A wonderfully talented woman, with a powerful voice!
Early on, when did you realize you had a gift to sing?
I think I came out hitting a high 'C'. HAHA. Yeah, from a very early age I started singing in schools. My earliest report card says, "shows an aptitude for music". In high school I began private voices lessons, singing and performing in every group and place that I could. After high school, I went on to the University and earned a music minor in vocal performance.
Is anyone else musical in your family?
Music runs long in my family. My grandmother played piano in a Honky Tonk band, and she sang in the church choir. My mother played many instruments, and my older sister and I grew up singing together in school choirs. My younger sister plays the violin and my younger brother plays the saxophone.
What is the local music scene like in and around Grand Haven, Michigan?
West MI does fairly well at supporting local artists. With everything from coffee house venues, to big arenas. The public radio stations are quite good at playing local artist's music, as well..
Besides songwriting and singing, do you play any instruments?
I play the piano and guitar. Lately I have been writing music with the guitar, which is a bit of a change.
I used to write more with the piano. And now writing with the guitar has given an added dimension to my new music.
Where do you generally record?
For the last several years, I have recorded in West MI, although I have recorded in LA as well. Generally my vocals are done in my own studio. When I first write a song, I like to live with it and see what shape the vocals are going to take. I have worked for quite some time with Andy Mitchell of Audio Bay Studio in Rockford MI. The instrumentals for my newest single 'Now', were recorded in a new place. Third Coast Recording Company with Joe Hettinga. It was mastered by Andy Mitchell of Audio Bay Studio with vocals done in my own studio. A real collaboration overall.
Do you write for other artists?
Not yet, but writing for other artists is a priority of mine this coming year.
You have a wide range of genres that you can easily fit into.
Would you ever do a Country or R&B song?
Yeah that is true. One of my tracks, "Come and Go", has an R&B flavor, and one of my unrecorded songs can definitely fit the Country market. Some of my other originals have been standard Contemporary, Smooth Jazz. The only genre I have not written in is Rap.
Have you been performing live lately?
As of late I have mostly been writing and recording.
Tell us about your latest project.
My latest project, "Now", does have a story behind it. I came across a band, Nahko and Medicine For The People. Wow!!! I thought I would really like to write music like that. One that strives to empower people. Then one of my best friends said "Downie, you should write a song for Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders", and I said "yes, I should". So I did. Three days later the song was written and a week later I was in the studio. My song "Now", is my first song that brings to light pressing issues that we are facing as a country and a planet. The song is about waking people up to take the action needed to make the world better for even the least of us.
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2016?
One of my main focuses will be to build my song catalogue as a songwriter for other artists with a secondary goal to be out performing live.
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