How did you begin with all this?
I started off singing and touring with a 22 piece swing band. While it was an amazing experience, after 6 years I was ready to showcase myself a little more and really liked the freedom of working in smaller ensemble settings, choosing my own repertoire, and the way in which I delivered it. After doing mostly covers for the first year, I began dabbling in songwriting and haven’t looked back since.
What's the message to transmit with your music??
I definitely like to hit the many different aspects of the human experience. Hopefully make others feel they are not alone in their neurosis, fears, and triumphs.
What's your method at the time of writing a song??
One of two things happens:
1) An idea comes to me in a very inconvenient place (walking down the street, on public transportation, etc) and I voice memo or scribble it down in a notepad around and then expand on it when I get home to my piano.
2) I sit down and tell myself I’m ready to write a song - maybe start with a chord progression, feel, time signature, topic, what have you
I find that the 1st way almost always works best.
Who are your music influences??
Everyone from Ella Fitzgerald and Sinatra to Tom Waits to Rufus Wainright to Feist; I’ve been especially into Melody Gardot Lately.
What plans do you have for the future??
New album!! I can’t wait to trap my new ideas in a recording. Hopefully a tour once that’s done… I’m also looking to make a website of just my compositions. I’ve been composing a lot of piano pieces and would love to get into film scoring…
Which has been the greatest day in the band?
The greatest/worst day for me was performing at the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival a few years ago. I was with part of a line up of some really intimidating singers. The rehearsal went horrifically and I thought I was going to be eating alive…it ended up going okay though and it really gave me the push I needed to continue with this crazy love affair I have with singing.
What has been the funniest prank you have been or took part while on tour or after a show??
Umm… well I’m sure there would be more shenanigans going on if I were part of a full band…
I suppose the worst is my guitar player continuing to change the time on me in the middle of a song? Pretty lame... I know.
If you were stranded in the middle of nowhere after a show or while on tour. The help is 65 miles away from where you are, ¿Who would you send to look for help? And if while the rest wait, there's no food and the only way to feed yourself is by eating each other, ¿Who would you eat first?
I guess, in light of the fact I am a singer and perform with a wide variety of different players, I will tell you what body part I’d eat first and that is probably my big toe. I think it’s too big.
What are your hobbies?
Is it ridiculous to say singing? I LOVE singing! I love playing my ukulele and piano. I love salsa dancing (though I don’t know how good I am.) I love running and putting my body through torture in weekly spins classes. I hate going to the movies but love to read. I also love pub nights.
What country would you love to play?
France. Sigh…I think they’d like me in France. I hope they’d like me in France.
With what bands would you love to share stage??
Hmm… The Buena Vista Social Club! I know, not much to do with my music, but it would be amazing! Not sure that they’re even performing anymore though. Also, Elvis. I’ve been doing a lot of his tunes lately.
Are you OK, with the direction you're moving so far?
I am, although I’d love for it to get there faster!
Check out more: http://www.myspace.com/melissalaurenmusic