Lisa Panagos


Lisa Panagos is captivating audiences with originality, a distinct musical style and edgy R&B / Soul production, on full display in the new radio single 'Beautiful'. We wanted to find out what drives this dedicated artist to push the limits of the genre.

You can generally tell when an artist is ready for the next stage of their career. It shows up in timing and tonal certainties, and there's a sense of conviction that just can't be faked. Lisa Panagos's catchy new track 'Beautiful' has that audible conviction, but its sheer inventiveness and mainstream digestibility fulfill the other half of the equation that determines who gets radio time and who goes home unheard. It also doesn't hurt that Lisa Panagos was the recipient of the Akademia Music Award for Best R&B / Soul Album. Independent reporter Andrew Brooks recently caught up with Lisa Panagos to talk about the new single and the obvious passion for fundamentally original R&B / Soul music that gave rise to it.

ANDREW: What drew you to the music business?
LISA PANAGOS: I always wrote a lot of poems as a child and a teenager. After I took a lot of formal training in music, I got a bug to write songs and record a record. Madonna was a huge influence on me, and I was doing many music videos as a dancer and meeting musicians and producers. I was asked to audition for a few girl groups also. I decided to record my first demo, shopped a record deal, and the rest is history. I haven't looked back! I continue to write songs and record. I'm living the dream and doing what I love. I can't be more grateful.

ANDREW: How would you describe your sound on your latest single 'Beautiful'?
LISA PANAGOS: My entire record, 'Beautiful,' and the single Beautiful,' have a warm sound full of live instrumentation. The single has a string section that was essential to capturing the heart of the song, which is about flipping the lens in your mind to beautiful. If you are in a bad situation or an ugly relationship, you can flip it and choose love and positivity. The sound is warm, inviting, sultry, positive, and beautiful.

ANDREW: What inspired the name of your new single?
LISA PANAGOS: Well, I was going through a difficult time with my family. We were all not agreeing on many things, and it was disturbing. I was also going through a breakup. I was sad all of the time and couldn't snap out of it. The whole world was looking glim to me. I woke up one day and went to the beauty of nature. I began to look at the flowers, the trees, the mountains, and the oceans in a different way. Nature is always my inspiration for so many things. Then, one night at the beach in the Bahamas, this song was born. I felt 'Beautiful' was the perfect title!

ANDREW: What’s the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far?
LISA PANAGOS: The biggest problem I've had to overcome so far has been not having all of the funding to do everything I want to do with my projects. I like using session musicians and going to big studios like EastWest Studios and Capitol Studios to record. All of this is expensive! I cut costs with preproduction in a small home studio, but the final recording and mix need to be in a state-of-the-art studio. The same goes for my videos and live shows. I like large productions, and that is expensive. I've managed to do a lot on a budget and stretch the dollar, but it's not easy.

ANDREW: What do you enjoy most about being a musician? What do you enjoy least?
LISA PANAGOS: I love being creative and meeting other musicians that can enhance my song and production. I especially love live shows, working off the energy of the other musicians and audience. A recording is so much fun too! All of it is a high. I guess what I like least is some of the politics, the attention I have to give to social media that takes away from my writing time, and a few flaky people who don't do their job. Clearly, they get fired, but it's just wasted time. I like focused professionals who love my music, my brand, and love what they do.


ANDREW: If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
LISA PANAGOS: If I could change anything about the music business, I would want the executives at the labels and people, in general, to focus less on numbers, i.e., followers, likes, engagements, and subscribers, etc., and more on talent.

ANDREW: How long have you been in the music business and how did you get started?
LISA PANAGOS: I've been in the music business a very long time. I don't want to date myself. LOL! I just finished a music video for the Latin Rascals. It was the video for their single 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood.' I met a Producer on that shoot who was playing guitar in the video. We recorded a three-song demo, and he introduced me to a manager in NYC. I was living there at the time. I found an investor to record a ton of demos and a music video. My manager shopped the project to many Labels. I was very close to closing a few deals, but it didn't happen, for whatever reason. I was devastated and decided to focus on Broadway Theatre and acting. I did several Broadway shows, movies, and TV, but I still had the music bug, so I started writing and recording songs again. Now here I am, fully immersed in it again.

ANDREW: If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
LISA PANAGOS: If I could be any animal in the world, I would be a Birman cat. Ancient Egyptians believed the cat was a sacred animal, and it soon became a symbol of grace and fertility. The Birman cat is associated with happiness and warmth. A sacred white Birman cat changed color while guarding a temple from attack. Today's breed originated from France, and I am part French. This cat's attributes resonate with me. This animal is sacred, a chameleon, associated with happiness and warmth, originating from France and having exotic features. I think that would work for me!

ANDREW: When do your musical ideas come to you?
LISA PANAGOS: My musical ideas come to me late at night while I'm relaxing in bed and or while in nature. I'm also inspired while walking in nature or sitting on the balcony watching a sunset or sparkling city lights.

ANDREW: Which song did you have the most trouble writing and why?
LISA PANAGOS: That's a good question! On my 'Beautiful' record, the most challenging song was 'Shut Down.' I couldn't capture the true heart and essence of the song. I changed the melody multiple times and brought in various musicians, changing the vibe of the song. It wasn't dark enough. The icing on the cake was the string section that brought the song to life, capturing a dark yet hopeful song that touches your heart. A dark, twisted love song. Also, an amazing mix by Grammy and Emmy-winning engineer Clark Germain. He captured everything I wanted sonically.

ANDREW: What city would you most like to perform at while on tour?
LISA PANAGOS: That's a tough question. I think it would depend on the venue I was offered. Dream venues are The Hollywood Bowl in LA and Madison Square Garden in NYC. Abroad, I would love to perform in Paris, Italy, and the Acropolis in Greece. I'm fascinated with Asian countries, but I've never traveled there. I'm sure my music and the live show would be well received in Japan.

ANDREW: What's next for you as a musician that fans can look forward to?
LISA PANAGOS: I am currently working on my forthcoming record, developing my live show, and landed the role of Jenny Bauter in "Of Myth and Legend," the movie.

ANDREW: Interesting! It's been great speaking with you! Thank you for your candid answers and I can't wait to hear what’s next in your music career.