Lisa Loeb: Singer-Songwriter, Philanthropist and New Mom

You might remember Lisa Loeb, who will perform locally on June 3 and 4, from her meteoric ‘90s hit, “Stay.”

(“You say, I only hear what I want to … ”) But you might not know that the prolific singer-songwriter and Grammy nominee is passionate about making music for children, has her own foundation to support kids, and is a new mom to her 17-month-old daughter, Lyla. And if you’ve always loved her cat-eye glasses, now you can wear them yourself—thanks to the eyewear line she recently launched.

Make It Better chatted with Loeb in advance of her June 4 private performance at “Below the Belt: Fighting for Women’s Pelvic Health,” which supports the Women’s Health Foundation, and her concert at Viper Lounge on June 3.

MIB: Even now, many years later, everyone still knows you for “Stay.” What does that song mean to you?

LL: I’m lucky, flattered and happy to have had an impact on so many people. I was just at a wedding and many people stopped me to tell me what that song meant to them. For some people it led them into my music, for others it was about a specific time in their lives. Because of the success of the song, I’ve been able to travel around the world and make records.

It’s about being in the middle of an argument and saying things differently than the person you’re arguing with. It’s a very typical situation—those are the ones that connect with people the most.

MIB: You had a show on “The Food Network” with Dweezil Zappa, “Dweezil and Lisa.” Are you still cooking?

LL: I’m making banana pancakes as we speak! My husband and I like to go out to dinner a lot, so we balance that with simple, healthy things at home. We eat a lot of kale salads. We also make ice cream sundaes and healthy-ish nachos, with vegetables.

MIB: You were making kids’ music even before you had your daughter—the book and CD “Catch the Moon,” and also your album “Camp Lisa,” which has been made into a musical. Why is making music for children important to you?

LL: I loved kids’ music growing up. “Catch the Moon” was produced by Elizabeth Mitchell, my college roommate, with whom I also had a band, and it was such a great experience that I wanted to make another. So I made “Camp Lisa.” I hadn’t seen any great summer camp records.

MIB: What’s the mission of the Camp Lisa Foundation?

LL: I was raised with that idea that you should help others. We donate all the proceeds from the records to the foundation, which supports Scope, an organization that sends underprivileged kids to camp—they learn leadership skills and reading, and experience independence.

MIB: What did camp mean to you?

LL: I was a big school person growing up. When I went to summer camp, I could relax and focus on being a person, not just getting good grades. That’s where I learned to play guitar and perform in front of people.

MIB: What are you listening to these days?

LL: Sugar. Spoon. Josh Ritter. Covers of soft rock from the ‘70s by my friends, the band Lazlo Bain.

MIB: What are you working on now?

LL: I have a kids’ book coming out in October. I’m also working on an punky-pop album with Chad Gilbert from New Found Glory. His band covered my song, “Stay,” so he and I got to be friendly. It still sounds like me, but I think people will enjoy the fun, young, energetic sound.