her mature demeanor, it hardly seems surprising that she has found career success incredibly early in her life. Admits Sider, “You know, it is so funny because I think that things have always come a little bit early to me.” The teen artist’s music trajectory has been supported by her parents who she notes have been behind her “110%”. “I’ve just been so in love with music and with entertaining and performing ever since I knew what it was,” says Sider. “And so, when it came the time for me to start writing my own songs, I was 9-years-old, I just loved it. It’s always been a passion for me. Then at 13-years-old, I took my very first trip to Nashville, Tennessee. And in that trip, I had some writing appointments set up. And so those are my very first encounters with co-writers and co-writing, and just being in Nashville, and getting a glimpse of the professional side of things. I just got a hunger for it after that. And I loved it.”
Sider has worked with many Nashville notables including singer/songwriter Jamie O’Neal who co-wrote the song ‘Butterfly’ with the young artist. “It’s about my experiences in elementary school being teased and being bullied. And so that was the base of the idea for the song.” Sider notes that she loved her elementary school years, but they weren’t without some difficulty. “It was a very hard time for me to get through because there was a lot of ridicule and exclusion going on.” With respect to the song that she hopes will empower others, Sider says, “Butterfly is not just about bullying. It’s about any hardship that you might be going through– anything that you may be going through that is taking a toll on you. And just realizing that all you need to do is be sure of yourself, and believe in yourself, and spread your wings and fly.”
Last year, Sider took her bullying prevention efforts on the road, visiting 250 elementary and middle schools and sharing her story and music. Touring schools again this month, she remains energized to make a difference. “Now I can take my experiences, and the things that I’ve done, and the things that I’ve learned, and I can take those and share those with other kids.” Sider believes that blending her career with a positive social message is the perfect mix for her. “I am pursuing my music career because it is my passion. And I am going on tour with this anti-bullying message because I so believe in it.” When it comes to the connection she and her music are making with students, Sider couldn’t be happier. “Really more than anything it’s a beautiful unity.”
Watch a video Lizzie Sider’s ‘Butterfly’ here.
Nancy Berk, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, author, comic and entertainment analyst. The host of the showbiz podcast Whine At 9, Nancy digs a little deeper as she chats with fascinating celebrities and industry insiders. Her book College Bound and Gagged: How to Help Your Kid Get into a Great College Without Losing Your Savings, Your Relationship, or Your Mind can be seen in the feature film Admission starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd.