The artist formerly known as Juliet Simms has been reborn as Lilith Czar. This new name is the embodiment of empowerment, combining a nod to the mythical Lilith and the term Czar, another word for king. This bold new energy is the driving force behind Czar’s powerhouse of a debut album, “Created from Filth and Dust.”
Czar explains the inspiration behind her mystical new moniker, the character Lilith.
“She is certainly a very strong spiritual figure,” Czar said. “She is a symbol for female empowerment and feminism, and she's magical. She's outspoken and said to be the first woman. She predates Eve, but was cast out of Eden when she wouldn't submit to Adam. [...] She was created from the same molecules and cells and dirt and filth and dust, and all of that Adam was.
“[Lilith’s] name was first referenced in an old Sumerian poem where she was this incubus-type character entity. And it depends on what group of people, what religion, where you're reading. There's all different stories and backgrounds, and I think that every single one of them is super appealing and super familiar. For me, the name just felt so right.”
Credit: Courtesy of the artist
Czar’s new image and album have been a long time in the making. She described part of the process working with her producer, Scott Stevens.
“When I first started working with my producer on this album, I remember the first day, the first hour I was in the studio with him,” she said. “He said to me the thing that you're missing, and the thing that I'm going to help you discover and find, is your sound. And it's going to take time and patience to hatch that sound. It could take 100 songs. He's like, you can't force these things. You can't plan it. The beauty and the magic of music is that it just arrives when it decides to arrive.”
Cultivating that sound took the pair around eight months.
“We were given the gift of time to really unwrap and unfold what it is that was kind of buried in my heart,” Czar continued. “Because of COVID and because time was granted to me, I was able to discover that. This is what was created from time and patience.”
Czar has put years of work into finding her place in the music industry. From performing as the lead singer of Automatic Loveletter to her career as a solo artist and now her latest transition into Lilith Czar, it’s been a long and harrowing road.
“I've been in the industry for a minute, she said. “Everything from subjugation, oppression, what I looked like, my weight, my face, my body, what I wore, how I sounded, being on tour, how men treated me, how men spoke to me, the whole fucking thing, the whole enchilada just all wrapped up in a huge, massive burrito and just shoved into my face. And I came up in a time in the industry where it wasn't really being talked about.
“[Around the] end of 2016 and early 2017, it was just one of those momentary thoughts that kind of lingered here and there where I was like, ‘Maybe I'm going to change my name," she explained. "Maybe I feel like I want to evolve. I feel like I want to become the superhero version of myself.’ And it was something that kind of lingered and it would go away. And then it would come back. In 2017 was when I really started working with my producer and I was a caterpillar and then starting to move forward into this cocoon state and then chrysalis and the whole thing.”
Credit: Courtesy of artist
Over the years, her work on finding her true self and sound paid off.
“In 2020, I decided I was just going to go with this feeling I've been having for years, and it felt right,” she said. “It felt necessary and I'm very happy that I went with it.”
It wasn’t just about rebranding for Czar. This process was about coming into her own, taking charge, and becoming a voice for female empowerment.
“I had the time to sit down, listen to the songs, listen to the mixes, write more with Scott, and it just dawned on me,” Czar said. “Without too many outside distractions, I was really able to realize that I had become a different artist and a different woman, different vocalizing, my opinions, all of it.”
These feelings are evident in songs from the new album, such as “King.” This spunky track takes critics and the music industry to task with lyrics like “If it’s a man’s world, I wanna be king.” and “Don’t you know the woman I am?”
“Created from Filth and Dust” is very different from the rest of Czar’s repertoire under her former moniker. This album has a much more spiritual and magical feel, along with more of an edgier rock’ n ’roll vibe.
“I am a very spiritual person,” Czar said. “I do believe that there are powers and there is magic and there is a soul, and there are infinite answers out there in the universe that we don't know. Why wouldn't you want to think otherwise? Why wouldn't you want to think that there's more to just this? It's so boring to not think that way.”
Listeners can feel that mystical vibe in Czar’s cover of Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen.” The tracks on this album cover a wide range, from the coming-of-age ballad “Lola” to revolutionary rock bangers like “Anarchy” and “Feed My Chaos.”
Check out Czar’s new sound for yourself when she visits Savannah’s District Live at Plant Riverside on Nov. 28.