Exclusive Interview: Liska Steele talks new single “Just Enough”

Chicago native Liska Steele is an upcoming artist whose distinct bubblegum pop sound and unapologetic lyrics make her hard to forget. After the release of her debut EP Crusher in October, Liska has returned with a sugary sweet pop tune called “Just Enough.” The video game-themed music video for the track premiered today on the Deli Chicago.

Read our interview about Liska below to hear her thoughts on her new song “Just Enough”, her songwriting process, and the joys of pop music.

Hi Liska! Tell us a bit about the process behind creating your new single Just Enough.
The process was completely random. I didn’t go into recording this song thinking it would be something I liked enough to make a music video for. My dad sent me a beat that sounded really different from other songs we’ve worked on in the past and I just kind of went with it. At first, I had no idea what direction to take, but once I had everything recorded it became my favorite song of mine.

Who were some of your musical inspirations for the track, or just in general?
I don’t know if there was necessarily a specific source of inspiration for the track. But generally speaking, I’m super inspired by Madonna, Carly Rae Jepsen, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Charli XCX….. just every pop diva, I can get behind almost all of ’em. Maybe there are elements of all of those artists in the song.

What was the inspiration behind the video game concept of the Just Enough video?
When I met up with Jake and Bayley of Low Moon to discuss the concept for the video they initially said the song sounded like a video game and were thinking it’d be cool to just make the whole video a video game. They also showed me Dave Chapelle’s “Life Like a Video Game” Grand Theft Auto skit, which is what inspired the way I was moving and interacting with people in the video.

Can you tell our readers a bit about your latest EP Crusher? What was the vision behind it and the process of making it like?
The Crusher EP was a selection of songs I had been working on for over four years. I have been writing and recording music for a very long time but had never put out a body of work. I chose the songs that I thought had the most cohesive sound and/or the songs I liked the most. I called it Crusher because for the most par,t it was about, like, people I had crushes on.

The cover art for Liska Steele’s EP Crusher

You’re also a songwriter! What is your general process for writing songs, from finding inspiration all the way to the final product?
I almost always start with a melody and lyrics. Like a hook will just pop into my head and I’ll make a voice memo and then forget about it for 3 months. I don’t like to start with just lyrics because I always feel like I’m forcing it when I try to put a melody to the words. I think if anything the melody should always come first. I usually make a very basic beat just so I could record my vocals and then I send the song to my dad and he makes it sound insane. My dad does all of my mixing/mastering/producing. However, “Just Enough” is an example of when my dad sends me something he made and then I write and lay down vocals. 

You have quite a distinct style and your own unique touch. How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it before?
I would describe it as punchy, sparkly, slightly 80s inspired pop music.

What draws you to that bubblegum pop sound?
I listen mostly to pop music because it makes me happy and I also want to make music that makes me happy. 

Do you have any plans for new music, shows, or anything else in 2019? 
There is definitely new music on the way and hopefully more shows soon.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about Just Enough or to fans of your music?
I would like to suggest to those who listen to the song to listen with headphones or on non-laptop/cell-phone speakers to get the full effect. Also, thank you for listening. <3

We’d like to thank Liska for taking the time to answer our questions about her awesome new song!

You can stay up to date with Liska via her Twitter  andFacebook. You can also follow her on Spotify!

Are you a fan of Liska Steele’s new single? Let us know your thoughts on this interview by tweeting us @CelebMix!

Written by Annemarie Cutruzzola

Canadian arts & culture writer and journalism student.