From Lake Lady
A worldly musical soul, Oakland-based Charise "Lake Lady" Sowells is combining styles past and present to create a refreshingly modern new sound. The influences for her EP, Better Day, range from the chilled-out trip hop of Massive Attack and Portishead to the bluesy jazz stylings of Billie Holiday. Produced by herself and Midnite Tiger, Better Day was released on March 25th, 2016.
Prior to the birth of Lake Lady, Sowells had been writing and performing songs for over a decade, making her mark in the music industry with a variety of acts. Some of the highlights from her extensive experience include being a featured vocalist at the East Lake Music Festival with Funky Gilgamesh (2015), singing with pianist, Robert Bosscher at the Central Park Bandshell for the International Day of Peace (2009), touring nationally in the Grayson Wray Project (2011), performing at the Art Outside festival with Notsolow (2012), playing the House of Blues Voodoo Lounge in Freak Encounter (2010) and even playing abroad in France for the Fete de la Musique (World Music Day) with her groove-pop duo Lake Lady and the Mountain Man (2013). She has collaborated with a myriad of electronic producers including Ado Mass, DJ Lee Kalt, Ghost Youth, Quando, and Lawrence Widarto (Electronic Groove) and had the pleasure of performing on the Fox Morning Show in Austin with Omarr Awake. She also released a solo album under the moniker of Sydney Miles that she considered to be a songwriter showcase, displaying her versatility as a writer and performer through a wide range of genres.
A multi-faceted talent, Sowells holds a BFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts where she was awarded twice for her scripts. Prior to that she attended Orange County School of the Arts. Outside of school, she has worked for Nickelodeon, Channel Thirteen WNET, and several documentaries including Brick City (HBO/Sundance). She was a Managing Director at The Little Theater in Santa Monica and an Assistant Director for several shows during her years in LA while working as a Production Assistant and Transcriber on countless reality shows. Sowells later joined The Deli Magazine's Austin branch as an Editor and Event Planner after having freelanced as a writer for nearly a decade. In that role, she partnered with the Good Music Club and KUTX's Laurie Gallardo to stage Get Schooled!, the third show in the quarterly showcase series Sowells had created to feature the best up-and-coming music acts in the area.
Sowells has been featured on several influential radio stations including Women of Substance and Music City Radio - who say she’s “establishing Oakland as an important cultural hub for Bay Area music." She was also featured on NPR Music's Facebook page and called an "amazing unsigned act." In addition to playing shows and promoting her EP, she is currently writing, producing and directing music videos, running her production company, Unabashed Productions, and building a collective of musicians and filmmakers via her Facebook group, Bay Area Music Video Collaborators.