Vocalist Lisa Fischer is a well-know backup singer who’s toured with Luther Vandross, Tina Turner and the Rolling Stones, among many others. In 1991, she released a solo project So Intense and won a Grammy with the insta-classic “How Can I Ease The Pain.” But after that brief moment of solo fame, Fischer disappeared behind her more famous leading acts, preferring to lend her talents to the backgrounds for some of music’s biggest stars.
But after the Oscar-winning success of the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom which profiled Fischer and others like Darlene Love, Judith Hill, Merry Clayton (the female vocalist on the Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’) Fischer has had a change of heart and has been performing on her own, with the idea of releasing a solo project down the line.
“I still pinch myself, I’m like really? It’s been interesting. Just being a background singer and being in that supportive role has been good for me. So people who know me from 1991 this has been a beautiful rebirth and an interesting journey,” Fischer says.
She says that her initial success was thwarted by high expectations for her second solo release.
“It’s a bit of a transition and I was just having a really hard time figuring out what to do and people couldn’t figure out what to do. One of the problems of being a background singer is that you do a lot of stuff and just the concept of not having that focus was a difficult one.”
When Fischer is asked if she just enjoyed being a scene stealer as she’s known for her explosive solos during both her tours with Luther and The Rolling Stones.
“I’ve been so lucky to be with artists that are so secure and giving and that are just wonderful and really want to give the audience a good show. That’s all they care about.”
As far as her dream background crew, she says renowned background singers Tawatha Agee, Cindy Mizelle or Brenda White King would be among her dream support.
Fischer is in New York City on Thursday opening for jazz musician Jamie McCullum.