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Entries in Songwriter (59)

Monday
Nov272017

Call Answered: Conference Call: Barry Anderson & Lucia Spina: "WISH: The Anderson & Petty Holiday Songbook" charity album/concert for Housing Works

Lucia Spina, Photo Credit: Maia Rosenfeld PhotographyBarry Anderson, Photo Credit: Albert Lin PhotographyI love the holiday season for so many reasons, but what makes this holiday time extra special is getting to catch up with Broadway's Lucia Spina & meeting composer/lyricist Barry Anderson. She is not only part of Barry Anderson & Mark Petty's new album WISH: The Anderson & Petty Holiday Songbook, but she is directing their release concert as well as participating in it.

All profits from the album & concert will be donated to Housing Works, a local NYC organization supporting those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. WISH: The Anderson & Petty Holiday Songbook concert will be on Monday, December 4 at 7pm & 9:30pm at The Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th  & 10th Avenue, inside the basement of the West Bank Cafe). Click here for tickets!

The concert, hosted by MTV & VH1’s Amy Paffrath, features songs from the album sung by many of the original recording artists along with other performers from stage and screen. Scheduled to appear are (in alphabetical order): Christy Faber (Les MiserablesKinky Boots), Katie Goffman (Ghost tour, Wisco Queens webseries), Ellen Harvey (Present LaughterHow To Succeed…), Leah Horowitz (FolliesThoroughly Modern Millie), Natalie Joy Johnson (Legally BlondeKinky Boots), David LaMarr (Jersey Boys tour, La Mirada’s Dreamgirls), Kyle Taylor Parker (Kinky BootsCharlie & The Chocolate Factory), Jonathan Rayson (Little Shop of HorrorsA Year With Frog & Toad), Brian Charles Rooney (Threepenny OperaBedbugs), Drew Seeley (Another Cinderella StoryThe Little Mermaid), Lucia Spina (Legally BlondeSilence! The Musical), and Allie Trimm (13Bye Bye Birdie).

For more on Barry Anderson visit http://andersonandpetty.com and follow him & his writing partner, Mark Petty on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

For more on Lucia visit https://www.luciaspina.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram!

1. How did you come to work together on this project?

Barry Anderson: It just happened to come up casually in conversation. I had been talking to Lucia about the charity album while I was in the midst of recording it. She was the one who brought up the idea of an album release concert. I honestly hadn't even had time to think that far ahead. I'm so glad she offered to take the reins on it! It's a luxury to have someone as passionate and excited about putting the work in as Lucia has been.

Lucia Spina: One day, Barry & I were hanging out and we were talking about the new album and how it was going. I suggested he do a CD release concert to celebrate the album and let people hear the songs live, and I offered to direct/produce it. And that was that!

2. The album and subsequent concert is called Wish: The Anderson & Petty Holiday Songbook. What is your holiday wish this year?

Barry Anderson: My wish is for this country of ours to begin 2018 with a fresh, clean, LOVING slate. This year has been cray-cray, to say the least.

Lucia Spina: My holiday wish this year is that everyone comes to our shows on Monday 12/4 at The Laurie Beechman Theatre! Other than that, honestly and without any intended cheese-factor, I’d really like for everyone to be kinder to one another.

3. Out of all the charities out there, why did you want this concert to benefit Housing Works?

Barry Anderson: Aside from donating clothes to the location near my home every so often, I hadn't really done anything creatively for Housing Works before. Mark and I have enjoyed writing tunes for various charities and benefit concerts both here and in the U.K. for quite awhile. But we thought it would be fitting to reach out to Housing Works this time around, especially given the organization's focus on homelessness. The holidays seemed like a perfect time for doing it.

4. What do each of you like about the other's artistic vision as it lines up with your own - meaning, Barry what is about Lucia as a singer and director that made you go, I want to not only feature her on our album, but also have her direct this show? Lucia, what is about Barry & Mark's songs that made you want to sing them and help them put on this show?

Barry Anderson: I love Lucia's enthusiasm and ability to see the "down-the-road" big picture. It's been fun watching her brainstorm about casting ideas as well as how to best utilize and showcase the music. She's so well-established in the cabaret scene and Broadway community here she knows what works and what doesn't. She's also one of those singers who can handle just about anything you put in front of her. It's been great to have her record for us. And it's also been really fun to have her in a rehearsal studio and just workshop some of our things.

Lucia Spina: Well…I put them together, so I’m kind of invested in them. Barry & I were on tour with Legally Blonde and he mentioned he wanted someone to write with. I was Skype-ing with Mark and he mentioned he wanted someone to write with. So, I set up a facebook message introduction, and the rest is history. The first song of theirs I sang "Love Will Find Its Way" was featured on their first album You Are Home. I’m not sure if they wrote it specifically for me, but I was the first person to sing it and Barry and I wrote the back-up harmonies together. We’ll be featuring a few tracks from You Are Home in the concert and I’ll be singing "Love Will Find Its Way."

Lucia Spina5. What will excite audiences about this concert & album?

Barry Anderson: I think the quality of the product is what I'm most excited about in terms of the album itself. Cameron Moncur did the album orchestrations and is music directing the concert. He's fantastic. Wait until you hear what he's done with some of these songs! And our engineer Matthias Winter has also made this album completely shine. I'm beyond proud of and humbled by the talented singers and musicians who have given their time and creativity to both the album and the live concert. I really feel like each tune aligns perfectly with the people performing it.

Lucia Spina: Barry and Mark write really great songs and these holiday songs showcase them at the top of their game. I can’t stop listening to the CD. It’s been on repeat all day. The tunes are easy to settle into—they remind you of your favorite Christmas pop tunes but with a fresh, new take. They’re going to become part of your permanent Christmas CD collection. Also, the lineup of singers on the album is fantastic! New York audiences especially will drool over performances by Broadway favorites Sean Allan Krill, Alexa Green, Kyle Taylor Parker, Graham Scott Fleming, Brynn Williams, Allie Trimm, Ellen Harvey, Nic Rouleau, and of course the incomparable Liz Callaway. 

Composer/Lyricist team Mark Petty & Barry Anderson6. Lucia, what can you tell us about the song you will be performing? Barry, can you walk us through your writing process for this song? Did you write it with Lucia in mind?

Barry Anderson: "Love Will Find Its Way" was one of the very first songs I brought to Mark to collaborate with me on. He and I had a lot of fun with the idea of "self-love" and owning who you are. Not caring what other people think. It's not always the easiest thing to do. The vibe and feel of the tune was just kinda fun and hooky and a bit brass-y. Once we had the general song in place, we both knew Lucia could knock it out of the park. Hands down. It's the song she sings on our debut album, You Are Home. It'll be so much fun to have her do it live again!

7. Barry & Mark's debut CD, You Are Home: The Songs of Anderson & Petty came out in 2013 and Lucia, you sang on that album as well. When in your life, have you walked into a project or scenario that made you feel, "You Are Home"?

Lucia Spina: Barry & I have always had a great time collaborating and creating. I adore him as a friend and we have a fun, easy, midwestern rapport. But I also have come to treasure my long-time participation in Phil Geoffrey Bond’s Sondheim Unplugged. I’m in my 7th year of singing all sorts of Sondheim’s songs and I’ve been to so many wonderful artists, many of whom have become dear friends.

8. What's your favorite way to spend the holiday season in NYC?

Barry Anderson: My partner Rusty and I LOVE walking through the Christmas market they set up in Columbus Circle every year. It's charming. It's a bit of a tradition. I'm also a fan of a good holiday house party.

Lucia Spina: I usually return home to Chicago for Christmas, but I spend Thanksgiving with a small group of friends and it’s become a lovely new tradition. I religiously watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, The National Dog Show, and hit up the Holiday markets across the city.

9. The holidays are a time when people come together (I mean, people should come together year round, but I digress). What do you think is one way this nation can come together this holiday season and bring that unity into the New Year (aside from impeaching that loser running our country)? 

Barry Anderson: By fearing each other less and by looking into each others' eyes MORE.  #FeelsSoMuchBetterToLove :)

Lucia Spina: I agree with you, I think we should do a lot more "coming together" throughout the year. It shouldn’t be reserved for the holidays. I think as we all gather with our families we should contemplate that this isn’t an insular thing—millions of people all over the world are doing the same thing. At the heart of everything, how can we all be that different? Also, as we treasure being surrounded by those we love, maybe we can think of all the people who aren’t so lucky and how we can extend that joy to others as 2018 rolls in.

Barry AndersonMore on Barry:

Barry Anderson is a native of rural Wisconsin and graduated with a music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He has lived in New York City for over a decade where he’s worked as an accompanist/vocal coach, musical director and Broadway actor. His Broadway credits include Legally Blonde & Jersey Boys.

Lucia Spina, Photo Credit: Kevin Thomas Garcia PhotographyMore on Lucia:

Lucia Spina has appeared on Broadway five times, most recently as an original cast member of the Tony Award winning musical Kinky Boots. She has also graced regional and Off-Broadway stages originating roles in Winter Wonderettes, Fugitive Songs, as well as SILENCE! The Musical in which she appears on the original cast recording.

Sunday
Nov122017

Call Redialed: Aaron David Gleason: "Wry Observer"

Aaron David GleasonIt's so great to catch up singer/songwriter Aaron David Gleason on the heels of his new album Wry Observer being released last month. I really enjoyed learning about the making of this album, why Aaron waited 12 years between albums, finding his place in this world, his favorite things to do in NYC, and remembering his grandfather, Monty Hall, co-creator of the hit game show Let's Make A Deal.

Aaron will be celebrating the release of his new album with a concert this Tuesday, November 14 at Rockwood Music Hall (169 Allen Street) at 7pm! Click here for tickets!

Wry Observer is available via iTunes!

For more on Aaron be sure to visit https://www.aarondavidgleason.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer/singer/songwriter? David Bowie, Rufus Wainwright, Lou Reed, The Beatles....and a million others....but Bowie and Rufus at that age when you really decide.

2. Last month you released, your second album, Wry Observer, 12 years after your second album. Why did you wait 12 years in between albums? I was waiting because my first album got crushed by the press and by the industry after that. That hurt. I also felt like I wasn't as good as I would like to be. I had to reevaluate and take inventory. I did that. I came to New York where I was dressed down immediately! That was painful but necessary. I'm grateful for the New York kiss, as it were. Is that a term? Nope, just made it up. But there is a term, "Glasgow Kiss," and it was figuratively similar.

3. How do you feel you have grown as a singer/songwriter in these 12 years? I feel like I'm naked now as a singer. I'm not hiding behind artifice. That took me a long time, since despite what it seems, I'm very shy.

4. On November 14 you are celebrating the release of Wry Observer with a concert at Rockwood Music Hall. What are you looking forward to most about this concert? What are you most nervous about premiering this new music? Most looking forward to sharing this excitement with a crowd and a crowd mostly of friends. I love my band, and time stands still when we perform, so it will be nice to stop the clock again. As far as performing 10 songs in a row for the first time, yeah...trying not to think about that haha....

5. Why did you name the album Wry Observer? I've always felt like a reporter. Maybe it was a protective shield. I'm a watcher. I'm fascinated by the human condition. But I also know very much that as much as I think I'm the watcher, there will always be someone watching me. So...who is the wry observer? I think Rashoman has an interesting answer to that question.

6. One of the songs on your new album is "Place in the World." How did making this album help you find your place in this world? I'm a songwriter. As much as I love acting, or performing music, my deepest passion is songwriter. I think about it like a puzzle and talk about it ad nauseum.

Aaron David Gleason7. Another song you recorded for Wry Observer is called "Brooklyn at Dawn," an ode to the clarity and introspection that only exists in the wee hours of the morning. What is something you learned or got clarity on at the wee hours in the morning? There is no bravado early in the morning. So anything I've ever done by sheer bravado, doesn't count. When I'm up that early, I see myself in the most brutal but purifying light. It's not fun, but like meditation, its ripple effect of good is very appreciated.

8. One more song on the album is "Nueva York." What are some of your favorite things to do in NYC? How do you like to spend the holidays in NYC? Oh I love The Village and part of me just adores the funkiness of Alphabet City, though I'm sure it's a much more sanitized, homogenized place than in 1979, say. But there is a pulse there, and it's undeniable. I lived in Greenpoint for 7 years--I'm so grateful for that time, it fed my soul a lot. Holidays? I live in Tarrytown now, it's pretty beautiful around that time.

Monty Hall, "Let's Make A Deal"9. In these 12 years between albums, what is the biggest change you made in your life that you feel allowed you to finally make new music? The biggest change has just been to incrementally follow the path to humanity instead of lusting after celebrity. I lust after humanity now and it's much more gratifying.

10. This past September your grandfather, Monty Hall (co-creator of the game show Let's Make A Deal) passed away. What is something you learned from your grandfather about the world of entertainment? What do you miss most about him? The world of entertainment is a mirage...a very beautifully crafted one. Life is family and good deeds and loyalty--he embodied that more than humanly possible at times. That education will never leave me. He always asked how my gigs went. I miss very much sharing victories with him. But it's my job now to be that to someone else. So Adam, tell me what's going on in YOUR life :)

Aaron David Gleason, Photo Credit: Alex TurshMore on Aaron:

Singer-songwriter Aaron David Gleason isn’t afraid to think outside of the box. His approach to creating his music is nothing less than inspired -- years in the making, his new album, Wry Observer, finally expresses exactly the things he’s needed to say.

Wry Observer was recorded over four days at Nashville’s Sputnik Sound with producer Brad Lindsay. Filled with mystery and humor, the album offers insight on what Aaron has learned about life in the past 15 years – after overcoming several obstacles both personally and professionally, he’s arrived at a place where his songs tell his stories the way he wants them to be told, with his unique wit weaved in.

During a nine-year hiatus from music, he moved from Los Angeles to New York City, embarked on an acting career and eventually started over from scratch with music. Now 38, with the aid of therapy and a new-found community of artist friends in New York and Nashville, he’s made another record – 12 years after his last.

Offering matured songwriting, a liberated vocal and experimentation with open tuning, the songs on the album dovetail into each other musically and thematically. "The Last To Die In Battle," written about England’s infamous 15th-century king Richard III, flows into the title track, which represents many things for Aaron. He’s felt like an observer for much of his life -- a journalist of sorts taking notes on the world around him -- though the song is ultimately about his wife and how she helped him heal. "Pops" then offers a tribute to The Staple Singers and how their music also helped Aaron through tough times, along with fragments of his own relationship with his father. "Nueva York," and its poetic take on New York’s persuasive powers are juxtaposed with "Brooklyn At Dawn," an ode to the clarity and introspection that only exists in the wee hours of the morning.

Aaron released In Flagrante Delicto when he was 22 with his then-band All Hours. With its collage of pointed lyrics and song fragments that only touched the surface of his ability to create quality songs. The band and their label eventually parted ways, and Aaron later self-produced a self-titled album. Both were lessons that he needed to experience to arrive at the music he’s making now – and Wry Observer is finally, genuinely, him.

Surrounded by music and entertainment for much of his life as the son of Tony Award-winning actress Joanna Gleason and the grandson of Let’s Make A Deal co-creator Monty Hall, Gleason released his first album when he was 22, and later self-produced a self-titled album. He eventually moved from Los Angeles to New York City, embarked on an acting career and now started over from scratch with music. Now 38, with the aid of therapy and a new-found community of artist friends in New York and Nashville, he’s made another record – 12 years after his last – an album that is finally, genuinely, him.

Friday
Oct132017

Call Answered: Michael Mott: Abandoned Heart

Michael Mott, Photo Credit: Michael Kushner PhotographyWhen I saw the list artists singing on Michael Mott's new album Abandoned Heart, I knew I had to take a listen. What I heard were songs filled with raw emotion in regards to love & relationships. From finding love to losing love, Michael has a voice all his own. And he's found a group of performers, including Brian Justin Crum, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Natalie Weiss, Shayna Steele, & Jenna Ushkowitz, who really knew how to help bring these songs to life!

Abandoned Heart is available now on iTunes and Broadway Records along with his new single "More Than Me," which benefits Puerto Rico.

For more on Michael be sure to visit http://www.michaelmott.net and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, & YouTube!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a composer/lyricist? Honestly, the piano. I dreaded playing the rudimentary exercises my piano teacher required of me, so I'd go off and make up my own compositions. I've always written ever since I was a little kid, but didn't really explore this talent seriously until I applied to the BMI Musical Theatre Writer's Workshop in 2012 in NYC. Going through that program gave me the confidence and skill set to pursue writing full time.

2. You just released your new CD Abandoned Heart, a variety of feel good pop, anthemic soul and introspective ballads. How do you feel you struck "Gold" with this album? Haha. Well, as corny as this sounds, I truly wrote all of these songs from the heart. Over the past few years I've found my artistic voice as a songwriter and these songs are written from a place of truth. While this is stylistically very different from my first album, Where The Sky EndsAbandoned Heart explores the type of music I truly love creating and am inspired by as a fan of music.

3. You have stated that this album helped you find your own individual voice and point of view as a writer and singer. How do you feel this album did that? Not to discredit my first album, but I feel like I was trying very hard to say "Look! I can write in any style or genre!" with that record. I was trying to appeal to a more high brow audience and show everything I could do, which almost made that record feel like a sampler platter. Abandoned Heart is a much more cohesive album. It has a true beginning, middle and end. I honed in on the styles and genres that speak to me as a fan first and foremost and then wrote from my heart and soul.

4. Since the album is called Abandoned Heart, when have you abandoned your heart? This can get pretty deep, pretty quickly. Let's just say working on this album taught me A LOT about myself. Haha. When I was going through the process of naming this project I was listening to these songs over and over again and beginning to analyze lyrics. I don't know why I write what I write, I just write! When I was trying to dissect every phrase, I realized  that every song was written from a place of yearning or longing. Each song on this record deals with a heart crying for acceptance. Hence, Abandoned Heart.

5. Which songs were the easiest to write? Which ones gave you the most trouble? I wrote "Gold" in a matter of 15-20 minutes sitting in the park. "My Favorite Color" also came to me pretty quickly. It's funny because the rest of these songs are like the fourth or fifth versions of these songs. "So Relentless," "Minefield of Love" and "Breathless" all had completely different choruses. It was after I had demo'd them and listened back that I realized what I wanted to do to evolve them into what they are now. I would actually love to do a concert or workshop or something and show the earliest versions of these songs. It's very interesting to see just how different they were in their first draft stages. "Minefield of Love" was originally called "Ask Me To Stay" and had this interesting country/rock vibe. "Breathless" was called "My Man" and had a totally different hook. Listening back on those earlier versions now, they're extremely inferior to the current versions. Thankfully I had the common sense to know I could do better, haha. It's very important for artists to give themselves the time and space to allow the material to grow and evolve. You can not undermine the creative process.

Michael Mott6. How do you prepare for a day of writing? What is your writing process like? Do you say today I'm going to write my emotional songs and then I will tackle my more upbeat songs or vice versa? How do you decompress writing songs? I wish I knew. I've found that when I sit down with the intention to write is when I usually come up with the worst material that makes me feel like the most untalented human being on earth. It's funny because once I allow myself to be in this place, suddenly the flood gates open and I am receptive to inspiration; my subconscious opens and melodies, lyrical phrases and ideas start coming to me in the most inopportune times (see: showering, working out, walking to the park, etc).

7. Your song "Complicated" is about someone holding on to a relationship that seems to be ending. When you write a song like this, if it's based upon your own experience, how far out from this relationship were you when writing it? What do you feel as you write it? Freedom or the anger/frustration of the situation? This song is based on a relationship I was in last fall. I was head over heels for this guy, but he was scared of commitment. We fell for each other and then he pulled away. It's very therapeutic to be able to sit down at the piano and allow the music to do all of the work for me. That song encapsulates exactly how I felt in that relationship and Eric LaJuan Summers' vocal performance is exquisite. I couldn't ask for a better vocalist. He's such a star.

Michael Mott at the "Abandoned Heart" release concert8. I love the different styles of music on your album. How did you know they would all blend together so well? Thank you, I appreciate that. I honestly don't think about it. I just knew I was writing from a place of truth and wanted to write with a more fresh, contemporary pop sound and that was that. It also helped that I worked with one music producer on the entire album, so we were able to hone in on a certain tone that was all encompassing on the entire record. Rich Matthew produced and made everything sound like a million bucks.

9. Another song on the album is "My Favorite Color." So, what's your favorite color? I enjoy a dark blue or black. Let's go with black as the black heart emoji has been part of the branding experience of this new album.

10. If you had the opportunity to write songs for five of your favorite artists, who would you want to write for? Well, I have been lucky enough to have worked with most of my favorite artists from the Broadway and television worlds, including everyone on this album and my first album. That is something I do not take for granted at all! However, it would be an absolute dream come true to write with Mariah Carey, Billy Joel, Sia, John Mayer and P!nk. I love collaborating because I learn so much from the writers and artists I'm working with. You can not get any better than those legends and it would be a dream come true to be able to work with them in any capacity.

Michael Mott, Photo Credit: Cristin DownsMore on Michael:

Michael Mott  is a composer, lyricist, singer, actor and voice teacher living in NYC. Born and raised in New Hartford, New York, Michael graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Musical Theatre Performance. After graduating, he moved to New York City and enjoyed a successful career performing in numerous Off-Broadway, regional and national touring shows. In 2012 he decided to shift his focus to writing and was accepted into the prestigious BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Writer’s Workshop. He has since been named one of Playbill's "Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know."

Michael's debut album, Where The Sky Ends, is a compilation album of his original theatre, jazz and pop music performed by some of the best singers on Broadway, co-produced by Mott and legendary orchestrator/ producer, Kim Scharnberg. The LP has been referred to as "a masterpiece" by Broadway World and was released by Grammy Award Winning label, Broadway Records on June 17, 2014. Due to popular demand, Where The Sky Ends: The Dance Remixes was released by the same label on October 14, 2014 and spawned the popular dance track, "Gone" (Julian Marsh Ethereal Mix). In 2016 he composed a Christmas single for Broadway star, Laura Osnes, co-produced by Mott, Scharnberg and Jeremy Roberts. "Christmas, Will You Stay?" was released digitally on his own label, Motta Music, on December 6, 2016.

Michael has had the great fortune of working with some of the best singers in the business both in the recording studio and on stage in his touring show, Michael Mott & Friends. His collaborations include TONY Award Nominees Jeremy Jordan, Laura Osnes, Jennifer Damiano, Orfeh, Sierra Boggess, Zachary Levi, Jenna Ushkowitz, Andy Mientus, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Adrienne Warren, Justin Guarini, Brian Justin Crum, Shayna Steele, James Snyder, Jackie Burns, Mitch Jarvis, Michael Lanning, Marissa McGowan, Crystal Monee Hall, Loren Allred, Natalie Weiss, Teal Wicks, Jason Gotay, Ryan Silverman and countless others. As composer/ lyricist, Michael’s original musicals include In The Light (book by Nathan Wright and Justin Silvestri), The Don (book by Corey Skaggs) and Lucifer (co-lyricist, Mike Squillante, book by Corey Skaggs). He co-conceived and composed music to the original ten minute musical, Riding Out The Storm, written with lyricist and librettist, Christine Toy Johnson. Additionally, he has written and recorded several stand alone pop/ R&B/ top 40 songs.

Friday
Sep082017

Call Answered: Lisa Loeb: "Lullaby Girl", "Stay", & Broadway dreams

Lisa Loeb"So, I, turned the radio on and I turned the radio up" and 23 years later, I'm still listening to Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb. "Truthfully" it was a dream come true to interview Lisa about her upcoming family album Lullaby Girl. I have always found Lisa's songs and lyrics to be inquisitive, sophisticated, and right on the money when I needed a song to get me through the rough times, but also to celebrate the good times!

Lullaby Girl, out October 6, is a new Amazon Original family music album available for streaming exclusively through Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music, as well as for digital download or physical purchase through Amazon Music. Lullaby Girl offers fresh and dreamy arrangements of 13 classic songs from a variety of genres with a world-class quartet led by keyboardist Larry Goldings. Originally planned as a traditional lullaby record for children, Loeb and her collaborators found a uniquely different path during the recording process and realized this would be an album for kids and adults alike.

Lullaby Girl features such familiar songs as "Be My Baby" (The Ronettes), "All the Pretty Little Horses," "Dream a Little Dream," "What the World Needs Now Is Love," "O-o-h Child," "In My Room" (Brian Wilson), and "Tomorrow" from Broadway's Annie as well as Lisa’s original songs, "Close Your Eyes" and "Lullaby Girl." 

Lullaby Girl will be available October 6 and can be pre-ordered here!

For more on Lisa be sure to visit https://www.lisaloeb.com and follow Lisa on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube!

Lisa Loeb1. Who or what inspired you to be a singer/songwriter? No one really inspired me. I always had music around me. I also had access to choosing my own music, whether it was picking out a record I wanted to hear or radio station I wanted to listen to, so there was a lot of involvement in music. I also enjoyed doing musical theatre as a kid and learning the popular songs of the time. Like a lot of my constituents, I took piano lessons when I was six or seven years old and started writing music back then. So, music has always been a part of me.

Me: Since you mentioned musical theatre, I hope one day on your plan is to come to Broadway and do a show.

Lisa Loeb: I would love it. We are always talking about it and figuring out if there’s an opportunity there and trying to make it happen because that would be very exciting. It would be like a dream come true. On my newest record, Lullaby Girl, coming out October 6, I recorded "Tomorrow" from Annie. It was so much fun to record. I just love to sing and dance. It'd be great to be in a musical.

2. This October you are releasing your new family album Lullaby Girl, a collection of classic songs from a variety of genres. What do you like about recording children's music or making music that can be shared by children & adults alike? It’s funny, this record is the least kind of kid's record we made. In fact, somebody was asking us, when we were figuring out how to promote the record, what were the focus tracks for kids? That is almost impossible to figure out because there was really no kids and grown-ups in it. It was just songs I loved growing up and a few originals too. I think traditionally for my kids records we write or choose songs that have a different element about them than my grown-up songs. For children, they are not always about relationships, in that traditional romantic relationship way, they are more about experiences. There’s a more colorful vivid element to the lyrics and I think I tend to do a little more experimenting with music styles. With this newest record, we were working with standards and I think when I was a kid, kids were just expected to live in the grown-up world, not in a bad way, but just there was a little bit more sophistication, humor and silliness, but not in a kid-centered way, the music still appealed to kids and I think that’s what I continue to try to do and feel that is what’s happening with my music.

3. Before we get to this new album, let's go back to 2003 when you released your first children's album. At that time, what made you want to move into children's music? I think it was inspired by my love for kid’s things. I’m really sentimental. While I listened to a lot of adult music like The Mamas and the Papas, Led Zeplin, classical music, and musical theatre, there were a handful of children’s records that really spoke to me like Marlo Thomas' Free To Be You and Me and Carole Kings' Really Rosie.

Making children's music was more about capturing my childhood and sharing that than performing for kids. I think grown-ups who have a connection to their own childhood might connect to it better. That music is timeless. After I made Catch The Moon, my first kid’s record, I moved into doing an album of summer camp songs, but it again it was more about me sharing my experience and reminiscing.

Lisa Loeb4. I am loving your renditions of "Be My Baby" and "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" on Lullaby Girl. What was the biggest challenge in stripping down these songs from their original version and turning them into more acoustic/lullaby songs? Well, it was less about stripping down and more about reinterpreting these songs. We were specifically trying to do a lullaby record so we had to find tones in the instruments that set the mood for the different phases of sleep. With the songs that were most familiar like Fleetwood Mac’s "Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow," we really had to do something different to give that rhythmic feel. We wanted versions that were interesting. Each song was interpreted in a different way, but tried to be true to the original arrangement of the song. Other songs we tried to interpret directly because we felt that represented the song best, like "Dream A Little Dream." As we looked at the big picture of all the different songs we were doing, we were trying to approach them at different angles so the audience can go to different places, but still be in that world of lullaby.

5. Your original songs "Lullaby Girl" & "Close Your Eyes" are terrific. They fit so well in this album. Did you write them first and then centered the other songs & sound around them or was it the other way around? We wrote "Close Your Eyes" while were in the middle of choosing songs for the record. We weren’t sure how many covers & how many original songs were going to be there, so we started choosing the songs and what they might sound like and then in the middle of that process, my collaborates, Larry, Rich, & I wrote "Close Your Eyes." We did want something that would fit instrumentally with the group of musicians we knew would be playing with us. Then we were about to write another song, but I remembered writing some other lullabies, so I looked back in my catalog and saw I had a couple of songs and I found "Lullaby Girl," which is a little more modern than some of the other songs on the record, but I feel like with the placement after "All The Pretty Little Horses," it picks up on that singer-songwriter feel.

"Lullaby Girl" was a song I wrote with my friend Cliff. We were visiting Nashville and it was my first day there and it was very late at night, so I called to wish my daughter "Good Night" and after I hung up the phone, Cliff & I were like, "Well, we’re in Nashville, so we should write a song." So we decided to write a song inspired by that moment of me calling my daughter, which became "Lullaby Girl."

6. This past May, "Stay" celebrated its 23rd anniversary! Looking back over your career and life these past 23 years, and since "Stay" was on the Reality Bites soundtrack, when was there a time, you said to yourself, "Reality Bites!, like it just really stinks"? I definitely think there are challenges in the direction the music industry is going for musicians. For listeners it’s awesome, we can get any song we want, anytime, with all these different apps we have. I mean, my mom used to have to drive me to some weird part of town to find albums and songs, and now we just push a button. For musicians it's tough because a lot of income goes away. It’s not what we expected. When you’ve been doing this for a long time, you think you’ll get royalties, but when listeners can get everything for free, the checks aren’t coming in. It makes it hard to do the job if it’s not paying for itself. I think most industries are taking a hit that way, you know budgets are down all over the place. The most stressful part is when you love what you are doing and you know there is an audience out there, but you still have to think about how is this a business and the way in which it works. I think any artists or entrepreneur will always need to be concerned with the business side of things, but I just feel the break point has changed especially since it’s such a do-it-yourself kind of world. I’ve always been hands-on and love connecting with fans, but the balance has shifted a lot. We need a little bit more time to create our art and less time to create social network strategies.

7. In your song, "The Way It Really Is," you sing "Maybe what if it could be the way I wish it really was. Maybe I don't want to see it the way it really is." What is something that you did you want to see "The Way It Really Is"? I think it’s mostly relationship situations. I’ve been in relationships where I ignore the immediate signs of what is not working. It’s said that when you break up with somebody, the reason you break up is the reason you knew in the beginning it wasn’t going to work out. It’s ignoring those blatant signs and then you look back and go, "Ugh, I knew that was the reason it wasn't going to work."

8. If you could invite 4 people to have "Cake & Pie" with, you would you invite and what kind of "Cake & Pie" would you have? That’s such a hard question. I’m never good at narrowing down people. Elton John would be really fun. Patton Oswalt the comedian would be great too. If it were non-famous people, I would choose my husband and my three best friends. I would serve yellow cake with a light coating of chocolate frosting and sprinkles as well as cherry pie from Earth Café.

9. This next question is in sort of in line with the work you do for Muddy Puddle Project, which reminds kids and adults to always try to enjoy life, take small moments and not put them off until later. If this was your last day on earth, what would you want to do that you haven't done yet? I wouldn’t say I haven’t done this, but I would love to go the Caribbean and put my feet in the gorgeously warm turquoise water and that beautiful white sand.

10. I have a new segment to my interviews called "I Can See Clearly Now" where I like to clear up any misconceptions out there. What do you feel is the biggest misconception out there about yourself? People think I’m kind of quiet and timid. I think that comes from the fact I’m a small person and was so emotional in my video for "Stay." But, I’m not. I’m an outspoken business person who’s not so quiet.

11. I also have a section on my website called "One Percent Better" where, through my own fitness commitment, I try to inspire people to improve their lives by one percent better everyday. What is something in your life that you want to improve by 1% better everyday? That’s cool. Sleeping. It’s always on my mind and I do think to make it better everyday. I’d like to sleep more and sleep better.

12. What is a quirk about yourself that your friends make fun of you for? When I was kid I used to get made fun of for my love of David Bowie. I would always get so excited about his music and anytime I would tell my friends “Guys, you have to listen to this song by David Bowie, it’s called "The Bewlay Brothers" or other tracks from the Hunky Dory record, they’d always make fun of me for it.

Lisa Loeb, Photo Credit: Juan PatinoMore on Lisa:

Grammy nominated Lisa Loeb is a singer-songwriter, producer, touring artist, author and philanthropist who started her career with the platinum-selling Number 1 hit song "Stay (I Missed You)" from the film Reality Bites. A trailblazing independent artist, Lisa was the first pop musician to have a Number 1 single while not signed to a recording contract. She followed that remarkable feat with the hit singles "Do You Sleep," "I Do," and "Let's Forget about It" and the albums Cake and Pie and No Fairy Tale, among others.

Lisa continues to craft irresistible pop songs for the 21st century, while designing Lisa Loeb Eyewear, writing children's books, and supporting non-profit causes. The Los Angeles based mother of two is well-known to parents and kids for her albums Catch the Moon (with Elizabeth Mitchell) and Amazon Music exclusives, Nursery Rhyme Parade! and Feel What U Feel (featuring Craig Robinson and Ed Helms). She has also published two picture book-CDs for Sterling Children’s Books: Lisa Loeb’s Songs for Movin’ and Shakin' and Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing Along.

In addition to these family albums, Lisa's Camp Lisa raises funds for The Camp Lisa Foundation to allow kids, who wouldn't normally have the opportunity, to go to summer camp, and in 2015, the American Camp Association, New England named Lisa Loeb as their Camp Champions Honoree.

Lisa's recent film and television appearances include Netflix’s Sandy Wexler, TV Land’s Teachers, Amazon’s Creative Galaxy, @Midnight with Chris Hardwick, Last week Tonight with John OliverAbout a Boy, and Hot Tub Time Machine 2. Lisa is currently touring around the United States and Canada, releasing new styles of her signature eyewear through Lisa Loeb Eyewear, and will soon be releasing music videos to coincide with her Amazon Music family record, Feel What U Feel.

Thursday
Sep072017

Call Answered: Aliyah Moulden: "The Voice" & Netflix's "Anastasia: Once Upon A Time"

Aliyah Moulden, Photo Credit: Anthony TopmanWhen you hear someone like Aliyah Moulden sing, you are immediately entranced! Watching her on Season 12 of The Voice was a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat moment. But how exciting to see her make it into the final Top 3, becoming the youngest contestant ever to secure a spot in the Top 3!

What a joy to talk with this rising star! From getting the inside scoop about her time on The Voice to working with Blake Shelton to landing a leading role in Netflix's upcoming film Anastasia: Once Upon Time, Aliyah and I discuss it all!

For more on Aliyah be sure to visit https://www.aliyahmoulden.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and IMDB!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? When I was five years old I watched Rhianna performing on MTV. I thought to myself, "I want to do that." Rhianna totally became my ideal artist.

Aliyah Moulden, Photo Credit: NBC/Universal2. You just completed a run on NBC's The Voice, being the YOUNGEST contestant ever to secure a spot in the Top 3. What was that experience like for you? What was the best part about being on the show and what was the most challenging part? I did become the YOUNGEST contestant to ever secure a spot in the Top 3. The best part was performing on The Voice stage. It was an awesome experience. The most challenging part of the show was preparing a performance in such a short period of time. I wanted to do my best every time, and it was so very stressful.

3. What was it like having Blake Shelton as your coach? What is one piece of advice he gave you that you took with you? Blake Shelton was the most amazing coach to me. He helped me as much as he could. He was very caring towards me. He was like a father role model to me. He advised me to be aware of the audience, and to perform songs that were appealing to them.

Blake Shelton and Aliyah Moulden performing on "The Voice", Photo Credit: NBC/Universal4. At just 15 years old, you have gotten lots of attention from your time on The Voice. How do you handle this change? I am 15 years old. I never imagined that I would get that far in the show. I thank all the people who supported me during my time on The Voice. I hope that the attention from The Voice puts me on the path for me to getting closer to my dream of becoming an artist.

5. You just recorded your first EP, which features the song, "We Own The World." If you could own the world, what would you do with it? I would love to contribute to make this a better world. I hope that in the future I am able to help children in poverty and to work on getting rid of cancer.

Aliyah Moulden, Photo Credit: Aliyah Moulden6. In addition to music, you are also concentrating on your acting roles. What do you get from acting that you don't get from singing? I love acting. It provides me with the opportunity to get into the people’s homes, and to share precious moments.

7. One exciting role you just booked is on Netflix's Anastasia: Once Upon a Time where you play an ’80s pop star, who encounters the young "Anastasia"(played by Emily Carey), when "Anastasia" emerges through the time portal. What made you want to be part of this film? What do you identify most with your character? What is one characteristic of your character you are glad you don't possess yourself? I wanted to be a part of this film to have the opportunity to work with such talented and promiment actors, writers, and music producers. I identify most with the character as she is a pop singer. I love to sing myself. The only thing characteristic that I am glad I don’t posess is that I do love my present time. The ‘80s is a wonderful time, but this to me is the best time.

8. In addition to starring in this family comedy, you will write and perform several original songs for the film. How did you get to score such a high honor to not only star in the show but to get to write & perform several songs? I can only thank the producers of the movie for such high honor. I am so thankful to the producers Armando Gutierrez, Eli Lipnik, Peter Lees,  Bret Jone, and Blake Harris, for taking the time and writting a part just for me. I am grateful for them to think so highly of me. I am so happy that they believe in me to write, and perfom several songs in the film.

Aliyah Moulden, Photo Credit: NBC/Universal9. From all this success you are having, what is something you feel you've learned about yourself throughout this process? What is something about yourself you are worried about losing? I am thankful for the success I am having. I have learned that I have to work really hard and to stay focused to achieve my goals. I am worried about loosing some part of my private life.

10. I have a new part to my interviews called "I Can See Clearly Now." We all know the internet can write things about us that sometimes aren't true. So, what is something you want to clear the air about yourself that you feel is getting out there about you that is simply not true? I would like to clear up about myself that I do not have a boyfriend at this time.

11. I also have a section on my website called "One Percent Better" where through my own fitness regime, I encourage people to improve their life by one percent better everyday. What is something about yourself that you want to improve by 1% better everyday? I would like to work out more, & back to my fitness regiment to improve my life.

Aliyah Moulden, Photo Credit: NBC/UniversalMore on Aliyah:

Aliyah Moulden is a super-vocalist powerhouse and triple threat performer, who leaves audiences spellbound just at the age of 15. Savvy musicians compare this young artist to legends such as Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Adele. Aliyah just completed a stint as a contestant on The Voice 2017, achieving the top 3 status on one of the top rated music shows on NBC. During her time on the show, she worked with the award winning artist and country singer, Blake Shelton, as her personal coach. She credits Blake for giving her an incredible advantage as a performer. Other career highlights include opening for Beyoncé protégés Chole X Hale, preforming at BET Experience LA Live in 2016, opened for the cast of Disney’s Channel’s Shake It Up, after party opener for platinum singer Jesse McCarney, did a National summer tour with Michael Deleasa, with continuous collaborations with Alessia Cara, Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani, Zedd, Adam Levine, Jennifer Hudson and much more. She is proud of the completion of her first EP which features the song "We Own the World" written by Multi-Platinum producer Drew Lane (Hannah Montana and High School Musical). She was also a part of the National Official Stand Up Tour 2015, conducted by Peggy Lafrate Senior Director of Sales at Teen Life and President at Strega Entertainment Group. Ms. Lafrate was previously Radio Disney’s Northeastern regional manager. As an ambassador for the tour, Aliyah recorded the theme song for the Tour with American Idol Finalists Robbie Rosenlive, in collaboration with up and coming band The House on Cliff, and other artists. In the acting world, she just booked a lead role in Netflix original film Anastasia: Once Upon A Time.