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DailyBoom Your Old School Music Authority

Monday, October 31, 2016

Boom's Ladies of the 80's Exclusive Interview- Catching Up With Lil Suzy


Fans of freestyle music really don't need much of an introduction when it comes to Suzanne Casale Melone, who is better known in these circles as Lil Suzy. Music has been in her blood since birth and by age five, Suzy was already discovered, thanks to her dead-on covers of Madonna and Tina Turner classics, and opening for the likes of The Village People. Suzy had her first record contract with Fever Records by the age of eight and was peddling her first song, “Randy” like a pro.

Take Me In Your Arms”. Suzy's most popular single was released from her very first studio album, Love Can't Wait, more than 20 years ago and it remains a freestyle classic. 

While Suzy still travels the country, often performing to huge crowds in Freestyle Explosion shows, she has managed to do so while maintaining a very full family life.

Lil Suzy is undoubtedly a top notch performer, but Suzanne is an equally fabulous mom-of-three that treasures the opportunity to be hands on with her kids every single day. If you have checked out any of Suzanne's social media then you already know that she has a great sense of humor and is as down to earth as it gets. I was fortunate enough to be able to steal a few minutes of Suzanne's time recently and she was happy to dish on still being Lil Suzy in between school, her kids swim lessons and quality family time.

Cate Meighan: What's it like to escape your normal life every few weeks to perform and are you all still very close in real life, to some of the people that you tour with?

Lil Suzy: I love it. During the week I'm Suzanne, the wife and stay at home mom. Then, on the weekends I get to be the fun and sassy Lil Suzy! I've always said that Lil Suzy is like my alter ego. I've known Angel Mercado of The Cover Girls since I was 8yrs old and I'm now 36. We were label mates and I opened up for her (them) all over NYC. She is now married to my Manager/booking agent, Latif Mercado, who has been a part of my life and career since I was 5! So them, I consider family. I'm a good 10-15 yrs younger than almost everyone else in my freestyle genre. So I didn't have much in common with anyone besides performing with them way back in the day and that has pretty much stayed the same.

CM: I know that you have three small kids now and family is your priority for sure now. Is it hard to leave them behind or does working help keep you balanced?

LS: Oh my god! I used to be such a calm easy going, go with the flow kind of person. Since I've had my kids, I'm a huge worry wart. I'm very blessed and lucky to have my parents and an amazing mother in law to watch my kids while I'm away performing. My husband and I are very firm on only our parents watching our kids. Also, I don't take more than 2 shows a month. I also make sure I fly in, the morning of the show and I'm on the first flight back the next morning after performing.

CM: If you could have any other job, what would you be doing?

LS: I'm actually a registered medical assistant. I went to school for that in my 20's, in between recording and performing. Before that, I ran and owned a nail salon for two years. I've always been drawn to health care and I did actually work part time for an OBGYN for 3 years because I wanted to feel what it was like to have a "normal" job. I'm a people person and I really enjoyed helping and caring for the patients. Once my youngest starts school, I'm considering going back to school to be an RN. I'm not sure though. I'll have to wait and see where life takes me these next few years.

CM: Flash forward 5 years when your kids are all in school and your life as a mom is a bit more settled, what do you hope to be doing?

LS: Maybe I'll be a nurse! Maybe my kids will be involved in many more extra curricular activities and they'll need me to help them follow their dreams and goals. If my family is happy and thriving, then I'm happy. I'm just very thankful that my husband works hard and is a successful business owner. I have the luxury to be home to take care of everyone. That was all I've ever really wanted. I never pictured myself as being a big pop star. I've always wanted to be married, have kids and be able to stay home to raise them. Very old fashioned, and my husband and I have been on the same page with that since before we were even engaged.

CM: Tell me something about Suzanne that would surprise me!

LS: Oh, I'm very spontaneous. I love tattoos and piercings, but I'm pretty shy and very self conscious. It's kind of weird for someone to feel those things and be able to perform in front of thousands of people! Haha!

CM: What would you like to say to the fans that have followed you for decades?

LS: Thank you! Thank you for loving my music and the genre of freestyle as a whole. Thank you for waiting in those long lines for meet and greets and then still being so excited just to meet me. I'm still touched when a fan tells me how a particular song of mine helped them through a rough time, or how they related to a song. Or better yet, had a first kiss with a partner or spouse to my songs. It still blows my mind! Thank you also for introducing your children to my music! I recently did an all ages event in Dallas, Texas. and I was floored by the amount of pre-teens and teens that were there with their parents. They singing along to every song I performed that day! I left that show humbled and so very grateful for all of these opportunities that I still have to perform regularly.

Check out Lil Suzy's official site for more info on all upcoming shows! If you have a chance to snag tickets for an upcoming Freestyle Explosion show then I'd suggest you do it because you're guaranteed to have a great night!