Page 38 - Fall 2013 Issue
P. 38

 HMM: What made you become a singer and who were some of your earlier influences?
WS: I've been singing since I was 3 and writing songs sinceIwas7.Itneverfeltlikeachoice,itwasjust something I always had to do - like breathing. Songwritingalsobecameanimportantoutletforme. MyunclemadesureIhadgreatmusicalinfluences from an early age and gave me The Police album, Synchronicity, which is still probably my favorite record of all time. My babysitter introduced me to Shirley Caesar's music and I instantly loved Gospel. I think those two influences in particular have a lot to do with how I sound today.
HMM: How hard was it breaking into the music business?Wehearstoriesallthetimeofpeoplewho try for years and never make it, and then other stories of overnight "in the right place at the right time" sensations. Which one do you think there's moreof?Thosewhopaytheirdues,oropportunity meeting preparation?
WS: I have been a combination of both. But there is nodoubtIhavepaidmydues.Ilearnedmycraftat such a young age and have been honing it ever since. The vast majority of artists who make it in this business are great at what they do and have put in thetimetogetthere-regardlessofwhetherornot you like their genre/songwriting style. Breaking into theindustryisawholeothercraftaltogether-itisa cutthroatbusiness.EveryoneIknowwhoisinthe business has a horror story - even the most successful ones. You may have to wait years for your big break, but when that time comes, you have to be flawless.
HMM:Howdoyoumaintainyourintegrityinan otherwise very competitive and sometime unscrupulous industry? WS:Iwasraisedwithastrongsetofvalues.Iam lucky to have the people around me that I do who will always keep me grounded. There will always be sharks and greedy people trying to tear you down, but it's who you are in the face of adversity or fear that truly defines you. Having integrity is a choice, and something I will continue to choose throughout my life.
HMM: What advice do you have for others who have THE dream? WS:Thisdreamrequires100%ofyourtime,effort, energy, courage, discipline, and faith. Be sure that youarepreparedforafullcommitment-andifyou are-getreadyfortherollercoaster.
HMM: What is it about music that makes you do what you do?
WS: Everything.
HMM: How difficult is it to maintain a work-life balance? What measures do you take to ensure that you have that? WS:IlovewhatIdosoitveryrarelyfeelssolelylike work. I am so grateful to spend almost all of my time making music. It is truly a privilege. I do have a group of close friends also known as "Team Fun" whocertainlyhelpmefindthatbalance.I'dconsider showing you a picture of what our Sunday Sunday looks like. We are typically poolside with a fruity cocktail.
HMM: Would you consider yourself a driven person? What makes you a powerhouse woman? WS:Iamdriventothepointofnoreturn.Thisis because I am so in love with what I do. To be a creator,yougettosetthemood.Youlearnabout yourself-yourstrengthsandweaknesses.Mypassion for music will never die and so I'll never stop.
HMM: What are some of the things you do to wind down and relax after grueling performances and preparationsforthem? WS:ToprepareforagruelingperformanceIwilldo vocal exercises that sound like I am imitating a tea kettle.Ihavetoholdmyjawtoisolatethemusclesin my throat, and it looks as bad as it sounds. But it does the trick! To wind down I will do the norm - take a hot bath and snuggle.

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