“What do you do?” is arguably the most annoying question to ever ask a passionate, multi-talented creative. I certainly have been bombarded with similar inquiries, and simply answer: “I’m just myself, 24/7.” Lizzy Nicholson is in the same predicament as she maneuvers between the photography, writing and music world.
Born in a British coastal town called Weymouth, Nicholson has always been the type to go against the grain. “The seaside is beautiful, great place to raise kids, but the people down there aren’t so inspiring. Folk in small towns talk about doing shit but they don’t actually do shit,” she admits. Underwhelmed by the lack of esprit in her hometown, Lizzy still managed to have fun with a select group of friends. Nicholson was exposed to illustrations and paintings by reading a lowbrow art publication called Juxtapoz Magazine, which propelled her to fly all the way to San Francisco at 17 years old to visit all the galleries it featured.
Two years after her U.S expedition, Lizzy decided to permanently move to London. “I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the U.K,” says Nicholson. “Although it’s getting more and more expensive to live in, London is still such a grassroots city - it’s so ahead of the curve when it comes to developing new music, birthing subculture divisions and spreading trends across Europe.”
The home of Big Ben truly satisfied every bit of Lizzy’s artistic hunger. Her first foray into the creative realm was as a writer, working for publications like Wonderland, and several independent blogs (i.e Eve Without Adam and XXYO). Writing then motivated Lizzy to refocus on photography and even sharpen her musical ear.
I recently sat down with the multi-hyphenate millennial to further discuss her love for London, creative process, numerous job titles and the current state of the culture as a whole. Check out our conversation below:
FRENDY: Prior to being immersed in the art world, which activities kept you sane in your hometown?
LIZZY: I’d spend all my free time searching for obscure records online; namely Jazz-Funk and early Hip-Hop uploaded by some vinyl nut who had recorded his entire collection. We didn’t have NTS back then either, and local radio was shit, so I’d find 1990’s pirate radio rips on some archaic website and listen to the old shout outs over the jungle, wishing I was in London.
FRENDY: For those who don’t know, what is NTS?
LIZZY: So, NTS is an online radio station which started in London that allows DJs from all over to curate some pretty interesting shows. It’s our generation’s pirate radio, made in DIY spirit and as a protest to the conventional media channels. There are tons of online stations popping up all over the world now, it’s really great to see people taking matters into their own hands and making their own thing happen.
FRENDY: Very interesting. Did your parents play a huge role in determining your choice of music?
LIZZY: *Laughs* Nope. Actually, I would steal my mum’s old punk cassette tapes. But really, no.
FRENDY: Who were your favorite musicians growing up?
LIZZY: Oh man, that’s so hard to answer concisely. My favourite tracks were always by some unknown artist, like weird little garage vocal tracks by somebody who put out one record once and it got lost in the abyss. I’m into slower stuff these days; 80s slow jams, really early R&B, and always Lonnie Liston Smith. I had a Sade day today. She was so sensual, don’t you think?