Sunday, February 13, 2011

An Interview with Shannon Curtis

A friend recently told me that to 'really interview' Shannon Curtis, I needed to 'hear the energy in her voice.' Her words 'glow,' and 'she inspires you when you're near her.' I was not fortunate enough to have met Shannon, but she was one of several of the talented musicians who've performed at Whimzey as one of Kiaralinda and Todd's house concert guests. In the next few blog posts, I hope to show supporters of SHAMc what kind of musicians have inspired this town and its people. After asking a few friends about their experience listening to Shannon Curtis's music, and seeing her perform, I was not only told a bit about her style, her talent, and her sound, but also that "She's one of those people you just feel good to be around."

Recently, Shannon Curtis has been on tour, but in-between busy moments, she answered a few questions in an e-mail interview. They're questions I really want to know the answers to; questions I think I would like to ask everyone I meet. I mean, instead of asking someone what they do for a living, wouldn't it be wonderful to know who has inspired them?

Well, Shannon answered beautifully. She is busy now and great things are happening for her, including her recent appearance on Extreme Makeover; Home Edition. I wish her all the success in the world. She is obviously a lovely person, and although I have not had the opportunity to meet her face-to-face, I am going to buy her album and enjoy her musical friendship for a while. I hope you support people who live their dream. If you love music, check her out. Buy her album.

This is what it's all about.

Rock on, Shannon!

LK: Describe your music for those who aren't familiar with it.

SC: I play the piano and sing love songs.

LK: How are you inspired? Who inspires you?

SC: I get inspired by all the little meaningful moments surrounding love and relationships -- before, after, during love. Moments that belong to me, others, characters in books, characters in my imagination.

People who relentlessly pursue their passions are inspiring to me, especially people who contribute creatively to the world. It's an uphill battle to be an artist or a musician or a writer, but where would we be without these people? I'm inspired to see creative people making it happen even when the going is hard.

LK: What changes have you seen in your music (if any) since you performed at Kiaralinda and Todd's.

SC: I'm currently in the midst of making a new record -- my first full-length, full-production record -- and I'm experiencing a bit of an evolution musically in the process. The songs aren't necessarily coming from a different place, but the sounds surrounding them are becoming much bigger, more adventurous, more cinematic. I'm excited to see where this new direction leads.

LK: Are you living the dream you always saw for yourself, or did your music career surprise you?

SC: Deep down, I think I always wanted to be a singer, but when I was growing up and when I was in college it didn't seem like a worthy enough goal to which to aspire. Or I didn't feel like pursuing music as a career goal would be acceptable to my family and my community. (I was a pre-med Biology major in college, for instance. "I'm going to be a doctor" sounded way more impressive than "I'm going to be a starving musician.")

But then in my senior year of college, it struck me one afternoon like a ton of bricks -- in the midst of studying for an organic chemistry exam -- that I was going to be a musician. It scared me to death, the idea of trying to figure out how to make that happen, but it was an undeniable calling, if you believe in that kind of thing. From then on, it was only a matter of trying to figure out how to be involved in music in more and more meaningful ways and how to get more and more experience doing it. Somewhere along the way, I discovered a deep love for songwriting, and, luckily, also discovered that I was pretty good at it!

I certainly didn't have this plan for my life back when I was making plans for my life. But this is where I've ended up after a long series of doing the next true thing in my life.

LK: How did your appearance on Extreme Makeover, Home Edition come to be?

SC: Well, I got a call from a friend of mine who has been in a hard rock band for a while. He said that the show was requesting a song of his, but they wanted a female singer singing something about girl power. So, I wrote the melody and lyrics to music he had written, recorded the part, and we sent it off to the show. And they loved it!

LK: Do you have advice for musicians who dream of performing &/or a career in music?

SC: I would encourage them to write their own songs and play in front of people as much as possible. There is nothing like the stage to bring to light what's working and what's not. And don't ever try to write or sing or play or make music based on what you think people want to hear -- make music that rings true to you. The best thing you can bring to the world creatively is the thing that is most true to yourself. Anything else will smell like a fake from miles away and won't bring you any real success, let alone satisfaction.

LK: Do you think the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center will benefit our town and its musicians?

SC: SO MUCH! I'm so excited for a center dedicated to art and music in Safety Harbor! I wish that every community had people willing to create a place such as this is going to be. Where are we, especially in the hard times we've all been facing the last few years, without music and art? These things will be our saviors, I think, and I'm so happy that there will soon be a place in Safety Harbor dedicated to providing a place for the community to interact with music and art. It's going to be such a happy place.

LK: What's next for you/your music?

SC: Like I mentioned, I'm halfway done recording my first full-length, full-production record and it sounds like a dream, thanks to my amazing producer/husband, Jamie Hill ( We're working really hard to make an undeniably great record and I can only imagine that it will lead us to the next true thing.

Visit Shannon's website.

Did you see Shannon perform? Feel free to comment below and share your experience!

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