Detroit Music Awards nominee highlight: Eliza Neals

Eliza NealsFor the days leading up to the 20th annual Detroit Music Awards, we’ll be featuring a local artist here on The Urbane Life blog.

The Detroit Music Awards have been around since 1992. It’s an award show highlighting and celebrating the best of Detroit music and musicians. And we’ve got that in spades. Detroit has been the birthplace of many great artists, and has given rise to two world-wide, major genres of music: Motown and Techno.

It’s only natural, then, that Detroit should have its own music awards.

Today’s featured artist is local rock/blues legend Eliza Neals. While she has been nominated for multiple DMAs over the years, she has yet to bring one home.

That all may change this year. She’s nominated for multiple categories, including Outstanding Blues/R&B Vocalist, Outstanding Blues Artist,  Outstanding Blues/R&B Recording for “Misery“, and Outstanding Music Video/Limited Budget for “Misery“. On top of all that, she’s also been nominated for a VitaminWater Peoples’ Choice Award for “Misery“. On a side note, we’re featuring the VitaminWater Peoples’ Choice app here on The Urbane Life blog. It’s the large purple music player to your right –>. From there, you can listen to the tracks and download your favorite. The song with the most downloads wins the award.

Eliza NealsI talked to Eliza today to get her thoughts on local music and why the DMAs are so important.

Brian: What is it about Detroit that creates such great music?

Eliza: I can’t put my finger on it. People make fun of us so much in Detroit, I think we try really hard to do the best we can do. It’s the yearning to be the best. People really work hard at their craft. I guess it’s the underdog thing.

Brian: You live and work in both Detroit and New York City. How do you balance the two?

Eliza: It’s really busy! (laughs) Basically, I live in both places. I still have a house here. My family is here. It definitely keeps things interesting.

Brian: Do you ever wake up and forget which town you’re in?

Eliza: No, I always know where I am. If I wake up, and it’s quiet—I’m in Ferndale.

Brian: You’ve been working with Motown legend Barrett Strong. What’s that like?

Eliza: I can’t even believe I’m working with him. Last night, I’m watching American Idol, and the first thing I hear when I turn it on is “Money” and it’s him singing. I’m just learning so much from him—just from one single word he says, I’m learning something.

Brian: How did you begin working with him?

Eliza: He heard me singing at the Om Cafe, and then came to another show in Southfield. After that show he approached me and said he wanted to work with me.

And it’s no surprise. Besides having an innate natural talent, Eliza holds a Music degree from Wayne State University. After watching her videos and listening to her music, it’s easy to see why anyone would want to work with her—she possesses that certain sexy, sultry something that makes R&B strike deep and tug at the heart strings. Maybe it’s her husky voice or the way she plays the piano so soulfully. This is music that was meant to be experienced, not just heard. Eliza knows how to rock it.

You can learn more about Eliza at her website. You can also connect with her on Facebook or Twitter. Her music is available from iTunes and Amazon as well as CDBaby. Listen to her track “Misery” on the VitaminWater player to the right and download it to vote for her in the Peoples’ Choice Awards.

The Detroit Music Awards take place on April 15th at the Fillmore in Detroit.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Urbane Apartments. We would love to connect with you onFacebook and Twitter @UrbaneLife.

This article brought to you by the good folks at Urbane Apartments Royal Oak Michigan, Urbane Apartments Ferndale Michigan,Urbane Apartments Birmingham Michigan, and Urbane Apartments Dearborn Michigan

  • thatdamnredhead

    I can’t believe I’m still awake right now but I just caught this and wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for the great feature on one of my favorite people! Eliza Neals DOES rock — I love her to death. :) Seriously, folks — down load her song. In fact, check out all the music featured in the player — you’ll find some great stuff from bands you can see right in your own neighborhoods.

    Thanks again, Bri.

  • Melissa

    she’s amazing, what a voice. thanks so much for introducing her to us!

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