Paul Waters is a musician whose song “Two Shades of Grey” won “best pop rock song from listenersstation.com. Here is a link to his website:
Q: What made you want to become a professional musician?
A: I have always LOVED music and I started off in Choir at school. I enjoyed singing but never really truly found out how amazing it was until I began to perform. It started in grade school, there was a
statewide competition for solo singers and all the schools in the state would participate, well, i never thought I was a great singer by any means, however, of the three years I competed I won every state Solo Ensemble that there was, and that’s when I REALLY started to enjoy it knowing that others enjoyed my singing. However, I decided to stop in High School as I was pretty sure the
ladies wouldn’t think it was cool “Not sure if i was right or wrong!” But, when I discovered how to play guitar and started playing in Rock Bands, well, my life pretty much changed. There was something about the reaction from a crowd that isn’t something that anyone can explain unless they have been there, it’s sort of a high I guess one could say.
Q: Your song “Two Shades of Grey” has gotten you a lot of recognition; what or who inspired the song?
A: Yes, the song has gotten a lot, and… well… my girlfriends over the years have always assumed it was about a girl I new, and some of them, well… most actually all pretty much asked me who it was about, and to be honest, it’s not really about any girl I have ever known, she is fictional, whoever she is I have not met her prior to writing that song! Its my mothers favorite of all my songs, so, I always say on stage “This Ones for you Mom”
Q: What is your favorite subject to sing about?
A: I tend to lean a bit more to melancholy dramatic pieces, I find it nearly impossible to write works
that are happy and upbeat, although I have a few of them, I tend to feel more comfortable with the darker characters in stories, and I must ad that many of these songs are not about me, I often use other characters in these songs, people I don’t know, maybe there ghosts, spirits, or just a combination of people I have run into along the way, a mixed palate of thoughts, feelings, and people I have met, some, to be honest with you, I have no idea where they come from!!!
Q: Who are some of your musical influences?
A: Well, I started out playing the blues, I still to this day love the blues, however, not as I used to.
And I mean OLD blues, you know… Those guys who went down to the crossroads and made a deal with the devil kind of old blues; Robert Johnson, Lead Belly, Lightnin’ Hopkins. I also listened to a lot of Classic Rock, Classical, East Indian Music, etc, so, it was a wide array I have to say.
Q: What makes someone an artist?
A: What makes an Artist? Well, I suppose that would be a matter of opinion. Now, some may or may not agree with me on this statement, but that’s just fine, I am sticking to it. In order to be an artist you have to CREATE something that is uniquely your own. I do not consider classically trained
musicians as artists who solely perform the works of others, I would consider them “performers” The term “Artist” should be someone that is a creator, although… that’s just MY opinion, as it seems… The English Dictionary has it’s own answer in regards to that question!
Q: What trends in the music industry annoy you?
A: What Trends annoy me??! A LOT OF THEM!!! When people just continue to “Copy” each other or are not original. Which is hard to do! Since we are young our minds are saturated with music we hear on the radio or wherever that may be, and molded to believe what is right and wrong, so, it is hard to sound “Original” I have even started some songs and went… Geese this song has to be a hit one day, and then I later realize that my melody mimics an actual well known song, I scrap those as much as possible!!! I am also annoyed that some of the greatest artists that are alive today do not get the chance to even be heard, its not like it used to be, it has changed, and if you ask me… Not in a good way. I am pretty sure if Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and Elvis Presley wouldn’t make it to the second round of an American Idol show, if chosen at all, things have changed and we as artists must adapt to stay alive..
Q: What is your theme song?
A: I don’t have a theme song, things change to drastically and as we all know… We feel different from one moment to the next, so, I suppose like a film, I would have a soundtrack.
Q: What would you do if you couldn’t be a musician?
A: If I couldn’t be a musician… I would be… hmmm… Probably an actor… Or maybe a Super Hero… Or… I would like to be invisible, but not all the time, just when I wanted to be.
Q: What is the biggest difference between the music industry in America and the music industry in Europe?
A: Well, when I was doing a record in Europe and lived there for some time I noticed many differences in the music industry. In regards to Classical music it was WAY more appreciated there
then in the US. Most of there music on the radio I heard that was top 40 was actually American Music. I do feel “and this is just my experience” That my music was a bit more liked there than in the US and I have had a lot of sales from Europe, England, and Japan. Music has been around in Europe much longer than in the US “Obviously”. I did notice that when walking down the streets of France or Switzerland holding a guitar was something “Not often seen” If I had my choice to live there or in the US and write an live, ha ha… I would pick Europe.
Q: Why are love songs so popular?
A: Love songs are and always will be one of the greatest forms of musical expression. But WHY are they so popular? Well, I think that most people will identify with a love song not so much from the experience of the artist but to that of there own. We all like to identify ourselves in the music of others, some sort of connection with our own experiences. When we hear a love song “Or any song” we want to apply that music to our own lives as if it were our own soundtrack that brings us back to a seen in our lives. If a song is great, and we truly feel it, it will conjure up inside of us a feeling that we once had, want, or are currently living. A love song can be painfully sad, or gloriously happy and amazing, and of course, as we all know, there are, and will always be, those two things, both extreme sides of love. One cannot fake a great love song, it is one of the hardest and easiest things to write about.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)