By: Laine White
For someone who is only 12 years old, Mason Music student Eliza Hay has mastered the art of being effortlessly cool. She is a self-proclaimed quirky individual and, after meeting Eliza, I think we all should strive to be a little more quirky. Her Rock Band League Coach, Richy, describes her as having a “personality that is unrivaled in energy and individuality, and she always has the room in laughter with jokes and goofy antics.” There isn’t a better way to describe her than that! Right now she is working on “Isn’t It Lovely” by Billie Eilish with her teacher, Julianne. Eliza’s goal is to build up her piano and vocal repertoire so that she can increase the songs that she is ready to perform. Julianne and Eliza even dabble in some writing together, since they share a love of creativity and musical exploration.
As a participant of Rock Band League, Eliza has had some exciting experiences and musical challenges. As the lead vocalist for the band “TBD,” she has worked diligently on her sound and technique. Richy shared that the “[TBD] set list had some intense challenges with lyrics and wide-ranging vocal power, and Eliza truly rose to all of that. By the end of the season she had entered rock star mode!” Her hard work alongside her bandmates paid off, and “TBD” won the entire Opener’s Division of RBL for the Spring 2022 Season. They have big plans for the 2022 fall season of RBL, and have a HUGE show opening up for The Brook & The Bluff and Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors at Mason Music Fest on August 13. Don’t forget to buy your tickets for that event here!
One of your first impressions of Eliza is how much personality she puts into her wardrobe. Eliza describes her personal style as cottage-core meets grunge, and the way she pairs her outfits together is so intentional and fun. I asked her how she discovered her style and got an answer that is just as unexpected as she is: playing Roblox. Roblox is an open-ended game that allows you to be completely creative and, as Eliza played this game, she discovered that every player could design and create their own outfits and costumes for their avatar. It’s definitely a new generation of technology, and despite the usual fear parents have about video games, it’s eye opening to discover that screen time can be inspirational to young minds in ways we never considered. Eliza has discovered much of herself through gaming, and her music tastes are no exception. The electronic soundtracks of games she played have surely inspired her love for K-pop and electronic pop music.
One of Eliza’s big beliefs is that you should “be who you are and go with your gut.” She shared with me that when she was little, she found herself conflicted. Should she conform to other people’s expectations of her, or should she stick with her instincts and follow her gut to find what she loves and who she wants to be? Luckily for us, Eliza chose the latter. Her sense of humor and sense of self is heavily tied to her musical experiences, and her willingness to lean into her individuality instead of running away from it really sets the example for others around her. Music has been an integral part of her self-expression. Her voice teacher, Julianne, said “I have seen her express herself so fully with music and I am proud of how much she has practiced and gained confidence since we started working together.” We are so incredibly lucky to have Eliza in the Mason Music Family.
If you’d like to hear Eliza in action, check out this Bon Jovi cover she made in the Mason Music Recording Studio with her Fall RBL band.