Tag: singers

An Interview with YouTuber Desiree Mitchell

DESIREE MITCHELL

Desiree Mitchell is a singer, YouTuber and actress; here is a link to her website:

 

https://www.officialdesiree.com/

 

 

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a professional entertainer?

 

A: I knew that I wanted to be an entertainer when I tried dance, acting, and vocal lessons from 5-8 years old. My mom put me in these classes for fun during the summers and I never wanted to leave. Performing was the best feeling in the world, so I knew at a very young age that my dream career was to be an entertainer.

 

 

Q: Who are some of your musical influences and how can we see this influence in your work?

 

A: I love Beyoncé, Drake, Rihanna, Aaliyah… just to name a few. These people all have influenced me in different ways, since they are so different from eachother.

Beyonce is the greatest performer of all time. She can do it all. I remember seeing her in concert for the first time when I was 8 years old and I was never the same! What she has accomplished as it relates to her career is unheard of. And as a young black woman, I’m so inspired. If Beyonce didn’t exist, I would be a much different artist today.

Drake, he’s just dope and such a trendsetter in music. Whether people want to admit it or not, Drake’s unique sound and flow has changed hip-hop and R&B as we know it. I truly feel that almost every rapper and R&B artist to come after him has been influenced by him in some way. He’s a legend, honestly.

Rihanna… what can’t she do?! She puts out an album, and every song is a hit. Every single time. She has dominated the music industry, the fashion industry, the makeup industry… I mean, wow. It’s crazy. That’s so inspiring. There’s been a lot of people in my life that have told me that I can’t do it all… that if I’m an artist and I try to come out with a makeup line as well, they won’t take me serious. And that I “have to pick one”. I’m so glad that Rihanna has broken that stigma. You can absolutely do it all.

Aaliyah – Rest In Peace baby girl. She was really one of a kind and I wish she were still here today to have gotten the chance to grow and reach her full potential. Her sound was beautiful. She was just so cool in so many ways. Her voice was so soothing. She was so confident. That’s inspiring. She has heavily influenced me and you can definitely hear it in my music.

I have taken so many things from the 4 people listed above and I definitely think that it’s obvious in my sound and overall artistry.

 

 

Q: What inspired your song, “I Need That?”

 

A: I wrote “I Need That” while going through a rough patch with the last guy I was in love with. We had a very on and off relationship. Communication wasn’t there. We’d sometimes stop talking for weeks or even months at a time. But when we were on good terms, it was amazing. You know? I kind of just wrote the song to show the ups and downs of our situation, but to also let him know that I forgive him. When you’re in love with someone, all you want is for it to work out. With him, I was much more forgiving that I’d ever thought I’d be. I’m happy that I’ve moved on and that I’m not in that place with him anymore, but I’d never bash him or diss him. The truth is, he taught me a lot. We were both entertainers. I had a good time. Although it didn’t work out, when I think back on our situation, I don’t regret it at all.

 

 

Q: What is your new series, “”Loyalty” about?

 

A: “Loyalty” is about a few young adults that are going through the struggles of everyday life and the choices that they make. It’s almost like the butterfly effect – every choice that you make in life has a huge consequence. Life is gritty. Within the urban community, there’s a lot of things that go on that nobody really talks about. I love the concept of this show because I feel like it’s realistic. The truth is, people do drugs. People sell drugs. People have affairs. People get killed. Yeah it’s not right, but it’s real. People go through things. Life is intense. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.

 

 

Q: What role do you play?

 

A: I wear a lot of hats in “Loyalty”. I am the writer, director, executive producer, and the lead character. It was an amazing experience and I’m so proud of myself and the rest of my team for pulling this off! My character’s name in the show is Desirée White. She’s dope. She’s nonjudgmental. She’s a good girl but she still goes through things and even makes bad choices along the way.

 

 

Q: How did you become involved with the project?

 

A: I started writing “Loyalty” about 2 and a half years ago. It took me a while to get it to the point that I felt it needed to be to start filming. This is the first TV project I’ve ever written, so I definitely wanted to take my time. Now that it’s filmed and in post-production, I can’t wait for everyone to see this magic.

 

 

Q: You also make YouTube videos and get lots of plays. How did you build your audience?

 

A: I started actually posting videos on YouTube a little under a year ago. I had a few friends that were already YouTubers and told me how great it was, so I started actually getting serious about it. I definitely feel that I have a unique brand on YouTube because I often talk about my music and acting life on there and my subscribers get to see vlogs of my life outside of YouTube.

 

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it effect your pursuit of your career?

 

A: I’ve never had a day job before. I’ve been pursuing my career in a serious way since I was about 11 years old. I have an amazing mother that believed in me from day one. My income currently comes from YouTube, Instagram Promo and Commercials.  I have over 400,000 followers/subscribers on my social media platforms which allows me to capitalize on my influence.

 

 

Q: What is your strangest on set story?

 

A: Hmmm. Strangest on set story? I guess I would say that I have been apart of projects that I’ve been on set for hours for, but the project never came out. Haha! I mean, it’s the life of an actress. Sometimes that happens. No complaints over here.

 

 

Q: What are some of your favorite gangster movies or TV shows?

 

A: Gangster movies and shows? Hmmm. It depends on what is considered “gangster”.My show “Loyalty” was ver y inspired by the show “Power” on STARZ. I love gritty shows like that. Like I mentioned before, life is gritty. I love real life kind of shows. I also fell in love with the show “Narcos” on Netflix. I love the iconic movie “Set It Off” with that AMAZING female cast. As far as comedies go, I love the move “Friday”… it’s still real life, it’s just funny at the same time!

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

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An Interview With Singer and Songwriter Lenny Gerard

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Lenny Gerard is a singer and songwriter; here is a link to his website:

http://www.lennygerard.com/

 

 

 

Q:  What made you interested in music?

 

A: I became interested in music when my brother and I started taking guitar lessons together after school. I was young (like around five/six-ish years old?). It was when my hands couldn’t fit around the neck of our beloved and shared guitar that I gave up the guitar and decided to learn the piano instead. My brother was happy to have the guitar all to himself and I was content playing the piano and humming tunes along with it. Songwriting came later when I got emotional as most kids do in their teens (lol). It was certainly a great release J

 

It was when I got a generous scholarship from The New School University in NYC at 18 Years old that I started to take myself seriously as a singer/songwriter. I performed at open mics almost every week and snagged and performed my own gigs about once a month throughout Brooklyn and Downtown Manhattan.

Music is therapeutic not only for myself but for the people that enjoy it as well. Music is a bonding experience. When I’m singing while playing the piano (especially if it’s a tune I wrote) and I really “get into the groove,” It’s like the best high in the world. It feeds my soul in every way and for that reason I will forever be interested in music and art.

 

Q: What kind of training have you had?.

 

A: When I was younger, I learned to read and write music on a staff, transpose, and arrange it. Going to college for contemporary music definitely reinforced these skills in me. I double majored in school with a B.A. in Contemporary Music and a B.F.A. in Photography. In college, a big part of my music major focused primarily on recording techniques and music production. We learned various software like ProTools and Logic. I also had the pleasure of taking numerous songwriting classes in college. I absolutely LOVED the experience and performing with classmates. Getting these degrees have broadened my skill set and have transformed me into a musical jack-of-all-trades.

I have recently taken up the ukulele and have been having way too much fun playing and songwriting with it! I’d never played a ukulele until some weeks ago but picked it up almost instantly because of my musical background (I am forever grateful for this, thanks Mom!)

 

 

Q: You started working as a photographer before you graduated from Parsons. How did you get your work in front of the right people?

 

A: It all began when I started taking senior portraits for the graduating seniors in high school out of my garage. I saved up from working at a local frozen-yogurt shop and bought strobe/flood lights, a fancy camera, and seamless backdrops and set up a studio. I kindly asked my parents to move their cars out of the garage so I could utilize the space in its entirety during my many photo-shoots. I gained local recognition as a photographer and was doing business as a 13-year-old from my own home. My mom enrolled me in a class at UCSD based on photography. I was definitely the youngest one in the class – at the tender age of 15.

 

Later in life when I moved to NYC for college, I started freelancing as a photographer for record labels, publications, and magazines. I believe it was my extensive portfolio and experience shooting back home in San Diego that landed me the gigs I got in NYC. I sought out specific people at record labels/ magazines and emailed them. Persistence, and an enthusiastic demeanor was the key to my success. Word of mouth helped a lot too. I got my work in front of the right people through networking via cold-call emails and social media and through the help of the many mentors that I acquired over the years. A lot of the professors at my school were extremely successful outside of class and willing to connect their students to opportunities. The professors also mentored some students on a long-term basis and I found this very rewarding.

 

Q: What is your most memorable celebrity encounter?

 

A: I have two:

 

  1. When I met Ludacris in the living room offices of Island Def Jam in New York City. He was not only one of the nicest and warmest people that I’ve ever met, but he had perfect skin. It was so smooth and porcelain-like! We had fun taking pictures together.
  2. I was taking behind-the-scenes photographs for Bon Jovi’s new video at the time “Because We Can” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chXJFjrl-Q4) and Jon asked me for some water. I took a bottle out of the nearest cooler and water dripped on his (I’m guessing expensive) pants as I handed it to him. He looked down at the drip stain on his pants and back up at me. I smiled and scurried away.

 

 

 

 

Q: What inspired you to write, Old Enough For Love?

 

A: Old enough for love was inspired by the thought of romance blossoming over the phone. The words “I only know you over the phone” are meant to describe a sexual relationship based on the phone, as many relationships are today. I felt compelled to write about cyber and cellular relationships because there are now new non-traditional ways to meet people, and they often do not involve face-to-face interaction.

 

Q: Your bio says you are an LGBT activist. What are some of the things you have done for the cause?

 

A: Being an LGBT activist, I have performed at LGBT charity events and have always been a huge supporter of the LGBTQ rights movement. My fondest memories as an activist were in San Diego, California when I was still in high school. It was when proposition-eight (a ballot proposition and a state constitutional amendment) was a big focal point in the news/ media. The proposition was to ban gay-marriage in the state of California (2008). I was the president of the G.S.A. (Gay Straight Alliance) in my high school and rounded up all of my club members, friends, and fellow allies to protest with signs that we made during our lunch breaks at school. We marched throughout downtown with these signs every weekend and finished every protest in front of the city courthouse. We made it on the news a few times!

Recently, I put out a music video that was featured on Huffington Post along with an interview about it: (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lenny-gerard-feel-me-now_us_56bce834e4b0c3c550508246). The mission of the music video “Feel Me Now” is to show that domestic and sexual violence is prevalent in the gay community just as much as with our straight allies. Men are battered too and there needs to be more resources for men to turn to and be taken seriously. Next month (March 2016), we will be conducting a social media campaign with the hashtag #MenRVictims2 to raise awareness on the issue.

 

 

Q: What do you like about the music industry?

 

A: What I like about the music industry is how it is dynamic and always changing. I like how the music industry is based on collaboration amongst all sorts of artistic mediums. At the end of the day, the music industry depends on artists albeit: film, sound design, fashion, production, camera operation, etc.

The music industry allows me to be creative and express myself in ways I never thought possible. I am so glad to have found a career in the music industry as it enables me to bring my visually creative side into my musical projects. My music videos are the ultimate medium in which I express myself – as they are the melding of both my sonic-artistry and my visual-aesthetic.

 

 

Q:      What would you change about it?

 

A: The music industry has always seen change and will always see change, which is one of the many reasons why I love it. I recently founded an entertainment company (http://www.OinkEntertainment.com) whose mission is to represent under represented talent and artists. That’s what I want to see change in the music industry; I want to see more minorities taking on big musical rolls and more TV appearances.

 

Q:  Who are some of your musical influences?

 

A: Lady Gaga, Elton John, Rufus Wainwright, Amy Winehouse, Le1f, Bruno Mars, Kat Dahlia, Sam Sparro, Adele, Beyonce, Lorde, Michael Jackson, Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea, Justin Bieber, Queen, Animal Collective, Nicki Minaj, Jason Derulo, James Blake, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, Adam Lambert, Tune-Yards, Regina Spektor, George Ezra, and Missy Elliot… (Just to name a few).

 

Q: Do you think looks or talent are more important in music today?

 

A: Talent. If you have enough talent, no matter how funky your look or lifestyle is, you’ll be recognized and valuable to the masses for being authentic. I do however feel it is the artist’s responsibility to maintain an image that serves their artistry and products.

 

 

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 Jazz Singer Susan Andrea Warmington

 SusieQ1

Susan Andrea Warmington is a jazz singer who makes YouTube videos and has an EP called Jazzmaican; here is a link to her Twitter page:

https://twitter.com/SusieWarmington

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

A: I hear that I sang from the age of two, and I remember my Teacher putting me up on a desk at age five to sing in front of my Kindegarten class and I was terrified! I always sang so I knew that singing would be a big part of who I was.

Q:  What is it you love about jazz standards?

A: They are timeless, and I like timeless things. Stuff that never goes out of style appeals to me. Jazz standards are musically malleable and I enjoy singing them my way.

Q:  Who are some of your musical influences?

A: I am very influenced by Classical Music. My Mother was a Classical SInger and she listened to a lot of Vocalists from what was called “The Golden Age of Opera” so I grew up listening to legends like Victoria De Los Angeles and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. I also am a huge fan of Dionne Warwick, and Barbra Streisand and Maureen McGovern were also favorites growing up. Now, I listen to a lot of Traditional Jazz and Adelaide Hall and Mildred Bailey have become particular favorites of mine.

Q:  What kinds of day jobs have you had over the years?

A: I’ve worked in Education a lot. I was an Elementary School Teacher in New York which is not for the faint of heart! I worked as a Library Associate and an Admissions Office Receptionist at the University I graduated from, so that was also in Education. I am also a Teaching Artist and have taught Drama and Singing to children, freelancing in Schools, Hospitals, and Non-Profit Agencies.

Q:  When did you first start making YouTube videos?

A: Gosh, let’s see…I started uploading videos on YouTube a couple years after YT’s inception. I’ve done it sporadically through the years, all coming to you from my bedroom closet! A hodgepodge of Classical, Pop, and Jazz ditties are on there under the name “susiewarmington”

Q:  What are some of the things you’ve done to promote yourself?

A: I’m not the greatest at promoting myself! However, I do have a facebook page  called

Susan Andrea Warmington, Jamaican Jazz SInger

https://www.facebook.com/susanandreawarmington?fref=ts

and a Twitter page

https://twitter.com/SusieWarmington

I also have an EP called Jazzmaican.

Q:  How did you get Jazzmacian made?

A: Well, I really wanted to have my first EP made in my home country of Jamaica. There are many amazing Jazz Musicians back home and I wanted to share that with the world. My Producer Richard Browne comes from a long line of talented Jamaican Musicians who can switich from Regaae to Jazz in an instant and I wanted that kind of talent on my EP. I had amazing Musicians backing me up like the extraoridinary Guitarist Maurice Gordon and the stellar Pianist Othniel Lewis. I also had the great good fortune to have the legendary Guitarist Ernest Ranglin do a Peggy Lee song with me.

Q: How did you select the song set for the disc?

A: They are simply songs I like to sing. There are a thousand songs I like to sing, but I had to choose five.

Q:  If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

A: There are many things I would like to change, but truly it is not my business because I do not consider myself a part of the industry as I am an independent Musician. However, since you asked 🙂 I would definitely change the extremely fake, cookie cutter, glitzed out, glammed up celeb machine and get back to real talent and individuality. When I was growing up there were so many talented, interesting people on the radio that you did not know who to spend your allowance on first. I mean, you can make anybody pretty but not everybody can sing or has an interesting personality.

Q:  If you could spend the day with Judy Garland or Peggy Lee, who would you pick?

A: That’s a tough one beause they were both iconic! However, for practical reasons I would choose Peggy because she did what I love to do. I would definitely ask her to write a song with me. I write songs and lyrics and I want to become more brave about showing them. If I wrote a song with Peggy Lee I would be happy to show it off!

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 Singer/Songwriter Samantha Novelle

sam

Samantha Novelle is a singer and songwriter who has just released the album 419; here is a link to her website:

http://www.samanthanovelle.com/music.html

 

 

Q:  What made you decide to pursue a career in music?

A: Deciding to pursue music was a natural progression, it wasn’t my first passion, I think we all share many in life. In fact I started my whole journey in LA wanting to pursue acting, the music came like a shadow that trailed my career path, I was always a writer and visionary. I was very expressive with words and ideas that would naturally come to me and I’d immediately write them down or record them on a recording device. Ultimately I was driven by that desire, so I took those words and choreographed them to music, suddenly music and myself coexisted, and I began working with many styles and producers over the years finding my sound along the way. Their is no certain formula when you find your calling in life, what inspires me each and every day about the music I create and the reason I’ve chosen to dedicate my life to it’s pursuit is the unpredictability when you sit down to write a song. In the studio I become open to what the music allows me to feel and the organic experience brings a new divine purpose to creating a emotion all it’s own. Creating a musical experience in raw format thrills me, it’s about going with your first instinct and allowing whatever comes to mind correlate. I tend to find I come across more real this way, because nothing is over rehearsed. As far as the production, nothing is too perfect, those tiny cracks and breaks in the vocals make the delivery come to life and where reverb doesn’t rule the track.

Q: What is the overall theme of your album?

A: The album 419 is a complex stranger. It’s my stranger, because each track presented me with something knew that I hadn’t explored. The overall theme is best described as dark and layered with theatrical and musical elements that carry the album through a sequence of different identities. It is a pronounced and deeply personal album that represents my true feelings, desires and experiences. 419 challenged me and allowed me to experiment as a vocalist and writer. I felt like this body of work was designed not only to share with my fans, but heal me from hurdles I had overcome as an independent artist. Music has always been a very personal, almost private part of my expression and allowing my audience to become apart of that wasn’t easy to showcase at times, but I knew this was about breaking down barriers. I also have to acknowledge that none of this would have been possible without the amazing and brilliant talent of my partner Charlie Rivero, who offered his time producing and making my vision a reality. Charlie Rivero is a very talented producer, musician and artist himself. We took a full year developing 419 and worked diligently. The first time I realized it was complete was one of the most fulfilling and greatest accomplishment’s of my life, there are no words to express it further.

Q:   Who is your biggest musical influence?

This question always seems to stop me in my tracks, because of course their are so many talented artist out there. I have to say I could name countless musical inspirations, but I’ll describe what moves me the most. It’s the artist that conveys vulnerability to their music, and shows conviction to their performance. I enjoy listening to unique artist’s, those select few that steer away from the mainstream and connect more with their own identity and sound. In the world today, I feel we are over saturated with too many trying to produce and create the same collection of material. I find it very refreshing to listen to new and innovative bands and artist’s who come out of nowhere and whose music radiates authenticity. When an artist can separate themselves from social media and play for the music and play for the love of just performing you are entirely on another level I feel. Sometimes I’ll admit I’ve become m.i.a from online networking sites, because I don’t want to stray too far from why I started music and get carried away with playing cat and mouse with online merry go rounds. The fame, the money is a wild beast out there, you have to keep away with playing cat and mouse with online merry go rounds. The fame, the money is a wild beast out there, you have to keep grounded. My influences steam from music makers who develop new playgrounds to be explored.

 Q:  You are engaged to another musician; do you have any professional rivalry?

A: (Laughing) I love this question! I would be lying if I didn’t say there was never a time I had professional rivalry, and I’d say of course, because its natural and it makes you want to become that much better. It’s a compliment to the person who inspires you I think. A good dose of healthy competition sets the stage for success and growth. Charlie and I often bump heads in the studio, we are very ill tempered and have strong personalities, so if you can picture two artist, with the same bit of passion there is sure to spark a fire. A fire that is explosive and another fire that creates good energy and stamina to keep us on our toes and trying to better the other person. I’ve always said to him, we are two unique individuals and we have to think that although we are on the same path, we cannot predict our future, so therefore we just do what we love and put it out there. We are always each others number one fan, so we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves. We also realize we have different innate qualities that separate our talents and we respect each other personally and professionally.

Q:  What inspired you to write “Set of Emotions?”

A: I was inspired by the track in many ways, because the music gave me an emotional backdrop to write to. I often try to veer from writing songs that spell it out for the listener. My focus is to create a poetic journey through my writing that conveys both sides of the story, if you look at it one way it could mean this, and on the flip side a dark more morbid undertone presents itself. I didn’t always write this way, but I find it more exciting and enjoyable to listen though songs that keep you guessing. Don’t let this song fool you, most people will think it’s the typical song of lust and love, but when you really listen and especially with the music video debut, you’ll notice the twist that transpires throughout its haunting triangle. When I choose music Im similar to Willy Wonka when choosing good eggs from poor eggs, I sort through songs in that stature and am quick to press on if it doesn’t speak to me.

Q:  What is the strangest thing you have ever done to promote yourself?

A: Strangest thing to promote myself…I’m not sure this was strange, but Charlie and I made up a bunch of 5×7 photo cards from Walgreens that we created to debut our albums. We took them to a large festival in Las Vegas and started going around placing them on cars. It was horrifying to watch, as most people didn’t even look at them, in fact, we saw many people take them off of their cars and throw them on the street, talk about a punch to the gut! I can’t express this enough, but being indie artist’s, with little financing options to fund our careers is a struggle in itself and seeing our hard work wasted, really wasn’t the best boost of encouragement. We were trying anything we could and we learned a great deal of what works and doesn’t work along the way.. We can laugh about it now.

Q:  How did you go about getting your videos produced?

A: Well we have both learned to produce, write, perform and conduct our own works. We were limited with funds, so we’d get by the old school way, creating all our projects in our home studio and making things happen on our dime and with the time we had getting creative. I’m all for follow through and our experience has been that working sometimes with others can create draw back, drama and unnecessary hiccups. Charlie and I are very hard working artist, we create everything you see and listen to from scratch. I have produced a lot of my own music videos off my laptop. I don’t see the excuse in waiting for right moments, time is scratch. I have produced a lot of my own music videos off my laptop. I don’t see the excuse in waiting for right moments, time is always ticking, you have to develop your own skills to make it things work and come together, and that’s what we do. We are a one stop shop for ourselves. You can’t depend on others to get the job done!

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your songwriting?

A:  I feel truly blessed that I am able to have a job where I influence the lives of others. I am a activities instructor for seniors at an independent/assisted living community where I help inspire, engage and motivate people on a daily basis. They influence me in itself, because each day I remember how precious life truly is and what’s to be valued. My songwriting is fueled by their experiences and their stories, and it’s my nature to want to share these honest and amazing moments they’ve shared with me. I also cannot imagine a better place to perform my music, their support is beyond words and I know they appreciate what I do and in return I feel Im giving back.

Q:  You have a paranormal show on YouTube; what made you interested in the subject?

A: I’ve always been interested in the paranormal, but it wasn’t till I met Charlie who really opened me up to the supernatural. He has been studying Parapsychology for years and has been apart of many investigations around the United States. We sometimes feel like two goofs on a journey of curiosity with this topic, but we feel it is important to showcase our findings and educate the public. We’ve both been in some really uncomfortable situations together and I’ve learned a lot as his mentor. I believe in the paranormal extremities, and after witnessing countless occurrences we found it apparent to create this show for YouTube. This show doesn’t carry a typical approach to ghost hunting, we have some tricks up our sleeves and different methods to wrestle with the spirits. You can check out our website at: http://www.paranormalfact.com for more up to date news and info!

Q:  You can make a video with the ghost of any rock star! Who do you pick for your video and why?

A: Wow, this is a tough question. I have three, and all for different reasons; John Lennon, Johnny Cash and Michael Jackson. Each of these stars would bring out a different element of me. John Lennon’s songwriting skills and talent is a force to be reckoned with. Johnny Cash’s emotional commitment to a musical piece, the honesty and deliverance is unparalleled. Lastly, Michael Jackson, because he had a way of transforming not only himself through the music, but transforming his fans. It would be a truly unbelievable experience to create a music video with any of these gifted souls.

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 Songwriter Justin Carbonari

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Justin Carbonari is an aspiring songwriter, here is a link to his Soundcloud page:

https://soundcloud.com/therothrocks

Q: When did you know you wanted to write music?

A: Well it’s just something you have to know and accept for yourself. I would always have a song stuck in my head, I loved singing and making up my own words and melodies for songs I’d hear. Since I can remember. I’ve always assumed it’s what I was supposed to do. Now I’m learning how.

Q: Who are some of your musical influences?

A: I try to rip off people who move me. Ray Charles, Buddy Holly, and Johnny Cash started me out. Ray Charles especially; “Night Time is the Right Time,” That’s rocknroll. Their voices, the instruments, they all fit the feeling so well. That’s what I’m looking for. Of course, ze Beatles. I could talk for days about them. A few years ago I took two days and listened to every album starting with Please Please Me, and I began my junkie-like journey into their world. The Stones and The Animals definitely feed the raw and heavier sensibilities. I think the stones were the best live band. And I love Motown and Stevie Wonder and James Brown. Both just brought so much rhythm and soul to the each instrument. I’m influenced by those who paint a landscape using each part to fill out the space in the best way. I’m inspired by these fleeting perfect moments that these amazing people somehow came up with. Pink Floyd was really good with that, ELO as well! I love tracing the influences through the decades. I should have just made a list.

Q:  What inspired you to write the song Miss Behave?

A: Originally I was trying to write a few songs like Stevie Wonder. I was living in San Francisco and I was getting off a bus to wait for another  and the call and response melody came into my head, “Oh baby I’m tired,” I thought it could go so many places from there.

Vocally I was really into Queen and Freddy  M. at the moment, so it stared out very grand. Eventually it morphed into it’s own groove, but it’s still a work in progress, you know. They all are.

Q:  What kinds of themes do you write about?

A: I try to relay some sort of truth, or some honest feeling. Otherwise what’s the point? I’m fascinated with our brains and how we interpret the thoughts of those around us. It’s all in our head and we can get mixed up.

So I try to write thoughts that we all feel sometimes but can’t talk about. I think if art is to redeem man then artists must be an honest reflection of the human condition. But ultimately it’s about me. So I try to translate a real feeling that I connect to whether it’s about a girl or about our place in the universe. It’s all related anyway.

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your music?

A: Well I’ve mostly worked in restaurants to pay the bills but for the past few months I’ve been acting and organizing rock shows for a venue down in Orange. I’m hoping to use work I can get acting to support myself. The industry has a bit more structure than with music.

Q:  what have you done to pursue your acting career?

A: Well I’m starting out. At this point I’m taking whatever I can get my hands on and working hard once I’m on set. I understand its a business so I have to find my form, how to market myself at first. I love improv and comedy so I’m trying to push towards that. I’m starting to meet with some agents. Little by little. You just gotta show people you can do the job. I’m also writing a script like the old spaghetti-westerns which I’d really like to get made. I think it could be great So I’ll be pursuing that as well as other writings.

Q:  What kinds of things have you done to promote your music?

A: I wanted to focus on writing it rather than promoting. For a few years now I’ve developed that part of me, knowing it’s all that really mattered. To write great songs, instant classics. That’s the goal.  Slowly getting there, but I’m still learning.

I’ve put some songs up on websites, soundcloud and bandcamp, but I feel now that I’ve recorded a few decent demos I can start to peddle them around town and show everyone who I am and what I can do. In many ways I feel like I’m just now starting.

Q:  What do you like about the music industry?

A: For a long time I was very against record labels and the industry at large. But for distribution and marketing purposes it’s still hard to beat. The internet and the technological advances it has brought will continue to change the landscape and maybe soon eliminate the need for middle men between artists and fans.

But If you want to reach a great deal of people now you must make your work great and easily available. I believe people don’t have the time for anything that isn’t great. I want to be great. If it’s good enough people with want to spread the word. So I’m just starting to spread the word.

Q:  What about it would you change?

A: It’s hard to be definitive because as of yet I’ve had very little experience with the “machine.” But I suppose my main issue is that they’re not cutting edge anymore and music and the industry used to be sought out by the best and brightest. It’s always been about money, and that’s fine. But Napster and the 21st century scared the labels and it became about making safe bets. So the rich and diverse culture of music went underground to find those who understand. We’re all just looking to connect with someone who understands. Thus the industry further shriveled trying to live in the past where they could charge $20 for a CD and sell two million.

But a change is go’n come.

  1. What is your theme song?

So hard. My gut instinct was, Good Vibrations or, Tomorrow Never Knows.. But, Like a Rolling Stone also shines through..reminds me of my journey and how hard it is to get along in this world. Ol’ Rob Zimmerman. You should listen to all of them.

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