Neara Russell is a Singer / Songwriter and Berklee College graduate, originally from Wisconsin but now living and working in Hollywood, California. When we checked out Neara’s latest tracks at Song Revelation we were impressed and had to invite her to complete an interview so that we could share her music, style and personality with you. Read on to find out about what Neara’s currently working on, how she writes and produces her own musical material and who her musical inspirations are.
Q: If you could classify your music in a genre or a number of genres what would it be?
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Wisconsin girl in Hollywood, singing quirky songs and experimenting with synthesizers.
Q: What is your musical background?
My musical background is in classical piano, voice, and bass clarinet, with a healthy dose of rock music. I composed contemporary art songs and released an original CD in my teens, then attended Berklee College of Music in Boston to study composition and performance.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
2010 was great. 2011 has been even better. I graduated college and moved to Los Angeles as a full-time musician. I like to think that every year must be better than the last, because you’re always improving!
Q: Who inspires you musically?
I’m inspired by anyone with original thought. Could be an adventurous journalist, creative businessperson, or local singer/songwriter. I appreciate people with original ideas and the confidence to pursue them.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
Imogen Heap, Incubus, and Peter Gabriel, for their lasting careers and for being unafraid to change and grow beyond industry trends.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
Producer Butch Vig, for sure. And I’d love to open for Incubus or Pink.
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
Artists on my iPod at the moment: Robyn, Skylar Grey, See Green, Ari Herstand.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
I want to have something to say before my musical ideas take over. So I’ll determine a tempo and feel for a piano riff, then dive into lyrics and melody. Improvise on that for a bit to find form and direction, then dig into Yamaha Motif programming.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
Q: Where are you based?
Los Angeles baby!
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
I’m from Wisconsin, and that’s at the heart of everything I do. My hometown has been very supportive, and I’m super nostalgic for my Midwestern woods and cornfields.
Living in California now, though, has been crazy. LA is a different world and I’m right in the middle of it. Everyone’s involved in “The Industry” in some way, and I love being a part of the global entertainment hub.
Q: What are you currently working on?
My new album “Noise and Silence” was released in May 2011, so I’ve been working to get film/TV placements and local exposure. I play keyboards with other artists as well, and looking to go on tour.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Definitely playing on “The View” as keyboardist/background vocalist for Sony artist BC Jean was a great experience. Self-producing my new album and playing a sold-out CD release show was super fun.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
I want to secure a tour as keyboardist/background vocalist, and hear one of my songs in a movie. Getting there!
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
Plenty of local shows coming up in cool venues with other great artists on the bill. You can check out my calendar on my website:
Q: What do you do to relax?
I like to run and hike, read as many books as the library will allow me to check out, and dance with myself in the mirror.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
This is a great website and I’m happy to be part of it. Thanks for reading!
Editor’s Note: Neara Russell’s proficient musicianship and profound sense of style produces music that is both appealing and commercial. Definitely one of Song Revelation’s ‘One’s to Watch’ for 2011 and beyond.
If you’d like to listen to more of Neara Russell’s work, or get in contact, just follow the links below:
web page link: http://www.neararussell.com/
twitter link: http://www.twitter.com/neararussell
facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/neararussell
myspace link: http://www.myspace.com/neararussell