Canadian Online Entertainment Website Features St Lucian Entertainer
Castries afar? Note from reader/contributor – Hello Ian;
How are you? I hope you are doing well.
I recently had an article in an International online magazine called Fumezz, and it is now in circulation. The magazine is a lifestyle, entertainment and business publication which looks at life from a different perspective…
FumezzLife: Why did you choose this path?
“Music is very soothing to me and from the age of 8, I was embraced by my church congregation as a singer. I was constantly encouraged, and got on stage whenever possible. I finally realised that music was really my passion, and have been unable to stop till this day. Music found me, and I embraced it with open arms.”
FumezzLife: Do you think the world needed something like this?
“I think the world can always do with more music. I have been told that my music reaches hearts and sends out true positive messages. I am happy that my music touches people and everytime someone approaches me and complements my work, I find it such a humbling experience. I know that the world is in desperate need of this kind of positivity.”
FumezzLife: Describe your musical style.
“ I grew up singing gospel which will always be a part of me. I moved into jazz and have performed at many jazz festivals in my homeland (St. Lucia) and around the Caribbean. As I continued singing and performing, I have found my niche and have settled into soft rock music where I believe my strength lies. I enjoy performing rock as it brings out and sometimes exhausts all of my energy. It feels good!!!”
FumezzLife: What is the number one challenge you face in the music Industry?
“The most challenging thing I faced in the music industry was the initial acceptance of my audience outside the church community. After I passed that hurdle, I found the next challenge to be the unity between musicians. Many times you are cut down by your fellow comrades in the business and it is very disappointing.”
FumezzLife: Who would you want to collaborate with and why?
“I would love to do a collaboration with P!nk. I think her music is great and the messages that are delivered from everyone of her songs is just something that people from all walks of life can relate to. She is real and is a spectacular performer.”
FumezzLife: Paint me a picture of what you see when people indulge in your music.
“Whenever I perform and see the reaction of my audience or hear people singing my songs, I get a feeling of contentment. I envision performing for friends who understand me and who have become family to me. Its a great feeling. The greatest feeling in the world.”
FumezzLife: Ethnic arrangements are all alike but how do you think other cultures react to your music?
“I think that my music is able to reach all audiences because of the exotic appeal that is so unhidden in every piece that I sing and perform. No matter where music comes from, if it sounds good and is arranged well, it will be accepted. That’s what my music does.”
FumezzLife: What was the one thing you DID NOT want to do with your music?
“I NEVER want my music to be a replica of another artist’s. I never want to sound like anyone else. I think the uniqueness of my vocals and my music is what people have enjoyed most about me over the years.”
FumezzLife: Where do you don’t want to see yourself?
“I want to be able to tour and perform my music all over the world. I want to be a role model for young artists and young people in general. I want them to see me as someone that they can emulate and trust that they will not be misguided.”
FumezzLife: Walk us through your recording process, from beat selection to end product?
“I do a lot of writing. My best work comes when I clear my mind and drive to one of St. Lucia’s beautiful beaches. There I reflect and pen lyrics about my life experiences and the experiences of others that I had been fortunate enough to share. I then decide on melody, take the skeleton product to my producer “Rossi” who then formulates and produces the music. We record sometimes for days, depending on the track, making minor and sometimes major changes to the lyrical and musical content of the song. It is a process that can be very tiring but so very satisfying.
If Rossi has a music bed that he thinks can work for me, he would suggest that I write to that groove and then its back to the studio. In creating an album, we ensure that our exact goal for the album is met. If it means scraping , or totally redoing a song, then so be it. We listen to every completed track and sometimes I would have to go back in to redo vocals or include some musical component just to get the perfect song.”
FumezzLife: Do you have an album out, if yes where can we get it and what’s the cost?
“I have recorded 3 albums. The latest is called “Mic Check” and the songs can be bought individually or as an album from www.cdbaby.com . The individual songs can also be downloaded at a cost of US$0.09 on any reputable downloading website.”
FumezzLife: Do you believe that the current state of music is more gimmick than art?
“I think that a lot of the music today is made solely for monetary gain and is no longer an art. Most of the music we hear contains little or no substance and does not carry positive messages. Still, there are some musicians/ artists who believe that their music should reach much further that their pockets and they ensure that whatever is released is a product that they will always be proud to associate their names to.”
FumezzLife: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
“My inspiration is drawn from my dad who passed away from cancer and he is part of the reason that I’ve made it mandatory that my music bring about change in people’s lives. I am also inspired by the beauty all around me.”
FumezzLife: What advice would you give to up and coming players in the game?
“To the young players, I say, “Never give up on your dreams; but NEVER compromise on your values”
FumezzLife: Who don’t you involve in your business?
“I don’t involve any form of negativity in my business. I therefore stay away from people who cannot positively impact on my life, and the art.”
FumezzLife: Who gave you your best/worst advice and what was it?
“Freddie Jackson gave me the best advice when we performed at the St. Lucia Jazz Festival. He said to me: “Be careful with those who pretend to be your friends, there will be lots of fight downs, but stick to your guns”
FumezzLife: This thing called business, what do you need to survive in it?
“You need a strong sound mind and a great team on your side to survive in this business. It is very competitive, therefore, a musician has to be very confident in him/herself and has to be able to stand out above the rest.”
FumezzLife: If you weren’t doing music what would you be doing?
“If I weren’t doing music I would be in the hospitality field, as I hold a double degree is in Hotel and Tourism Management from the Institut Vatel in France.”
FumezzLife: What would you re-invent in the industry if you got the oppurtunity?
“I would take away the technology of people being able to pirate music off the internet. I would reinvent the LOVE of purchasing a CD and having a tangible copy of your favourite artist’s music in your home, your car or office.”
FumezzLife: What’s your top 5 dead or alive?
“P!nk, Beyonce, Aerosmith, Sade & Joss Stone”
FumezzLife: How do you relax when the business gets overbearing?
“I drive to the beach and listen to the waves crashing when it all gets overbearing. Sometimes I just sit with my mom and listen to her view on life. She is such a strong woman, and I have learnt so much from her.”
FumezzLife: What is one thing you know for sure?
“I know for sure that my strength comes from the most high, and he is the only one seeing me through as I journey down this path. I know that if I try hard enough, I can reach for the moon. If I don’t make it there, at least I will be among the stars.”
FumezzLife: Do you have routine before you perform/record?
“ Before every performance, I just need to be alone. No one speaking, just me and the sound of silence. Oh and a hugh cup of mint or ginger tea.”
FumezzLife: What will make you a good competition? What makes you stand out?
“My strong unique vocals and performing ability is what makes me stand out from the others.
I am very powerful and commanding on stage and will leave my audience totally satisfied. I am also fluent in French and some of my music is in French.”
FumezzLife: What’s next for Claudia?
“I am presently working with a company from Nashville, doing some writing in Baltimore and performances around the USA. My next album is being worked on right now, and I look forward to my recording sessions coming up. Look out for me wherever you are. I may just be coming to your home town. In the meantime, you can follow me on twitter: listentoclaudia / facebook: Claudia the artist / or check out my webpage: www.claudiaedward.com “