Liza prepares for her next endeavor

— Zuba gave her experience and knowledge of music but Liza Oxnard has learned about strength, independence and finally has something to call her own.

For about eight years, Oxnard was helping create funky upbeat tunes in a band called Zuba. Going out on her own seemed logical when she found herself as the only remaining original band member.

Her rock 'n' roll grooves cut up with various genres of other music will lead Oxnard and her band, The Soul Stars, on a Colorado tour before regrouping to travel west, back to Colorado, then east and finally back home for summer festivals.

In the past two and a half years, Oxnard has released a live CD and demo to show people she had not left the music scene. She and friend Bill Nershi of The String Cheese Incident released "It's About Time" in September 2001, a collaboration in the making for years.

But most importantly, she's developed a band of soul stars (Jake Coffin on drums, Blue on bass and Erik Deutsch on keys) that follow her lead down a new road.

"I'm also looking for a record company and management," Oxnard said in a phone interview Monday. "The industry is so corporate. I'm really going for anyone who is interested and wants to give me a deal."

She's confident a deal will come her way soon but said she will not give in to someone who wants to make her a pop star with a hit single.

"Corporate music and corporate America in general is 'If they don't have a hit single then they (bag) you.' It's not a longtime life plan to have a one-hit career," she said.

But not having a record deal at the moment will not stop a woman who had learned that dancing, music and the fans are what make the cog run. But it's the woman the self that makes it run smoothly.

"I love to move, but as I've gotten a bit older, I've gotten into stories and lessons of life," she said. And it's those translations from stories into music that keep the music scene ever changing for Oxnard.

Being a woman in an all-male band never disrupted Oxnard's ambition or determination to be her best. Although she said she felt frustrated at times, she knew ending Zuba and getting herself clear was at the top of her list of priorities.

"I have to believe in myself, otherwise someone will shoot me down," she said, adding she also learned business and personal lessons from her time with Zuba. "Now I'm taking those lessons into my next endeavors."

Now, the men and women in her life encourage the development of her singing, songwriting and instrumental undertakings.

"I've found that as a woman, as you start growing up, you need to (begin) taking care of yourself. What about me?" she said. "I'm finding people to surround myself with that are supportive, positive and hardworking all together."

So, she endeavored to step out on her own to create a personal experience without leaving all she had learned behind.

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