Rock music fans might not recognize Lilith Czar’s name, but they may have heard her voice.
Before re-emerging with a new sound, style, and name, Czar was known as Juliet Simms, former lead singer/guitarist for the emo-punk band “Automatic Loveletter” and runner up of season two of NBC’s “The Voice.” She released her debut album “Created From Filth and Mud” under her new name earlier this year to demonstrate her newfound creative control.
“The whole concept of this new persona, artist, and record would never have come to fruition if I wouldn’t have had the journey that I have had,” Czar said. “For a long time as Juliet Simms, I didn’t know who I was. I spent the first part of my career being told who I was - what I should sound like, what kind of music I should make, what I should look like, etc. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told by someone at a record label company that women don’t succeed in rock music because it’s a man’s world.”
After leaving “The Voice,” Czar performed under her birth name for several years and struggled with finding her identity as an artist due to her lack of creative control. Deciding to branch out, she says she was then lucky enough to meet a producer who stood behind her desired sound.
“I was lucky enough to get into the studio with a producer named Scott Stevens who was the first producer that I’ve worked with that’s said to me ‘your sound doesn’t exist yet and we’re not going to put labels on you and we’re not going to make you sound like anybody else,’” she said. “That first day in the studio with him was a very pivotal, life changing moment for me.”
With Stevens by her side, Czar added that it was her during her downtime over the pandemic that she decided to go for it and change her style, sound, and name.
“During the pandemic I had a lot of time to sit and figure out if I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing as an artist and I found out that I was not,” she said. “Throughout the process of writing and recording my new album, I’ve made some huge personal changes and left who I used to be in the past. I’ve always been very big on putting my personal experiences and real life into my music so I thought that I needed to make that change and put that message in through me as an artist and in my music.”
With a mission to succeed in a male predominant industry, Czar explains why she chose the name “Lilith Czar.”
“I was reading about feminists and female empowerment and kind of going down that whole rabbit hole,” she said. “I came across the Goddess “Lilith” and I started researching everything about her. There are a lot of different myths but I came across the story of her and Adam. She predates Eve, but she was born and made from the same filth and dust that Adam was, and because of that, she felt she was his equal. She was made to serve Adam, but she wouldn’t submit to him, so he kept her out of Heaven and sent her to Hell. Lilith represents ultimate female strength and outspokenness and rebellion and going against the norm. Then blending that with a name like ‘czar,’ czar means king. It’s the perfect culmination of femininity and masculinity and equality.”
This isn’t the first time that a musical artist or band has changed their persona or musical style - The Beatles became Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Eminem turned into Slim Shady, and David Bowie took on the alter-ego of Ziggy Stardust.
Czar added that she actually credits David Bowie as one of her biggest musical influences.
“David Bowie is certainly a huge musical influence of mine, I’ve always gravitated heavily towards the theatrical side of rock n’ roll,” she said. “I also appreciate his evolution of eras, he would transform himself and every record he was a different entity. The whole concept of Lilith Czar and Created From Filth and Dust comes from that magic of creating your own world and inviting others into it.”
Lilith Czar will perform at District Live on Sun., Nov 28 at 8 p.m. To purchase tickets or for more information visit ticketmaster.com and search for the artist.