Unlovable: A Conversation with Liz Bissonette
We’ve all been there. That point in your life where you’re surrounded by couples, whether it’s in movies or your group of friends. Not being in a relationship yourself makes the self doubt set in and you begin to question why you don’t have someone special too. If you’re like me, these are the moments when you turn to music, hoping that a song will capture your feelings in the perfect way. Let me introduce you to “Unlovable,” a song written by twenty year old Liz Bissonette that will perfectly sum up these feelings.
I had the opportunity to chat with Liz about her song “Unlovable,” the pressure to be in a relationship at a young age, and the fear of being “forever alone.”
We’ve been big fans of your music here at Dream On Youth for a while now, but could you introduce yourself for those who are meeting you for the first time? How did you begin writing songs?
You guys are amazing, I appreciate you guys so much! My name is Liz Bissonette, I'm 20 and I'm from Michigan. I have an identical twin sister and I love Taylor Swift more than anything in this entire world, but I also happen to love music just as much. When I was little I listened to a lot of music and watched a lot of shows that had to do with music and performing, whether it be Hannah Montana or American Idol. I always thought singing was so cool, and as a little kid I just kind of assumed that everyone wrote their own songs. Like I'd hear "Airplanes" by B.o.B and I just figured he wrote that. I think that's how I got into it, I was so fascinated and it was so fun.
After listening to many of your songs, I noticed a lot of them deal with topics that are very personal. Where do you pull inspiration from? Is it difficult being more vulnerable with each new song or is it easier now?
I pull my inspiration from my everyday life. If I've written about it, I've been through it in some way. It's the easiest thing for me to write about, but not only that, it's the way I cope with my emotions and how I learn to deal with them. It's weird writing a song more so now than when I was younger, because I never shared them when I was younger. Now when I release things, I know people are going to hear it, and the person it's about might just hear it too. It's nerve-wracking, but if I can help just one person with it, I don't care about anything else. The two songs I was most scared to release were actually "Unlovable" and "I Thought It Would Be Me."
You released your song “Unlovable” on multiple streaming sites last month. For those who haven’t given it a listen, could you explain the meaning behind the song? What kind of experiences shaped this song in particular?
"Unlovable" stems from one of my biggest fears, which is ending up alone forever. I like my alone time, as does everyone, but I hate feeling alone. I hate the thought of not having anyone in my corner as I grow old. I've never had a real relationship, I've had what I call “almosts," and sometimes I think those can hurt more than relationships. Because you were almost there, you almost made it, it was almost enough, but it wasn't. When you lose someone you finally opened up to and thought cared, it hurts and it makes you feel like it was your fault for opening up. That's what I think has put that fear inside me, because part of me thinks that no one is ever going to want to stay.
In the chorus of the song, you state “It’s not that I need someone to complete me, I’m perfectly fine with being alone” and go on to say “I know I’m only nineteen and that’s so young, but it’d be nice to have someone.” Why do you think there is such pressure to find a significant other at a young age?
I think the pressure of finding someone at a young age comes from a lot of different things. Everyday there is someone that watches a TV show where two young people find each other, they watch a movie, they read a book, they watch a video, they see their friends in happy relationships, they see people they went to high school with get engaged. Those things get in your head and mess with you. It's not even necessarily that you need a boyfriend, but you have all these things around you making you feel like, "well why don't I have one?" You know?
On the other hand, the chorus ends with the line “I’ve just got this fear inside me that I am unlovable,” relating to the overall message of the song. Why do you think that young people develop this fear when they can’t find that significant other mentioned above?
I feel like people have this fear for a lot of reasons. Maybe you lost someone you thought you would be with forever, maybe you've never had that someone and that's making you feel like you're unlovable. But I think that no matter who you are, we all feel that, no matter the extent of it. All of us are scared, and deep down all of us want someone because we think it will give us validation. But when that validation gets shattered and someone leaves, they take a little piece of that validation, and I think that's what leaves that hole.
Your release of “Unlovable” landed you a position on the Singer/Songwriter iTunes chart! What was your reaction to seeing your song up there with songs from well-known artists like Ed Sheeran and John Mayer?
The release of “Unlovable” was insane and it's something that I will never get use to. I don't think I'll ever be able to fathom that I was sitting between Ed Sheeran and John Mayer AKA two of the great songwriters of all time. THAT'S JUST INSANE LIKE CAPS LOCK ISN'T EVEN EXPRESSING HOW SHOOK I AM.
You always seem to be releasing new songs. Where can our readers find you and keep up to date with your music?
I'm always writing and I'm always so eager to share things, that's why I have so many songs out. You can listen to me on iTunes & Spotify under 'Liz Bissonette', and I have a masterpost of all my songs with links to them on my Tumblr page. You can also find me on Twitter, Soundcloud, YouTube, and Instagram.