SXSW 2011 PREVIEW: ELIZA DOOLITTLE
She's only in her early 20s, but London-born singer Eliza Doolittle certainly has a strong interest in — and a good feel for — 1960s pop, rock and soul. She made some noise last year with her retro-leaning songs "Rollerblades" and "Skinny Genes," and Doolittle will be in the heart of the Lone Star State just a few days before Capitol Records releases her self-titled debut album in the United States.
Medleyville.us: In your song "Moneybox," you sing about listening to 45s. Is vinyl your preferred listening format? And what's in your vinyl collection?
Eliza Doolittle: "I would say vinyl is my preferred listening format because I love the old, warm sound it has, but unfortunately my collection is quite low. I only have about 15 vinyls. I have Whitney Houston, The Jackson 5 and Pink Floyd, to name a few. I grew up buying CDs, and I still do. I have quite a good collection of CDs."
How and when did you develop your interest in 1960s pop, rock and R&B?
Doolittle: "I discovered older music listening to a pirate radio station that didn't even have a name when I was around 13 years old. I think it was around the 90-91 frequency, and it used to play the most amazing old '60s Motown, soul and R&B. I used to tape all the songs I liked. Once I'd heard a little taste, I would go down to Tower Records and buy the albums of all these amazing legendary artists that I was just discovering."
What are your thoughts on this year's Grammy performances and award winners?
Doolittle: "I did not see the Grammys this year. My friend Al Shux co-wrote 'Empire State of Mind,' and I was rooting for him!"
Finish this sentence: When I'm in Austin for this year's SXSW, I will ...
Doolittle: " … sing my heart out on as many stages as I can squeeze my butt onto!"
— Introduction and interview by Chris M. Junior
Eliza Doolittle at SXSW (schedule subject to change):
* 8 p.m. March 19: The Tap Room at Six, 311 Colorado St. (official SXSW showcase)
* 11 p.m. March 19: Cedar Street Courtyard, 208 W. 4th St. (official SXSW showcase)