Interview w/ Shiragirl

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Artwork by : Sophia Bonafide

The Camera Affect Promotions had the pleasure of sitting down with New York native Shiragirl before her set during Vans Warped Tour to discuss everything from the creation of her own stage to her EP ‘Brooklyn Goes Hollywood’ to playing with Joan Jett. If you want to find out more about what Shiragirl had to say, keep reading below:

What was your reaction when you found out that this was going to be the last year of Warped?

I was super sad. I actually found out in 2017 that 2018 was going to be the last full cross-country run. I was bummed, it definitely felt like the end of an era.

What was your reaction when you were asked to come and play?

I was so happy and so excited and just honored to be included. Yeah, really happy.

So, I know that the Shiragirl Stage came about in a really unique way, correct me if I’m wrong. You pretty much asked Kevin (Lyman) if he could include more female bands on the lineup and he said maybe next year and you just did it anyways. 

Yep that’s exactly it!

What was that like knowing you had kind of “defied” him and you ended up with your own stage?

So how it happened was I was on the tour the previous year and I had noticed there were no female musicians and I said “hey can we come back and host some girl bands maybe in the Girls Garage Tent and he said “great idea, maybe next year.” We just decided lets do it anyway. We drove into the gates and set up and we had a little punk-rock set up. We just thought a year seemed so far away when you’re a kid, you know, and we thought why not and he walked up and we kind of held our breath because we didn’t know if we were going to get kicked out or what not and he just looked around and said “alright Shira, so you’re on for the whole tour” and it was both kind of an invite and almost a challenge. It felt really good to be able to then come back the next year and we were invited back to do an official stage, which Kevin named the Shiragirl Stage and host all those bands including Paramore on their first ever tour.

That’s wild. I heard that and was like “she’s a badass.”

Aww thank you!

 So as a female in a predominantly male dominated scene, did you find that you had to prove yourself when you played your first Warped Tour? Do you find that you still have to prove yourself now?

Oh absolutely, one hundred percent. We definitely had to prove ourselves. In a male dominated space women definitely have to work twice as hard to get the respect a man gets and that’s just how it is, and when we first started out there were bets against us finishing the tour. We were not taken seriously. People would say “this area back here is only for the bands” and we would say “we are the band” you know? Even now there’s a lot more exposure and representation but it’s still not equal and I feel like there’s this misconception that we’re all equal now but if you look at the numbers it’s just not true.

Did they come to respect you more overtime or was there something that you did that made them respect you?

I think just working really hard absolutely, building relationships on the tour and also just kicking ass, playing our instruments well, rehearsing, taking our craft seriously, that’s important too, putting the hours in and being good at what we do.

 Makes perfect sense. I know you’ve been called the Punk-Rock Madonna, where did that name come from?

It’s so funny, actually this girl Rose who is in a band called Anti Hero who played our stage in Canada, she’s from Toronto, she first said that to me and it kind of just stuck with our team. I think that our manager put it into a press release or a bio that made its way to Billboard and then Billboard kind of coined it last year when they premiered our first single. After Billboard said it I thought “oh my gosh, it’s official,” and I love it. Madonna is a huge influence of mine so it’s a compliment.

Your EP Brooklyn Goes Hollywood showed the juxtaposition between Hollywood and New York where you’re from. Did the title come before the sound of the album or did the sound of the album influence the title? 

That’s a good question. I think it was a big theme because our whole band is from New York, at least my drummer and bassist, the three of us really co-wrote that record and we wanted to achieve this fusion of a sound that was like the dancy pop fun aspect meets this harder punk-rock sound. I actually wanted to write a song called Brooklyn Goes Hollywood, I’ve had that in my mind forever. As songwriters, you often think of the song title before you think of the song sometimes and so it never became a song but then when we were talking about the album name I just thought this is like, the perfect way to describe the duality of the record.

What was it like having Joan Jett play your stage?

That was a dream come true! So Joan was on the tour, she used to bike over to the side of our stage and watch the girl bands and she actually gave me a pep talk because about halfway through the tour half my band quit, first my drummer then my guitarist quit. I was super upset, we were hosting all these bands, and she knocked on my RV door, sat on the couch next to me, looked me in the eye and said “you’re doing a good thing and you have to keep going.” She said “girls like that make girls like us look bad and you’ve got to keep going” and I said “okay I’ve got to keep going because Joan Jett told me to.” The last day of that tour was when it had kind of been discussed that she would do a special appearance with her manager and it was Cleveland, Ohio and they said “Joan wants you to sing and she’s going to play guitar and do backup” and it was crazy. Right before we went on we were rehearsing on the side of the stage it felt like I was in the Runaways. It was really a dream and I was so honored, just recently they put a Warped Tour exhibit in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I got included and in it is our set list from that day and a photo of us performing with Joan Jett next to her bra and her setlist and my shirt so it’s really cool. What an honor. This was before Instagram and stuff so someone had captured a video of it on Youtube somewhere but I wish I had gotten more of my personal footage from it, from that moment, but nothing can replace that memory. Just looking out and seeing Kevin Lyman in the crowd.

I bet. Did you ever think you would get from where you started to playing on the same stage as Joan Jett singing one of her songs as the main vocalist?

It was an honor. We did actually open up for her band earlier that year and I just have to say it’s a great example of how Warped Tour has opened up so many doors for up and coming artist because if it weren’t for Warped Tour I never would have met her because she was playing the tour and we got introduced. So yeah, huge honor and definitely inspires me to keep going.

What has been your best or craziest memory?

Oh my gosh, there’s so many but one that comes to mind is that I got to perform Lori Meyers with NOFX and that was super cool. Any time you’re on the main stage the crowd is so big and the energy is amazing and I also got to perform with The Transplants and that was super cool. Anytime you get to do a special guest performance like that is amazing.

Last question. When they announced that Warped Tour was coming to an end I noticed a couple pop up tours start happening and they started traveling the country. Do you think there’s ever going to be anything on the Warped Tour scale again or do you think Warped Tour is kind of the “Mecca” of everything. 

Great question. Personally I think there’s only one Kevin Lyman and Warped Tour is one of a kind and I don’t think there will be another Warped Tour. I know Kevin hopes to see someone else pick up the torch and do what he did but you just can’t duplicate it. I do hope to see other tours, like Sad Summer tour and Disrupt and I would love to play any of those and be part of it but nothing is ever going to be like Warped Tour. The way that Kevin really brought together all these baby bands and big bands in one plane and made them feel like a family with the after parties and barbecues, his involvement in non-profit organizations, making sure the tour recycled, getting involved with charity organizations, such as FEND, you don’t see that a lot in the music industry. He’s a humanitarian and a lot of people in the music industry are more about profit or whatever it is, fame, and he’s really just a great person. While I hope there will be another Warped Tour, I think it really is one of a kind. That being said.  Kevin is advising me, I’m actually working on starting a tour of my own, kind of based on a similar mission we had with the Shiragirl Stage to promote women in music and platform for female artists. It’s going to be called Gritty in Pink and it’s going to start off as an event series, monthly in LA and eventually we’re hoping to build a whole tour off of that.

 I love that, I’m definitely coming back just for that!

Yay!

Keep up with Shiragirl on Twitter| Facebook | Instagram

Show some love to the graphic designer Sophia

Interview courtesy of Linette Wainwright | Twitter & Instagram  

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Interview w/ Jack Klatt + Photos Included

 

As a teenager in the late 90s and early 2000s, Jack grew up with the birth of the internet, as well as one of the first popular music sharing services, Napster. While many kids his age were using it to download popular music, Jack took a different approach. “I just started following things backwards, just kind of how I think it went…Rancid was one of my favorite bands when I was really young, and I started kind of just tracing their influences. That was just like a natural thing for me to do because I was curious of how they got to where they were. And I just kind of kept going back in time and back in time and wound up at the country blues and Woody Guthrie and all this folk music that was super fascinating to me, and I kind of just stuck around there for a while.

Being a child of the 90s when it’s just like N’Sync and the Backstreet Boys in all these neat little packages, it’s really nice to hear someone really raw like Woody Guthrie who’s just singing a song about how the Dust Bowl has affected his life. There’s something super honest about that that’s really real that rang a bell.”

Woody Guthrie’s influences are clear in Jack’s earlier albums, through his storytelling lyrics, solo fingerpicking guitar style, and simple, raw sound. But for his latest album, Ain’t It The Same, Jack decided to take a new approach. “That first solo record is recorded was in my friend’s basement, just basically live. The second record I did, The Shadows in the Sunset is just recorded in an old church live as well. We had two days on this track to record everything straight without any overdubs. [For Ain’t It The Same] I just I kind of planned out a year of my life and decided it was something I wanted to do and put together the best band I could think of and found the best studio I could think of. I really just wanted to get into the studio environment and see what happens. I had a lot of fun with it.”

A big difference on Ain’t It the Same is the addition of the band, something Jack was very excited about, and rightly so. Ain’t It The Same features a huge amount of talent: John James Tourville (fiddler for The Deslondes) on guitar, Casey McDonough on bass, and Alex Hall on drums, as well as studio engineer for the album.

“Basically, all these all these guys had a huge hand in it. I know my bio claims production status, but in a sense, it is a very anarchistic, kind of production in that I wrote the songs, I put the band together, I booked the studio time, arranged travel for everybody and then we had two weeks in the studio. And they had never really even heard these songs before. We just kind of worked them out together and kind of just worked to find what felt good and what felt right and what felt fun. That’s what came out of it and it was such a fun process of collaboration”

But Jack has made sure to stay true to his roots, even with more people and more polish. “The post-production phase was a little bit more involved to where [Alex Hall and I] did spend a lot of time and just got to play around in the studio like little kids, adding a little effects here and there.. But yeah I did kind of keep true to the live aspect that the old CDs had, just with a bit of trickery.”

As Jack’s career continues to grow and change, his thoughts on music stay the same, echoing himself as a teenager downloading blues jug music in a world of boy bands and bubblegum pop: “It’s kind of like that Louis Armstrong quote, ‘There’s only two kinds of music, good music and bad music.’ I think any music has to have soul. Something behind it, something real to make it move somebody. I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be.’

Jack Klatt – Interview + Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Rajchart Instagram

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Interview w/ Songwriter & Rapper Whitney Peyton |Vans Warped Tour 2019

On the last day of Warped Tour in Mountain View, CA The Camera Affect Promotions had the honor of sitting down with Philadelphia rapper Whitney Peyton. With her yellow pineapple pinata in tow, we discussed everything from headlining tours and released albums to the rap industry and being an independent artist. Check out the interview below:

Photo Jul 21, 3 28 28 PM

TCAP: What was your first reaction when you found out that Warped Tour was ending?

WP: It felt like a new chapter I guess, because Warped Tour is a very nostalgic thing, so it was just one more thing cementing that I was not a kid anymore, so that’s kind of sad. This is why I have things like this (holds up a pineapple pinata) to keep me childish. I think Warped Tour is just a big staple in the music scene so it definitely felt like the end of an era. 

TCAP: And what did it feel like when you were invited back to play the last Warped Tour?

WP: I was surprised because I didn’t know it was going to happen again, they resurrected it. I was stoked to be playing it because I did play last year which was the final one where they did the full tour and I just had no idea that I was going to have the chance to do it. I was like “okay it’s over, I won’t get the chance.” It was kind of a bucket list thing to do, you know, and then being invited back this year made me feel like they liked me last year, they must have liked something, I did something right which is rare, so yeah it felt really good. 

TCAP: Well that’s good!

WP: “It was terrible, why am I here, I hate it.” Don’t do that, don’t make that the clickbait, I’m going to be looking for the title.

TCAP: I will not make that the clickbait, I promise I won’t make that the clickbait. So last year was your first headlining tour, correct?

WP: Yes! Full country headlining tour.

TCAP: I know you toured with Twiztid before. How did that feel going from a supporting act to a headlining act ?

WP: It was so weird because you know what, besides Twiztid I’ve done over a dozen national tours and I’ve toured with Three Six Mafia, Cottonmouth Kings, acts like Blood On The Dance Floor, so yeah, I’ve even done shows with Borns of Osiris and that’s super heavy for me to be on. I’ve always been such an eclectic like, every single lane, because when you see me they don’t know where to put me, booking agents don’t know where to put me. They’re like ‘okay here’s this rap-rock chick, what can we put her with,’ so I end up going out with everybody which is awesome, but at the same time when I went to headline I was like ‘oh my god, what’s this going to be like?’ Is this going to be like a melting-pot type of all different people which would be dope, but then I’m hoping that they’re able to mesh together and not just be segregated like the high school kids tables. Like those are the Juggalos and those are the punk kids and I just want everyone to kind of mesh, but luckily with the way music is going now with everything being a fusion, with MGK being rock-rap and Yungblud being like an emo-rap-rock thing it’s kind of like blurred lines and there’s no rules anymore.

TCAP: Did you find that people don’t take you seriously as a female in a predominantly male dominated industry?

WP: Yeah of course, I mean my DJ is a girl and I work with Gina over here who’s also a girl if you can’t tell. I work with a lot of women and I think it’s kind of like, I even tell these guys, on my set when I come out, I make sure I don’t even step onto the stage until I’m actually rapping so I don’t even show myself until I’m doing my vocals so they’re being hit with that at the same time so they have no time do prejudge what it’s going to sound like, they can only go off of what’s happening right there. Yeah you’ve got to prove yourself a lot more. A lot of people think it’s an advantage because you’re the only chick, so everyone gravitates toward it because it’s different, but being a girl can make them interested in it, it’s not going to make them stay. The music is going to make them stay, so that’s what we want, the ones that stay. 

TCAP: And you were primarily an independent artist but you were just signed to Tragic Hero Records, correct?

WP: Correct. I did my last album Iridescent with Tragic Hero with Warner Brothers Distribution but my next album is going to be independent again. It was cool, it was like this metal label so that was dope. I just like being independent. I wanted to try something new with them and they did awesome for me. I charted on Billboard, I was Top 10 in rap albums first week. We were on Heat Seekers, like 4,200 copies first week and that’s pretty crazy in a day and age where everything is digital because most of them were physical albums, so I’m blown away by that. 

TCAP: Is there anything that drove you more towards being an independent artist?

WP: I’m a control freak! Yeah, I just don’t like being told when I can drop things and being told this is who’s producing you and this is who’s writing your songs. I write all my songs. I’m up to co-write songs with people and stuff but no one can tell my story. I want it to feel genuine to the fans. The type of fans that I have currently I’m so thankful for and it’s because I connect with them and I don’t want to risk losing that connection by having someone else write what I’m saying. 

TCAP: Yeah, you want to keep the authenticity.

WP: I think it’s achievable to do both. I think a lot of people believe that you have to have these writers and you have to have these producers to be able to have a breakthrough song or something and I just completely disagree. I think maybe it’ll be harder because you have to get the platform yourself and you’re not just grabbing their platform but I think the genuine stuff will shine through at the end. 

TCAP: Last year you released your sophomore album, Iridescent. What was the process like going into writing your second album that was different from writing your first?

WP: Man, the thing is that I tour so much. The last couple years I was touring like ten months out of the year so the Firecracker album I did in like eight days or something like that. The Iridescent album was pretty similar in the sense that we did it in less than two weeks. Sometimes that makes me upset because I like to take time to write and sometimes I’m like, it captured a moment in time, so it was a snapshot of a moment in time. As much as sometimes I’m like, ‘I wish I had more time to do the album,’ I’m the kind of person where if you give me too much time it’ll just never come out because I’ll be like no we can make this better, no we can do this, no we’ve got to change this and it’ll just never end up coming out because no one is forcing me to put it out. In a way there’s got to be a middle ground where I have a little bit more time for the next one but someone is still giving me a deadline so I’m not like, ‘no we can make it better,’ ‘no let’s rewrite it,’ because it’ll just never come out dude.

TCAP: What has been the most difficult part of your career so far? Have you ever questioned if this is really what you want to do?

WP: I’ve never questioned if it’s what I want to do because it’s a great release but I think the hardest part is that I have a lot of anxiety especially being on tour, which you wouldn’t think because I tour so much, but I do have a social anxiety a lot of times so it’s difficult at times to be surrounded by people and also in the genre I’m in I feel like everything is competitive, like there’s a competitive air around hip-hop. I especially like playing Warped Tour because I think a lot of the rock dudes are just kind of more laid back and like ‘yeah we’re in it together,’ and I wish hip-hop was a little more like that. Hip-hop stems from the era of battling and battle raps and it still has a lot of that sense about it where everything is like ‘I have a better car than you, I have a hotter girlfriend than you,’ you know, so sometimes it gets really tiring feeling like you have to step out with this confidence that you might not always have. 

TCAP: They try and one up each other.

WP: Right, and that’s pretty exhausting. 

TCAP: Alright last one. I know since they announced that this was going to be the last hurrah for Warped Tour a couple of smaller pop up tours have been touring the country. Do you think that there’s ever going to be anything like Warped Tour again or do you think that this is kind of it to this level?

WP: I definitely think we’re it to this level because we’re in such a digital age and every festival is getting smaller I think. You have a lot of artists touring too because they’re not making as much money digitally, so they’re touring to make up for it. You have so many options so you’re like ‘oh I could see this person tonight or this person or this person, they’re all coming through town.’ Before it would be like ‘this is the show we’re all going to.’ I think Warped was kind of bigger when it was more about being there and now it’s like ‘well we can watch it on YouTube.’ I mean there’s nothing that’s ever going to replace the sense of a live show, but I do think that’s going to be on a smaller scale unfortunately. 

TCAP: I know Kevin (Lyman) has said that he’s kind of hoping that someone steps up and takes the reigns for Warped Tour, do you think that will happen?

WP: I think people will step up and try and do something similar but I don’t think nothing will ever be able to imitate it, you know what I’m saying? I think it’ll happen, I hope it happens, so we can keep it going and keep it punk-rock. 

You can keep up with Whitney by following her on social media and find her music on both iTunes and Spotify when you search Whitney Peyton.

Whitney’s socials: Twitter | Instagram| Website

Interview & photos courtesy of Linette  |** full photo gallery to come **

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Photos + Interview w/ Highwind

Recently, I got a chance to ask musician and friend Chris Russo of Highwind a few questions. Highwind is an alternative rock band from New Jersey, who just put out their debut ep “How’ve You Been?” earlier this year. If you haven’t, I highly recommend this checking out this band.

 

What’s your favorite show you’ve ever played? Who was it with? Where was it?

I have two answers for this. When I was in My Lonely Heart, we played a memorial show for our drummer after he passed away. And there was no other feeling quite like playing that showing and feeling all of the love that everyone in attendance was showing towards one of my best friends. The other answer being the release show for, “How’ve You Been?”. The feeling of hearing and seeing so many people singing back the lyrics to a record that came out THAT DAY was magical. It was surreal. And really gave me faith that Highwind was special.

 

What’s your favorite show you’ve ever attended? 

I have SO many answers for this. Yellowcard’s final New Jersey show was flawless. It was the most emotional I have ever gotten at a show for multiple reasons. When I was in MLH, we opened for the Jersey show of As It Is’ O.k.a.y. USA tour, and I think that was my favorite As It Is show to date. Seeing them play a floor show to 500 kids was WILD, and I crowd surfed probably every song. Seeing The 1975 sell out Starland Ballroom was pretty mind-blowing too.

 

Who in your life influences you to keep creating music the most? 

I have a lot of friends that give me a new reason every single day to keep writing and keep playing. My producer for “How’ve You Been?”, CJ Rarela, constantly inspires me to keep pushing myself and move forward. My best friend, CJ’S brother Adam. He was the best musician I have ever had the honor to play music with. Who he was inspires me to keep pushing forward every day.  Listening to my favorite bands and seeing how far they’ve come is always a really good motivator for me.

 

What is your songwriting process like?

It…just kind of happens. I get the idea for a new song and I just let it happen. The lyrics and music just kind of happen it at the same time. Sometimes I’ll get an idea for a chorus and I’ll build a whole song around it. Sometimes I’ll start from the beginning of a track until the whole thing is finished. Sometimes it takes me 15 minutes to write a song, sometimes it takes a month or two.

 

What song took the longest to write off of “How’ve You Been?” ? 

Technically Afterlife. I wrote the song a year before I recorded it. And then re-wrote the chorus mid-way through recording the EP. Bi-Polar took months because that song went through 3 or 4 lyrics revisions.

 

What song was the quickest to write off of “How’ve You Been?” ? 

Wednesday, 2 O’clock. I wrote the whole song in a half hour to try to calm the nerves I was feeling about seeing a therapist for the first time. The anxiety drove that song. I just felt so nervous of what I didn’t know and that feeling drove that whole song.

 

How was it working on Bi-Polar with Nina Schrimer?

Nina is an absolute angel. I’ve known her for a few years now. And she has always been a very kind soul. I knew she had to be on Bi-Polar. I told her about the song and she was super excited about it from day one. Actually seeing her and hearing her in the studio was wild. I’ll always support anything and everything she wants to do in life. She deserves so much happiness.

 

Do you plan on collaborating with anyone else soon? 

I have so many bands and singers that I would LOVE to collaborate with. Nothing is in progress quite yes, but I plan on shooting out a few emails down the road and seeing if it gets me anywhere.

 

I know “How’ve You Been?” just dropped this year, but any new music in the works?

Yes! I have some new music in the works for later this year. It’s going to be out a bit later than originally planned, but I want to give these songs the time and attention that they deserve. Very excited for everyone to hear these songs!

 

Photos + Interview by Madison Boyce | Highwind : Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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Keeping NEPA Strange an Interview w/ Josh Balz by Emily Sulkowski

 

Being odd is typical for artists. It’s what makes us all unique. Josh Balz took the idea of odd and amplified it. Owner of the Strange and Unusual Oddities Parlor in Kingston and Philadelphia, PA, Josh has certainly added a little gem to the often dreary North East, PA. I sat down with him to talk about how life has been after his transition from being in a touring band to running his store full time.

I started by asking if the transition from touring to being grounded back in PA was strange?

“ I love the area, I grew up here and always lived here.” He says.

He certainly thought the transition was strange, since the hectic touring life took a lot out of a person, “ I never felt busy, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough, since I was only running the store, not doing both.” He said while talking about reconfiguring his life after leaving his band.

I asked about his music, Strange Kids, which he’s released two singles under, and more importantly if he was releasing more music, “ I’d like to, it’s more of a hobby right now.” Genre wise, Strange Kids and Motionless in White are very different. Josh said, “ It’s all based on my emotions, what I’m feeling at the time.”
In NEPA, Josh is somewhat of a hometown hero. I asked him if support from local fans had ever changed after coming home. “ I think there’s more support now. The store and Motionless have the same vibe. It goes hand in hand.” His employees at the store said his fair share of fans still come in, excited to meet him. Fans and locals alike still love the shop, enjoying how different it is among the repetitiveness the Valley seems to see often.

Owning a store like this comes from a love for weird things. “ I always enjoyed them (oddities). The stuff comes from all over. A lot of vintage taxidermy” He said when I asked how he finds his unique items, “ It’s definitely a process.”

In a town full of pizza shops, I wondered how a shop selling human bones and spell books does so well, “ I wanted to do something different here,” Josh said when I asked what inspired him, “ Everyone told me I was going to fail.”

Balz said that the shop does very well, being able to sell such unique, incredible items and still stay afloat, where in a huge city it would be difficult. Having the backing he did, it’s no surprise the shop is well loved and received. While wrapping things up, I asked him how it feels to know his music and his parlor help so many people. Being weird isn’t always easy, and he’s always made people like him feel a little less like outsiders. I asked if he ever wanted to have that effect on people. “ Always. I’ve always been a very supportive person. I love helping other people.”

Josh has always encouraged people to be themselves, and be interested in unique things. He’s very proud of who he is, and everything he’s built. “ I hope people come in, to see the shop and try the cafe.”

The Strange and Unusual Oddities Parlor sits at 467 Wyoming Avenue in Kingston, Pennsylvania. Now boasting a Harry Potter themed cafe called Steamy Hallows, serving cookies, Butter Brew coffee and hot chocolate covered in glitter, The Strange and Unusual is a little gem in a town that people seem to forget. Give the shop a visit, buy a skull or two with your coffee, and never be afraid to be a little weird.

Interview courtesy of Emily Sulkowski  | SHOP NOW :  The Strange and Unusual

Follow Josh Balz here

 

 

Interview with AMMO

What inspired you to start a career in music?

I was working a corporate job in New York and flying around doing shows for MTV. My whole life became about climbing the corporate ladder and cheap, fleeting fame. Both made me incredibly unhappy. So I started writing music again. First, in private. Then, after I had more confidence, I started sharing it with friends. Writing and performing made me so happy I quit my job in New York, stopped making TV shows with MTV, and moved to Nashville to make a record.

How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it before? 

It’s got a lot of heart, a lot of soul. I like Bossa Nova, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Rock. There’s a lot of those influences in my music. 

To a new listener, what song would you suggest they listen to?

My favorite song I’ve released is ‘Macy.” I love the writing, the style, the production. I was lucky enough to work with Mike Wuerth who is an incredibly talented producer in New York. Together, we made something I was really proud of.

 What is your biggest goal for this year, musically 

Keep pissing people off and causing trouble and making art that hurts, helps, and heals. 

 What is the meaning behind your most recent release?

The next song I plan to release is called “Blue Eyed Blues.” It’s about ‘white tears.’ While I was writing it I thought to myself: what does Donald Trump cry about at night? Missing out on a yacht sale? How stupid. People are dying all over the world from illness and starvation and we have all these rich, white people in control, whining and complaining about shit that doesn’t matter at all. That’s the Blue Eyed Blues.

What inspired the the song Macy?

My ex girlfriend. I’m a queer person so I don’t align myself with gender or sexuality. This song is about discovering as much while I was in the middle of my relationship with her.

Will there be any upcoming new releases or tour dates in 2019?

Oh god. I have terrible anxiety and any time I think I’m feeling brave enough to release music I freak out and put it off. Luckily I just signed with Revel Relations for my PR and Twin Crest Entertainment for my Management and they are helping me find the motivation and the courage release music and start scheduling shows.

Something you want your fans to know? 

Be yourself. Unapologetically. Make people angry. For every person who hates you for being brave enough to be yourself, there will be another person who is inspired. Life isn’t about getting everyone to love you, its about finding the courage to love yourself.

Name a 501C3 you are supportive of.

National Center for Transgender Equality. They are incredible. I would encourage anyone who is in the process of transitioning or considering doing so to check them out. You have rights. You have people who will stand up for you and fight for your right to live however you’d like. No one can take your choice from you! Your body, your life: it’s yours to do whatever you want with.

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Questions courtesy of Cristine Trimarco

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Interview with Kathana

What inspired you to start a career in music? 

My life has always revolved around music. I never even considered another career path. I started singing at a very young age and enjoyed it so much that I just kept going with it and never looked back.

How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it before?

My music is a mix of electronic sounds and organic instruments. My producer and I like to lean towards EDM so people can dance and sing along easily, and we always try to add in our own unique flavors by using trumpet, electric guitar, and a lot of sampled sounds that we find ourselves. Sometimes we throw in some sprinkles of other genres like hip hop, jazz, Latin, or swing just to push the boundaries of pop music and make our songs sonically intriguing.

 To a new listener, what song would you suggest they listen to?

Check out Show Me Love. It’s a fun, easy to dance to song with a meaning that I think a lot of people could relate to.

What is your biggest goal for this year, musically and personally?

My biggest musical goal this year is to reach more people with my music. Personally, my goal is to have developed more self-love by the end of the year. Self-love is so important, because the way we perceive and experience the world depends on our mindset. And when our “cup” is full, it overflows and we can give more to others.

What is the meaning behind your most recent release?

My newest single “Running Wild” will be released soon. Follow me at @kathana.music for updates and the release date, (TBA).

“Running Wild” is about dealing with anxiety while being a relationship.

What inspired the song Show Me Love ?

My sister was going through some relationship issues, which inspired me to start writing the song. The guy she was with was very unpredictable. One minute he was there for her, and then would suddenly disappear, and this went back and forth over and over. It reminded me that I had experienced the same thing, and the song quickly became a story of my similar experience.

Will there be any upcoming new releases or tour dates in 2019?

There are no official release dates yet but as I mentioned “Running Wild” will be released next and there are plenty more to be released this year.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I’m a delegator extraordinaire. Need an itinerary? I will have it planned and mapped out down to the minute. I also swing dance, and I can identify almost any fragrance in food. Boom! Next question 😜

 Something you want your fans to know?

I love getting to know more about them and building true friendships through social media.

Have you faced any hardships being a women in the music industry / What advice do you have for other young ladies getting there start in this male driven industry?

Yes, I’ve definitely faced hardships. I encourage other young female artists to stand up for themselves and set boundaries, and know their worth.

Kathana’s social : Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify | Soundcloud

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Interview by Cristine Trimarco