For any readers who may not know you, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your music?
I hail from Lake Oswego, OR, a small town outside of Portland. Currently, I reside in Los Angeles, where I am in the midst of releasing my debut EP, “Hide Away.” The title track and lead single was released just a few weeks ago, and the accompanying music video was posted last Friday! It’s a record I’m beyond proud of, and really hope that listeners feel the same way. Briefly, I’d say that I’m a songwriter and performer who allows and welcomes all of my experiences to infiltrate every moment of my music. I try to find inspiration in almost everything, be it other artists I grew up listening to or current trendsetters, or simply the environment and life around me. I love to explore the beauty that is putting my feelings into music. Characteristically, my tracks range in type from sweeping ballads to bouncing toe-tappers, songs in which I strive to encapsulate the quintessential human experience, with catchy and unique melodies, solid piano chord progressions and insightful lyrics. I write music that is designed to be felt and heard, and I hope that that experience is something that pleases those who check out my body of work.
Your new single Hide Away makes use some classic pop instruments such as the piano and strings, what was your musical inspiration behind the track?
“Hide Away” is a pop ballad that reflects on the importance of unconditional love and its ability to heal, which you can really feel in the production. It’s all emotion and rousing arrangements, and I positioned it as the intro track for the record because I feel that it sets the tone for the rest of the EP really well. I have been playing piano since the age of six (Santa brought my brother and me an upright Yamaha for Christmas that year), so when I write that’s where the instrumentation always starts. As such, “Hide Away” grew out of a basic chord progression I was really jiving with. The strings came into play while I was building the sonic bed of the song with my producer, John Coggins. We felt that the lyrics and the pattern of the melody, combined, naturally lent themselves to a song that builds from a whispering start to a momentous finish. The way we thought to structure that experience was to use a lot of strings and deeper production beds, layering them in as the song progresses. We also used a beautiful guitar line to add an acoustic element to help with this build, a piece of the song that came up sort of accidentally in the studio, but which ended up bringing a nice brightness to the track, a balance we thought was necessary in a piece that centers and feeds on such emotional subject matter.
The track will be a part of the EP of the same name which comes out in January 2017, what do you have in store for us on the EP?
My debut EP is a record that I am TRULY so proud of. The subject matter covers a variety of experiences and emotions, ranging from love to loss to the human experience, and everything in between. Within each of us there is a slew of feelings that result from our interactions with our environment and experiences, every day, and these songs touch on those, while trying to find light in the dark and enhance the beauty that is connection. There’s a balance there. It’s a record that is uplifting, soul-searching and heartfelt and, sonically, lush, strong and full, with bits of pop, alt-country and soul scattered throughout. The tracks on the record are all unique from one another, yet I believe tie together in a way that blends them to be a whole experience for the listener.
What was the pivotal moment in your life that you thought you would really like to make music for the rest of your life?
I’m not sure that there is a pivotal moment, as my curiosity and passion for music began at such an early age (thanks to my parents’ INCREDIBLE vinyl collection), and has developed, molded and evolved as I’ve grown up. If I had to chose one moment for performing it would probably be my senior year high school talent show. I was in charge of booking the talent and was auditioning a friend one night. She started singing something (I honestly can’t remember what) and I asked her if she could try something different, as a way of changing up the flare of the piece. I did a brief example and she stopped and demanded that we do a duet for the show. I was a bit thrown off, and tried to dissuade her, but she persisted. We ended up singing the theme song from the Zorro movie, and it actually brought down the house. Ever since that night, I’ve understood what it means to stand in front of an audience and to command their attention, not in a selfish or vain way, but in a way that brings everyone together via the experience of music. I’ve always been into poetry and creative writing, so songwriting came about as a natural progression of that, and really heated up after my move to LA. It’s a cathartic and healing process, and I’ve fallen so in love with the challenge of bringing lyrics to life through the building of songs. It’s a magical experience. Performing is amazing, especially when I get the chance to sing the National Anthem for teams like the Dodgers and the Clippers, but writing is something special and all-together different. The combination of the two is something else entirely amazing.
Last but not least, what are your plans for the immediate future? Writing, touring, performances?
As far as plans for the immediate future, we are smack-dab in the middle of the launch of my EP. Being in LA, there are a ton of incredible music venues, so we’re in the works to nail one down and put together an album release show, either sometime in late January or early February, following the release date of “Hide Away,” which is January 27th. I’ll make sure y’all know when that is if you’re local! Outside of this record, I’m already hard at work writing tracks for a follow-up EP (I’m ALWAYS writing), and booking more live performances and Anthems.
To hear Hide Away, click here