Page 36 - Fall 2013 Issue
P. 36

 From the moment I met Wendy Starland, and from our initial phone introduction, I knew she was someone and something special. I knew that I was not only blessed to be granted this interview, but from the perspective of a new journalist, this was no light feat. She is one of the warmest and kindest souls you would ever want to meet. Her energy is invigorating, and her soulfulness extends far beyond her music. She takes your spirit places through her gifts and captivating voice in song, and it is no different when you sit and spend time with her in person. There was no way I would visit LA on business and not look her up. We had already missed each other once during the holiday season in New York City, and I was not going to let that happen again. There are some people in your life you meet for a reason, others for a season... Wendy is one I hope to stay in touch with for this lifetime. Her commitment to family, friends, and the world through her music is phenomenal and she’s making sure that she not only gets connected with her audience, but stays there!
Welcome to the world of Starland!
By Stefany J.
HMM: How did you grow up?
WS: I grew up in New York City in a conservative household. My parents are loving and busy people. They hired a babysitter, a 250 pound gospel singer from the south, who basically became my second mother. She taught me how to sing by imitating the voices on the gospel radio station we listened to, both men and women's voices. By the time I was 6 or 7, I had learned several techniques of how to use my voice and was able to choose the sound I wanted to distinguish myself, so I started writing songs on the piano.
“I was always a dreamer growing up. I still have poems I used to write about singing from when I was a little girl. I guess I knew what I wanted pretty early on.”
Photo By: Ian Octoman
My grandfather was a painter and sculptor and my family trained me to follow in his footsteps - unlike my uncle who was a guitarist who played with Bruce Springsteen and opened for acts like The Allman Brothers and Black Sabbath. I had a rigorous training for painting, but was overworked and felt isolated being cooped up in a painting studio all day. I turned to music to let it all out. My grandfather, who was also my idol, was not pleased and said I was wasting my talent on music. My decision to pursue music instead of painting came after I was pulled up on stage by James Brown's saxophone player, Maceo Parker, and scatted on his stage for 20 minutes. It was written up in the newspapers the next day.

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