Karen Chisholm is one of the rising artists whose voice needs to be heard. Her latest album “Random Year” is out of this world. She has also collbaorated with Sonia Rao and Alyse Black in “Perfect World” which is superior [in my opinion] to what is being released in Hollywood and New York.
The animation film “Rhapsody” is also a great one for the 21st Century. I have invited Ms. Chisholm and she accepted the invitation to be interviewed, Here is the rest of the story.
1. What inspired you to choose a career in music? >
In 1999, I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. One of the forms I had to sign before the surgery stated that I may wake up from the surgery never able to speak again. That was terrifying to me naturally. When I woke from the surgery and could speak, I was so grateful that I went to a church service that weekend. At that service, they were singing Amazing Grace and I realized that I could not only talk, I could now sing better than I ever sang before since the lump was now gone from my neck. I knew from that moment on, that I would never stop singing, even if there was no one to listen.
> 2. You were born in Michigan and have travelled the world. How does > that influence your songs?
Well, I was raised by teenagers. My daddy was a race car driver, my mom was a hostess at a Holiday Inn restaurant when I was young. Right after me came my twin brothers. So my mom was 18 with three small children. Times were hard, and money was tight. I loved being outdoors in Michigan. The summers were beautiful at the lake. I used to go to a field as a child and sit under a big willow tree and sing songs to the tree. I would write songs about my life, and the life of those around me. I am a sensitive soul, and struggle with expressing my feelings. Writing songs and music helps me bring a deeper meaning to the words I am singing.
> > 3. Who were your musical idols and what did you learn from their music > in order to form a style that is Karen Chisholm? >
I LOVED listening to Chicago, Bread, Elton John, The Beach Boys, Queen, Pink Floyd, Boston, The Cars, Kansas, and The Beatles. I think those artists really formed my opinion about arrangement, harmonies and quality musical compositions and orchestration.
I took a break from listening to “adult” music for many years while raising my family. As my kids grew older, I started listening to their music . . . Bon Iver, Foals, Vampire Weekend, Daft Punk, Dirty Projectors, First Aid Kit. I have also really been inspired by a funky little pop band out of Austin called Dexter Freebish. Of course, I love the voice stylings of Dido, Aimee Mann, Feist, Regina Spektor. My new favorite inspiration is Christina Perry. I love how she has this sweet voice, but a rocker girl image.
> 4. I heard parts of “Random Year” and it is destined to be one of the > greatest albums of the century. What inspired you to record “Random > Year” and how long did it take you to record it? >
Wow, thank you so much for your kind words, first of all. I am very proud of Random Year. It took a couple of years to compile and includes 5 different producers. It truly was a Random Year of me trying to figure out the recording industry. I am very proud of the album, especially considering that it is my first, I feel it is top quality and very unique. No two songs are a like. You can’t listen to one and get a feel for the next one.
> 5. You are performing “Perfect World” with Sonia Rao and Alyse Black. > What inspired you to do “Perfect World” in collaboration with Sonia > Rao and Alyse Black?
Living in Austin Texas as a songwriter, it is easy to get into the Texas “rut”. I met Alyse who is from Seattle and we both felt a strong urge to try something different. We are both tired of just playing “gigs in bars”. We want to really showcase our musical abilities with a top notch production and top notch musicians. I adore Alyse and her voice is phenomenol. I met her at a musically networking meeting and we hit it off right away. She is a true professional, and wants to do things differently, just like me. We also both don’t really fit in to the usual genre of “Texas” music so we sort of locked arms and have decided to run with this idea of expressing the inner duality many women struggle with between being nurturing and being tough.
> > 6. You are also doing concerts in the USA. Will you do some concerts > in Florida especially the Florida Keys?
I would love to come to the Keys. In order for that to happen, I would need to find several venues willing to book me and cover my expenses to get there. Touring is expensive especially with the gas prices today. If we could find some venues willing to invest, that would be awesome. I have fans in Florida, not sure how many in the keys.
> > 7. Have you done any concerts in other countries?
No, but I was about to book a tour of Japan when the earthquake hit there. I am thinking of touring in Europe in 2013, possibly in May.
> > 8. What inspired you to do the animanted film “Rhapsody”?
I was discussing with my husband one day about whether or not we need to get a newer car. It turned into an argument, which of course, we resolved. Later that evening I was thinking about the days when we first started out and we didn’t worry about those sort of things, we just enjoyed being together, and the simpliest things turned into an adventure. You can say anything to me, as long as you say it sweetly. So I thought to myself, just say something sweet to me, and I thought if we could fly to the nearest star, would it matter how we got there?
> > 9. Will “Perfect World” and “Rhapsody” be seen in other parts of the > country and the world? >
Rhapsody is available to view on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wdOaqQuF6g and you can actually purchase Rhapsody at TenLegs.com: http://www.tenlegs.com/bonnie/portfolio/1401/Rhapsody. Soon it will be available for sale on my website. Perfect World is a live show that will be video-taped and available sometime in May 2012.
> 10. Who is your inspiration when you perform, record an album, > participate in a play or movie?
No one person is my inspiration. I am inspired mostly by my children, wanting them to grow up in a positive, just world, full of freedom and integrity.
> > 11. What is your advice to those who seek a career in the > entertainment business?
Don’t be afraid to do the wrong thing in the beginning. Just experiment and collaborate with others. Learn other people’s music, it will help you create your own. Don’t concern yourself with negative voices either. They usually have nothing constructive to say, they just have an “opinion”. I don’t expect everyone to like what I am doing, so I listen to my instincts and my gut feelings a lot. Also, you should encourage and support other artists. You are not in a competition with them. Lock arms with them. It’s a tough business, the more friends you have on your team, the better.
> > 12. Do you have a message for the world?
Make everyday an expression of love, respect and gratitude. Demand nothing, expect nothing. Remove yourself from negative influences and abusive situations. Surround yourself with loving, respectful and positive people and be one yourself. Even if this means you live on the street. You will be amazed at what will happen. Live and let live. Love and be loved.
> > Thank you for accepting my invitation and it is hoped that this experience can be repeated either via E Mail or in my You Tube video tanto en ingles como espanol. Mis mejores deseos desde Miami Florida.