Lissie Maurus always dreamed of someday being on the music charts.
She just never thought it would be like this.
Billed as Lissie, the Rock Island native and folk-rock singer has reached No. 4 on Billboard’s dance charts while featured on “The Longest Road,” a song by electronic music producer-DJ Morgan Page.
Being in the top five puts her in the company of Mariah Carey, Akon, Justin Timberlake and Madonna.
“With all the Mariah Carey and Madonna and whoever else, to be keeping that company is pretty cool,” she said in a telephone interview from her home in California.
The dance charts are measured not by sales, but by spins in reporting nightclubs nationwide.
“I’m not that familiar with the club world,” she said. “I had these friends calling me from Chicago and Detroit saying, ‘Your song’s playing.’ It was exciting.”
Lissie and Page have the same manager, who wanted them to collaborate.
“We met under that idea that he was going to remix a song of mine,” she said. “But we decided to work on a new song together.”
Lissie, however, doesn’t think of her own music as something that would be danceable at a club. She describes her sound as “P.J. Harvey meets the Mamas and the Papas.”
The 25-year-old is at work on her own album, which is due to be released in February. She’s signed with Sony-BMG UK, the British division of the American label.
It’s a smart move, she said, because the English pound is going farther than the U.S. dollar these days, and the British music business is more stable than America’s at the moment.
“A lot of American labels are downsizing and struggling because of digital music,” she said. “It’s not the same as it was for labels.”
Her resume is quite varied, with everything from playing the title role of “Annie” at Circa ‘21 Dinner Playhouse in Rock Island in 1992 to singing for Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s wedding in 2005.
Lissie’s career had already received a boost earlier this year when she was the opening act for rocker Lenny Kravitz’s winter tour.
“The response was so warm,” she said. “I thought these people were so patient, waiting for Lenny to come out and rock.
“My MySpace page went from 50,000 views to, like, 100,000 views in a couple of days. A lot of people were like, ‘Hey, who’s that?’ ”
Although she plans on spending the rest of the year recording her album, she has taken up an invitation to perform at River Roots Live in LeClaire Park in Davenport this August.
She’s one of four children of Dr. Jeff, a physician, and Jo Ellen Maurus, an interior designer and former art teacher.
“She’s worked hard and persistently and making slow-but-steady progress in the music business,” her father said. “We knew she’d do something in that area eventually.”
After graduating from Rocky in 2001, she went to Colorado State University before moving to California.
The spectrum of her musical tastes has widened as well, from her parents’ 1960s folk music to the jam bands she got into during college.
But being near the top of the charts with a dance song is throwing even her for a loop.
“It’s kind of cool that all of these people on their own are like, ‘Who’s Lissie?’ It’s kind of building momentum,” she said. “It feels different, but in the long run … people will recognize, ‘Oh, that’s Lissie’s voice.’ ”