What does listening mean to you? Is listening different than hearing?
Listening goes beyond hearing, to paying attention to a message and then noticing what is evoked in you. Listening is more than an auditory experience; it is an emotional experience, feeling the emotions go through you.
What role does listening play in your music? Or in music in general?
My music is based on personal experiences, the lessons that I translate into song through words and melody. I have to listen to myself to become aware of how I interpret and react to situations then music becomes my outlet. I also listen to other artists as teachers.
Artistic expression is as much about listening and tapping into life’s rhythms as much as it is about creating and sharing a product. Too much music is written from formulas, to sell soulless songs. For me, music isn’t about creating the next hit – or even about trying to be original; I just want it to have heart — which requires listening to my own and not just playing what I think others want to hear or what will sell.
What did you learn through the process of creating your latest album, Shaping Me?
Before this album, I had never mixed or edited my own music so this album was a long labour of love. I had to learn how to listen for all the technical intricacies that make professional quality sounding music while maintaining the emotional honesty and authenticity of the of music. I also learned to listen to my gut when it came to collaborating with engineers, producers and other musicians and artists; I was fortunate to have met like-minded and talented people in this process, people who respected my style and helped me stay true to the songs.