Tag: elizashead.com

An Interview With Singer Tia McGraff



Tia McGraff is a singer who recently released the album Stubborn In My Blood; here is a link to her website:




Q:  When did you know you wanted to be a singer?

A: I won the Canadian Country Singing Contest Female Open Category when I was 19 years old. The prize included cash (used it to buy my first guitar) and free recording time at a studio in Niagara Falls, ON. I  wrote my first song, Mister with my new guitar and recorded it in the studio. We decided to release it to Canadian country radio and soon I was getting noticed. I even got a call from a CBC tv show in Toronto and was on the show with Johnny Cash and June Carter. I was hooked on the music industry and knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life.

Q:  Which of your songs is the most personal?

A: Let ‘Em See Your Strong is a song of courage and inner strength. Overcoming toxic relationships. Something I’ve had to do in my life.

Q:  What do most people not understand about the Nashville music scene?

A: you need to  be patient and consistant. Stay true to your talent and find a way to set yourself apart.

Q: What is your weirdest back stage story?

A: I really don’t have one. I have always tried to keep things back stage clear and drama free. No one who shouldn’t be there. I also learned early in my career, from being in theatre I suppose, that you get on and off stage without lingering back stage.


Q: What kinds of day jobs have you had in your life and how did they influence your music?

A: I worked at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. It was great listening and learning about all the history and stories behind the stars fame. It helped me see that everyone of them came from a beginning in their career and worked hard for their success.

Q: How did you and your partner Tommy Parham meet?

A: In Nashville. I had moved there from Canada and he had moved there from L.A. We were introduced by his music publisher to write together. The rest is history.

Q: What is the overall theme of the album “Stubborn In My Blood?”

A: Stubborn In My Blood The title track is about my family/where they came from/diversity/strength/dreams/etc. Sums up the message of the album

Q: What are some successful things you have done to promote yourself?

A: Social Networking is so important in today’s music scene. In fact, I have tried to keep up with it myself, but due to our touring schedule and writing appointments, I have found it necessary to hire a social media person to handle my gig posts etc. She is amazing, and it helps me keep up with the things I need to take care of, while my fans feel they are in the loop of everything.

Q: What are some of the pitfalls you have experienced in the music business?

A: rejection, being too unique…….

Q: If you had the chance to perform with any music legend, who would it be?

A: Dolly Parton. I am involved with donating a portion of my book sales to our local chapter of the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. She is just an incredible aritst, business person and human being




Eliza’s interviews are done by email; all answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)


An Interview With Writer Chris Hoover




Chris Hoover is the co-author of the book, How We Got Trumped; here is a link to the Amazon page:




Q: What made you want to write a book about Donald Trump?


A: He needed to be exposed for the terrible corrupt, things he has done in his life, and during his Presidency.


Q: What sets your book apart from all the other books about him?


A: Ours is a historical rendering that layers his life in unison with the past 60 years of American History.


Q: What kind of research did you do for the book?


A: There was about 200 hours of research done between Brad Lockwood and myself, and we have over 400 verifiable sources in the book as a result.


Q: What are some of the facts in the book that you think will shock even the most avid trump hater?


A: The fact that he and his father were gifted favor’s by the New York City that amounted to over 100 Million dollars, spanning over three decades of time, between 1970 and 2000.


Q: What kind of day job do you have and how did it effect your ability to write a book?


A: I am a remodeling contractor and I was out of work, evacuated due to the massive fires in California during the writing of this book. I was not able to work, on my scheduled construction projects and so I put all my energy into the finishing of this book over the Holiday Season of 2017.  Typically, I would have been working 8 to ten hour days, on my construction projects, and then another 6-8 hours each night.  However, because of the fires, I was able to focus my attention on the completion of this book for the final 6 weeks of 2017.


Q: What do you think the mainstream media is overlooking in their coverage of the Trump administration?


A: The amount of days he actually works, Vs the days he is spending on the Golf Course.


Q: Why do you think anyone would vote for Trump?


A: Not a Clue in the World!


Q: How do you think Trump got into Wharton and how was he able to graduate?


A: Donald J Trump got into Wharton because of the contacts his father had on the board of directors at Wharton, and it was also this favoritism that surely helped him to graduate.


Q: Do you think the Democrats should compromise and give Trump his wall to save DACA?


A:  I believe that DACA is a beneficial Policy that should not be sacrificed under any circumstances.  I also believe the wall, would only bring more extremely negative attention to America, and that the building of it should be avoided at all costs.


Q: What do you think will be Trump’s ultimate downfall?


A:  He will most likely be impeached, based on his recent actions spanning over his first year as the President of the USA.


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

An Interview With Film Composer Pinar Toprak



Pinar Toprak is a composer whose scores can be heard in the films The River Murders  and The Lightkeepers. Here is a link to her website:


Q: What made you want to become a composer?

A: I started studying and being fascinated by music at a very young age in Istanbul. My first instrument was violin and I ended up getting my degree in classical guitar. Although I enjoyed playing, I knew I did not want to be a performer. I wanted to be the one that writes the music for the performers. Alongside my passion for music, I was also in love with films ever since I can remember. As soon as I was old enough to find out I could combine both of my passions I was hooked. 🙂

Q:  What kind of professional training have you had?

A: I went to a very traditional conservatory in Istanbul, starting at the age of 5. Once I finished high school I went to Berklee College of Music and majored in Film Scoring and Piano. All along, my grand plan was to move to Los Angeles, which I did right after Berklee and I got my Master’s degree in Composition at CSUN. Although I highly believe in the value of proper education, I also believe in mentors and training while being surrounded by the real world so to speak. I was very lucky to be around one of my idols, Hans Zimmer, as soon as I was out of school and then I worked with a master orchestrator and composer William Ross. I consider those years as an important part of my education.

Q:  What makes someone an artist?

A: That’s a tough question. It’s very difficult to say what is art and who is an artist these days. Art in all forms has morphed quite a bit in the last couple of decades. The evolution of technology has created many self proclaimed “artists” that probably would not be considered artists fifty years ago. Although I am all for technology, I think it needs to be used as an aid to realizing one’s vision rather than filling in the blanks of one’s knowledge automatically. With that said, to answer your question, I would say an artist is anyone that has ideas, a vision and has a need and desire to express themselves via their chosen art. Someone that feels empty and unfilled without creating and lastly someone that is prepared to be under-appreciated and overworked but miraculously still feels privileged to be doing what they are doing… 🙂

Q:  How were you selected to score The River Murders.

A: I reached out to Rich Cowan who is the owner of North by Northwest and was the director of the film. I was initially talking to him about another film but he asked me if I would be interested in his current film which was called The River Sorrow at the time. I immediately said “absolutely!” and that was it. I had a wonderful time working with Rich.

Q:  Why is it important for people in the film industry to attend The Sundance Film Festival?

A: I love the energy of everyone at Sundance. It feels like a film school campus. Everyone is passionate about films and they are excited to be there. Besides the obvious fact that there are tons of great films to see, there are lots of opportunities to meet fascinating people from all aspects of the film world and get to know them in a casual environment. Most importantly, it’s loads of fun!

Q:  What is your strangest work story?

A: I do have a couple but I’d rather not mention them in writing. 🙂

Q:  What is your process when writing a score for a film?

A: It changes with each project. Sometimes I get involved at a very early stage (which I personally love and prefer) but sometimes (most of the times) I get hired somewhat at the last minute so the whole process moves along quite fast. It starts out with a spotting meeting where the director and I sit and watch the film and decide where we want the music and what we want to convey emotionally. After that I hide in my cave for a bit and come up with themes and initial ideas. Once the initial direction is approved, then I keep on writing, the director approves everything and we live happily ever after. 🙂 Sometimes it’s that easy and sometimes we go back and forth a few times to tweak it until it feels right. After the music is approved, hopefully there is a budget for an orchestra or at least some live players so we have a recording session, which is my favorite part. Each film is unique and that’s the fun part. An orchestra is not right for every film and you are probably not going to bring out the distortion guitars for a period drama. The process changes with each project and that’s what I love the most about my job.

Q: What film do you believe had the best score ever? (and why)

A: I am a fan of timeless scores. A score that can be performed 50-100 years from now and it will still sound magnificent. I have many favorites depending on which day you ask me but most scores of Ennio Morricone and John Barry will always be at the top of the list for me.

Q:  Who are some of your musical influences?

A: I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by different types of music. As far as I am concerned a piece of music needs to touch my heart or brain, ideally both. There is some great sounding music these days that is produced so well, with lots of intriguing sounds and arrangements. I may not be emotionally affected by it in some cases but I will be influenced in terms of technique and the production quality. And then there is the kind of music that doesn’t need the big bells and whistles, it’s intimate and it goes straight to your heart…Just like the previous question, my influences change all the time. There is so much great music and great musicians out there and we have access to infinite amount of music. That being said, I generally listen to a lot of classical music but besides that if I have to give you a name, (since I already mentioned my top film composers) I would say Peter Gabriel. I listen to Peter Gabriel the way I take my daily vitamins. 🙂

Q:  What advice would you give to an aspiring composer?

A: Know your craft, both music and technology. Consider each of them like one of your legs. Without the other one sure you can hop on one leg to get to where you want to go, but most likely the ones with both legs will get to the destination before you. Be patient. Sure, there are some extreme luck/right place, right time stories but for most of us it takes hard work, patience, humility and diligence. Don’t get discouraged by how many times you hear “no” but celebrate each achievement and most importantly, don’t lose your passion. That’s what keeps you floating during down times.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)