Shari Pine is a singer-songwriter from New York drawing on Blues, Soul and Americana influences. When we first checked out Shari’s memorable voice at Song Revelation we were impressed. We were therefore really happy when she agreed to complete a full feature interview with Song Revelation. Read on to find out about which modern day artists Shari is inspired by, how she became interested in music and what she’s hoping to achieve over the next 12 months.
Q: What are you called?
Sometimes Soul Sista but mostly Shari.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
An artist at the crossroads of the blues: firmly anchored in the tradition, but having one foot clearly stepping into the future.
Q: What is your musical background?
Records, radio and rudiments. When most kids were hanging out in their rooms playing board games I was perusing artist album covers that were all over my house. Aretha here, Leontyne Price and Ray Charles there, Rolling Stones; Leonard Bernstein; you name it – my mother had it. I would also fall asleep flipping the dial on the radio. I caught a lot of what was hot. Then came formal study. I studied classical guitar -I still have my Takamine – and moved onto voice. Piano I picked up along the way because I loved the instrument, not that I’m a virtuoso .. we had one growing up that my mother played. I was mesmerized by her sway as she practiced her original compositions and wanted to feel that too so I started writing songs on the keys.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
Considering that I am physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy, the passed year has been a blessing. Everything right on time and feeling fine.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
It’s more what than who but if we’re looking at names I’ll say Lauryn Hill, Trucks Tedeschi Band, Marc Cohn, Whitney Houston, The Meters, The Beatles, Musiq Soul Child, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton, Taj Mahal, Amy Winehouse, The Allman Brothers and love stories.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
If I look up, it’s to The Lord. Occasionally I look in the direction of Susan Tedeschi, Amy Winehouse and Aretha.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
I’d really dig singing with the Trucks Tedeschi Band or working with Quincy Jones …
How’s that for 180 degrees?
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
Funny, I don’t have an iPod. I have a gadget that let’s me store and record on the fly, just in case I get an idea.
On that device ( the Olympus WS320) I have Cee Lo, Bruce Springsteen, Curtis Mayfield and Madonna.
My buddy ol’ pal world-renowned drummer Jonathan Mover turned me on to it and now I don’t even make a phone call without it.
Love this thing Jon!
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
Rhythm, rhythm, and more rhythm. It’s all about the beat or a variation of it. That translates into bass and drums both of which I do not play but hear in my head. Some how I get it out.
Melody is not an issue because I’m a vocalist and just can’t get away from melody. So the order for me is rhythm then melody. Lyrics are the icing on a solid cake in my opinion, and they don’t come easy…unless it’s sleazy. Incidentally, I’ve tried both ways: writing melody first and letting that dictate the rhythm and visa versa. The outcome is two different songs.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
One without the other and we don’t have a song.
Q: Where are you based?
Third base ready for home … New York City.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
It’s a blessing being where I’m from. ‘NYC is one big downtown Chicago.’ That’s a quote from a friend.
Q: What are you currently working on?
Three tunes are in the works as of this interview. One on keys and two on guitar.
One was inspired upon my learning about the death of Whitney Houston. That song is near complete.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
When the band is on …now that’s a highlight. Seriously though, some commercial spots I’ve done for radio.
Unlike a live gig it’s someone else’s specific format and I like being able to deliver in one take.
It pleases and surprises.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve over the next 12 months?
Getting my tunes ‘down on paper’ (recording) them. So I’ll shoot for that.
Right now I’m talking with 3 different labels and hope to align myself with all three.
Just kidding. One would do it.
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
Summer 2012 I have 3 outdoor festivals that I’m on. They’re still firming up all the acts.
I’ll have more information as it nears which posts to my site soon.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I sit quietly and do nothing. If that doesn’t feel right I knit. Seed stitch is my fave.
Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?
I’m a beach bum so anywhere that’s warm, serves cocktails and has surf. But not Tierra del Fuego!
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?
Always be prepared before stepping out .. whatever your business or hobby. Have two back up plans and your own set of keys.
Editor’s Note: Shari Pine has an instantly memorable vocal that will lend itself to a variety of genres and has great commercial appeal. We’re looking forward with interest to Shari’s next musical offerings at Song Revelation.
If you’d like to learn more about or contact Shari Pine just follow the links below:
twitter link: www.twitter.com/sharipinemusic
facebook link: www.facebook.com/sharipineViPLounge
myspace link: www.myspace.com/sharipine
web page link: www.sharipine.com
reverbnation link: www.reverbnation.com/sharipine
YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/ShariPineTube