While most people saw Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes as just the crazy rapper in TLC, many people will know that her talents were much deeper, as showcased on her debut solo album, 2001’s ‘Supernova‘, which she recorded for Arista Records during TLC’s hiatus after the success of 1999’s ‘FanMail‘.
Grammy award-winning mixing engineer Gary Noble worked with Lisa on the project, most notably with Salaam Remi on the album’s first single, “The Block Party“. Gary spoke with Revolt TV about some of his fondest memories of working with the multi-talented Lopes.
“I loved working with Lisa. She was really cool. To be honest, before we worked with her and they told us to go work with her, I was a little apprehensive. I didn’t know what to expect because of all of the media. When she came in, she was dressed down, had fatigues on, a hat on, no makeup, and was like, ‘I’m here. I’m ready. Let’s work.’
She was a prolific writer and those sessions made me realize she was the main creative force of TLC. She can sing sing, for real. People might write her off as the crazy third member, but she was actually a major creative force. I had a great time working with her.
She was very personable and cool. She was asking questions. When she first was recording, I noticed there were some sibilances and pops in her vocals. So, I adjusted the mic and she asked me, ‘Yo, why are you changing it?’ I told her it’ll help lessen the pops and sibilances.
When I did it and she sang she was like, ‘Oh, this sounds a lot better.’ Instead of me doing it at the boards, I went in and adjusted the mic. It helped her still keep the presence of her vocals, but still have the blast of air from your mouth hitting the mic at an angle instead of straight on. It also made her extend her neck a little bit to help her project her voice.
She gave me the name and phone number for her doctor, Dr. Sebi. She’s the first one who ever told me about him. She was like, ‘Gary, if you ever get the chance, go see him. He’s a great guy. You’re going to love his energy and his spirit.’
When she died, she was actually down there for her annual sabbatical where she goes to get a cleansing. It was sad that she died. She was an extremely talented, personable person.”
Read more about Gary’s studio experiences with other superstars including Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill and Nas.