Tag Archives: Singers

Shardul Pandey Talks To Morgen Stiegler

SHARDUL PANDEY TALKS

Shardul Pandey: I welcome you Morgen at SANGKRIT.net, please tell our netizens

Morgen Stiegler: I’m a professional Jazz, Pop and Rock singer from Ohio. From a young age, I loved jazz. My grandfather was a swing clarinet player. My first exposure to jazz was to hear him play and to see how much passion and love he had for the music. I never thought that I would be a jazz singer, or even a singer at all. It was not until a few things happened on my journey that I realized this was my calling. The first was a call from Kim Nazarian of the New York Voices. She remembered hearing me sing in college and asked me to open for her at a small show. I felt so honored. I did it, and then I studied with her for a few years. She helped me to grow so much as a singer and a person. In 2011 I released my first album, Reaching for the Moon. My career started to gain speed, and as it did I became very interested in recreating the 1940s and 50s in my performance through fashion. At first, this was just a passion of mine, but this year the British fashion magazine Vintage Life wrote a review of my album and featured me and my performance style in their July issue. I am working on a second jazz album, and have also launched a retro rock band called The Pinup Project which is really taking off.

Morgen StieglerShardul Pandey: What makes your endeavors unique ?

Morgen Stiegler: I am not only a one faceted performer, but perform across many genres with one unique image. I live out 1940s and 50s fashion and aesthetics on stage, but do so as a jazz musician and through my various projects. One such project is my retro rock band, called The Pinup Project. We reinvent rock and roll from all genres from a jazz perspective with a rockabilly image. Another project I have is a free improvisation group that reinvents Kurt Weill songs. This is more of an art music/new music setting. I strive to be genuine in how I present myself and use clothing, hair and aesthetics as a way to express myself and to connect with my audience. I was recently featured in Vintage Life magazine because of this mission.

Shardul Pandey: On what musical projects you are currently working one? What can we expect from you in the next few years ? Any long term goals?

Morgen Stiegler: I am in the studio now creating a “straight ahead” jazz album with Gene and Ray Parker, a father son team who have played with some of the greats in jazz. This album will be intimate, focusing on all jazz standards and featuring Ray Parker on upright bass and Gene Parker on vibraphone. We may also release a Christmas EP next year. I am also planning to get into the studio with my rock group The Pinup Project.

Shardul Pandey: What is your foremost experience as an artist ? Any favorite moment you would like to share?

Morgen Stiegler: There are many moments that stick out in my mind, but most valuable to me are small moments of connection with my audience. Hearing from an audience member that the song I sang was exactly what they needed to hear warms my heart so much. I view a vocalist’s role as being a vessel of the lyrics.. it gives us a supreme purpose to be there. Telling a story allows us not only to transport ourselves but to connect with others that may be walking the same journey.

Shardul Pandey: Any other creative mediums you work in?

Morgen Stiegler: I teach ethnomusicology, which focuses on studying the musics of the world. I have been known to draw, paint, and create visual art, but my preferred form is and always has been music. I truly believe it is a window to the soul.

Morgen Stiegler

Shardul Pandey: How do you best describe what music is to you?

Morgen Stiegler: Music is a means of expression, an outlet for frustration and elation, and a way to connect with other members of this human race. We are all so different, but there are many basic needs and desires that make us very much the same. Some of them are the desires to be loved, understood, and heard. Most importantly I think, is this need to be connected to others. Music is a direct way to achieve this connection… Regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, political views, etc… we have all experienced heart-break. We all know what it’s like to feel down and out, and we all crave happiness and acceptance. Music taps on this raw nerve in us, and brings out the best, the worst, the saddest, and the happiest parts of who we are. It is truly a beautiful thing that helps us to adapt, grow, accept, and move on.

Shardul Pandey: Who were your biggest musical influences ?

Morgen Stiegler: My grandfather was my biggest musical influence. He was a jazz clarinet player. Famous influences include artists from many genres that have in common one thing – to connect to the audience and touch lives. Some of them are Louis Armstrong, Carmen McCrae, Ella Fitzgerald, Holly Cole, Tori Amos, Kimbra, Sting, Eva Cassidy, New York Voices, and many more.

Shardul Pandey: What songs get you moving ?

Morgen Stiegler: Groove is my one guilty pleasure.. I will move to anything with a great sense of groove. I love so many types of music styles that achieve this – rockabilly, rock and roll, hip hop, country, r&b.. it all comes down to the connection factor.

Morgen StieglerShardul Pandey: Any plans for an international tour on your skyline?

Morgen Stiegler: I have lots of plans in my mind… of course an international tour would be great!

Shardul Pandey: What you feel is your strength as a musician and how would you like to be remembered ?

Morgen Stiegler: My strength as a musician (I hope that I achieve) is creating a genuine connection with my audience. I love connecting with new people from all over the world – people I may not meet in any other place, but I have the privilege of being with them at a show or sharing music with them. I hope that I am successful at this goal, and that I am remembered as someone who makes music for the sheer passion and love for making it, and I hope to touch some hearts along the way.

Shardul Pandey: What advice would you give to newbie musicians?

Morgen Stiegler: Have PASSION! This world is not always an easy place to live, but passion can drive you to places you never thought you could go. Passion also makes life so much more positive and enjoyable.

Shardul Pandey: What is your web address, do you own a domain ? Where netizens can find latest news feed about you and your music ?

Morgen Stiegler: I own a domain Morgenstiegler.com and also a new website coming in this month for my new retro rock and roll group, called The Pinup Project. I also have a Facebook page: Facebook.com/MorgenL.Stiegler. The Facebook page for The Pinup Project is launching soon and the address will be: Facebook.com/thepinupproject.

Shardul Pandey: What is your ultimate message for netizens ?

Morgen Stiegler: No matter what you do, what is happening in your life, or where you are on your journey… always remember you are not alone. Find your passions in the small things, and live big dreams by doing this.

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Shardul Pandey Talks To Gabriel Lynch

Shardul Pandey Talks

Shardul Pandey: I welcome you Gabriel at SANGKRIT.net, please tell our netizens about yourself, your story.

Gabriel Lynch: My name is Gabriel Lynch. I’m an independent Australian musician and songwriter. Music has been a big part of my life since I was a very young. My parents encouraged me to take up the violin when I was five years old. Shortly then I also became a member of the Australian Boys Choir. When I was 8, my dad – a music scholar and classical guitarist – showed me three chords on the guitar and from then onward, I was writing my own songs. By age 13 I had played my first show in a pub in my hometown of Melbourne, and I have never stopped performing since then.

I’m now 26 years old and I have spent most of the last three years making my living out of touring, performing and selling my own self-funded CDs. I’ve played in countries all over Europe, Australia and Asia and last year I was lucky enough to even perform at a festival in Singapore, alongside my heroes Elbow, The John Butler Trio and Architecture in Helsinki.

I’ve worked along some incredible musicians of various styles and genres. For the last three months I was working my improvising chops as a jazz singer with a small band at Bangkok’s renowned music hub, Brown Sugar. I have also been working alongside Australian DJ and composer, Robbie James, to create a new album of electronic music under the name Stray Nation.

At the present time, I’m working as a musician for hire in Bangkok. I’m also in the process of preparing to create a new record of my own (after having great success with my last EP, Dependent State). The finance for my new album will be raised via an online crowdfunding campaign which is a very new concept to me. But it’s also very exciting because I’m using that campaign to challenge myself as a songwriter – everyone who pledges has a chance to choose a song title and topic that I must then write and record for YouTube within two weeks!

Gabriel LynchShardul Pandey: What makes your endeavors unique ?

Gabriel Lynch: The thing that makes my endeavours most unique is the fact that I am totally independent. That means that every tour, every record I make, every project I undertake is self-funded and produced. The other thing that perhaps makes my approach to my work unique is that I am always trying new ways to expand my own horizons. Beyond my own releases and performances, I also love to collaborate and play outside of my comfort zone. In the near future I’ll be releasing a joint electronic music project with Melbourne producer/dj Robbie James called Stray Nation. And, of course, in raising funds for my new solo album, I am asking my audience to help me with the songwriting process by suggesting song titles and topics. They get the opportunity to do this when they pledge their support. I think this brings in a new level of online audience participation and I think that interaction (which is one of my favourite things about playing live) is crucial to creating art that is all the more personal for my followers and supporters.

Shardul Pandey: On what musical projects you are working on? What can we expect from you in the next few years ? Any long-term goals?

Gabriel Lynch: As I mentioned, my main project at the moment is the songwriting exercise/crowdfunding project for my next album. This is a big challenge for me as I will have to pour out a lot of music in a short period of time. I’m hoping to then incorporate the best songs I come up with into the new album. The new album will be recorded in 2014 and will be followed by tours in Asia, Australia and (hopefully) the US for the very first time. I’d be lying if I said I had any strict goals. But my main ambition through everything I do is to make more friends, expose my music to more people and find those individuals who connect with what I do. Music is about sharing and I hope to do that in every way possible. That means playing and performing at every opportunity, continuing to write and create new material for my followers, and collaborating with other artists.

Shardul Pandey: Would you like to share the experience of your first performance?

Gabriel Lynch: I was about 13 years old when I first played live. I was invited by a small collective to participate in an open mic night at a pub in Melbourne. It was a very small affair, but I remember being deeply excited because it was my first time performing my music in front of strangers. It was also exciting to be inside a pub! Of course, my mother had to accompany me to many of my shows when I was under the legal drinking age (18 in Australia). But she was really supportive and ended up taking me to loads of shows throughout my teen years.

Shardul Pandey: What is your foremost experience as an artist ? Any favorite moment you would like to share?

Gabriel Lynch: There are a great many to choose from. I think the best moments for me when I receive words of comfort or encouragement from strangers. That sometimes happens when an audience sings along with my songs. It happens when somebody sends me an email to say ‘thank you’ for a song that touched them in a particular way. Perhaps the one experience that comes to mind first was my début performance at Singapore’s Esplanade Theatre. The audience was incredibly enthusiastic and were so excited by the opportunity to sing harmonies with me (something I like to do when I play live – the results are often mixed). They really gave it their all and they were so quick to approach me afterward, one at a time, to introduce themselves and say hello. I think I met a couple of hundred people that night and I’ll never forget it!

Shardul Pandey: Any other creative mediums you work in?

Gabriel Lynch: I stick with music mostly. Although that’s a broad statement. I have several projects on the go and I work as a hired gun for jazz ensembles and cover bands to keep myself busy. But I have recently started writing online for a handful of music websites. The most popular column I have is for Philippines’ DIG Radio site. The column is entitled “All Musicians Go to Hell” and I use it as an opportunity to talk about all things music: performing, music criticism and analysis, tips for other musicians. The fun part is using humour to convey my message.

Gabriel Lynch

Shardul Pandey: How do you best describe what music is to you?

Gabriel Lynch: I think I’d describe it as expression. Simple as that. When I hear music that makes me feel something, irrespective of what, and irrespective of genre, that says to me that the composer has achieved something special.

Shardul Pandey: Who were your biggest musical influences ?

Gabriel Lynch: I’m extremely fond of many different musicians from different backgrounds and periods of history. My favourite contemporary artists are groups like Elbow, Radiohead, Ben Folds and Eels. But I also have a deep love of classical music (Debussy and Elgar are among my favourites) and jazz (Brad Mehldau is one of my heroes). But musically I find my experiences, meeting people and going through the trials of life are some of the best sources of inspiration.

Shardul Pandey: What songs get you moving ?

Gabriel Lynch: The uptempo numbers from Ben Folds Five are usually a good start for music to make you feel energised. Songs like “Kate” and “Song for the Dumped”. I also love Mutemath and their style of bluesy rock. It’s sophisticated and incredibly intense, but a lot of fun.

Shardul Pandey: Any plans for an international tour on your skyline?

Gabriel Lynch: Yes indeed. Once my new album is finished, I’ll be attempting to reach as far and wide as I can. I’ll start with Asia and my home country, Australia. But I’m hoping to get to the US for the first time. This will all take place midway through 2014.

Shardul Pandey: What you feel is your strength as a musician and how would you like to be remembered ?

Gabriel Lynch: Musically speaking? I suppose it would be my songwriting. I never really thought of myself as a singer, much less a guitarist. But I think I have the ability to express, through melody and song, the things I write about before lyrics even come into the equation. But what really matters, at the end of the day, is that I love working with other musicians. I think my best quality, therefore, is my approach to making music with others. I like to think I make friends of anyone I play along, and having that relationship opens you up to the possibility of creating something very unique and special.

Shardul Pandey: What advice would you give to newbie musicians?

Gabriel Lynch: Be honest in your music. Forget about being cool. Forget about playing the most current and popular style. Be honest and write and play the music that speaks to you. If you’re honest, people listening will be able to find it and that’s how you’ll reach them. That’s how you’ll grow a support base. And it will also make you happy.

Gabriel Lynch

Shardul Pandey: What is your web address, do you own a domain?

Gabriel Lynch: Yes, TheGabrielLynchBand.com. There are a few other places: Indiegogo Campaign, Gabriellynch.bandcamp.com, Facebook.com/gabriellynchmusic, Twitter.com/glynchmusic

Shardul Pandey: What is your ultimate message for netizens ?

Gabriel Lynch: I hope that your readers and all netizens who stumble upon this article and/or my music will give it a chance. Support doesn’t come in the form of money or page ‘likes’. But if you hear what I do, and if it means something to you, you can support me by sharing my songs with your friends. You can support me by following my news. And, most importantly, if you make it known that you like what you hear, then I’ll have all the more reason to come and perform for you the next time I hit the road. And I hope that will be sometime very soon.

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Shardul Pandey Talks To Aspyre

Shardul Pandey Talks To Aspyre

Shardul Pandey: I welcome you Aspyre at SANGKRIT.net, please tell our netiznes about yourself.

Aspyre: My name is Aspyre. I’m a Canadian born country singer. I started writing songs when I was 8 years old. I always loved singing but I knew just singing wasn’t enough. I always had an interest in guitar but never knew how to play. As fate would have it, I ended up getting a guitar with a broken neck from a friend. He was gonna throw it out, so I decided to see if I could fix it and teach myself. A little wood glue and dedication changed my life forever. I’ve never had a real lesson in my life, but think I’m doing pretty well with it! I know all the odds are against me in this industry but I’m hoping to beat those odds and travel doing a career that I love!

Shardul Pandey: So what are you doing now-a-days ? What musical projects you are currently working on?

Aspyre: Well right now I’m working at a seniors home and pursuing music on the side. I’m completely self-taught on guitar and practice non stop! I’ve dreamed about this since I was a little, and it’s so exciting that I was FINALLY able to start this journey two months ago. So far though, the support has amazed! I’m planning to record an EP in the next few months, so everyone can keep an eye out for that and a music video! I’m always uploading new videos on YouTube (Aspyresings) and new photos on my Facebook page all the time!

Shardul Pandey: How would you describe your sound to people who have not yet heard your music ?

Aspyre: Describing my sound is hard for me to do, but if I had to put it into words, I would say I’m an indie/country singer. My sound is what makes Aspyre so different from the rest.

Shardul Pandey: Any loves, other than music? Is there any other creative mediums you work in?

Aspyre: My two love’s other than music are my miniature Australian shepherd Baxter, and being able to help others any chance I get! I’m also a great sculptor, not just a writer! I can’t draw at all, but give me a ball of clay, and I can make anything.

Shardul Pandey: Any favorite moment you would like to share?

Aspyre: My favorite moments would have to be the first time I ever heard my voice on a recording and realised, I sounded good! How am I unique? My story is a long and special one. I won’t go into detail, but I will say that I’ve been on my own for this entire journey. My parents/family never encouraged me to sing. I taught myself how to play guitar in my basement bedroom with my guitar I found and fixed.

One day I will share my whole story with you:)

Shardul Pandey: What you do for fun & entertainment? Any peculiar interests?

Aspyre: For fun, I don’t go to cinemas or watch tv. I prefer to spend my time surrounded by my closest friends.

I believe time spent with loved ones is a million times more precious than hours wasted on a TV screen.

Shardul Pandey: Tell us about your favorites.

Aspyre:My favorites:

  • My favorite films are Edward scissor hands, SNL’s Superstar and Anchorman.
  • My favorite actors/actresses: Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum.
  • My favorite singers: Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Rascal Flatts and Luke Bryan
  • My favorite international artists: I really enjoy european EDM artists. Hardwell, avichi, kaskade.
  • My favorite food will always be pineapple and black olive pizza or simply, a grilled cheese sandwich
  • My favorite travel destination would be hawaii, but I would love to see England!
  • My favorite music festival is Shambhala in British Columbia.

Shardul Pandey: Best advice ever given? First song ever sung? Secret craving?

Aspyre: Everything happens for a reason. Never give up, and never stop trying because clouds will always go away. Sunshine is only hidden as long as you let it.
My first favorite song that I remember is ‘don’t be stupid’ by Shania twain. My all time secret craving is candy! Cotton candy, rock candy, sour candy,… Etc..

Shardul Pandey: How do you best describe what music is to you?

Aspyre: Music to me is what water is to a fish. With out it, I couldn’t make it through my day. I wouldn’t be able to travel anywhere, I wouldn’t be able to keep a smile on my face when others pulled me down. I couldn’t go to sleep at night or wake up in the morning. Music is what I live and breathe for. Music is everything to me.

Shardul Pandey: What songs get you moving ?

Aspyre: Red- taylor swift, Killin it- krewella, Get down – Kairo kingdom, Chicken fried – Zach brown band

Shardul Pandey: According to you, what are easy and hard parts of singing ?

Aspyre: The easiest part of singing for me,is simply just the singing part! But I do find that it is harder for me to play certain or difficult guitar rhythms while I sing.

Shardul Pandey: What you feel is your strength as a performer and how would you like to be remembered?

Aspyre: My strengths would have to be my strong vocal range and vibrato. Similar to Carrie Underwood. I hope to be remembered by my unique sound!

Shardul Pandey: Would you like to give any advice to newbie musicians?

Aspyre: Never put your self down or worry what others think of your music. Confidence is everything these days.

Shardul Pandey: Any new plans for an international tour on your skyline?

Aspyre: I have some plans for a tour around the southern united states for summer 2014, but I haven’t even released my EP yet so it’s still up in the air where I will end up in the future!

Shardul Pandey: What is your ultimate message for netizens ?

Aspyre: My ultimate message to everyone: never give up!! Always follow your heart with a positive attitude and outlook. People will always be waiting to pull you down, but if you don’t let them, you will rise to the top!! Never let anything tell you that your dreams are not possible.

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Shardul Pandey Talks To K.C. Loy

K.C. Loy

Shardul Pandey: I welcome you K.C.at SANGKRIT.net, please tell our netizens about yourself.

K.C. Loy: I always remember choosing paths least traveled. Usually for the adventure it promised, but mostly ‘cos the rest seemed so boring. Yes! ‘Boring’ is one disease I’ve tried to avoid like a plague. Music, Dancing & Performing came naturally. I felt at home on the stage, even at the age of 5.

I think I can still remember the audience, my parents and of course my teacher, by the pews, all waiting with bated breath. I loved it when they broke into smiles and applause. That little flame kept the embers in my heart, glowing, soft & warm up until the day I realized, long after I’d chosen this path, “This is where I am supposed to be! Dreaming – Creating – Performing!”

I started off as a Composer of music for Advertisements & Television, moving on to Bollywood with the Hindi feature I.Proud to be Indian.

I Co-produced a Marathi feature  film “Pak Pak Pakaak” along with Composing the songs, I also assisted in the Story development & Screenplay. “Pak Pak Pakaak” went on to win 8 of The Maharashtra State awards including Outstanding Music, of course.

Well, awards are all nice but I was still missing out on something… direct audience.
All my works have all been, innocently, goading me towards performing my originals to a live audience and of course publishing them.

So, here I stand, Mic ready and Band all tuned up, to sing for you something Raw and Earthy.

Shardul Pandey TalksShardul Pandey: Please briefly explain your sound to our netizens who have yet not heard your music?

K.C. Loy: I am an indie singer-songwriter. So naturally my songs are Lyric and melody based. I love to perform my songs Raw, Organic and straight from the heart. There’s a story in every one of them and of course, they’re sing-able and fun.

Shardul Pandey: What keep your endeavors unique?

K.C. Loy: My compositions are straight from my heart to your heart and nothing in between. Every one of my gigs, is like my first and last gig… I just go all out. My audiences reciprocate with such great vibe, it makes me more powerful, creating an electric atmosphere.

Shardul Pandey: On what musical projects you are working one? What can we expect from you in the next few years? Any long-term goals?

K.C. Loy: Right now I’m working on releasing my first single LIFE IS… it’s a ‘Baul’ (songs sung by minstrels/ fakirs of Bengal) influenced song. It’s simple and yet deeply philosophical. The melody is infectious and just keeps ringing in your head. Making the video is fun but also the hardest part. However it’s promising to be colourful!

I plan to release more songs in the following months. I want to take my Sound all around India… and then the world. My long-term goal would be to hear strangers sing my songs, that would be like receiving a Grammy or whatever great music award exists.

Shardul Pandey: Would you like to share the experience of your first performance?

K.C. Loy: I remember each one of my first performances, however there’s one particular performance that changed my life. Some years ago, at Rang Bhavan, we were performing originals for “The Concert for Freedom”. The first row of “rockers” wanted to listen to Iron maiden, etc. and kept hooting/ swearing at us. We were furious and some of us wanted to break their skulls. Just then my girlfriend(when I peeped off stage) whispered “sing for those who want to listen to you!” And that hit me like… BOOM! I then focused on the 500 odd, behind the guys in the first row. I realized, they were singing along and cheering for us. Wow! That day on, I never lost my cool on stage.

Shardul Pandey: What is your foremost experience as an artist? Any favorite moment you would like to share?

K.C. Loy: Life as an artist is made up of great moments and terrible ones. From the moment you get an interesting idea that has great potential, to the moment you’ve completed the song, is one big buzz. Now, this buzz, gets to its highest point when the audience shows its love. If, however, the audience hates it, the buzz goes down but it somehow, doesn’t usually die. It’s like your baby, your own flesh and blood. I’ve had all these moments many a times over.

Shardul Pandey: What other creative mediums you like working in?

K.C. Loy: I love writing short stories (mostly because I never actually had the patience to write a ‘long’ one). I have a bunch of them that I intend to publish sometime next year. Professionally, I have written screenplays for two Marathi films and many thriller TV shows. I love capturing faces in the sun with a DSLR. I work with a 500D and hope to upgrade soon.

Shardul Pandey: How do you best describe what music is to you?

K.C. Loy: Music is a ‘Miracle’ for me. I never can guess when I’m going to compose a tune or write a song. It just hits me when I least expect and flows till I’m all out. Then I look at it and wonder “Why” I wrote it? And the reason, if I find one, never answers the “How”.

Shardul Pandey: Who were your biggest musical influences?

K.C. Loy: SD & RD Burman, Salil Choudhary, Hridaynath mangeshkar, Beatles, Cliff Richards, Pearljam, Ian Anderson and so many more.

Shardul Pandey: What songs get you moving?

K.C. Loy: Simple songs with lyrics, usually get me moving and tracks with large symphonies.

Shardul Pandey: Any plans for an international tour on your horizon?

K.C. Loy: Nothing planned but of course… as I mentioned earlier, I intend to take my songs to world.

Shardul Pandey: What you feel is your strength as a musician and how would you like to be remembered ?

K.C. Loy: My melodies and my lyrics are my strength. I would like to be remembered as a person who spread hope through his songs.

Shardul Pandey: What advice would you give to newbie musicians?

K.C. Loy: Follow your heart!

Shardul Pandey: What is your web address, do you own a domain ? Where netizens can find latest news feed about you and your music ?

K.C. Loy: Yes, www.kcloy.com. I am also on:

Shardul Pandey: What you do for fun & entertainment? Any peculiar interests?

K.C. Loy: I love to trek, find a spot in the mountains and read a book. Or watch movies at home.

Shardul Pandey: What is your ultimate message for netizens ?

K.C. Loy: Go on and check out all the songs on youtube/vimeo as you like, but ‘Don’t’ forget to BUY indie music online ‘cos that’s the only way you make sure the artist survives and keeps creating songs for you.

Shardul Pandey Talks To Audra Kubat, A Folk Musician Based In Detroit, Michigan

Shardul Pandey Talks To Audra Kubat

Shardul Pandey: I welcome you Audra at SANGKRIT.net, tell me your story.

Audra Kubat: My name is Audra Kubat, and I’m a folk singer-songwriter based in my native Detroit, Michigan. I started playing music as a child, teaching myself how to play piano by ear. I started playing guitar in my late teens and began putting words to the music shortly after that. I have performed out since the 1990’s, and have three albums released independently on my own Remedy Records, and two released nationally through a label called Times Beach Records.

I started writing music because it helped me to process and work through the troubles in my life. It was healing for me. As I began to share my work with others, I found that people were moved in a similar way, and this really helped motivate me to branch out and play more and more shows.

I have had the honor of performing at many music festivals in my state and participating in many charity events that have helped numerous causes throughout the years. In 2001, I won an award for “Outstanding Folk Artist” in the Detroit Music Awards, and have been annually nominated ever since.

There was a point back in 2005-2006 when I was in light rotation on over 250 college radio stations nationwide. I began to tour regularly along the route between Detroit and New York, and at the height of my exposure through Times Beach, I moved to New York City with the intention of spending a year or so sharing my music there. When I arrived, I spent 4-5 days a week seeking out and playing open mics throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Meanwhile, as the year passed, it became apparent that my label back home was unable to sustain itself, and folded. Suddenly I found myself out there on my own, without access to the connections they had made for me.

This was hard, and it hit me emotionally at the time. I struggled with depression yet pressed on in New York the best I could for the next few months, but in the darkest part of that experience I returned home.

Disappointed by the collapse of Times Beach Records, and my own, I retreated into a period of reflection, writing, and practice. I played less shows and became a little more reclusive, but I didn’t stop generating new work and got back on my feet.

In the years since my last release, I have steadily built up dozens of new songs, and carefully honed the ones that will become a new album. I feel that I sound better today than I ever have, and with this album, I am stepping back into the ring.

As an acoustic artist, I was long focused on lyrics and melodies and left the digital work to recording engineers. However, recently I’ve stepped into the digital waters, and it is exhilarating. With my laptop and ProTools I’ve had hands-on mixing control for the first time in my career. With these new tools, I created the 20-minute score for ‘Knowledge Is Power‘ at 2012’s DLectricity, a celebration of light.
http://vimeo.com/55759334

I’m a working musician, making my living on gigs, shows big and small, giving lessons, and working with local Detroit organization InsideOut Literary Arts Project which places artists and writers in the Detroit class rooms to share their artistry.”

Shardul Pandey:  Any new plans for an international tour on your skyline?

Audra Kubat: I am open to this; however I don’t currently have the resources. I have sold a few thousand records overseas though, many of which were concentrated in the Netherlands. So, it would seem that there are possibilities.

Shardul Pandey: What makes your endeavors unique?

Audra Kubat: Well, I am not sure it is so unique, but I work to find meaning in the world through my work. The music is trying to negotiate the difference between hope and reality. Picking up pieces and turning them over to see all sides, and uncover the ever-changing dimensions. I guess I am searching for the answers by singing out loud into the universe and asking for a response. Maybe what’s unique about it, is its timing. I am working in a medium that is one of the oldest. In that, I’m trying to find something new that can be said. Something that can again, like many old folk songs, try to explain our position against the backdrop of the present; something that acknowledges our collective need to make sense of it and to belong to it, yet still be ourselves.

Shardul Pandey: According to you, what are cushy and hard parts of singing?

Audra Kubat: The cushy part of singing for me is that it seems to be effortless. I can’t really even stop myself from singing…any time of day or night. I am constantly making up tunes, as I am walking, waiting in line, driving…I sometimes don’t even realize I am singing and am reminded when someone from the next stall over, ha. Words too, come like this. It is like I can just see something and be moved to sing about it on the spot. Most of my songs come this way…melody and lyrics together.

The hard part of singing for me is trying to be completely in the song and give it its just due when I am performing it. For the song to work it must be honest, I really have to dig down and find the mindset that I had when I was moved to write it. This is the tough part…reliving those moments. Whether happy or sad, they all were quite intense, or I would not have written about them. Regardless, that is the challenge. This part takes all of me, and I am not saying that is it not worth it. It is a part of the process and in the end is the most meaningful for me. It is that you deliver the song to the people and that they feel it and they know that you gave it to them with honestly and you can feel it coming back to you. This is the goal. This is where the real value is.

Shardul Pandey: What is your foremost experience as an artist?

Audra Kubat: My foremost experience as an artist…that is a big question. I could answer this in a simple way, really. I think my experience overall is that being an artist is not a choice I can make. It is a joy and a burden. The highs are glorious and the lows, just devastating. Really, for myself, it is like having an affliction that causes you to feel such a connection to the things outside of yourself that you are crippled and empowered at the same time; a challenge in a world with so much tension, right? Yet, this pressure is what causes the pen to push on the paper, and causes the artist to react. It helps make the unbearable seem conquerable.

Shardul Pandey Talks To Audra Kubat, A Folk Musician Based In Detroit, Michigan

Shardul Pandey: What do you feel is your strength as a performer?

Audra Kubat: I believe allowing myself to be vulnerable is a strength, and doing so in turn allows others to be. This is when a connection can really happen. I believe vulnerability can be a good thing at times. Really what’s happening, is that one is being honest about their true feelings. When we stop hiding and allow ourselves to be open, we can know each other more wholly. Kind of a nice thing, I think.

Shardul Pandey: How would you like to be remembered?

Audra Kubat: I guess if I am remembered, I would like it if people said I gave myself to the world. I wanted so badly to help others be themselves and love each other, that I sacrificed for a dream that is not mine alone, The dream of a global love and respect between people. This is why I write and I struggle, why I push and dig. I can see it sometimes, imagine it when I try…

Shardul Pandey: Would you like to say anything for “Shardul Pandey Talks”?

Audra Kubat: I love the Internet. It is important for understanding our global significance. It creates a place where conversation can take place and open dialogues can be inclusive and expansive. People can talk about their experiences from many miles apart. They can share a collective experience and have it change how they view others. From a business perspective, it’s freeing, and allows me to be at home and still connect with people directly.

Shardul Pandey: What is your ultimate message for netizens ?

Audra Kubat: Be kind, follow your hearts, be fearless, love hard, travel, spend time with your elders, be like a child, challenge your beliefs, be leery of stereotyping, sing out loud in a restaurant, spend time alone, spend time with friends, listen to the beggar once in a while, question authority, be real, dance with your lover sometimes, even if you hate to dance!