Month: January 2014

Onward and Upward

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”
Nido Qubein

Everyone has a story. Every story has its’ own unique beginning. I like to think of life as a story, with each day being a new blank page to write on. So what happens when your story gets a little boring?

I used to think it was my fault, the lulls that come in between the exciting and forward moving motion. I am still learning that that is not entirely true. The good old cliché that one must feel joy to feel pain is disgustingly true. I just wish that the lows weren’t QUITE as low.

One of my biggest faults is comparing myself to others and what seemingly cool things go on in their lives. It’s very easy to get down on yourself when you feel that you are not doing enough to perpetuate wonderful things in your own life. Sometimes it is out your control, though. Frequently, when good news comes, it comes a lot at a time. The emails flood in filled with magazine features for our music, booking opportunities, record label inquiries, etc. But when they stop coming, so does everything else. So back to the mundane.

So how can a person create in their own life a way to keep something going? Me? I build it in my brain; I imagine us playing great rooms. I try to come up with ways to network and meet new people. I try to engage my Facebook followers with posts that will prompt them to share my status or page so that others will follow. Part of my many resolutions for the new year are to not let myself get into a slump that I feel I cannot escape. You can always get out of the shit, no matter how deep it is,

Now for my next cliché: someone always has it worse than you. This brings me back to my lovely quote (well, Nido’s lovely quote, but you know what I mean). Where ever you are starting from, be it a broken home, no money, disease, or a different type of debilitation, know that you are only moving forward. The valleys between the mountains are beautiful, so embrace the shadows. Dark leads to light. Keep your vision and you will get to it.

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Questions and Answers: Learn More About Me!

I was recently asked to be a featured artist in a magazine that will remain unnamed for now (the article will be out in February). I have answered some general questions for them and I thought they would make a great blog post! I will share the actual article when it is published.

I hope you enjoy!

When did you fall in love with music?

I don’t think I ever fell in love with music. I mean, I LOVE music, but it’s just always been a part of who I am. I was born with a love of listening to music and of making music. There are some people who can exist on this planet without music being important to them or it having a real impact on them. I don’t understand that.

How long have you been creating and performing music?

My first memories of singing go back to when I was 3 or 4. I picked up on everything; theme songs on shows, songs my mom and dad would play, and even those infomercials that sell those CDs packed full of doo-wop or of hits from the 70s.

In the third grade I started playing cello and played until ninth grade. Unfortunately in ninth grade I moved out of a school district that had a music budget to one that did not, and I didn’t own a cello. I needed a musical outlet so I started singing a lot more. That was 2004. In 2009 is when my band came together and we started playing out and building a following.

Tell the readers what your passions are and who or what motivates you to continue to strive in a cut throat industry?

It’s not just the music industry that is so cutthroat. It’s every industry. Modeling, politics, food and beverage- I’m sure even the yoga industry has its problems. I believe that the true ones, the people who ARE what they do (not the ones who just act the roll), will be the ones who succeed. It is way too easy to get down on the way things are today with the untalented becoming superstars while the uncovered Adeles remain struggling to even get a decent gig.

That’s when passion is the valiant winner. My passion is making music that speaks to me. If I believe in what the song is saying and I’ve worded it properly to convey the message I’m trying to get across, I think other people will get it. My passion is keeping the music real. People are dying for real music out there. That motivates me to keep doing this and to deliver.

How would you describe your music?

If Sade were to take over Mariah Carey’s body and write to tracks composed by Steely Dan, that might hit somewhere close to our sound. Our music is wholesome and dynamic. The lyrics are important. The drums are engaging. The chord structure of the songs gives our music depth. It’s real.

Describe your style in one or two words.

R&B Soul.

What forthcoming projects are currently in progress?

We currently have our second album baking in the oven. We tracked it in Rhinebeck, NY at Clubhouse Studios (Hey Paul!) back in November of 2013. It’s 100% original material and it’s sounding amazing. We are expecting that to drop in Spring 2014.

I have also some things under the radar that I’m waiting to hear back on as well, but it’s a secret so I don’t jinx it!

Who are your musical influences?

Anyone who knows me knows that Mariah Carey is my vocal hero. Her voice is so amazing. I have spent hundreds of hours listing to her records, maybe thousands.

My other influences are very diverse. These artists include Gwen Stefani, Sade, Whitney Houston, Jeff Buckley, Beyonce, Destiny’s Child, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Bolton, Steely Dan, Adele, Smashing Pumpkins, Dave Matthews Band, Erykah Badu, India Arie, Bonnie Raitt, Christina Aguilera, Anita Baker, Minnie Riperton, Prince, Marvin Gaye. The list goes on and on…

What influenced you to begin your music career?

In 2009, when I was in the height of my karaoke career (Ha. Ha.), I met Keith Slattery (Kanye West, DMX). He heard me singing at my favorite karaoke spot in Woodstock, NY and approached me about singing. I told him I was not singing professionally and that I did not even know where to begin. We exchanged contact info and he told me he could get me some gigs.

Low and behold he contacted me and I had my first gig. We started there and have never stopped.

What advice do you have for other indie artists trying to succeed?

Just keep doing it. Do not stop. Follow your instinct and do what works for you. Do NOT let anyone tell you that what you’re doing is wrong (unless you are constantly getting booed of stages and getting fired from gigs…then maybe you should change what you’re doing). STAY TRUE to yourself. Success is not always measured monetarily. Just be happy.

What is the hardest challenge you have encountered with building your fan base?

One of the hardest challenges in building my fan base has been getting my music in front of new people. You can share links on Facebook or Twitter all day long, but most people just scroll right by. I’ve even offered FREE downloads of my music with an increase in hits by only 4 or 5 people. I am about to drive through the streets blasting my music with my website painted all over the outside of my car to see if that helps.

Has anyone ever given you negative feedback on your music, if so how did you react to it?

The most criticism I’ve heard is about my first record, self-titled ‘Lindsey Webster’, was related to production and arrangements, and not so much about the music. My response to production criticism is that when you are paying for a record 100% out of pocket and have a budget of $25,000, what can you expect? Give me $100,000 and most likely the things being complained about will go away.

In terms of arrangements, I actually agreed with the criticisms, which consistently were too many solos and that the songs that dragged out too long. But ‘Lindsey Webster’ rung true to what we do live, with lots of sax and guitar solos. I don’t think we had a song three minutes or less on the first record. The next record, “You Change’, is definitely tailored it to be a little more commercial, but still music that represents who I am. I can’t wait to release it and hear what the people say!

What do you hope to gain by being featured artist?

Whenever there is an opportunity to be put in front of new people, I always hope to gain some new fans. I also have realized how much press helps to get venues to book you. So, bring on the fans and the gigs!

How important and how difficult is it to support your career with your own funding?

It is tough. A budget would have made a lot of the long roads I’ve traveled shorter. But we have also been able to be in control the entire way.

When you are up against people who are signed or even who have been sponsored, you don’t have the leverage of nice pictures, a great website, and the ability to tour, which in turn gives you some credibility. I think, though, that anyone who is really interested in me and my music knows and understands that it is a struggle. And can even respect what we have been able to do with so little.

Would you rather be signed or remain independent and why?

I would love to be signed. If I were a millionaire I might consider staying independent, but I’m not. Being a signed artist gives you credibility. It means that someone believes in you enough to put some money behind you (not to mention what the money helps you achieve). Once someone believes in you, it helps others to believe, too.

If you want to be signed, which label peaks your interest and why?

I do not have a particular label in mind. I do know that I want to sign with a label that has integrity and does right by the artist. I don’t believe that there is not one out there, either. I work with a lot of people who are honest and hard-working, and I want that to ring true in all areas of my career.

How has social media affected your career?

Social media has been a great help in my career. It becomes a little tough with getting drowned out by so many thousands people and their shameless self-promotion, but as long as you are engaging friends and fans with interesting topics, you will have success in getting peoples’ attention.  I use Facebook and Twitter to announce shows, talk about new songs, ask questions, and give general updates. It really helps spread the word.

Happy Newest of Years (and Blogs)

It’s that time of year again; the new time when we all decide what new things we want to accomplish with our new lives- and the reason I have created this new blog. Why? Because new is a great way to start.

I started a blog in September of 2013 with a great initiative. I posted twice for the first two weeks. Then a month’s time went by before the next post. Then another month. And now it’s the new year and I had not posted nearly as much as I had wanted to.

So you are witnessing part of my new year’s resolution. I don’t have a name for the resolution that this blog falls under, but I think it could be categorized under “Following Through”.

Really though, I am excited for each day of this year. It was December 31st, 2013 that my friend Gayle posted something on Facebook that really stuck with me. It was one of those generic pictures people put text on, usually something meaningful, like “Only You Can Be the Change”. You know, those lame things you tend to scroll by? But this one was awesome:

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one”. I really love this. It may just stick with me because I love to write, but how great would it be to contribute something each day that at the end of this year will count and make me proud to be who I am, and make up my little book of life?

I was worried that by this time I would have uncontrollably failed at my resolution(s), but they are sticking so far. It’s a change of attitude for me, really. And I refuse to look at it like this time of year is the only time to start anew. Our perception of time is so limited, anyway.

So, out with the old and in with the new, my friends. I am looking forward to this year and what each day will bring.