Chit Chatting With Singing Duo Wild Fire

 

Written by Jill Sheets

I first found out about the singing group Wild Fire from my Instragram account, and decided that I would check out their music.  I am glad that I did.  These amazing sisters have been singing sense they there young and they have not stopped. Continue to read on about these talented sisters, about their music and their favorite theater acting roles.

 

R: How did you two get into singing?

Kelli: I started singing and taking professional voice lessons at age five, and Kayla at age six.

 

R: Tell us about your EP “Wild Fire.”

Kayla: Our “Wild Fire” EP is our debut record that was released in March of 2017. We wrote all of the songs on it ourselves, along with a couple other cowriters. The title track “Wild Fire” is a song about our arrival on the music scene. It is a hard-hitting, high-energy country rock song. Our song “Southern Summer” was inspired from our love of the Texas Gulf Coast. Our song “Social Media Lovesick” is a humorous song about relationships in the modern age with social media, texting and instant communication. Our most popular track is “Believe,” which is an inspirational song of hope. We wrote this song as a means to encourage others to pursue their dreams and never give up.  This has been our most popular song by far.  It has been featured on two TV shows, FM and AM radio and internet radio. We had a great time writing and recording our “Wild Fire” EP.  It took us about six months to complete it from start to finish.

 

R: I heard that you are recording tracks for a new album. Is that true? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it and do you have a release date?

Kelli: Yes, that’s true. We are currently working on a seven-song album. We started on it as soon as we finished our first EP. Five songs have been completed with two remaining. We think our fans will really love this album. The first single, titled “One,” will be released in early November. Let’s just say if you loved “Believe,” you will love “One.” For our fans who want to be the first to download “One,” they will be able to find it at http://www.wildfiresings.com/music. We do not have an official title for the new album yet, but will soon. Just like our first EP, you will hear elements of country, country rock and pop infused in the tracks. We are also heavy on the harmonies, of course. As far as a release date, we are targeting January 2018.

 

R: Not only do you sing, but you write your own music. What is your writing process and how do you come up with the ideas?

Kayla: We have different approaches. Sometimes it starts with a chord progression we come up with on the guitar, and then we begin writing lyrics. Other times, we like to write without an instrument. We hear the song in our heads, record it into our phones, and go from there. There are also times that we will overhear a conversation and that sparks an idea. Then we quickly write it down or record it. So we use various methods, but our main instrument we write on is guitar. We draw our ideas from our life experiences as much as possible. We feel it is important to be as open and honest as possible with our art. When you hear our songs, you will know that you have peeled the layer back and learned even more about us.

 

R: Where can people get your music?

Kelli: You can find us at all the usual distribution channels such as iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify, and so forth. We encourage our fans to purchase directly from our the music page on our website, which is: http://www.wildfiresings.com/music

If you want to connect on social media, our website etc., here are some links:

EPK:  https://youtu.be/csNpwg7Z0uw
http://www.wildfiresings.com

http://www.facebook.com/wildfiresings

http://www.twitter.com/wildfiresingers

http://www.instagram.com/wildfiresings

http://www.soundcloud.com/wildfiresings

https://www.youtube.com/c/WildFireSings

http://www.cdbaby.com/artist/WildFire12

iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/jr34g9p

Google Play: http://tinyurl.com/hcrj67f

Spotify:  https://tinyurl.com/n63yg8m

SnapChat:  wildfiresings

Musical.ly:  wildfiresings

 

R: What are some of your favorite songs to belt out in the car or your room?

Kayla: Anything by Sam Hunt, such as “House Party” or “Cop Car.”

Kelli: I would have to say right now it would be Carly Pearce’s “Every Little Thing.” Yeah, that’s my current jam.

 

R: Tell our readers about Upbeat Kidz Rock.

WF: Upbeat Kidz Rock is a TV show that features young artists under the age of 17 that write, record, and perform their own original music. We were selected for the show in 2016 and filmed our episode in Cleveland, Ohio. The show featured two music videos from our first EP: “Believe” and “Social Media Lovesick.” The show also featured some short interviews of us and our parents. We had a blast on the set, and the people were just awesome to work with. Our episode aired this summer in seven states and Canada. We recently were cast in another TV show called Houston’s Own Country. It is a local access show here in Houston, Texas, that also airs on cable TV. We filmed five music videos which will soon be aired on TV. We will also post these to our YouTube channel once the editing has been completed.

 

R: I read that you have performed in many theater productions. Is that something you would like to do in the future?

Kayla: Yes, we sure have. We began theater and dance at the age of 5 (Kelli) and 6 (Kayla) and fell in love with theater. We were cast in numerous plays up until 2016 when we started Wild Fire. I think this really shaped us as performers, as we were constantly in front of an audience speaking, singing, and dancing.

Kelli: I think in the future we would definitely love to audition for roles in theater, TV, movies and so forth. We love being in front of an audience!

 

R: What was your favorite role?

Kelli: I would have to say my favorite role was Gretyl in “The Sound of Music.”

Kayla: My favorite role was Alice Beineke in the “Addam’s Family.”


R: What are your future goals?

Kayla: Our short-term goals are to continue to write, record, and perform original music here in Texas and grow our fan base. There is a lot of ground to cover here in Texas. In the long-term, we plan to move to Nashville after high school and attend Belmont University. We plan to major in music and continue performing our music in Nashville.

Kelli: Our goal is to become a major artist in the country music world.

 

R: Do you have any charities that are close to your heart?  If so, which ones and tell us about them?

Kelli: The charity closest to our heart is the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. Our Nana passed away from this terrible disease and we hope and pray for a cure.

Kayla: We also support St. Jude’s and Texas Children’s Hospital.  Kids are very special to us!

 

R: If you could go back in time, where would you go, what time period, and why?

Kayla: I think the 80’s would be fun. Yeah, I would go back to the 80’s. We love the music from that era.

Kelli: I would have to agree.

 

R: It is not easy being a teen. What advice would you give them?

Kelli: The most important piece of advice I would give is be yourself. Don’t try and mold yourself into what your peers think you should be. You are an original masterpiece and there is nobody like you.

Kayla: I agree and would also say don’t listen to the haters. You will encounter negativity and people saying you can’t achieve certain goals. They are either jealous or they do not have enough confidence to reach their own goals. Believe in yourself and you will succeed.

 

R: Anything else you would like to add?

Kayla: We would just like to thank you for this interview and we are so glad that we connected.
Kelli: I agree. We would also like to tell all our fans that we appreciate all of you! God bless!

 

Photo credit: Molly Young, Rob Iutzwig

Chit Chatting with R5’s Ellington Ratliff

 

Written by Jill Sheets

If you are a fan of the band R5, then it is hard to miss Ellington Ratliff. He is the drummer and singer of the group, which has been together for eight years. Read on and learn more about him, R5’s new album, and five things you may not know about him.

 

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got your start singing?

E: I grew up in an entertainment family. My grandma is a dance teacher (still teaching, now on her 71st year), Mom’s a choreographer, and Dad produces shows in Japan, so it’s safe to say I was born into the industry. I’ve been singing and acting since I can remember.

 

R: Tell us about your new album New Addictions. What are some of your favorite songs from this album?

E: Picking a favorite song is like picking a favorite child, but I do like “Trading Time” and “Red Velvet” a lot. Even though it’s not technically on New Addictions, our new single, “Hurts Good,” is out and it’s definitely one of my favorites.

 

R: Where can people get your music?

E: Everywhere. Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, YouTube, etc. If you have a computer, you can listen to R5.

 

R: What is it like working with R5? What has been your favorite memory so far?

E: We’ve been a band for eight years, so there are too many memories to have a favorite. I always love being in the studio or on the road. I think that’s where we gain the best stores. We are very lucky to be able to do what we love and to have fans coming to see us all over the world. We are very grateful.

 

R: You play the drums. How long have you been playing and why did you decide to play them?

E: I didn’t pick up the drums until I was eleven, but I’ve loved them ever since. They’re a great way to put out energy–like if you’re having a bad day or if you’re extremely excited about something, drums are always there to be hit. I didn’t start drumming every day seriously until I met the guys (and girl) in R5.

 

R: Are you currently on tour? If so, how long is this tour?

E: We are currently on tour in Europe until late October, and then we head to South America. You can check our website for all tour dates.

 

R: What is the best thing about touring and being on stage?

E: I love being able to travel and experience other cultures and meet fans from around the world who have been touched by our music. Being on stage is also great, especially when a show is electric and the fans are totally in it with you, there’s nothing better.

 

R: You are also an actor. Is this something you would like to do more of in the future?

E: Yes, I’d love to be on a comedy series like Parks and Rec. Whenever I’m on a set it seems like so much fun.

 

R: Who is your biggest influence?

E: I look up to people who succeed in all types of entertainment, especially people like Donald Glover, who has his music project Childish Gambino. He’s also playing Lando in the new Star Wars film.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

E:

1. I was named after the famous jazz musician Duke Ellington.

  1. When I was thirteen, I did the workshop and LA company of 13: The Musical by Jason Robert Brown (famous composer in the theater world). Later, Ariana Grande did the same show on Broadway.
  2. I can juggle.
  3. I started out playing guitar before I got fully into drums.
  4. I’m an avid music finder.

 

R: Do you have a girlfriend? 

E: Yes, I do–she is the keyboardist in R5 and her name is Rydel. She also has a YouTube channel. You all should check it out. It’s about all things, from baking to tour life.

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

E: It wasn’t necessarily towards me, but while doing a signing after a show somewhere, a mother of a fan asked Ross to give her the gum he was chewing. We were just like, “uh…no.”

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which one and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?

E: I’m on Twitter and Instagram under @ratliffR5, and new episodes of R5 TV are back on the R5 YouTube channel. R5 TV pretty much is our POV of what our everyday life is like on and off the road.

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

E: Thank you for listening to our music and coming to our shows. We wouldn’t survive without you guys, and we’re going to keep releasing music, so stay tuned!

 

Photo Credit: Valentina Socci

 

Meet Rising Star Jenna Calandra

 

Hey guys! My name is Jenna Calandra. I’m from Long Island, NY and I’m 22 years old. My passion is music, and I want to be able to inspire everyone around the world.

 

R: When did you ​first​ ​get​ ​into​ ​singing?​ ​What​ ​made​ ​you​ ​want​ ​to​ ​seriously​ ​pursue​ ​it?

J: I was about eight years old, I was in a class choir in elementary school and I said to myself, “I want to be a singer.” I did plays in fourth and fifth grade, but I wasn’t a really good actress. I just wanted to sing!

 

R: What​ ​style​ ​do​ ​you​ ​sing?​ ​What’s​ ​your​ ​favorite​ ​song?

J: I sing pop and R&B. My favorite song at the moment is “You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore” by Demi Lovato from her newest album. She is my inspiration.

 

R: Tell​ ​us​ ​about​ ​your​ ​single.​ ​What’s​ ​the​ ​story​ ​behind​ ​it?

J: My single “I’ll Be” is about finding the truth about yourself and discovering the path of your dreams. Basically, it’s about not giving up on your dreams and instead living fully, falling in love, keeping yourself happy, and doing what you love most.

 

R: I​ ​also​ ​heard​ ​you​ ​have​ ​an​ ​EP​ ​coming​ ​out​ ​next​ ​year.​ ​Tell​ ​us ​about​ ​it and your recording process.

J: I do an artist development program in Plainview at The Loft Sound Studio, a.k.a. Artist Factory NY. That’s also where I record my music. I have two songs out now, and my third single is going to be out in 2018. Right now, I just want to take my time recording and songwriting for my self-titled debut album, Jenna, which will be coming out in about two and a half years. It’s about my darkest times, chasing dreams, and inspiring messages that I’ve learned from other people. I can’t wait to show the world this record!

 

R: Who​ ​are​ ​some​ ​of​ ​your​ ​inspirations,​ ​both​ ​musically​ ​and​ ​personally?

J: My biggest musical influences include Tori Kelly, Ariana Grande, and Taylor Swift, but my main inspiration is Demi Lovato. Personally, I like her for who she is personality-wise, because she seems funny and cool to hang out with. She is very talented, and her vocals give me chills every time when I hear her song “Stone Cold” off her recent album Confident (one of my favorite albums). She also inspired me to keep chasing my dreams and keep myself healthy.

 

R: What​ ​are​ ​some​ ​of​ ​your​ ​future​ ​goals?

J: My future goals are to keep myself healthy, strong, confident, and inspire girls of all ages with my music. I want my songs to help others who are suffering emotionally. I’ve been there, so that’s why I sing and write songs to get those emotions out.

 

R: Is there any charity or cause close to your heart that you want to raise awareness for?

J: I want to start a charity in the future for people who are suffering with mental illness or who are disabled. We are all humans, and we should be respected as humans.

 

R: What​ ​advice​ ​would​ ​you​ ​give​ ​girls​ ​that​ ​want​ ​to​ ​pursue​ ​a​ ​career​ ​in​ ​singing?

J: Never give up! You are beautiful, talented, and worth it. You can do anything if you put your mind to it because you’re strong and you can achieve anything. If you are bullied, don’t listen to the haters, because they’re just jealous and they don’t know who you really are inside and out. You are amazing. Keep your head up and listen to your heart!

 

R: Where​ ​can​ ​people​ ​get​ ​your​ ​music?

J: My single “I’ll Be” will be back on Spotify soon. I had some difficulties with a website that has a distribution with Spotify, but keep an eye out for it!

 

R: Is​ ​there​ ​anything​ ​else​ ​you​ ​would​ ​like​ ​to​ ​add?

J: Thank you so much for interviewing me! I had so much fun. To all the readers out there, don’t give up on your dreams. Keep smiling and be happy! Have a wonderful day!

 

Chit Chatting with Trinitee Stokes

 

Written by Jill Sheets

I first saw Trinitee Stokes on the Disney TV show K.C. Undercover–she plays a member of the Cooper family…a robot member. I was surprised when I watched the show how perfect her comedy timing was and how great an actress she is. She looked perfectly comfortable in front of the camera. She is going to go far in her career. But don’t just take my word for it–check her out for yourself! K.C. Undercover is aired every day on Disney channel.

R: Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how you got into acting

T:  I am 11 years old and originally from Jackson, Mississippi. I When I was two years old, I was watching an episode of That’s So Raven and it was really funny. That’s when I told my mom that I wanted to be on TV, so that I could make people laugh, too. I started out in theater at the age of three when my mom created me a role in her first stage play. When I turned five, I landed an agent in my hometown in Mississippi and my professional acting career began.

 

R: You are in K.C. Undercover. For those who have not seen it yet, tell us about it and about your character.

T: I play the role of Judy. Judy is the youngest sibling of the Cooper family, disguised as a sophisticated robot. She is there to assist the family when solving missions. Judy is cute, sassy, no nonsense, and very intelligent. She has started to feel some human emotions, which is something she hasn’t been able to do in the past. Some of the lines in her scripts would be something that I would say, so it makes it that much easier to come across in a natural way. Judy also has great fashion sense.

 

R: What is it like working with Zendaya and the other cast? Has she given you any advice?

T: Its wild working with the cast. We work hard, but we also laugh a lot. We always find time to start a dance party on set. Since I’m the only kid on the show, I get treated like everyone’s little sister. Something Zendaya always says is that we have a voice, so we should use it for good.

 

R: Tell us about Teachers and about your character Lauren.

T: Teachers was so much fun to shoot. It was the first TV show outside of Disney Channel that I had the privilege to work on. My character Lauryn is a very intelligent girl, yet funny in her own way. Her character was totally different from Judy.

 

R: If you could work with any five people, who would they be?

T: Viola Davis, Beyoncé, Denzel Washington, Chris Evans, and Scarlett Johansen.

 

R: Who is your biggest influence?

T: My mom is my biggest influence because her life motivates me to believe the impossible and to pursue everything God has for me.

 

R: I read that you also sing. Tell us about your song “Win Now.” Where can people get your song? Do you plan on recording more in the future?

T: “Win Now” is a song about learning to be comfortable with the way that God made you. Sometimes God has a special anointing on you and no matter how hard you try, you just won’t fit in with the crowd. “Win Now” encourages you to embrace your gifts and know that the moment that you believe you are who God says you are, you win! “Win Now” is available on iTunes.

 

R: I read that you are also an author and fashion designer. Tell us about that!

T: I am currently working on my first novel and a children’s series with my mom.

 

R: What has been your favorite memory so far?

T: My favorite memory thus far has been when my parents packed up our home in Mississippi and drove cross-country to California on faith. We made the trip a three-day site-seeing adventure. We stopped and spent the night in different states, and we sang songs like we were the Beverly Hill Billies!

 

R: What are your top five favorite books?

T: The Great Chocolate Chase, Judy Blume and the Not so Bummer Summer, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, The Story of Josephine Baker, and Land of Stories.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

T:

1. I like country music

2. I love to do different experiments

3. I enjoy cooking

4. I love solving murder mysteries

5. I am a young minister of the gospel

 

R: Do you have any charities that are close to your heart?  If so, tell us about them.

T: I recently “adopted” a child in need through Compassion International.

 

R: What are some of your future goals?

T: I have so many short and long term goals, but here are a few. I definitely want my own TV show and to star in feature films. I also want to travel the world performing and selling out arenas. Also, I look forward to walking into a department store and seeing my clothing line on display!

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?

T: www.thetrinitee.com

Instagram: @the_trinitee

Twitter: @the_trinitee

Facebook: Trinitee Stokes

YouTube: Trinitee Stokes

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

T: I would tell all of my fans to always believe that they can accomplish whatever dream they have. Even if it looks impossible or they think that it is too big, still believe. Also, always work hard and have integrity. Lastly, always be true to yourself. Don’t try to be like anyone else. There is no one else in this world that can do you, so JUST BE YOU!

Photo credit: BOBBY QUILLARD

Chit Chatting with Raffaela Capp

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Multi-talented Raffaela Capp was able to sing before she could talk. She is also an actress, writer, songwriter, dancer…you name it! Read on and find out more about her, her acting, and her singing.

 

R: Tell us about yourself and how you got your start acting.

Raffaela: I’m a 5’2” New Yorker living in Los Angeles. Acting is something I’ve always done. My grandma did theatre, my mom did theatre, and I was in my first show at the age of five as a little princess in The King and I.

 

R: Tell us about your movie and about your character, Kimberly Hill.

Raffaela: REACH is a teen dramedy with a strong message of hope in the lives of a few teenage boys. An anti-suicide, anti-bullying message is its theme. I play Kimberly Hill, older sister to Daniel Hill (played by my real life brother, Steven) and girlfriend to Nick Perkins (played by the talented Jordan Doww – nominated for second year in a row Teen Choice for best comedian). Kimberly is dating the “wrong” guy and by the end of the movie, she comes into her own.

 

R: What was the audition like for the movie?

Raffaela: My audition involved the director viewing my reel, and then a meeting. I was recommended for the role by the writers and producers. Because of my relationship with the production team, I had the opportunity to witness REACH develop from the ground up over the last 3 + years. Johnny (writer, Clarence) and I played opposite each other as CB and Van’s Sister in Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead in December 2014. There were talks of only name actors for all roles, including Kim. But the creative team and other producers knew that the purpose of REACH was to empower not only the audience, but also empower the talent involved in the movie. It was a mixture of seasoned TV and film pros with talent who were given an opportunity to “reach” to the next level in their career, and that included me. The beautiful thing about REACH is it gave a lot of “unknown” talent the opportunity to work and be a part of something powerful–something that has the potential to be life changing for all.


R: What was your favorite part about being in the movie?

Raffaela: Getting to work with such a fun and talented cast and crew. Joey Bragg (Disney’s Liv and Maddie) is hysterical and is such a talent at improv and comedy. He had us laughing, which was a good way to off-set the seriousness of the bullying and suicide themes. It was a family. The director’s brother is in it, and my brother and sister (Natasha), too.

 

R: You are also a singer/songwriter. What is your writing process?

Raffaela: It usually starts off as a story I wish to tell. It then transitions into a song with a beginning, middle, and end! Then everything is kind of inspired thereafter. It’s really different every time, depending on my mood, emotions, and how I’m feeling that moment or that day. Sometimes it happens walking to my car after a long shift at work. I’ll start singing a melody and record it on my iphone. That’s what happened with “I Love Me.”

 

R: Tell us about your single “Hurricane” and about “I Love Me”

Raffaela: “Hurricane” is a song written by Bruce Vanderveer, Ebony Vanderveer, and Elise Legrow. I sang the vocals and collaborated with actor/rapper Chris Redd. He wrote the rap! “I Love Me” is a song I wrote. It is my own personal anthem and I hope it to become one for others, especially those who find that they’ve been compromising their truth. I want them to hear my song and gain the strength to stand up! Both songs are about empowerment, and loving and rocking who you are.

 

R: Where can people get your music?

Raffaela: “Hurricane” is released under the InRage Label, and I have a single, “So What,” from my first EP which is also available to download. You may listen to them on Soundcloud and on iTunes. “I Love Me” will be my single off my second EP and will be released simultaneously to the release of the movie (hopefully this fall!). “I Love Me” as well as my second EP will be released under the InRage Label and will be available on Itunes, Spotify, and Tidal.

 

R: Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to talk about?

Raffaela: I just performed at the Jones Beach Bandshell and had a blast. I definitely hope to visit Jones Beach again.

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence and why?

Raffaela: Sandra Bullock, for being a classy and inspiring representation of strong, beautiful, and powerful women. Musically, I have too many to list!

 

R: If you could travel back in time, what time period would you pick and why?

Raffaela: The 80’s. The fashion! The clothes! Even though I’m fine with wearing sweats all day long. Still. So cool!

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

Raffaela: When I see the color green I melt, eggplant parmesan is the way to my heart, my go-to snack at the movies is popcorn mixed with peanut M&M’s, I love Adam Lambert, and Lord of the Flies and The Outsiders are still my favorite books.

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

Raffaela: “Will you go away to Venice with me and let me bathe you in chocolate?” Thank you Tinder.

 

R: It is not easy being a teenager. What advice would you give them in general?

Raffaela: Love you to the best of your ability. Embrace being different. Embrace being unique. Being “normal” is overrated. There is nothing wrong with you, ever. People are mean, and fitting in is no way near as cool as standing out. So if you’re considered “weird,” you’re the winner!

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/ or youtube page?

Raffaela: Yes Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and I just got a Snapchat!

Twitter: el_la_bel_la

Instagram: el_la_bel_la_

Facebook: Raffaela

Snapchat: RaffyCapp

Website: raffaelacapp.com

YouTube: Raffaela Capp

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

Raffaela: Thank you! Tweet me, Instagram me, Facebook me, or Snapchat me anytime!

 

Photo Credit: Raffaela and Reach – The Movie

 

Meet Up and Coming Teen Singer Hannah Richardson

 

Who says you need to be an adult to change the world? Hannah Richardson is only sixteen and already she is the face of a successful company and on the verge of releasing an album. Find out more about her music, her company and its inspiring mission, and how you can connect with her on social media.

(Psst! Go follow the company’s Instagram page — it already has over 10,000 followers!)

 

R: Tell us about yourself. How long have you been singing? What made you fall in love with it?

H: Well, hey there! My name is Hannah Richardson, I’m sixteen years old, and I’m a singer and songwriter, as well as the face of an incredible girl power company called Gomee Girl. Looking back, I think I fell in love with music when my parents started playing it in the house! I was extremely blessed that my parents exposed me to all of these incredible artists at such a young age, such as Fleetwood Mac, Allison Krauss, Led Zeppelin, etc. I was definitely influenced by them when I started writing my own music years later. I officially started singing at six years old in my church choir, but got my first solo when I was seven. My pastor was nice enough to offer that the girl singing obnoxiously over all the other kids (that girl being me) get her own song. Quite frankly, I think that it was the solo in particular that really got me fascinated with being in front of people, as it was when I realized that I could force a group of adults to listen to me who otherwise wouldn’t have. Ironically, that’s kind of still true today.

 

R: I heard you are about to release an album. That’s so exciting! What’s your favorite song on it?

H: Totally! The album is called Chasing Rainbows and is set to be released on September 18th, 2017. It has a very pop and country feel with a lil’ Irish flair, and showcases all of my favorite instruments, like mandolins, fiddles, and vintage guitars. My favorite songs on the album are generally the musically joyous ones that are tinged with darker lyrics. I’m really obsessed with having that awesome conflict of lyrics and music in my songs, just because it makes people second guess that whole concept of “oh, this is upbeat so it’s obviously totally happy!” Spoiler alert, but that’s why “Rich Kids” and “Just A Friend” were personally so wonderful for me to write, and why I think people will really connect with those. This probably sounds cliche, but picking your favorite song is liking picking your favorite child. All of the songs are so unique and come from such different places emotionally. However, I will say that “Chasing Rainbows” was definitely my most therapeutic song. What I mean by that is, after writing it, I realized I had finally unlocked this thing that had been hurting me for a long time, and could let all of my feelings out every time I sang the song. For me, that’s the whole beauty of songwriting. It’s taking incredibly complex emotions and situations that nobody but you understands and somehow translating them into something our actual language hasn’t yet figured out how to communicate.

 

R: Tell us about Gomee Girl. How can we raise awareness?

H: Gomee Girl’s main mission is to improve the self-esteem of young girls. Through positive social media campaigns, school assembly events, and their patches with positive images, the organization is focused on letting every woman know that she can love herself exactly the way she is. As the face of the company, some of my jobs include representing the company in a good light, designing exclusive products, and writing epic, girl-power music. However, the most important responsibility I have taken on is giving advice to girls who are followers of myself and/or the company. Despite the time commitment and rather emotional nature of the job, this has become one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. I mean, nothing is more fulfilling than a girl who at one point felt she was “useless,” and now messages me pictures of herself at a school dance. Nothing can beat that! One way to raise awareness is simply by following Gomee Girl’s social media sites (@gomeegirl). Another way is to let any girl who might need some help know that she can check out http://www.gommegirl.com/getinspiredwithhannah for advice on everything from basketball to boy trouble and also just to connect with other girls who’ve had similar struggles in life!

 

R: What do you like to do besides singing?

H: I’m a Music & Diversions division writer for Metiza Magazine, so I am super obsessed with interviewing artists. I also read a lot (shoutout to Harry Potter), and love watching TV shows like Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, and Gilmore Girls.

 

R: What advice do you have for young girls who want to pursue a career as a singer or anything in the music industry?

H: NEVER let people say that you can’t pursue your dreams due to circumstances beyond your control. There will always be people who are more “gifted” than you, who have prettier hair than you, who have more money than you do, etc. That being said, it’s the people who work day and night and totally dedicate themselves to their passion that actually make a mark on the world. No excuses. You can do this!

 

R: What are your social media addresses?

H: Website – http://www.hannahrichardson.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/hannahrsings1

Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/hannahrsings1

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/hannahrsings1

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/mlpgrow123

R: Is there anything else you would like to add?

H: This sounds a lot like an Academy Award speech, but I just have to thank my family, friends, and fans for helping me so much on this journey. I also want to personally thank all the people who have ever caused any conflict in my life: hey ya’ll, you guys are the ones who inspire the best songs and are part of what motivate me to be better than I was yesterday, so thanks for being you…kind of.

 

Photo credits: Hannah Richardson

Chit Chatting with Singer Peppina

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing 21 year-old singer/songwriter, Peppina. Her first EP was  Follow Your Gravity, which was released around two years ago. Now her new EP, Spark, will be released on June 23rd. Read on and learn more about her, her music, and how old she was when she wrote her first song.


R: Tell us about yourself and how you got your start singing.

P: I’m a 21-year-old singer and songwriter from Helsinki, Finland, but I recently moved to Brooklyn, New York. As long as I can remember, I’ve always been very interested and passionate about music (it started with ten years of classical flute), but I really got into singing and writing when I found the online art platform, hitRECord, and started sharing my music there at the age of sixteen.

R: Tell us about your upcoming EP Spark and when it will be released.

P: Spark is a package of energy, power, and message. It’s sort of a launching pad, the first chapter of my releases this year. It’s an introduction to a new kind of Peppina, stronger and more powerful than before. It’ll be released on June 23rd!

R: What is your favorite song from this EP and why?

P: They’re all my favorite for different reasons, but probably “Fire” is my real favorite. It’s a very personal song that I think carries a very important message: there are always reasons to get up and keep going.

R: Tell us about EP Follow Your Gravity.

P: Follow Your Gravity was the first EP I released independently two years ago. It tells about the time and mindset I was in back then, what it was like to start on this journey, and how much courage and sacrifice it took just to dare to take the first step.

R: Where can people get your music?

P: Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud, Apple Music, Amazon, Bandcamp…make your pick, it’s out there!

R: You write your own music. How do you come up with the idea for your songs and what is your writing process? Do you start with the words?

P: Everything I write is heavily based in my own life experiences and values. I often like to think about what would I want to tell my 13-year old self – it’s very important to me that each song carries a message of some kind. As far as the process, sometimes I’m just struck with inspiration and a song is born within minutes, sometimes it’s a co-writing session where we sort build the song together step by step in a few hours. Almost always it’s idea and theme first, and then the music and lyrics just happen together.

R: When did you start to write your own music and what was your first song about?

P: I wrote my very first song at six years old, but that was more of just a melody so I’m not sure if it counts. I started writing instrumental music when I got my piano at the age of ten. I remember the first song I wrote then – I can’t remember what it was called, but I remember it was about happiness.

R: What are five things that you have never done before that you want to?

P: 1) Skydiving 2) Going on a world tour 3) Taking six months just for aimless and carefree traveling 4) learn how to play a brass instrument 5) learn how to surf.

R: What has been your best memory so far?

P: Oh wow, what a question! I have a very good memory, so there’s too many to pick from. You’d have to be more specific (favorite childhood memory/favorite musical memory/favorite family memory, etc). Most of my favorite memories are usually just simple moments I miss from my childhood, or fun times with my family during our travels.

R: Do you have any charities that are close to your heart?

P: UNICEF does incredibly important work, as well as WFP. On a more grass-root level, I recently started collaborating with ASPCA to prevent and help with animal abuse issues in America, and I think they’re doing a fantastic job.
R: It is not easy being a teenager. What advice would you give them in general?

P: 1) Be kind, and be patient 2) Embrace and appreciate all the things that make you you 3) Never forget that you can do and be whatever you set your mind to, so don’t be afraid to dream!

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

P: 1) I’m a vegetarian 2) I love comics 3) I used to draw a LOT, and still do some 4) I love playing video games, especially adventure/RPG types 5) I don’t like olives.

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

P: Probably the one you just asked about what’s my best memory! Too many to choose from!

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?

Official website: www.peppinamusic.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/peppinamusic
Instagram: www.instagram.com/peppinamusic
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/ channel/UC_ 9gHGSmfOmvc7osu6Sv6Fg
Twitter: ww.twitter.com/peppinamusic
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/ peppinamusic

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

P: Thank you for reading, and hope to see you around!

R: Peppina, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

P: My pleasure. You, too!

 

Photo credit: Amazon

Chit Chatting with Singer Macy Kate

 

By Jill Sheets

Recently I had the honor of interviewing 19-year-old singer Macy Kate.  You may have first seen her on her YouTube channel or the reality show The X Factor. Read on and learn more about Macy, what it was like on The X Factor, her future goals, and about her song “Born to Be Me.”

 

R: Tell us about yourself and how you got into music.

M: When I was around thirteen years old, I started auditioning for reality shows like The X Factor and American Idol and that kind of gave me a really good foundation and prep for what the music industry was going to be like. After I had a little success with a reality show, I started a YouTube channel and began posting covers. Ever since I started YouTube, it’s never stopped.

 

R: You sang the theme song for The Swan Princess: Royally Undercover. Would you mind telling us about the song “Born to Be Me”?

M: The song “Born To Be Me” is a song about being yourself. You were born a certain way and there no reason at all to change who you are. I feel like a lot of teens feel pressured to fit in or to be accepted, but really, just being yourself is the most beautiful thing.

 

R: You also sang the theme song for The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today. Tell us about that theme song.

M: That one was so fun. Everyone that I worked with in the studio was amazing and I think it turned out great for the movie.

 

R: Tell us about some of your other music and where we can get it.

M: I haven’t released any new original music lately, but I do post covers every week on my YouTube channel which is super fun for me because I get to recreate songs by my favorite artists and make them my own. My YouTube channel is youtube.com/macykatemusic.

 

R: Not only do you sing, but your write your own music. What is your writing process? How do you come up with your ideas?

M: Well, I usually start off with the melodies and take it from there. I feel like the melodies really give the song life and it’s easier for me to write words once that top line is laid down. The lyrics mostly come from personal experiences, so I tend to write about things that actually happen to me.

 

R: I read that you where on the The X Factor. What was it like? What was your favorite part?

M: It was amazing! I loved every minute of it. It was definitely super nerve-wracking because that was my first time singing in front of a crowd like that, but as soon as I walked off that stage I told myself that singing was what I wanted to do and what I wanted to pursue. That show definitely gave me the confidence to keep going in music.

 

R: What is your favorite thing about performing on stage?

M: Definitely connecting with my fans. Even if I touched just one of those people with a lyric, performance, etc., it just makes me feel good. You can’t compare anything to connecting with someone. It’s truly amazing.


R: What are your top five favorite songs that you have sung?

M: I would say “Killing Me Softly” by Fugees, “Listen” by Beyoncé, “Issues” by Julia Michaels, “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars, and “One Moment In Time” by Whitney Houston.

 

R: Do you have any hidden talents? If so, tell us about them.

M: Honestly, I have no hidden talents!! Everything is already out there.

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence?

M: Definitely Rihanna. I look up to her for everything. Style, attitude, music, everything. She’s amazing.

 

R: What are your future goals?

M: Definitely to have a hit record and create a fashion line. I have a huge passion for fashion and I want to create some really cool things.

 

R: It is not easy being a teenager. What advice would you give them?

M: Always be yourself and never give up on your dream. Don’t let anyone get in the way of what you want to do. I have been turned down, knocked down, and said no to so many times. That doesn’t stop me from reaching my end goal. So always be you and never stop at what you want to do.

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

M: Hmm. I’ve been asked what my shoe size is, but that’s not really weird.

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official site and/or YouTube page?

M: I am on everything! Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, etc. You can find me at @macykatemusic

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

M: Never give up on your dreams and always believe in yourself.

 

R: Macy, Thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

 

Picture credit: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

 

Meet Singer Kaylee Rutland

 

Recently, I interviewed Belmont University senior Kaylee Rutland about her budding career in country music. Keep reading to find out what inspires her to write as well as her plans for the future.

 

R: Tell us a little about yourself.

K: I’m Kaylee Rutland, a singer, songwriter, and student living in Nashville, Tennessee. I am driven by my faith and am very close to my family. I’m currently a senior at Belmont University majoring in Music Business. I like to write and sing about positive messages with an encouraging vibe even if it’s about a tough subject.

 

R: Who are your biggest inspirations?

K: My biggest musical inspiration is Reba McEntire. Her vocals are incredible and her energy is contagious. She’s the queen of country in my books and I’ve always admired her talents, even when I was really young. I’m also inspired by my mom and my grandparents. They’ve been a huge part of my journey with endless encouragement and I can go to them about anything.

 

R: Do you have an album or EP out?

K: Over the last few months, I’ve been writing a lot of new material with the plan to release a more extensive body of work, whether that’s an album or EP, in the future. Both of my latest releases, “Pick Me Up” and “More Of That,” will be included on the full-length project. But for now, they are available as singles on iTunes.

 

R: What is your single “Pick Me Up” about?

K: “Pick Me Up” is about breaking through the everyday routine and enjoying the day that the week ends. It’s fun and upbeat and almost a weekend anthem. It serves as a reminder that whatever your week might have been like, it’s never a bad day to plan a good time!

 

R: What are some of your plans for the future?

K: The first plan is to graduate from Belmont University. I will also continue to make and share new music with y’all this year. Then, I plan to work as hard as I can to achieve my dreams, one of which is to play at the Grand Ole Opry one day.

 

R: What advice would you give to other young singers?

K: Perseverance — if it’s something you aspire to do and it’s the love of your life, you have to keep doing everything you can. Nothing can stop you. 

Check out Kaylee’s official website and her YouTube channel, and go follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

 

By Anna Tallarico

Photo credits: Kaylee Rutland press photos

 

Singer Nikki Yanofsky is Bringing Jazz to a New Generation

 

When you think of jazz music, you might think of really old classics sung by really old singers–beloved, but a little obsolete. That’s not what 23-year-old Montreal native Nikki Yanofsky thinks. This rising star is bringing jazz to a new generation with her fresh blend of jazz and pop. So far she’s performed at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, worked with artists like Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock, and has recently released an EP. Read on to meet her!

 

R: Hi Nikki! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

N: Hey! I’m Nikki Yanofsky, I enjoy long walks on the beach (preferably with like, five dogs), painting and a good book!

 

R: When did you first get into singing?

N: I’ve been singing since I could talk…I started to put on little shows around my house for my family as far back as I could remember. I started performing for a real audience (that weren’t obliged to tell me I was good) at twelve.

 

R: Who are your biggest inspirations?

N: Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Amy Winehouse, and Bruno Mars. My favourite songwriter is Rod Temperton.

 

R: What are some of your future goals?

N: I want to bring jazz to a younger generation.

 

R: What’s your favorite song?

N: That’s very hard. I don’t have a favourite song! I would feel too bad singling one out. Songs represent snapshots of different moments for me. That’s like picking a favourite moment in my life. And when you think about it, life is just one big collection of moments, you can’t have one moment without the moment that came before or after it.

 

R: Where can people get your music?

N: Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, etc. Pretty much everywhere.

 

R: Do you have any social media, and if so, what are the addresses?

N: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter: OfficialNikkiY
We Heart It: NikkiYanofsky

 

R: Is there anything else you’d like to add or say to your fans?

N: Without you there is no this. I mean that. So thank you so much for listening to my music!

 

 

Written by Anna Tallarico

Photo credits: Alchetron, Donna Hopper