Elizabeth South is a fresh new face in the field of singers and songwriters, and her music comes with a fresh twist of theater, spirituality, romance, and honesty not usually seen in one album. She pours her heart into the songs. Her music is both healing and uplifting. Her voice has been described as mysterious, magical, soothing, and angelic.
Since Elizabeth first began singing in public when she was about seven years old, she has been involved in many live performances, singing solos at various venues, singing in choirs and musicals, and performing in various plays including several at the North Carolina Theater. As part of her artistic development, she attended prominent schools such as the North Carolina School of the Arts and New York University (NYU), where she studied in the musical theater program and in the drama program at the Tisch School of the Arts. She has two undergraduate degrees, one in drama and the other in music therapy, and she also received a Master of Arts in Teaching at UNC-Chapel Hill.
With the release of her first album in 2008, “Have Faith,” she grew as an independent artist, creating a large community of followers on MySpace and Facebook—followers who loved her voice and caught the sense of her “healing music.” She wrote each song out of inspiration from her life experiences. Various internet radio stations featured Elizabeth’s music. Her 1st single, “Waiting,” moved into the top ten at one station. Two other stations interviewed her and featured her as a spot light artist. She was also a featured artist for the month of January 2009 in a music calendar.
Now fast forward to May 2009. . . . Billy Smiley (founder of the rock group White Heart) hears Elizabeth’s song “Have Faith” and corresponds with her about producing that song at a higher production level for release nationwide. . . . and after hearing her sing in person, he feels her direction and style should be similar to that of Sarah McLachlan, Enya, and Sheryl Crow combined. So they get together in Arizona and Nashville and write eight other songs along with two other self-penned titles for her nationally acclaimed 2010 release called “The Mysteries of Our Minds.”
In conjunction with Elizabeth’s amazingly pure and vulnerable voice, Billy Smiley, who also sang and played acoustic guitar, put together a great cast of musicians and engineers including Blair Masters—piano and synths (Casting Crowns, Mercy Me); Dennis Holt—drums (Taylor Swift, City on a Hill); Matt Pearson—bass (Michael W, Smith, Natalie Grant); Scott Denté—acoustic guitar, and Christine Denté—vocals (Out of the Grey); Rick Florian—vocals (lead singer of White Heart); George Cocchini—guitars (DC Talk); Gordon Kennedy—sitar (White Heart); Brennan Smiley—guitars (Charity Von, Di Stasio); Greg Hagan—guitars (Little Big Town, Katinas); and Billy Whittington—mixing engineer (Vanessa Williams, Amy Grant, Twila Paris)—to totally create the right environment for her voice to come through like never before.
She is very excited to take the next step as an artist, which is presenting herself and her music to the world, via concerts and touring—with the aspiration that her songs will connect with people and bring them into a different place where they can think about life, love, and the mysteries surrounding the choices and decisions one makes. “I am encouraged,” says Elizabeth, “when I hear from people who say my music touches them on some level, that it helps heal them and connects them to happiness and hope in a fresh way. I feel as if my voice was a special gift from the beginning, even as a little girl, and so I love to be able to share that gift with people who listen, so that the music and my voice can be a healing wind for them."
Elizabeth is also a full-time elementary school teacher. She teaches music and drama and also writes a fourth grade play every year and directs it. Even with all of this going on in her journey, she is pursuing her goal of finding a nationwide audience with as much passion as she always devotes to her teaching.
Elizabeth concludes with the thought, “If I can take my music to the larger world, then I will feel as if I have come full circle from being that little girl who just loved to sing to being the accomplished artist who is able to do what I was made to do.”
"The Mysteries of our Minds"