Musician Eric Himan says too many Pride festivals are ditching gay artists for overpriced disco divas who don’t necessarily give a hoot about LGBT history or culture.
It’s entirely appropriate that much of America was introduced to Tje Austin on the first season of NBC’s The Voice because very few voices stand out like his. There are a lot of things that good vocalist do well, Tje does so many of them, in a natural, seemingly effortless way. Tje has a beautiful range. No super deep tones but deep enough to make your heart sink a little when he hits them, and he can stretch the high end to places that are almost celestial. His voice can get soft but it’s never thin, in fact it’s one of the clearest voices I’ve heard in a long time. At time’s there’s just enough vibrato to make you notice but never enough to turn you off. If he throws in a run, it’s not for the sake of showy vocal acrobatics. It comes from a place of real emotion that fits that place in that song exactly. He can feel it and he makes sure you do too. Comments on Tje Austin videos online read like a mantra; “your voice!” “what a voice!” “I’m in love with your voice!” Smooth as velvet, clear as glass. It’s a voice that you’re not only drawn to, but you want to wrap it around you. Tje gives us a lot of what’s been “produced” out of music today… best of all, that voice is just as impressive live as it is recorded. But he’s not a throw back. He’s not yesterday. He’s tomorrow, and aren’t we lucky we have him here today, and I was lucky to ask him a few questions.
You once tweeted “Tomorrow isn’t promised. Live for the day! No regrets!” Do you truly live by those words and if so, how has that helped you in this business?
I try to live by those words. I do regret decisions I have made in the past, but everything is a learning experience, and those experiences help shape my music. I try to seize any opportunity, make new friends and enjoy life as much as possible. Because nothing is guaranteed.
You claim to have a wide range of things you listen to and enjoy; a. what/who among all of it influences you the most? b. is there anything in your mp3 player that you don’t usually admit to having?
I love harmonies and melodies in songs so I have a lot more favorite songs than favorite artists, but I love listening to Coldplay, fun., Phillip Phillips, Tweet, Anthony Hamilton, Rihanna, Brandy and so many more. I don’t mind telling folks I listen to Ke$ha or Britney Spears sometimes. They have good songs.
I know you come from a big family and you started singing shortly after you started walking. How supportive were your siblings and are any of them also musicians?
My family is very supportive. My dad actually is in Afghanistan right now and he and his buddies started a band. He plays the bass. I haven’t seen any video yet but he sends tons of pictures. My little brother writes and raps, my sister sings, my mom sings, and all of my siblings love music. There was a wide variety of music in the house growing up: The Beatles, Willie Nelson, Aerosmith, Green Day, Nirvana, NIN, The Cranberries, Destiny’s Child, etc.
Do you miss the fro? (I know I bat for the other team, but I think you’re hot either way.)
I was so sick inside when I cut my hair. I kept telling myself its just hair and hair grows back, but it was a big change from what I used to have. It still looks good. :)
Why not OUTlander? Its another chance to introduce my music to new ears while. Its right in the heart of SXSW, I get the chance to hear, Sarah Golden, one of my fb friends (we havent met yet), who will also be playing. And I love all opportunities to play music.
You can catch Tje Austin at The OUTlander Spring Fest Kickoff Party March 12th
at Rusty’s 405 E. 7th Street
RSVP on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/events/348306321949930/
and at OUTlander Spring Fest Day 3
at Oilcan Harry’s 211 W. 4th Street
RSVP on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/events/505751122804618/
You can find Tje Austin online at:
The music of The 7s reminds me a lot of my parent’s record collection. Before you think that I’m being insulting you should know two things; first, my parents had impeccable taste in rock, funk, soul, and r&b and second, I’m not talking about the random record that would make me say, “oh god, turn it off.” I’m talking about the really good ones… the ones that stood the test of time, by artists that continue to inspire new artists today… the ones that got smuggled out of the house to my dorm room. There’s a familiarity in what The 7s do, but what really draws you in is the newness that they bring to that familiar sound, the things that come through to really grab your attention once the groove has captivated you. It could be Ginger A. Thompson’s sensual vocals, that go from enticing to commanding, from bold to breathy and possess stirring emotion and lyrics that remind you of every time you’ve felt love, or desire, or desperation, or pride. It could be Casey K’s fierce but melodic guitar, complimenting the vocal but also finding his own times to really shine. It could be the virulent grooves of Ethan Lee on bass, funk that rocks or rock that’s funky, either way it works and you dance. It could be David Bailey on drums driving the machine. He’s one of the most musical drummers I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching live; jazzy riffs that still rock hard and bring serious versatility. Bailey’s fills aren’t just fills, they’re punctuation. They fit that moment, that groove, that lyric perfectly at that time. It could be any of those things but really, it’s all of them and how seamlessly they work together. It you want to rock, if you want some funk, if you want to lose yourself in a melody, you can do all of that if you go see The 7s. They say it’s hard to put them into one genre… their genre is fresh and timeless… their genre is “kick ass.”
Ginger, what brought The 7s together and how would you describe your sound?
David, Lee and myself were all played together for a different band in 2011. That group eventually broke up and David and I had been talking about working together musically for a few years already, so we all got together and BAM! The 7s were formed. Casey joined a while later and adds so much to the sound.
Before there was The 7s, you once told me that you enjoyed playing solo but you really wanted to front a band. What do you enjoy more about being in a group vs. playing solo?
There’s a totally different energy when I play with the band. My guys are crazy talented and I just kind of get lost in the music.
I do love playing solo tho. It’s raw.
I read that The 7s play 11 instruments between you. Can you break that down?
David plays drums, but he’s has my bass guitar for about 5 months now and I’m not exactly sure what he’s doing with it.
I play rhythm, lead and bass.
Casey plays guitar and bass.
Lee plays piano, violin, cello, French horn, guitar, bass, drums, sitar, melodica, harmonica, and the mandolin.
Tell us about your new CD.
We spent the better part of August 2012 recording at Red Horse Ranch Studio and came out with what we think is a beautiful baby called the Unwind EP. It really captures the band’s diversity. We can be funky, we can groove and we can rock
Each of you brings something a little different to the musical table. What are your biggest influences as individuals and is there any one influence that you all share?
I think we’re all fans of Childish Gambino, but that has yet to come out in our music. Radio Head, Muse, Foo Fighters… so many great bands.
Add another great band to the list!
You can catch The 7s at The OUTlander Spring Fest Day 4
at Oilcan Harry’s 211 W. 4th Street
RSVP on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/events/593225070691214/
You can find The 7s online at
OUTlander Artist: Julie Nolen
The first thing I noticed about Julie Nolen’s music was that I’d lived it before. You can step inside a Telling Stories song and experience it. You don’t just hear. You see, touch, feel… everything that suddenly surrounds you. And while you take it in, you’re moved by it and you move TO it. I’m happy to call Julie a friend, but every time we get to see each other it’s a whirlwind of load in, break down, switch acts, get paid, pack up and go home. Not a lot of hang out time. We found a common hour in which we were both free and I got to ask her some things I’ve always wanted to ask.
I’ve always thought that Telling Stories was the best name possible for your band because you are one of my favorite story tellers.
You’re welcome. And I know of all the stories you’ve told, that ONE of them is true.
I want to know if any of the rest are.
They’re all true to a degree.
Absolutely. I can’t make up a story out of nowhere. They all have to have some truth to them.
I was hoping that was gonna be your answer.
Well yeah. I can’t make half of this shit up. I can maybe just elaborate a little, but most of the crazy things that happen are just crazy things that happen in life. I just spend a lot of time putting myself in the right place at the right time, or maybe the wrong place at the right time. I don’t know.
Well at least something’s right.
Well Austin’s a crazy town so a lot of crazy things happen here.
You’ve been in the music scene for over a decade. What do you know now that you wish you knew ten years ago?
The long and the short of it is, I wish I would’ve known that no one is going to do it for you but you. I mean, I knew that, but I didn’t really know that. I was all young and dumb at 21 and what not, when I first started but I guess that’s the main thing. I wish I would’ve known that literally no one is going to do jack shit for you except for you. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not looking gift horses in the mouth. I know people have definitely helped me out, invited me to these cool events, and introduced me to other people that can help me out, but its hard being a DIY musician. Ultimately it comes down to you and your diligence and persistence. Helpful hands can lift you up but you still have to use your legs to climb up and stand. But it’s exhilarating making things happen for yourself. I have never been so happy as I am now even being so busy and doing 40 jobs at once. Help is always needed and welcomed though. Lol.
Agreed. You have a pretty heavy gigging schedule and you’re still doing your open mic twice a week at Waterloo Ice House.
And I have a full time job and a girlfriend.
And it hasn’t killed you yet. You haven’t said, “I’m not gonna do the open mic anymore.” Other than the fact that hosting an open mic will pay you, what do you get out of doing that and seeing all those acts take the stage every week?
Well it certainly is a little small bit of extra income and it is steady which is nice, but what I get out of it I guess, especially at first is doing the open mics really opened my eyes to getting other gigs and putting my ass out on the line, seeing other people do it and making those contacts more than anything. Meeting all these other musicians, doing their showcases, doing their open mics. Meeting other people to play with, meeting people that can do video production and some of those other things that I need. And I also come from a family of teachers and I think watching people grow as musicians is really rewarding.
You once told me that you meet the same people on the way down. And you are, in so many peoples opinions, one of the nicest, most outgoing, generous people. So, is that just who you are, just your nature or are you thinking in the back of your mind, “you meet the same people on the way down?”
I’ll be honest, it’s both. In some ways I am my father’s daughter and he did definitely instill the value of treat others the way you want to be treated. The golden rule. So, I mean definitely both. You never know who’s gonna be who in the music industry. That’s for sure. Don’t get me wrong if some club screws me over I’m not gonna keep playing there. At the same time, you know, it’s business, and I do wanna treat everybody with respect. The whole “you meet the same people on the way down” thing comes from one of my favorite movies, Almost Famous. It’s a line that Phillip Seymour Hoffman [as Lester Bangs] says, “you’ll meet them all again on the long journey to the middle.” It is kinda funny, even in personal relationships, life is so circular. I’ve met up with friends, and re-met friends and suddenly this person is doing that, or this person is dating that person, and people always come back into your life if they’re supposed to. Especially in Austin, in our small communities. Everything’s an even playing ground in a lot of ways.
Tell me a little bit about your recent songwriter’s circle experience with Patrice Pike, John Pointer and Ginger Leigh.
Wasn’t that a dream come true? I’ve been watching Patrice Pike and Ginger Leigh and John Pointer play for as long as I’ve been [in Austin.] I put together a benefit concert for Clean Water Action when I was like 20… 21… like 11/12 years ago and had Patrice play because I was on her street team and I had John Pointer come in with Schrödinger’s Cat. So, I remember watching them and Ginger Leigh of course I’ve seen for a few years too. I’ve had the fortune to meet and hang out with Patrice personally through a friend and there would be times where he would bring out a guitar so we’d both play a song or two or something and she was like, “that was pretty cool. I like your stuff.” Then the last couple of years have been pretty lucky as far as some of the friendships I’ve made. They’re great friends don’t get me wrong and this isn’t just my way to get in or whatever. My friend Ali runs [Patrice’s] merchandise and I told her one time if you need help, I’m usually here. So I got a text from her like maybe two or three o’clock in the afternoon saying, “hey, are you working today?” And it was a Thursday, I thought, “she probably just wants me to help with merch, no big deal.” So I said, “Yeah I work ‘til eight but I can probably get off a little earlier if you need. What’s going on?” She’s like, “hey do you want to come cover my show for me tonight?” “At the Saxon Pub? Hell yeah I do!” She said, “it’ll be a song swap.” and I was like, “that’s cool.” Within a few hours I was on stage with Patrice and Ginger and John. That was pretty awesome! I mean, we play so many shows there’s certain shows you don’t get nervous for anymore and there’s certain shows you’re always gonna be nervous for. That was a show that I kinda had a conversation with myself before that was like, “Dude, you’re gonna be nervous but get over it within one song, because this is an experience and you need to fucking live it and be there for it!” It was awesome and I didn’t know a soul in that audience which was strange because normally I do but I didn’t know anybody in that audience. It was kinda scary but I had a good time and I think I did pretty well. I had a lot of people compliment me, so that was fun. I hope to do it again.
I hope you do too.
You can catch Julie Nolen at
the OUTlander Spring Fest 2013 Kickoff Party
at Rusty’s 405 E. 7th St
RSVP on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/348306321949930/?fref=ts
You can find Julie Nolen online at:
We are pleased to announce that thanks to the support of our sponsors Ticketbud and therepubliq and to celebrate our final OUTlander event at Rusty’s before they close their doors, we are dropping the prices on advanced tickets to $5 for general admission and $20 for VIP, and door prices to $8 for general admission and $25 for VIP.
GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY at https://outlander.ticketbud.com/13smf-0312
***NOTE: Attendees who purchased their advanced tickets at the old $8 and $25 prices will get a drink ticket when they check-in.***
OUTlander Artist: Jenni Dale Lord
by: Sami-di Williams
Lubbock native, and one time Austin resident Jenni Dale Lord has a lot of things going for her, vocal versatility, dare-you-not-to-dance rhythm guitar, seamless transitions through all the sub-genres that make up Americana music with a uniqueness that always reminds you that you are listening to a Jenni Dale Lord song. What might strike you most of all, however is an ability to turn a phrase that alternately makes you laugh or sigh or feel a slight piercing in your heart but always makes you want to listen again. Order her self titled, sophomore release from JDL’s official site: jennidalelord.com and you’ll hear exactly what I mean. Jenni took the time to answer a few questions for us and I’m glad she did. Not only does it give us a little more insight into her, but I think she touches on how a lot of independent artists think and feel.
by: Sami-di Williams
The first words that entered my mind listening to Victoria Love were; meaning, layers and depth. There is depth and layers to the music from the instrumentation to the intricate way it weaves through her stories. There is depth and meaning in the lyrics themselves which are delivered with a voice that conveys it’s own depths and heights, a voice that can be soft and stirring then powerful and compelling. In short, Victoria Love gives us what a lot of music is missing, dynamics. Not just the highs and lows and stylistic offerings of musical dynamics, but it is dynamic. It’s forceful, conveys it’s own energy and leaves you effected.
This alone would be enough for a lot of artists but Love takes things further, she’s taught at Girls Rock Camp and founded “Elle Acoustique” a regular event that supports women’s music. Love is currently working on a new album “Ataraxis” a follow up to her 2011 EP, “just breathe” which can be found on iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby.
In the past, you’ve worked at Girls Rock Camp. How did it feel to be able to pass music down to another generation of girls? Do you think organizations like that will further change the “boys club” landscape of rock music?
Getting involved with Girls Rock Camp has been really rewarding and challenging at the same time. The structure of the camp is so fast paced that your head spins, but the amount of growing these girls do in such a short period of time is amazing. I signed up to volunteer with them so that I could get more experience teaching. I want to do something similar with Elle Acoustique (an organization I started a few years ago ( www.elleacoustique.com). I think the more of these kinds of camps and work-shops the better. It IS such a “boys club” and I would love to have a hand in changing that.
I don’t want to give it away because it’s amazing and I’d love for people to go and watch it for themselves, but the final scenes in the “Yours for the Taking” video are pretty dark. Whose idea was that and did you have a hard time shooting those scenes?
Well, it was my idea, of course. Actually, the whole video was my idea. I had some help making it happen with my Director/Producer, David Craig. I had to compromise some ideas for others so I could afford the video, but all in all, I’m proud to call it my very first. Yes, the end is very dark, but appropriately so. It’s meant to have the viewers asking themselves, “Did that really happen?”. It’s sort of a revenge fantasy, really. If I could do it over, I would make the whole video a lot darker, as the song really calls for it. Some of the scenes I thought would be the hardest ended up being the easiest and the most fun. The crying naked in the shower part was actually really amazing to shoot as well as the ending. Both scenes I thought I would have trouble. My co-actress Rachel Lemay, really handled it like a champ too. I was lucky to have her.
Give us a couple of the biggest highlights from your recent Southern tour.
The tour was awesome! I booked the tour for myself and then at the last minute the Shotgun Betties (my side project) wanted to come along. So, we went together and played everything. My stuff, our stuff, covers, etc. We played so many great shows for so many great people and it was really fun. We had a live radio interview in Nashville, so that was cool. We tried our hands at busking in the streets. It was really COLD, but also really funny. We were just making up songs for the people passing by. We did break down on the way home in the middle of “nowhere” Arkansas though. If that’s not a highlight, nothing is. After 3.5 hours of being stranded by the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere with 18 wheelers almost running you over, you start to wonder if it’s worth it. Touring, that is. Hahaha, but of course, it absolutely is!
Making sure you catch Victoria Love live is also absolutely worth it.
She will be playing the OUTlander Spring Fest Kick-off Party Tues. March, 12
at Rusty’s 405 E. 6th Street
You can find Victoria Love online at:
OUTlander Artist: KELSEY MONTANEZ
By: Sami-di Williams
Lyrics with honesty and depth delivered with stirring vocals and skillful guitar. This is Kelsey Montanez. The Chicago native has been at it from a very young age and has had some interesting experiences along the way. I got to talk to her for a while and learned how those experiences have shaped who she is as a person and a musician.
One of the most interesting things I read researching you was your songwriting and how things just come to you. Can you give us a little bit about what your songwriting process is like?
Sure. It’s actually very easy for me. I usually start with chords on guitar, piano or something like that and I just play them over and over. I start to formulate a melody on top of the chords for the vocals based on what kind of emotion I feel from chords and the melodies that I’m creating, like I kinda draw from it and think about the first thing that comes to my mind or what I feel or what I’m going through is what I shape my lyrics around. So it’s very on the spot pretty much. I never really write lyrics and then go back to them months later and try to formulate a song. It’s usually just like I write a total song within an hour or two.
Your dad was a huge musical influence and because of him, you started pretty young, He probably still has an impact on what you do today, but I want to know, outside of your father, who the earliest influences were that you can remember.
When I was really young I actually remember the first record that I ever got. My aunt got it for me. I was like 11. It was Fiona Apple, “Tidal”. That influenced me a lot. I was influenced a lot by other female musicians. In high school I was super into Ani DiFranco and Tegan and Sarah. Then I started getting into old soul singers like Aretha [Franklin] But I definitely think Fiona Apple was one of the first albums that I just devoured from start to finish and listened to day in and day out and kinda took a lot of musical direction from.
You can hear it. You can definitely hear the Ani too.
While we’re talking about that, your sound has a lot of melding going on. It’s really unique. What I like most about it is that acoustic guitar that seems to be ever present. I don’t know that a lot of people with a band backing them sounding the way that yours does, who would put an acoustic guitar on top of that but you make it work so well.
I’d love to know why you decided to go with the acoustic. Did people ever push you to play an electric and say, “this will fit better with what you’re doing?” Did you have to dig in your heels and say, “no I’m playing an acoustic?”
I think I just sort of fell into it. I actually started by playing electric when I was young. Then I got way more into songwriting. I would never try to take the time to deal with sound and plugging in my electric. It was always just a nuisance to me because I was trying to just write. So my dad had an acoustic and I had an electric of my own and I just ended up constantly borrowing his and wanting to play it because it was just easier to help me write. As soon as I got a guitar I just started writing. So it just kinda happened that way. I started off with playing chords which is more of an acoustic thing rather than electric and I think that I just kinda molded that way. Every time I would sit down to play I just wanted to play acoustic because I was always just trying to work on songs that I was writing or I was trying to piece songs together and it was easier to do that on an acoustic.
When you graduated from high school, you went to California to pursue your music. At that young an age, I think that was a gutsy move. Tell me what the best things are that you took away from that trip.
I think I was always really an out there kind of kid. I didn’t really fit in, in high school. I was kind of like this loner person. I was already playing shows out so I had this idea. I thought I was just gonna hop in my car and go out West and it was just gonna fall together and all my dreams would come true. I had a blast! I mean going out there was harder than I thought and I ran into all these problems and difficulties. I only stayed there for a couple of months because eventually it was just kind of impossible supporting myself and finding a job and things got harder. But I think the thing that I learned the most is that it’s more the journey than the destination. And I know that’s a famous quote from somewhere but that’s what I learned from it, because I had all these wild experiences. I had the good and the bad, but I think it grounded me a little bit. I learned that I have to be a little more patient and that planning and organizing comes in handy. You know? I mean, I had the pure energy and bravado just to go out there and do it, but it definitely wasn’t as easy as I thought it was gonna be.
OK. You knew it was coming. I’m sure it does in every interview you ever do. The American Idol experience. I know a lot of musicians who are very resentful of Idol. How would you compare that experience to just working your way up through the scene and the “dirty bars” paying your dues like a lot of musicians do? Would you take one over the other or are you happy that you had both?
I’m happy that I had both, but personally I would choose just doing it the typical musicians way; just playing out and gaining fans. The one good thing about the Idol experience was that it made you work harder and it made you challenge yourself in ways that you weren’t comfortable with vs. just playing out. When you’re playing out, you’re doing your own thing. You’re playing the songs you wanna play. You’re writing the stuff you wanna write. You choose the gigs that you wanna play. So in a way you kind of stay in your comfort zone which could be a good thing and a bad thing, because when you stay in your comfort zone it’s kind of like, you have a crowd that likes you for you and you can kind of build your own little groove, but with American Idol or something like that it is challenging. If you’re the type of person that likes to be challenged and likes to be tested it’s good because you’re in front of this completely diverse audience, every single person that you’re around is your competition, you’re getting picked apart… it’s very unrealistic. It’s like this alternate universe. When you go there it’s strange because you don’t know anybody. You’re your only friend and you constantly have lights in your face and cameras asking you uncomfortable questions. You have the video crew trying to get things out of you and pit you against your team members. You have people trying to befriend you because they think you’re going somewhere and then you have people trying to step on you because they think you’re competition. It’s really insane and if you think that you can handle that kind of thing, I think it’s good for people to go, because you work around the clock. You’re literally working on music from four in the morning until two in the morning that night. It’s non-stop, and it’s draining and exhausting. If you can get through it, it’s like a huge ego boost. You feel good, you feel strong and you’re proud of yourself. But if you’re not really sure that’s what you wanna do, and you don’t like criticism and you don’t like competition, I would say that the best way for you to do it is just to build yourself up in your own environment, in your own crowd. Do it your way. That’s kind of what I prefer. I’ve just built my own little world in music and played my own shows and written my own music. It’s a lot more comforting than being in an environment like that.
I get the feeling that little world is gonna get a whole lot bigger.
Kelsey will be playing the OUTlander Spring Fest (Day 3)
Friday, March 15th at Oilcan Harry’s 211 W 4th Street
You can find Kelsey online at:
Look for Kelsey’s EP “A Delightful Sadness” on iTunes
OUTlander Artist: Alsace Carcione
by: Sami-di Williams
If you don’t already know Alsace Carcione, you should get to know her. Her lyrics prove she already knows you. This is intelligent, artistic rap that still goes hard. Lyrics that inform, inspire and speak to the every day of every person. She knows your joy and your pain and she has poetry for all of it. Check out the full length “Embryonic Paradigm” on her bandcamp site. The hooks pull influences from many genres; alternative rock, modern R&B, old school soul… while her rhymes weave effortlessly across all of them making it undeniable that these different sounds can work flawlessly between tracks and that this is all one artist; one artist who stands out, who has risen above and who is talking directly to you. I was really happy that she took a little time to answer some questions for OUTlander.
I watched you in the Cypher for last year’s SXSW, throwing down, surrounded by men. How do you think your gender or sexuality has been received in the hip-hop world?
The cypher was an excellent experience. My sexuality and gender is a good and a bad thing for the industry as a whole. On one hand it makes people intimidated to market me to the masses, because unlike a “feminine” woman, it is very easy to tell right off the back. And since I refuse to wear skirts, dresses, heels, make-up, etc., I’ve been told I would never make it. My gender however is something that is respected by more than one would imagine. Just like the group of guys that I spit in the cypher with, they respect me as an emcee, and don’t see gender. But when they do, they hold doors open and are respectful. The hip-hop world is a tricky place for a woman period, but I would not trade my experience for the world, because it gives me the story to my rhymes and allows me to be a muse for someone else, a role model of sorts. Hip hop is my refuge rather some like me or not, but you will respect that I handle myself and my music with passion and aggression more than most men because I have to and because it is what I am meant to do.
I read that you got to bill with rap royalty, Big Daddy Kane. Tell me a little bit about that experience.
Sharing the stage with the likes of Brand Nubian, Big Daddy Kane, Pharoahe Monch was an experience in itself. However it was Brand Nubian that shared knowledge with me and created an atmosphere of human to human instead of fan (which i was star struck lol) to superstar or should we say OG’s in the game. I’ve met the likes of Chief Rocker Busy Bee one of the true originators of the game and it is a true honor to say I have spoken with these men and received guidance….now if only I can meet Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, and Foxy Brown lol….Lauryn Hill I would just be speechless.
In the song G5G, both the lyrics and the video, I really felt like you were showing us your roots, your history. How much influence did your family and your upbringing have on your music?
My family are not only my backbone, but they are the reasons why I do what I do now, because of their support. My mother, father, little brother and cousins are truly some of my biggest fans. My grandmother Gracie may her soul rest in peace kept me gospeled up. Mahalia Jackson and all the old schools. My grandma Car, her love for Lionel Richie and Kenny Rogers, to my mother, her love for Marvin Gaye and Barry White. But my father is the guy, he had all the records, and not just r&b, he had funk, soul, rock, rap etc.He was all around open with music and thats how he raised me. Virginia is where I am from and will forever represent, because that place is where I learned it all. Marching in the band playing trumpet, to concert band with the baritone, there is so much I owe to my state and most definitely my family.
Your bio says that you bring back the artistry that made you fall in love with hip-hop. What are some ways that you’re doing that? And what artists in the hip-hop genre have influenced you?
What initially attracted me to hip-hop was the art of storytelling in the midst of having fun through the hurt. I make sure I tell stories. For instance, something off my old mixtape “Fairytales” while using all of the fables and characters of my youth I created a story of the dopefiend. ”On my Grind” gives you the picture of as many occupations as possible. And “Don’t Let Me Go/Hold My Hand” goes into detail of the account of what happens to so many teens and adults alike coming out. And hip hop was about fun, not just oppression so especially during live shows, we throw our all into it. We make sure the crowd is engaged and they are not feeling “attacked” to listen. Hip hop was and still is an art form and I, as well as other artists I know, are working hard to preserve a craft that has been exploited for fast dollars and ignorance.
You call yourself a student and a fan of music period. Do you take influence from artists in other genres?
Most definitely!!! Doctors and lawyers are constantly studying. At my job they keep me in some kind of training so I have to study other art forms. I love rock and roll, jazz, the blues and anything with live music. It takes feeling and concentration to exude that type of brilliance I go to live shows of other hip hop artists to study their moves, interaction with the crowds, etc. I love true singers because without fail they give you goosebumps and it’s the most awesome feeling. I love dubstep because of the energy, it took awhile for pop to grow on me but it has…somewhat lol. Reggae gets anyone moving and free. Its just so much that can be learned from another artist’s interpretation of something. I love the arts period, poetry, paintings, grafitti, dancing, modeling, photography, etc. Its something motivating in seeing someones hard work come to life.
What, if anything, do you think you get back from playing LGBT festivals like OUTlander?
OUTlander gives an outlet for artists such as myself to expand their fanbase and get the music out there, but the staff also treated me like a superstar. I meet so many different people, especially at these events; women who have been fans or who are new to my music who say I have touched them with my lyrics or I got the party started. The exposure is evident and is given as it will be needed all around. There is nothing like stepping off stage knowing that you had the crowds’ undivided attention, despite many beers and drinks lol. It feels good to play for women who love women or men who love men, who just love good music and everything in between. This opportunity is massively amazing and I am more than grateful for the experience that is about to take place.
You can catch Alsace Carcione at OUTlander Spring Fest (Day 1) at Oilcan Harry’s 211 W 4h Street
RSVP on Facebook here
You can find Alsace Carcione online here: