She’s been called The First Lady of Mad Decent, Diplo’s sprawling EDM empire, and the underground pop princess. But smart, stylish LIZ—like her seminal influence Madonna before her—offers just as much pulse as pomp in her riveting brand of joyful dance-music. There’s something ‘real’ about all her stylistic incarnations—mixing future-kitsch + R&B and ’90s/00 influences with an inspiring sense of can-do artistry that fuses this funky girl next door into pop’s newest come-as-you-are culture icon.

She continues to blossom as one of 2015’s incandescent lights, possessing the ability to turn the page and embrace pop’s guilty excesses without ever seeming contrived. Her new single “When I Rule The World” has already become a hyper-pop primer of sorts, produced by PC label/movement phenom Sophie. Samsung has embraced the song in their vid for the Samsung Galaxy S6, flacking an eye-and-ear-popping mobile future that fits right in with LIZ’s tongue-in-cheek take on autocratic self-empowerment.  “I’ve always embraced change, in my life and the music I make,” she says. “Always had a diverse amount of influences and I’ve always been unapologetically pop, even when it’s not been cool to do that.  I love that you can bend it in so many ways.” 

Signed by globally acclaimed production avatar Diplo, she straddles the mainstream and underground worldswith charismatic aplomb. “It’s a scene that’s sometimes known for its more aggressive music,” she says. “But I’ve been fortunate that Diplo and I have a good sense as to what I’m about.  I couldn’t ask for a better mentor. He’s always been so great about coming to me and making me aware of what’s going on in music and the culture as a whole.”

It was Diplo who cemented her pairing with PC stalwart Sophie, after Liz caught his show at South by Southwest. The kaleidoscopic, irreverent Pop philosophy of PC and their accelerated chops organically align with the larger vision LIZ has always inhabited. “I’m about fun, about opening up the spectrum of what can fit into this kind of music. I think Sophie is super-innovative and the PC brand is such a fresh take on pop music. I knew right away I would love collaborating.”

With Sophie previewing “When I Rule The World” at many of his shows this spring, the respect is obviously mutual.  LIZ has earned her rep as a sparkling, knowledgeable music/style maven delightfully upsetting the ever-widening apple cart.  Last year’s buoyant pop collection of songs, her debut EP Just Like You was called an “earnest ride” by FADER, commenting that LIZ’s “voice and instincts carry these songs straight into la-la land.” 

The Diplo-curated release featured tracks such as “Y2K,” “Say U Would,” and her December 2013 bon-bon, “All Them Boys,” adroitly bracing “the lines between past and present sounds,” noted Pitchfork.  Her Pharrell Williams-produced track for the 2014 Amazing Spiderman 2 soundtrack, “That’s My Man,” was often cited as the best cut on the album.

The 2015 minted-LIZ continues to flourish as an upbeat advocate of even more daring aesthetics.  Casual in person, she’s very comfortable in her own skin and disarmingly cool about her prospects as one of music’s most promising new female firebrands. She credits her Tarzana, California upbringing (a self-proclaimed valley girl, she currently resides in Los Angeles) as a key component of her DIY perspective. “I was a girl with dreams and ideas like anyone else,” she says. “But I could always hangout with the boys. And I was always into performing. My parents home schooled me the last two years of high schooI which gave me the time to explore recording sessions. I was never afraid to try something new.”   Her fearlessness led to productive early encounters and collaborations with the DJ community.  Ever the style-pathfinder, as well, she remarks: “I dressed for the mood and could throw stuff together and make it work. It’s funny, but even today, I’ve never really used a stylist on anything.”

Followed by trend-watches like and Interview—“we won’t ever be able to get her out of our head...”—her spot-on visual sense belies a genuine and practical nature underneath. “I have always felt you almost need a sense of normal to channel and challenge the craziness of the business side,” she says. “But I was auditioning as early as 12 years-old so I always had that musical dream ahead of me.” A candidate back then for a young teen girl group, that opportunity didn’t materialize, but the enterprising LIZ would eventually start booking her own shows and learn the music business one step at a time.  “I made a lot of mistakes and still do, but I think I realized the importance of experimenting and trusting your instincts.”  It’s a creed she’s transferred to her live show, as well, thriving as the female jewel in Diplo’s Mad Decent creative camp, she loves the idea of rebooting new boundaries, whatever the medium. 

Known as a first-rate songwriting collaborator, her Mad Decent roots have enabled her to connect with some of dance music’s most forward thinking producers and writers. “I’ve been writing with a lot of different people. More stuff with Sophie. Lido again (he contributed to her debut EP), and A.G. Cook (considered the ringleader of the PC brand). I have a whole crop of new stuff I can’t wait for people to hear.”  Touring stints with Charli XCX and Mad Decent Block Party appearances in 2014 and 2015 also exercised her live chops.  “A lot of people didn’t quite know what to make of my set, but I can fuse pop and R&B in so many ways,” she says. “I take my inspiration from so many different things. I’m at my best when I’m winning people over.”