Lisa Panagos


With a stunning new single 'Rescue Me' rapidly climbing the charts, Lisa Panagos, armed with a unique R&B / Soul style, is rapidly becoming a musical success story and paving the way to a new creative frontier.

Like R&B / Soul music? Many do, perhaps in yearning for a return to great musicianship and melody. Here is an artist that ably serves the sentiment. Hailing from West Hollywood, California, Lisa Panagos has quickly risen on the strength of an award-winning new single 'Rescue Me'. With this prodigiously competent track steadily climbing the radio charts, Lisa Panagos seems destined for the global limelight. Reporter Lily Clark recently caught up with this talented artist to learn more about what inspires such a unique brand of R&B / Soul music.

LILY: What can you tell us about your creative process?
LISA PANAGOS: That's a great question! I don't box myself into a process. Meaning, I don't wake up at a specific time every day and or force working at a particular hour. I've learned that for me, it's best if I listen to my body and get rest. I do incorporate meditation, Yoga, cardio workouts, and positive affirmations into my life. I feel it helps clear my energy field and clear my mind so that ideas flow to me with ease. If I'm not feeling inspired for a while, it's ok. I don't panic. I get rest and focus on my health. Then when I build my energy, ideas seem to flow naturally and I only capture what comes in. I work best when the world is quiet. Late at night into the wee hours of the morning. I love to write lyrics into a notebook. I scribble in between the ideas. When the melody comes, I sing it acapella into a tiny digital recorder. Then I put all of the pieces together, lyric, and melody and sing acapella. I figure out the tempo I prefer for the song and write down my musical ideas for the song and the vibe that speaks to me about the song. Usually, the song comes all at once, lyric and melody. Sometimes I only get a rough roadmap of the song. Then, I rest and go back and tweak later.

LILY: Is there a hidden meaning to your latest single 'Rescue Me'?
LISA PANAGOS: The lyrics to the song are pretty self-explanatory and universal, but there is a hidden reason I wrote the song. No one knows what I was going through when I wrote 'Rescue Me,' so in that sense, I guess there is a hidden meaning to my new single. I prefer not to say what I was thinking, feeling, or going through when I write my music because I prefer the listener to come up with their own ideas and feel what resonates with them. All songs I write have a hidden meaning when I don't explain exactly what I was going through. Even if you do describe it, you can't relive or capture the true essence again. It's all in the recording. That's the fun and mysterious part of it all!

LILY: Did you collaborate with others to create this single? If so, who was involved?
LISA PANAGOS: No, I didn't work with anyone on the writing of 'Rescue Me,' but I used all live musicians, and there is certain energy they bring to the table. All of the musicians were incredible. I mean a group of All-star players and the vibe captured was incredible. Players like bass player Alex Al, Drummers Sergio Gonzalez and Tony Brock, and percussion, Lenny Castro. Also, an astonishing horn section including Tom Saviano, Chuck Findley, Steve Madaio, and Nick Lane. Incredible guitar by Michael Heart and more! I was also really fortunate to have Emmy and Grammy award-winning engineer Clark Germain mix this single. We mixed the single at the fabulous EastWest Studios in Hollywood, CA. I was lucky that they all agreed to play on this single, and it just brought my writing up a notch to have that kind of energy, spirit, and talent on my single. It was a dream come true!

LILY: What is your favorite part about being a musician? Your least favorite? Why?
LISA PANAGOS: My favorite part about being a musician is working with others, and just having a bunch of all-star musicians in the room bringing my song to life plus mixing with incredible engineers. The whole experience excites me. I'm not one to record in my bedroom. I had to do that before on demos, songs I've written with other people, for other artists, and I just hated it. I love being alone when I write, and I love writing in my bedroom. Lol! But when it comes to bringing my songs to life, I love being in amazing studios like EastWest Studios in Hollywood, CA. and meeting the musicians there to bring my song to life. I also get so excited when I have engineers like Grammy and Emmy award-winning engineer Clark Germain, capturing the magic in the room with these musicians and then mixing to perfection. There's nothing like it!

LILY: Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?
LISA PANAGOS: Actually, I have!!! I hate it when that grabs me. I want everyone to have a blast, and I want the audience to love the show, so I put a lot of pressure on myself. I also have a bent towards perfection, so the pressure sometimes gets to me if I think too hard. If I stay in the moment and relax, I'm fine. I also find that if I haven't performed in a while, performance anxiety hits me, but once I have a ton of shows lined up, I'm fine. I don't usually have performance anxiety in the studio because it's such a controlled setting, and with the right engineer, there is no reason to be anxious. So many things can happen live that are out of your control, so sometimes that can make me uneasy. It comes down to having the right band and team around you that can make sure your live show goes well without any glitches. That comes down to the right people on your team!


LILY: Have you ever had an unusual interactions with fans? What happened?
LISA PANAGOS: My music is fun and full of love, and so are my fans!!! I love my fans because they are just so full of love, express it to me, and most are very spiritual and conscious of the planet and spreading love throughout the world! I'm fortunate that when I go out, they scream LISA! And call me Goddess and want a picture and or give me a hug and a kiss. I have a very loving and relaxed fan base! I'm fortunate!

LILY: What’s an average day like for you?
LISA PANAGOS: Well, as I said before, I don't box myself into anything at all. I feel best after my morning coffee and a morning workout. Sometimes I give myself a Yoga class in my apartment. I do the Bikram Yoga series to an Enigma CD. Then I meditate and go to the gym and do cardio. Other times, if it's warm enough outside, I stretch and take a hike up Runyon Canyon. Other days, I take a class at the gym, be it Body Works plus Abs, Zumba, Yoga, or anything I may like. So basically, I change it up. Then I usually start work on the computer and post to Social Media. I then do errands or take appointments I may have for my music and or acting career. I follow up with any phone calls if needed after that. Of course, I eat throughout the day. LOL! I prefer my creative time to be at night, so if the inspiration hits, I write a song and or read some acting scripts and work on any acting projects I've gotten hired for. I need to be relaxed to be creative, so I don't live in a strict box or have any strict routine.

LILY: As you were growing up, who were your musical inspirations?
LISA PANAGOS: I had many musical influences growing up in many different styles. My parents loved people like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Barbara Streisand, Ann Margaret, so they were definitely an influence because the house was full of this kind of classic music. Growing up I loved the Eagles, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughan. I've always been a huge Sade fan, and Madonna just broke all the rules, so I loved her for that. Other more modern influences were Cher and Tina Turner. There are so many. I always loved to listen to all sorts of music including classical since I started in the entertainment business as a Ballerina!

LILY: If you didn't become a musician, what would you be doing right now?
LISA PANAGOS: I have no idea!!! I'm also an actress, so maybe I would have just put my full attention on acting? I can't imagine life without being a musician, songwriter, actress, dancer, and all things creative that I do! That would be a miserable and boring life for me! I can't even picture it!

LILY: If you could only give one message to your fans, what would it be?
LISA PANAGOS: It's hard to think of just one, but I would say love more. My songs are mainly about love. There is so much hatred in the world. Why? What is the point of war? Also, people can be so jealous and envious of others. So stay strong! Just love!

LILY: Is your family musical?
LISA PANAGOS: Actually, most of my family loves music, but no one had the talent or drive to study and follow a career in music. My mother was a fantastic singer and looked like Ann Margaret. I think I got most of my vocal talent from her. She said it was always a dream of hers to follow a career in music, but she was too shy. She said that while auditioning for high school musicals, she had to turn her back to the teachers that were casting the shows. She used to sing to me as a kid, and her voice was incredible. She gave me her gift and always encouraged me to study and perform. The gift of music came from both my Mom and Dad who always took me to tons of live shows and exposed me to great music at a very young age. I'm so grateful that my parents encouraged the arts in my life!

LILY: Are you working on new material now? If so, what can you tell us about it?
LISA PANAGOS: Yes! I'm working on my new record, and it's always exciting to do more writing and think of what message I want to send to the world and what vibe and direction I want to go in. Clearly, I'm sticking with R&B/Soul, but that's all I can tell you!!!

LILY: That sounds exciting! Best of luck with your new musical creations and I look forward to hearing what comes next.