WW: Hey Karen. Welcome to WildWritings.com!
WW: Tell us about your childhood. Did music always play an
important role in your life?
KD: None of my parents were musical and in fact I don't think
I ever heard music in my house growing up except for the
shows I would watch on TV. I found myself memorized by the
music shows with the go-go dancers dancing in the cages and
asked my parents if I could get a guitar. I guess they said
yes, because they got me one and my mother would take me
to guitar lessons with an older woman in our town. After
about two years she told me she taught me everything
she knew so I discontinued. I started when I was seven
and the guitar led me to singing and writing my own songs.
Then I found a stray dog and named it Charlie. At first my
parents wouldn't let the dog in the house due to allergies so I
had him in a large coup outside and I used to play guitar and
sing to him, but soon after he was allowed in the house.
Sometime went by and I noticed I couldn't find my guitar
and I was heartbroken. I was afraid to tell my parents...I don't know why. One day I went out in that old coup and there was my guitar completely warped and unplayable from being out in the elements for so long. I was heartbroken. It seemed after that I must have stopped playing for awhile.
In high school my guitar would always be with me at the parties where I would lead the gang in songs for hours as we all sang and played together. When I graduated high school I applied to a West Chester state college in my hometown, but they wanted nothing to do with me...it was that that led to one of the most important things that happened in my life; I went to community college. While there I used to get there early and practice piano in the practice rooms. I was also taking a music course there. One morning the music teacher knocked on the door and said, "come here I want to tell you about something." It was that day that he told me about a college in Boston called Berkeley school of music, which I had never heard of. He called the school, had them send an application, and helped me fill it out and next thing you know I was walking around Boston wondering how it all happened.
I graduated Berkeley with honors but their vocal dept was so bad it led me to the most most important thing that ever happened in my life; I met world renowned Dante Pavone. he passed his method down to me only and I have been teaching it for over twenty years now. it is a rock method that cures all wrecked voices and than some. I could go on and on, but the long-short of it is here I started Girl On Top in 1988 and have been enjoying it ever since.
WW: When did you know you wanted to become a singer?
KD: I guess once I started playing guitar and the singing came so naturally that I really fell in love with it. probably at 7 years old.
WW: Who were you influences as a singer?
KD: Although I like the heavy music of Led Zeplen, Black Sabbath, etc. the best my favorite female vocalist of all time is early Linda Ronstadt. I was also into early Joni Mitchell, especially the album Blue, I like Courtney Love from Hole and Cheryl Crow as more recent singers. Generally, I like singers that don't sound like they have technique...my favorite being Neil Young, Bob Dylan, but I just generally like the rockers of the early 70's the best...Kurt Cobain is great as well as is Buck Cherry's singer.
WW: Where do you draw the inspiration from to create music?
KD: Songs just write themselves. I never ever once have ever said I'm going to sit down and write a song about this subject. The hooks come to me from the riff or melody and then I compile a lyric from that. Never know what I will come up with!
WW: When can we expect new music from you?
KD: I'm writing all the time...the hardest part is time and money to get into the studio and do all the hard work it takes to be in the music business.
WW: You also have your own music training school; what made you want to start a music school?
KD: Being poor! :-) When I got out of college Dante had already certified me and I was still studying with him. I needed to find a job and got a job at au bon pan and they were lucky I stayed the four hours to complete my hours for that day. I went home practically in tears and said, "I'm going to start to teach" It comes very naturally to me and I have grown better and better at it with time. another great thing that come from teaching is the friends I meet and even a husband!
WW: Thanks Karen! Best of luck to you. thanks to you as well