What have you been up to recently?
I have been working on moving to Nashville, TN and saving money. I have also been performing 2-4 times a weekend around the Western New York area as well as going on several tour dates.
What made you decide to be a solo artist and not want to be in a band?
It is a lot easier to depend on myself then to depend on a few other band members. I am in a local band but currently tour by myself. Many performances I do, may not pay as much as the band would like in order for them to travel so I go myself, or some shows may strictly be charities where I am not getting paid. I will eventually get a band together when I move to Nashville, TN.
Did you always want to be in a musician/singer when younger?
I have been singing ever since I was about 5 years old. I have always dreamed of being a famous Country Music Singer!
What music did you listen to while growing up?
I listened to a lot of Shania Twain, Alan Jackson and even some Pink Floyd. My parents influenced what I listened to most of the time!
How long have you played your instrument?
I have been singing for 13 years and have been playing the guitar for about 4 years.
What was your first music making experience?
The first music making experience as far as writing music was when I was 17 years old. I wrote “Gettin Out of This Town”; the first song I ever wrote. It was a song about my life and following my dream in moving to Nashville.
What is your current equipment?
A Shure Wireless Microphone, Takamine Guitar, Speakers, Monitor, Microphone Stand, Guitar Stand, two LED lights, a Wireless Guitar System, etc.
Are you self taught or did you have lessons?
I took vocal lessons for 12 years and guitar lessons for 1 year. The rest of my guitar lessons were self-taught.
If you had an unlimited equipment budget what would be on your shopping list?
A brand new Shure Microphone, new speakers, a spotlight, and would love a decent sized fold up stage.
Do you use the same equipment live as you do when in a studio?
No, I use whatever the studio offers as far as equipment, they have some of the best equipment out there, especially Soundshop Studios, Quad Studios in Nashville!
Do you record at a purpose built studio or do you record at home with portable digital equipment or pc/mac with audio software?
I record at a few different locations. I record at home with digital equipment for demo purposes so when I go into the real studios, the musicians can hear the exact way the song should sound. I have recorded at many studios but my favorites being Soundshop Studios (Nashville), Quad Studios (Nashville), Outer Limit Recording Studio (Buffalo), and EMI Publishing (Nashville).
Do you have a set routine when writing and recording or does it depend on each track and the inspiration?
I never really have a set routine but for the most part I always start with an idea and lyrics when it comes to writing a song. Everything else seems to fall in place afterwards. Recording is always the same for the most part. I go into the studio and the musicians lay down the track while I sing a long for them to follow. This happens on the first day of recording. The next day is laying down the vocals and back-up harmonies. The last day is mixing and mastering.
You have just released your album, ‘So Full Of Country’, What has the reaction to that been so far?
The reaction to “So Full of Country” has been awesome. In the first week CD Baby sold out of my Cd’s and I had to automatically send more because people were requesting to buy more. I have also received a lot of great reviews from radio stations, etc. who really enjoy the CD. The CD’s at my shows are selling so well and I am so proud of the outcome!
How did you find the experience of recording a whole album compared to recording a couple of tracks for your ep?
A whole album was so much fun to record. I was able to record at a few different studios and use a couple great producers on the album as well. It is a great mix of songs and I was able to just have fun with the CD! There is a lot more song choices for people on a full album. This was a full experience and was not cut in half!
How much involvement did you have with the arranging and production of the songs?
I had a lot of say in the arranging and production. For the most part I could have also been considered a producer/arranger. It was great because I had amazing Nashville Studio Musicians and they took in my suggestions and used them in the songs. It was great because they all thought that I had some great ideas!
Is the production side of things something you’d like to get involved more in the future, working with other artists?
I would have to say no. I love the production end when it comes to my music, but the production end never interested me as a profession.
Do you find the process of recording enjoyable and does it get easier the more you do?
I love to record and wish I could record every day. It is the best experience and where most of the magic happens. I can be myself and experiment when I am in the studio. When the song first starts off compared to when I finish it, there is such a huge difference. I always love the outcome of my recordings! The more I record, the easier it gets and I always learn new tricks and way to make it easier.
Do you try to capture your ‘live’ sound on recordings or do you think that the ‘live’ sound and recorded sound should be different experiences for your fans?
I think that I sound exactly like I do live as when I record an album. I feel that the fans should experience the way I truly sound instead of putting all of the effects on my voice making it not sound like me.
Do you have any favourite tracks on your album?
My favourite track on the album is “Just Me & the Road”. This is the single I am releasing to the radio. It is just an all around amazing song, starting very soft and getting stronger musically at the end. The actual meaning of the song is also what makes me love the song so much. It is a culmination of my drive for my career and firsthand experience with life’s complex choices.
Do you write songs/tracks only about personal experiences?
I write songs more so about what people and myself can relate to. I write about what is popular in life at the time as well as what makes an impact on people. I want people to be able to relate to me as well as just enjoying my songs.
Do you find song writing easy or difficult?
At times writing can be very difficult and I can get stumped in certain areas; at times I will have to put a song on hold and come back to it. But other times a song can come to me so fast and comes out so simple. Those seem to be the best songs on my album, the ones that just felt natural. For example, “Just Me & the Road”, “Gone Fishin”, “Don’t Leave Me Tonight” and “White Dress”.
Is there anyone who you would like to collaborate with on writing songs or performing?
I would love to collaborate and perform with Miranda Lambert someday. She just seems like such a nice person and her performing and songwriting skills are out of this world!
Who are your favourite song writers?
David Lee from Nashville & Miranda Lambert.
Which countries have you gigged in?
United States & Canada.
Which countries would be at the top of your list to tour?
The United Kingdom & Germany
How do you promote your music and get your music to new fans?
I promote my music on my website, CD Baby, itunes, and many music websites. I also have fans that will help me promote my music. Another way of promoting my music is to perform live shows and playing my originals.
Do you use any websites like ‘Reverbnation’ or ‘Soundclick’?
Yes I use both!
Do you think such sites are good for independent and unsigned artists?
These sites are awesome and whatever you can get yourself involved with (as long as you can keep updating the sites) then they are very essential
Do you think the internet overall is a good or bad thing for new artists?
The internet is the best thing going for musicians at the time. Everyone uses the internet and it is such a great way to meet fans and other musicians. Having my website, Myspace, and Facebook available online has made a huge difference in my success. So many people follow me on those which has made me gain fans as well as get many shows! You can learn so much through the internet.
With all the various websites out there for independent and unsigned artists, is there still something that is missing from them that you think would benefit unknown artists?
I think a website
How do you relax?
I watch a movie. That is always the best way for me to relax!
What’s your best/worst experience at a gig?
The best experience at a gig was in New York City at Kenny’s Castaways. I absolutely loved to perform there because people really respected listening to original music. They sat down, listened to everything I was singing and really enjoyed and respected it! It was such a great feeling because being from Buffalo, everyone wants the same old cover tunes which can get very unsatisfying. It is the same way in Nashville as it is in New York City. People really love it when you perform your originals which is why I cannot to move there!
Do you get nervous before a gig- how do you calm down?
I used to get so nervous before gigs but now it comes naturally to me. I used to keep to myself which did not help, so now I talk with people and get my mind off of it! It is exciting more than anything!
What else do you do apart from being a singer/songwriter?
I also teach vocal and piano lessons to younger kids. It just brings in the extra money and is very rewarding watching your student grow! Surprisingly, I have learned so much about my singing through them!
Would you like to be a full time working musician or are you happy with things as they are?
I pretty much am a full time working musician. A lot of my work currently is doing interviews, writing people online keeping my connections, working on my website, updating my information on Bios and Photos as well as performing, radio interviews and doing small tours!
Has your music been used on any film soundtracks?
No, but will eventually work on it.
Is it something you’d like to get involved in if the opportunity came along?
If the opportunity came along I think it would be an awesome opportunity!
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Just want to thank all of my fans for their support as well as all of the radio stations who have played my music and supported me!