Grammy®-nominated singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb started her career with the platinum-selling Number 1 hit song “Stay (I Missed You)” from the film Reality Bites. To this day, she is still the only artist to have a Number 1 single while not signed to a recording contract, a remarkable and unparalleled feat for an unsigned artist, though perhaps not a surprising one for the recent Brown grad, the girl with the cat-eye glasses, who at the time was already making her mark in New York’s burgeoning singer-songwriter scene.
That “Stay” became a Number 1 single in 1994 and still resonates with people today is a testament to Loeb’s gift as a songwriter and storyteller. Over a decade later, the story of Loeb’s early success is well known. What is less apparent though, except to those who watched it all unfold, is how involved, proactive and in control Loeb has been in guiding her own career. A native of Dallas, Texas, Loeb earned her degree in comparative literature from Brown University, where she experienced her first taste of real musical success with the duo, Liz and Lisa. The pair built a substantial following on campus and often booked shows in New York on the weekends. When Loeb moved to the City after graduation, she continued to develop her vision and hone her artistic talents while carefully managing the business side of her career.
She deftly parlayed her early success into a multi-dimensional career encompassing music, film, television, voice-over work and children’s recordings. Her five acclaimed studio CDs include her major label debut, the Gold-selling Tails (Geffen, 1995) and its follow-up, the Grammy-nominated, Gold-selling Firecracker (Geffen, 1997). In 2002, Loeb issued a pair of CDs, Cake And Pie and Hello Lisa. She released The Way It Really Is on Zoë/Rounder in 2004 and starred in the first of two television series, “Dweezil and Lisa,” a weekly culinary adventure for Food Network. Later that year Loeb reunited with her college music partner, Elizabeth Mitchell on the award-winning children’s CD and companion book Catch The Moon. The Very Best of Lisa Loeb was released through Universal in 2006, shortly before Loeb returned to television with an inspired look at finding love on her show No. 1 Single for E! Entertainment. While the series didn’t lead to a long-term romance, she did captivate the hearts of a younger audience with three stellar videos in heavy rotation on Noggin, “Catch The Moon” and “Stop and Go” from Catch The Moon, and the most recent clip, “Jenny Jenkins.”
Loeb’s other television and film credits include appearances on The Chris Isaak Show, The Drew Carey Show and Gossip Girl. She starred in her first feature film role, opposite Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush in the movie House On Haunted Hill in 1999. In 2003 Loeb gave voice to Spiderman’s gal pal Mary Jane in MTV’s animated series Spider-Man.
In January, 2008 Loeb released the long-awaited CD version of the Purple Tape, the aptly titled, violet-hued cassette that Loeb used as a sonic calling card to industry gatekeepers and that fans could buy at her gigs. The original Purple Tape, produced by Juan Patiño and recorded at his apartment on 52nd Street in 1992, includes the earliest recordings of several Loeb favorites including, “Do You Sleep,” “Snow Day,” “Train Songs,” and “It’s Over.”
Her most recent success was the release of her summer camp songs album titled, Camp Lisa, in June 2008. Camp Lisa was released on Loeb’s own Furious Rose Productions with distribution through Redeye, though Loeb had also formed a partnership with Barnes and Nobel, who pre-released the album earlier that year. In conjunction with the release of Camp Lisa, Loeb launched her own non-profit, The Camp Lisa Foundation, to help raise funds to send underprivileged kids to camp through its partnership with Summer Camp Opportunities Provide an Edge, Inc. (S.C.O.P.E.), a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide children in need the edge to succeed in life through the summer camp experience. S.C.O.P.E. was founded in 1991 by camp directors from the American Camp Association’s New York Section (ACA-NY) who were motivated by their belief in the educational and developmental benefits of camp. Since its inception in 1992, S.C.O.P.E. has provided more than 6,500 underserved children with a two-week summer camp experience.
Loeb continues to grow as an artist and to push herself and her career forward with a creative zeal and an inner drive not often seen. After her recent marriage and becoming a mom in 2010, she is currently working on “Camp Kappawanna”, a children’s musical inspired by her CD Camp Lisa (with music and lyrics written by Lisa Loeb, Michelle Lewis and Dan Petty). The musical debuted in July 2010 in Miami, FL at The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Lisa is currently writing and recording songs for another studio CD aimed at her “grown-up” audience for release in Spring 2011 and of course, the girl with the cat-eyed glasses will release her own line of eyewear in 2011 as well. In Summer 2011, Lisa will release her first children’s book and music CD in a series called Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along. The artist is constantly looking for different ways to explore her creativity and tell new stories, whether writing a book, producing a TV show, or furthering her acting career.