Sheri Miller is an upcoming Singer-Songwriter from New York. We were delighted when Sheri agreed to complete a feature interview for Song Revelation so that we could share her fantastic new album with you and give her an opportunity to tell you a bit about herself. Read on to find out about Sheri Miller’s musical inspirations, the creative process she goes through to create her tracks and what she does to relax.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Imagine a girl-woman who sits by the piano with a guitar, paper and pen, conversing with angels by day, wrestling with demons at night.
Q: What is your musical background?
The red draped velvet curtain lifts to show a young skinny girl around 7 years old, slightly awkward, super-sensitive to the world. She listens to her mother belting out beautiful opera arias from La Boheme, while accompanying herself on classical piano. The sound of music carries from the piano upwards to the girl’s room every night. The girl begins to take piano lessons, but rebels by writing her own songs on piano everyday. She can’t resist writing songs. It’s as tempting as sugar. She begins to fill looseleaf notebooks with songs, complete with lyrics, melodies, and chords. She writes, almost in a trance, at times.
This little girl goes to college. She writes songs in her room for months, a 20-minute walk from the Penn jazz music room, which has all the practice pianos. She knows she’s definitely not writing enough each day, because it’s such a big hassle to walk those long blocks downtown. Over the next couple of months, she starts dreaming steadily at night about keyboards, about buying a used keyboard. One Saturday night in particular, she has an extremely vivid dream about a small black, white and gray Casio keyboard. The next morning she wakes up with the image of the keyboard still clear in her mind, and takes a different, more scenic route that day, through an underpass of green trees. As she walks, there’s a one-day church sale, where they have the exact Casio keyboard she had dreamed of the night before. She quickly runs to the ATM, buys the keyboard for $20 and starts seriously writing her songs on that sweet, broken-keyed Casio from that day on.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
Ella Fitzgerald. Freddie King. Louis Armstrong. Paul McCartney and John Lennon. George Harrison. Paul Simon. Neil Young. Stevie Nicks. Janis Jopin. Etta James. Ray Charles. Willie Nelson. Lucinda Williams. Johnny Cash. Emmylou Harris. Jon Brion. Brian Wilson. Ben E. King. Carole King. Rogers & Hart. Cole Porter. Bonnie Raitt. Robert Johnson. You, out there, who loves music.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
I would love to write a song one day with Ron Sexsmith. Or write a bawdy blues song with Norah Jones. That would be fun.
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
Let me do a fun little experiment. Here’s what comes up on shuffle mode on my iPod. Here we go….
1) “It Ain’t No Use”- Stevie Wonder
2) “Stray Cat Blues”- Rolling Stones
3) “My Funny Valentine”- Chet Baker
4) “Get Back”- Beatles
5) “Heroes”- David Bowie
6) “Think”- Aretha Franklin
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
I clear the space within myself. And I write. Sometimes the pen moves by itself. Sometimes my hand moves across the strings or keys, and I’m just watching. I’m a bystander to the song. You let the song write itself. Sometimes it’s like watching a miracle. Those are the days we dream of. Rare. But they come.
Q: What are you currently working on?
Releasing my new record “Winning Hand.” It’s about to be released. It’s produced by one of my heroes, Kevin Killen. And It’s about to fly off into the world. Then it’s no longer mine. I love letting go. I can’t wait to record the next record. I’m excited for that. Hopefully very soon.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
To touch or move someone with my songs. Just a millimeter of an invisible inch. To make someone feel a touch of soulfulness with my writings. To feel their own soulful, deeply personal, tiny blazing truth, expressed in the music. The truth born in songs.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I’ve started meditating in the mornings and evenings. It helps me so much, otherwise I’m a lunatic crazy basketcase. The stress can eat me like a Star Wars pit monster. I do yoga sometimes, I run outside by a river, I drink wine, I play music, I take long baths. Being in water has always been a salvation. I wish I could capture a little ocean in my bathtub, that would be an oasis.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
I feel blessed to make music. Thank you for reading if you’ve made it here. I hope you’ll listen, and enjoy, songs from my new record, “Winning Hand” and my last record, “Mantra”. You can stream them all at my website, www.sherimiller.com . And I hope to hear more from you. Please write me a message on Facebook (www.tinyurl.com/sherimiller), and twitter (twitter.com/sherimiller). I’d love to hear from you.
Editor’s Note: Sheri Miller’s portfolio of music and undeniable talent both in songwriting and performance mean that her future in the music industry will undoubtedly be very bright. Definitely one of Song Revelation’s Ones to Watch!
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