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2014 W.Y.S.M. of the Year: Liz DeRoche

Liz DeRoche, Tagg WYSM of the Year

Photo by Justin Tsucalas

Liz DeRoche, Tagg WYSM of the Year

Photo by Justin Tsucalas

Local musician Liz DeRoche describes herself as bold, yet fruity. Now, she can describe herself as Tagg Magazine’s 2014 W.Y.S.M. of the Year!

DeRoche was born in Oregon, but as a child she also spent time in Minneapolis, MN and Phoenix, AZ. Later on, she dropped out of college to travel around the world, and decided to “study at the school of life.” Six and half years ago, she found her footing in Washington, D.C.

“I’ve been playing music my whole life, but it’s only been one year since I quit my day job and focused solely on music,” says DeRoche.

Now a full-time musician, the 34-year-old lends her talents to more than one band. She plays drums and keyboard with the lesbian pop-rock trio, The Pushovers. Despite being in a “long-distance band relationship”, the trio managed to record their “Falling For It” album last year.

DeRoche can also be seen playing drums and singing with raucous rock band Cane & the Sticks, and local singer and songwriter Tom Goss.

And, she is not stopping there. She also produces and writes upbeat electronic-pop songs for kids and families under the pseudonym The Singing Lizard.

“I call my style ‘Electro-Kindie’,” says DeRoche. “Playing music for kids and families is one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done and I’m really excited for the future of kindie music.”

How does it feel to be the 2014 Tagg Magazine W.Y.S.M. of the Year?
I’m completely surprised by it. I feel honored to be a part of such an incredible list of women.

Favorite activities and hobbies.
I’m a sporty spice and love spending time outdoors. I’m into live music, comedy, theater, independent movies, and hanging with my besties and my hilarious family.

What’s an interesting fact that people would be surprised to know about you?
I was a pastor’s kid growing up. My dad has since come out of the closet and completely transformed his life. He remains one of my biggest heroes. He’s also a total stud.

What kind of feedback did you receive when you were featured as a Tagg W.Y.S.M.?
I received some very sweet “hellos” and “nice to meet yous” from strangers. My friends were like, “I already met you.” (She laughs).

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How did you rally your friends and family to vote for you?
It was actually my friends who took the lead for me! I mentioned on Facebook that I was excited to be nominated and it snowballed from there with a bunch of friends sharing the link to vote. I have the best friends.

We’ve seen such a diverse group of queer women spotlighted in Tagg. In your opinion, what makes a great W.Y.S.M.?
You said it: diversity! I’m lucky to have collaborated with such a diverse group of talented people in D.C. and I think it’s because of that diversity that has strengthened me as a person and a musician.

What are you most looking forward to in the new year?
I’m looking forward to revamping my kindie music project (The Singing Lizard). I have so many ideas of what kids’ music could be, merging film, music, and art in excitingly unique ways. Think Mr. Roger’s world of make believe meets H. R. Pufnstuf, and throw in a robot or two and me playing some awesome music that kids and adults will definitely dig with storylines that aren’t the usual kid themes. I’m also stoked to volunteer with Girls Rock! DC again this year.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I want to start a new band, merging my love for electronic music, heavy rock, and old school soul. I have no idea what it’s going to sound like, but I can’t wait to find out.

What would be your advice for next year’s W.Y.S.M. of the Year?
I’ve always been inspired by this Herman Hesse quote: “Only the ideas that we actually live are of any value.”


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