The Oscars this year had us pretty inspired to speak out about all of the things we believe in (I mean, did anyone else almost cry when Meryl shot up in her seat during Patricia Arquette’s speech?). But the reality is that you don’t need to be someone onstage at The Academy Awards in order to be heard. Everyone’s views and opinions can be seen and heard so seamlessly, whether it’s on Twitter, Vine, Facebook, Instagram or – of course – YouTube. We took some time to catch up with one of our favorite YouTube sensations, musician Eli Lieb, whose Miley and Adele covers have had us addicted from the get go. His original music has now become somewhat of a sensation, and this weekend he’ll be doing a concert in LA benefitting the LGBT community – an audience he speaks to and supports quite effectively in all of his music. We caught up with Lieb about the messaging he’s trying to get across, passions he had as a kid and his views on streaming music…
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
Healthy! I try to eat organic, clean foods with as little ingredients as possible. My ideal food day would consist of that for every meal.
Who would be your dream person to do a duet with?
I would love to sing a song with Adele. I’d sing a ballad on piano that I wrote.
What message do you continuously want to get across to the LGBT community? To everyone else?
The message I want to get to everyone, regardless of the community they fit into is to just be your authentic truthful self all the time. That’s where real happiness starts, in my humble opinion.
Your favorite YouTube video you’ve done to date and why…
My favorite video is my original ‘Young Love’. It’s such a fun celebration of love and was so fun to make. You can really feel the joy and love captured in it.
When it comes to YouTube, do you think the simpler the better?
I think simple can be better, but there really are no rules. But the one thing that you need to be is original.
What are your thoughts on free streaming music vs. iTunes?
Well, as an independent musician I’m a fan of iTunes. Contrary to what some people think, I think music should be paid for. Musicians work very hard – and often for months – to give you that recording you are listening to on your headphones. Music is my full time job and if I didn’t get paid for it, I wouldn’t be able to sustain making music.
What do you snack on while recording?
Well, I’m literally in the studio right now and I’m eating a mix of nuts and raisins. I always bring healthy snacks so I stay away from the candy studios tend to have.
What foods do you love, and which do you consider overrated?
I love vegetables. I literally crave them. Give me a steamed veggie and I’m in heaven. I think tomatoes are overrated. I’m not a fan.
Songs you were obsessed with as a kid…
Heaven Is A Place On Earth by Belinda Carlisle and Father Figure by George Michael.
What are you passionate about outside of singing?
I’m pretty passionate about living a clean and healthy life. I’m very spiritual. I’ve been meditating my whole life, so being connected to myself is something I’m passionate about. And clean, nourishing food really helps!
What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?
Los Angeles is actually really great because there is such an emphasis on health here. So for my food needs, LA is amazing. I probably go to Cafe Gratitude and Gracias Madre the most. And now that I’ve discovered Zinque. I’ll definitely be going there much more. It’s such a great place with delicious, healthy food.
If you could host a dinner party with any five people living or dead, who would be there?
Joni Mitchell, Kristen Wiig, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Bjork.
*Eli Lieb, photographed at Zinque in Los Angeles, CA by Danielle Kosann