Singer-songwriter LIZA discusses her career, self-care and mental health

At the time of our call, Toronto-born R&B singer Liza Yohannes, who is just passing by Lisa– had just left his lifelong hometown. She doesn’t yet have a place to live (“I’m looking for an apartment,” she says) and recently made the decision to give up nursing to pursue music full-time. LIZA’s current state of change would be enough to bring stress, self-doubt, and uncertainty into anyone’s life. But the rising entertainer seemed calm when we spoke, crediting her good energy to taking care of her mental health and trusting herself when it comes to her leaps of faith.

“I think, honestly, growing up in a first-generation household, that a lot of the challenges that I face – and I’m sure other people can relate to – are the pressures to take on a tangible career as a doctor or lawyer or engineer,” says LIZA (pronounced Lee-za), of her Ethiopian-Canadian upbringing. “It was one of those things where I was like, okay, well, I guess I I’ll be on my way to medical school and something in healthcare, but music has always been front and center for me.”

LIZA says her passion for music was so strong that she ended up going to nursing school while releasing tracks, first on SoundCloud and later on other music streaming platforms. “I would finish class, then hop on the train to the only studio I know of to record my songs, then go home and wake up for classes or clinics early the next morning. It was my life for a very long time,” says LIZA.

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