SPOTLIGHT ON: WE LOVE SONGWRITERS OPEN MIC NIGHT | SUNDAY'S AT BAR NINE
Show us what you got! Bar Nine loves local talent and we're happy to announce our new open mic night, We Love Songwriters!
In anticipation of the We Love Songwriters event's new home at Bar Nine Sundays at 9PM, event organizer extraordinaire Cecilia Eve was nice enough to email us to discuss the live show experience, and what inspires her on a day-to-day basis
Wanna be a featred talent? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
BAR NINE: What type of show is this?
CECELIA EVE: We Love Songwriters is an open mic dedicated to solely original music. It is an open mic designed for songwriters to have more of a chance to perform their original music since NYC tends to be a pretty cover music ridden city. It’s also a show intended to give songwriters more of a sense of community and scene in such a large city where it is hard to find your own people.
BN: Tell us the brief history of your show
CE: I started We Love Songwriters about a year or so ago. It has been held at different venues, and it has attracted lots of awesome songwriters. Some regulars, and always some new faces!
BN: Who are your musical and non-musical influences? For this show, I think listing songwriters here would probably make the most sense seeing as its an event all about songwriters! Some of my favorite songwriters include Bill Withers, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Amy Winehouse, Stevie Wonder.
BN: How do you promote your shows?
CE: I usually promote my shows by word of mouth, as well as all the standards such as Facebook, Instagram, and sometimes Twitter. I like making posters of shows and ask the songwriters to do their own promotion as well.
BN: Describe your show, visual and musically
CE: Visually, it is often a solo songwriter with their guitar or piano (sometimes maybe even a ukulele or banjo!) singing their creations for us. Sometimes there are duos or friends will come up and sing a tune or two with the performer onstage. Musically, I try to keep the shows as diverse as possible, with many genres of music ranging from soul/RnB vibes to folk/rock. I like reminding the world that songwriters come in all shapes and sizes, genders, races and genres!
BN: What's your outlook on the record industry today?
CE: Well, there’s lots to say on that. But my general outlook is that it has changed a lot and that we are in a very different time for the music industry as we were during the 1900s, or last few decades. Nowadays, everyone can be a musician and make records, which in many ways is very cool. We don’t need a big label to be able to live our dreams, we now can do it all ourselves. That being said since many artists do not have a record label, they end up taking on many other roles then just their creative music playing selves. They are also their own promoter, their own booker, their own business consultant, and their own manager. Which can be fun, but also doesn’t leave as much time to just create art which is all they really want to be doing. :)
BN: What's your claim to fame?
CE: Hmmmm, I don’t have too much of one I would say. Still working on that! Haha. I did get to sing with the Boston Pops Symphonic Orchestra a few years back as a soloist for a Gershwin show, but generally speaking, my “accomplishments” have been on smaller scale more local type of avenues. Although since being in NYC I have gotten to meet some really cool bigger name songwriters like Andrea Martin (En Vogue, Toni Braxton) and write music with them, and I was invited by Savion Glover to sing at one of his annual events, which was pretty amazing! Also I have worked with amazing musicians on my current EP, including Binky Griptite of the Dap Kings (former guitarist of the Dap Kings and player for Amy Winehouse and Sharon Jones). Also, I have two amazing producers, Andy Bauer (Twin Shadow, Eli "Paperboy" Reed and the True Loves), and Swang ( lead vocalist for the Family Stone, and toured with Neyo, and other greats.)
BN: Tell us a story about a day in your life
CE: I get up in the morning, try to chill a bit and even meditate (NYC is a bit intense!), then when I will have some food and get to practicing. I practice guitar, and sing a bit as well. (and sometimes trumpet too!) I love songwriting during the day soon after getting up when roommates are out the house. If I have a show that night, I will go over my set list and prepare my songs for the evening. I I teach private lessons a bit as well, so then I would leave my place to go teach a lesson or two. After that, I will head to a gig if I have one, or maybe it’s a rehearsal, and if I have either that night, then I try to go and watch shows and meet new musicians and singers, and support live music!
BN: What inspires you to do what you do?
CE: Well, I have always been involved in music ever since a very young age. Went to my first arts elementary school in Montreal, Quebec and got to sing in choir and learn to play the trumpet. I have always been involved in the arts and I feel if I am not a part of music or art, I feel very unhappy. I am a pretty emotional human and if I am not doing dynamic stuff like expressing myself somehow, or writing, then all my energy turns pretty negative. Music is a big healer for me and without it, life is just too bland! I guess that is what motivates me.
BN: What advice would you give to fellow bands?0
CE: I guess my advice would be to always remain yourself in whatever you do. If you are not clear on who you are, then take time to discover what that is. Don’t write music just to please others but instead stay true to you. Be who you are and those who love you and the art you create will be attracted to you. As opposed to trying to make people just not into your style or genre be into what you do. Does this make sense? ;)
BN: How does music affect you and the world around you?
CE: I think music changes the whole world every day. Music has incredible power and people listen to music or hear it out in public everyday. Music brings people joy, can change a person’s whole day, make them feel understood, make them feel less alone, or help them understand themselves or what they are feeling better. Music affects me in this way too. I learn a ton about myself when I write music and also learn a great deal about myself from what kind of music or songs I am into it.
BN: What are the biggest obstacles for bands?
CE: Money. Making money with music is very hard, especially if you have a band that is a lot of people needing to get paid and financing I think is often the greatest obstacle for bands. That and growing fan bases or getting people to come to shows can be a great challenge!
BN: What's the best and worst thing about playing clubs?
CE: Clubs can be a bit loud at times, or have many different things going on, that result in performers feeling not listened to much, or that they are just background to something else. Some clubs are awesome, and very respectful to musicians and performers and a great chance to really let loose and express ourselves as performers!