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Interview with Kalisa Ewing

Interview with Kalisa Ewing

Lamitschka:  Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?

Kalisa Ewing: 
The truth be told, my music and lyrics are honest. Everything I write comes from my own life experiences and how I've found myself along the way. I grew up just 30 miles west of Nashville, TN in Kingston Springs and that's where I learned how to deal with my first broken heart. Just listen to a song like 'Bang' at kalisaewing.com and you'll get a good idea of who I am and where my music comes from.

Lamitschka:  How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?

Kalisa Ewing: 
The last year for me has been amazing. I've been busier than I've ever been thanks to God and the fate of meeting my manager, Todd Wilkes. I met Todd two years ago and he immediately took an interest in my songs and my goals as an artist. In the music industry I think one of the most challenging obstacles is finding that one person who believes in you as much as you believe in yourself and who is willing and determined to work just as hard as you do....for you. I've found that in Todd Wilkes. He not only manages my career, he publishes me alongside Universal Music Publishing Group, he's my booking agent as well as my merch guy on the road (laughs). He's taught me that you really can't do any of this on your own and he's my true champion. What we've accomplished together as a team in the last year blows me away. We've been on the road every weekend playing shows across the southeast. When Monday rolls back around I'm back on Music Row in the office writing songs until it's time to hit the road again. I've had the priveledge of opening up for artists like Loretta Lynn, Radney Foster, Jason Boland & The Stragglers and Chris Knight, which are all a dream come true for me. Kellie Pickler from American Idol and also just won Dancing With The Stars recently recorded a song I wrote for her new Black River Entertainment album release called, 'Where Did Your Love Go'. At about the same time we received the news from Kelly Clarkson's producer that she recorded another song of mine called 'Go On', which is all so exciting. I made my debut performance at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN a month ago and got invited back to play two weeks later and share the bill with Loretta Lynn and Patty Loveless. It's been a whirlwind for a small time girl like me and I don't think just one of these accomplishments is greater than the rest. They're all a success story combined. I thank God for everything.

Lamitschka:  What kind of songs do you like to record the most?

Kalisa Ewing:  The songs I typically lean towards recording are the ones that were written by way of helping me get over something that I've been going through. I feel like I'm just as human as my audience is so if there's a song that's been therapeutic for me to write out on paper and record into a melody, then hopefully that song will help someone else get through a difficult time in their own lives as well. Those are the songs I think make the biggest impact on people.

Lamitschka:  Who inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?

Kalisa Ewing:  My mom brought me up on Loretta Lynn and Patty Loveless. Loretta Lynn has always been a huge inspiration for me. I always loved the way she told the truth the way she felt that it was and wasn't scared to say it. And Patty Loveless just has one of the best voices in the world. My dad always listened to Steve Miller Band and Tom Petty and still today I listen to Tom Petty all the time. I just love his lyrics and melodies.

Lamitschka:  As an artist, you so many tasks such as recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what's your favorite activity?

Kalisa Ewing:  I would have to say that my favorite part of the artist's job is creating the sound. There's nothing I love more than writing songs and taking them into the studio. I love collaborating with the musicians to create an image within the music.

Lamitschka:  Are you doing anything to take music beyond its current borders or are you happy where it is?

Kalisa Ewing:  I don't worry about what everyone else is doing all the time, or what "music" is being classified as in the current industry. I've found that in order for me to set myself apart and be the individual that God made me to be, I've got one job requirement and that's to stay true to who I am at all times. I'm only best at being myself. I've watched people I work around over the years trying to force their music into something that sounds like what they're playing on the radio, in some attempt to stay "current". I don't ever want my music to be considered the current anything. You've got to create your own trend in this industry if you ever want longevity. My goal for making my own music is to remain timeless.

Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become an artist?

Kalisa Ewing:  I can't really say that I was inspired by anyone or any one specific thing to become an artist. Growing up there was never anything else besides being a musician that I truly wanted to be someday. I guess I was just born with the vision of playing music and singing on stage for the rest of my life. My mom's parents and her five other siblings are all originally from Witchita, KS. When she was ten years old, my grandparents packed the kids up and made the move to Music City for my grandfather, Owen McCarty, to make it in Nashville as an artist and songwriter. He was a blind musician and he wrote songs and played gigs in Nashville up until the last days leading up to his death. My grandfather unfortunately passed away not too long after I was brought into this world so I never got the chance to meet him myself. I've always thought that it was kind of ironic that the only person in my blood that shared the same dream as me passed away before I got the opportunity to know him. I feel pretty strong in saying that I believe that I just inherited my dream of making it in the music business from him. I don't believe in coincidences. I believe that somehow his dream was reincarnated to me by him.

Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become a songwriter?

Kalisa Ewing:  There's no one in my family that plays or does anything in the music business, so I didn't grow up knowing anything about writing songs or learning from anyone around me. For some reason I always just loved writing out my emotions onto paper. I had no methodical clue as to what I was doing when I sat in my room as a kid with my diary and wrote down the way I was feeling and tried to make all the lines rhyme. I was just feeding my own adolescent boredom. I continued to write throughout my childhood and when I was ten years old, I got my first guitar for Christmas and began learning to play guitar. So, the short of the long story is that my poetry naturally became songs and I started songwriting.

Lamitschka:  What does it take to be a music icon?

Kalisa Ewing:  If I had to pick one thing that might separate every musician from beoming a "music icon" I would have to say first and foremost it would be continuing to believe in yourself, never taking 'No' for an answer and learning from every mistake you make along the way and strengthening your craft by knowing your weaknesses.

Lamitschka:  What moments in your career stand out in your memory as highlights and achievements which you are proud of?

Kalisa Ewing:  I'm probably mostly proud of never giving in to giving up. You can achieve anything you want in life if you continue to stay focused and try your best to stay away from anyone or anything that may discourage you.

Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de )

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