Suzanne Vega is one of the most brilliant songwriters of her generation. She single-handedly ignited the contemporary folk revival of the early 1980s with her acoustic guitar and clear, distinctive voice. Her performances steer clear of dramatic histrionics but are still emotional experiences, allowing listeners to focus on her masterful storytelling.
Born in California, Vega grew up in the cultural melting pot of the Upper West Side of New York City. Having played guitar and written songs throughout her teenage years, she found her true voice after attending a Lou Reed concert. Taking cues from Reed, she honed her vision for her unique brand of neo-folk, and was soon playing regularly in Greenwich Village circles.
Suzanne’s demo tape was rejected by every major record company, twice by A&M Records. On the third time around, A&M finally signed Vega, and were pleasantly surprised when Vega’s self-titled debut went platinum in the UK. Her next recording, Solitude Standing, garnered more critical and commercial success, and produced two hit singles: “Tom’s Diner” and “Luka.”
She has since released several acclaimed recordings, written lyrics for songs by Phillip Glass, performed with Bill Frisell at the Century of Song concerts at the RuhrTriennale in Germany, and been a spokesperson for New York’s artistic community. Always present is her ability to balance the tension between constrained form and volatile content that makes her work so resonant.