| || |
Since elementary school I was involved in choirs, musicals, and honor choirs. I would say my high school choir director helped push me musically because she had me sing from alto 2 to soprano 1 so it really helped build my ear and love for harmonies. I was a part of both jazz and classical ensembles in high school, which has shaped my sight reading and improved my singing ability.
- What artists do you cite as major influences? What music can be found on your iPod at any given time?
One of the artists who truly inspires me is Corinne Bailey Rae. I love the simplicity of her voice, and the imagery she paints in her lyrics. I used to spend hours sitting in my room rewinding her CD and would create my own renditions of “Like A Star”, “Till It Happens To You”, and “Closer”. Another artist who has been a major influence is Mariah Carey I just love her tone and how she uses her mixed voice. Currently I am listening to a lot of Bruno Mars and Ariana Grande. I love how they incorporate both the pop and R&B world into their music.
- What is your opinion of the evolving digital media landscape? Do you think the digitization of music and online distribution platforms like iTunes, Soundcloud, and ReverbNation, are hurting or helping the quality of new music?
I honestly feel that iTunes has always been great. You get to hear a snippet of an artist's work and download and pay if you like it. I think that a lot of online sites however - such as YouTube, Sound cloud, ReverbNation - are both a positive and a negative. The positive is that you can be introduced to new, great artists you never heard of before clicking the link, but the negative is physical copies are not being bought as much. If people are able to listen to the music they want for free on YouTube, why buy it in person? I personally still love the feeling of buying an album physically and reading the lyrics and credits.
My music video for “Me Vs. You” was directed by my creative friend Rocko Seymour in NYC. I wanted to make a statement in this video to show that the media does not always define beauty. I witness so many people trying hard to keep up with the latest trends and not being happy with themselves because they are comparing themselves to the images they see in T.V. and magazines. Rocko had an idea to have blindfolds over the models faces to show they are blinded by the media and that in the beginning of the video they are trying to blind fold me as well but at the end of the video they all take their blindfolds off and accept who they are. This song is an anthem to let you know you're beautiful being who you are.
- Describe the writing and creative process for your EP Dream In Color.
"Dream In Color" was such a fun project to create. This was the first time I released my original material to the public so I wanted to make a statement as well and showcase my writing skills. Austin and I would go in the studio for a day, create an instrumental, and then the next day go back and fourth writing to the track. We worked so well together on this project. I told him how I wanted to not just be labeled as an R&B singer because I love Indie and Pop music, so I got to finally create those type of songs which was so fun! My friend Aaron Brown who is an artist showed me a picture he drew of me while I was creating the EP and I knew right then that I wanted that to be the cover, and for the EP to be titled “Dream In Color”.
- How were you introduced to Austin Bello of Forever The Sickest Kids? What was the process like when collaborating with him?
I submitted my song “Stranger,” produced by myself and my good friend Reggie, to Austin to get some feedback and see if he would be interested in producing my project. I heard some of his work with other vocalist and knew he would be the best producer for the sound I was trying to create. We ended up working at his studio in VA and honestly became friends during the process I think thats what makes both of us working together so successful that even though we are both serious we still have fun with creating the songs. Working with Austin is great because he gives awesome advice about the industry, artist development, and has truly helped me bloom into a better artist. Thanks to him, we have received a few placements in Europe and I have gotten to do some reference singing on a couple of tracks. We are currently working on more music at the moment.
- What plans do you have in the near future for gigs, touring, and promotion?
At the moment, I decided to stay with my father in NYC and have been doing live shows with my band to receive more exposure and to pull in more fans. I plan by fall to have some nice merchandise to sell to promote my brand and I am in the works of setting up a tour for the end of the year. Too excited for all of this!
- Is there anything else you would like my readers to know?
At the moment, I am currently taking requests to feature artists in songs, so please submit to my email if you would like to collaborate! I love working with other artists!
Huge thanks to Shenna for submitting to The Music Blog! Please Like, Share, Tweet, Comment, Post, and Interwebb the links below to show support for your favorite artists!
| || |
Karen McKenzie is a contemporary vocalist and vocal coach with over 20 years experience in the music industry. She has worked with professionals from all different factions of the business, including top reps from Sony, Virgin Records, Universal, Disney Studios, and others.