WW: Hello Cindy, how are you?
CA: Good, thanks! A little tired...in the middle of planning my
summer tour schedule. As an indie artist, I do it all myself...
WW: How was your childhood? Where did you
CA: I could make up something really traumatic and
entertaining...but the truth is I grew up in a pretty "normal"
household in Los Angeles. Well the thing that's not normal is
that my parents are still married. I was pretty much a little
princess (my Dad called me "Princess" so I asked him to buy
me a crown....he did). I always had to be the center of
attention, dressed up in my Mom's high heels and presented my own original plays, musicals and dance concerts at the tender age of 4. Fought like hell with my brother (we're only 18 mos. apart), and ran away every so often to the empty lot down the street. Usually gave up when I got hungry or cold. I was basically a good kid though. Did well in school (typical "over achiever) but had major mood swings. Parents and Doctor figured I was border line manic when I was a teenager so they put me on the pill to "balance me out." Boring. I like my moods. No major drugs. No abuse. The real life-altering stuff hit me in the last 10 years, not in my "childhood." So I guess we'll get to that later....
WW: What made you get involved with performing and writing music?
CA: Nothing made me. I just did it. It's something that happened very naturally. If there was a stage - I climbed upon it from the time I was old enough to speak. But I was definitely inspired by other performers. I would see people singing on stage and think to myself "I can do that." I started out as an actress, but I always sang too. My first songs were like a diary - I had never planned to share them. But I guess as I grew up and claimed my identity, I realized that what I do best is sing and write my own songs, and instead of act, be myself.
WW: Who has always been an influence on your music?
CA: My Grandma - she was a music teacher. It's more about what influences my music than who. There are so many great artists out there -and anything or anyone that moves me emotionally influences me. Life itself is an influence. But if you are talking about artists/bands whose cd's are in regular rotation for me, that would be Aimee Mann, Shawn Colvin, Chantal Kreviazuk, Sheryl Crow, Rolling Stones, Pretenders, The Beatles, Kim Richey, Lucinda Williams, Rhett Miller, Tori Amos.... I could go on and on.
WW: Where does the inspiration come for writing your own music?
CA: I'm pretty easily inspired. I seek it out. Of course my own relationships provide the bulk of my material, but I can see poetry and music in anyone or anything, in the subtleties, in someone's wrinkle, in the note that fell out of someone's pocket accidentally, in the graffiti on bathroom walls, in the body language of a couple on the other side of the room, in a cloud formation, in my cat's furball. Just kidding about the last thing. Well, not really.
WW: Do you like to tour often? Would you rather tour or be in the studio?
CA: I love, love to tour. Sometimes I feel like an explorer as much as I am an artist. The studio is a blast too - when you're working with the right people. But there is nothing like playing live every night, meeting new people and catching up with old friends on the road.
WW: How did it feel when you heard your debut album, See Red, was nominated for Indie CA: Pop Album of the Year for 1999 at the L.A. Music Awards? What other L.A. Music Awards have you been nominated for?
Felt great. See Red is a collection of my demos from 1996, 1997 and 1998...it's like a musical journey through those years of my life- everything was done without any intention of making a record, but rather to put the truth of the moment down on tape. So when I actually decided to make it a "real" cd and release it, I felt so vulnerable. Getting that kind of validation for my art was such an honor.
Regarding other awards, the year before I won Outstanding Songwriter (L.A. Music Awards). This past year (2002) I won Pop Song of the Year from Just Plain Folks and Female Artist of the Year. I was also named the Net Unknown of the Year by CNET/The Net Music Countdown.
The accolades are very nice - but it also means there is a lot of pressure to live up to them! I believe that there is always room for improvement - and I plan on getting better and better with age and experience!
WW: What are the titles of your other CD releases? Where can we get them?
CA: SMASH - just came out January 29th. All of my cd's are available at Amazon.com and CDBaby.com. I'm also on the Sugar & Spice soundtrack (a cover of Tom Petty's American Girl), a chill out compilation called Chilled Sirens, and the upcoming compilation called Sunday Brunch with Norah Jones, Oleta Adams, etc... That last one may be a little tough to find - it's a Japanese import (Columbia Records Japan/ Treadstone Records).
WW: What do you have in store for the future?
CA: I'll be touring on and off all summer. Hopefully I'll get to meet some of your readers along the way!
WW: If you could work with any other artist, who would it be and why?
CA: Oh that is such a hard question....I always have a tough time picking one. I would love to work with Carol King, Tom Petty, James Taylor, or Bob Dylan. They are all incredible songwriters who set an example of artistic integrity, and their songs are classic.
WW: Do you have a message to any fans, or soon-to-be fans?
CA: Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking your precious time to check out my music. What I do means nothing without someone to listen. My fans are just as much a part of my career as my band and my producers. The energy that exists between a musician on stage and an audience is one of the most beautiful experiences I know.
WW: Well Cindy, thanks! www.WildWritings.com will support you and your future music career.
CA: Thank you!! I really appreciate the support.