Tag Archives: Singer

Artist Feature: Liam McClair

Liam McClair is a singer-songwriter out of Wilmslow, Cheshire, England that we met through our homie Sobi Thurairatnam. For Liam, Reflection is about unbiased retrospection and balanced analysis of the past. His music provides a medium for reflection on lived experience. Liam discusses this process through a showcase of songs from his first EP, How. We’re excited to say that he’s soon to drop his second EP HONEY through HourGlass Productions, and he’s also looking to perform with a full band after its release. Check out the interview below, stay tuned for tour dates, and make sure to check out the new EP soon!

Liam McClair

Reflection to me is considering the positives and negatives in a previous situation, but trying to be as objective as you can to ensure that you are seeing the outcomes and effects as they are and not from a biased position.

– Liam McClair

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

LM: I am from Wilmslow, Cheshire in the UK. I have been performing as a solo singer-songwriter for nearly a year. The highlights have been having my track played at Old Trafford twice, playing at Liverpool’s Sound City, being featured and interviewed on BBC Introducing Merseyside, and the continued support online from radio stations, fans and blogs.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

LM: Reflection to me is considering the positives and negatives in a previous situation, but trying to be as objective as you can to ensure that you are seeing the outcomes and effects as they are and not from a biased position. I reflect often with my music as my writing process is quite organic so upon reflection I can understand the theme of the song and subsequently direct the song towards that theme. Response is a person’s reaction to a stimulus, whether that be sensory or physical.

How does your work fit in with that definition?

LM: My song writing is predominately based on reflections. Most of the songs I have written have been based on personal experiences and personal emotions. Within my Debut EP, How, all of the songs are based on reflecting on a time and they are responses to things I have seen or experienced. The first track Roam The Globe acts as my travel journal from times I have spent abroad:

Rough Waters is a description of ending a relationship and the difficulties involved and experienced:

Somewhere Before is the story of a couple with dementia which I responded to initially, however I didn’t realise that was the topic of the song until I reflected on it:

How is a song I wrote about the feeling of pure desire you have when first encountering someone you really admire:

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

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Artist Feature: Mike Gervais

Mike Gervais is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and  lifelong resident of Seattle, Washington. As he witnesses a changing city climate, Mike writes image-based music that inspires feelings in the mind of the listener, preferring to position his creative output within the physical dimension of response. In the interview below, Mike describes the natural imagery behind one of his songs Aurora Borealis and some of his inspirations such as impressionism and Chuck Close. Working extensively with his brother Matt as “Mikey and Matty,” the two have begun a busy 2014 playing dozens of shows and writing new songs they look to record over the next few months.

Mike and Matt Gervais

I don’t want to change or rearrange anything. If I could be successful at songwriting at all, I’d hope that what I came up with put a picture in the listener’s mind. I’d prefer to be an impressionist or even a Chuck Close to being a Jackson Pollack. Even though I envy that type of work.

– Mike Gervais

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

MG: I realized recently that I’ve experienced 21% of the entire history of Seattle as a life-long resident. Imagine the time elapsed since the Denny party first settled here- 163 years, as the price of your dinner date… My age is the tip. I suppose that I should consider this when lamenting the construction projects that seem to be replacing all of the old brick and 70’s architecture with steamy hot-yoga windows under impossibly expensive “mixed-income” apartments. I walk around mostly humming tunes and looking for plants coming up through the cement. Even though we’re so close to the mountains, it seems like it’s getting harder to feel that they’re so close. I think we could all use a good long walk up there.  

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

MG: I think a reflection is a response. I’m mostly about the tangible, equal-opposite reaction type of response. If light waves are bouncing on a puddle in the road, I want my music to be that reflection. I’m only looking for images that convey feelings. I don’t consider myself worthy of interpreting and translating events and relationships- I don’t want to change or rearrange anything. If I could be successful at songwriting at all, I’d hope that what I came up with put a picture in the listener’s mind. I’d prefer to be an impressionist or even a Chuck Close to being a Jackson Pollack. Even though I envy that type of work.

How does your song Aurora Borealis fit in with that definition?

MG: I work exclusively with my brother, Matt Gervais. Most of our work fits somewhere into the imagery=feeling spectrum. This is the first time I’ve had an interview without him, so I chose to highlight a song I can speak to more personally, Aurora Borealis. I tried to tell this story exclusively through pictures, and I normally look to nature for the best ones. The tide goes out twice a day and these squishy, delicate animals are exposed to the seagulls and the sunshine. You could write a thousand songs about that. Or the chaos of Saturn missiles going off on a dock at dusk in summer. I love the grandiose and the hopeless.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

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Artist Feature: Kate Phillips

We met up with Kate Phillips through LIFESTYLE Collective member Steve Laciak. The two have been performing together for some time and it was dope to hear more about Kate’s creative story. Originally from upstate New York, Kate has lived all over the United States performing as a singer and dancer and in musical theater. Kate brings up various dope fresh ideas to the Collective touching on creative reflection and response and growth within artistic communities, the important role of the performer as a provider of solace for an audience, and other themes from the perspective of a creator that has always stayed true to the craft. Kate Phillips continues to forge a creative path filled with new and exciting projects  in her current home of Tennessee and we are lucky to feature encouraging words of wisdom from an experienced and invigorating creator.

Kate Phillips

 An entertainer provides a moving sound, a fresh look, and quite often a new perspective. That role is essential in our society, allowing imaginations & expressions to cultivate change and growth.

– Kate Phillips

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

KP: I lived in upstate New York as a child, riding my bike to the village library and along the Erie Canal, through a lovely town called Fairport. Growing up there was a wonderful experience, but since I couldn’t wait to live in a big city, I moved to Manhattan on my 18th birthday. After spending 6 years in “the big apple” because of a couple of dance scholarships, I was fortunate enough to begin a career that involved travel. For 2 years I sailed around North America, while performing on cruise ships as a singer and showgirl. I have lived in 8 different states and toured the country as a “triple threat” in musical theatre. The latest adventure I took a leap for has led me to a beautiful place, nestled in The Great Smoky Mountains, as I’m thrilled to now call Tennessee my new home.

Kate Phillips

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

KP: Recognizing that all of this is a true gift that I was meant to share and ultimately ‘giving back’ to people in my community. First, I give credit to the creative education I received; understanding how I have been influenced by such amazing teachers. Then, I recall moments of excellence I’ve witnessed, gathering inspiration from other talented artists and friends… always studying their methods. I was, and still am, surrounded by people who dedicate their life to their art, and I believe we are all reflections of each other. 

Listen to more of Kate’s music here: http://www.reverbnation.com/KatePhillips

How do your performances fit in with that definition?

KP: All of the extensive training and sacrificing a singer-dancer goes through can be difficult at times, but I have a personal theory about this. For the duration of the show, each member of the audience is given a chance to escape. They are encouraged to sit back and relax since someone else is “on” for the moment. Whatever may be causing them grief, sadness or pain, just disappears for that short amount of time.  An entertainer provides a moving sound, a fresh look, and quite often a new perspective. That role is essential in our society, allowing imaginations & expressions to cultivate change and growth. That person on stage is what I call “Brasilient” (brave and resilient). Considering numerous auditions, disappointing rejections, painful injuries, missed holidays with family, and ongoing challenges, we continue developing as a seasoned professional, because it is our purpose.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

KP: This has been a pretty exciting journey! Last year, I performed at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. A holiday song I recorded played on the radio for 2 years in a row. Recently I reunited with the love of my life after several years apart, and together we have fulfilled a life-long dream by combining our musical talents as a duo. This year I began volunteering again with at-risk children & teens in my community by teaching workshops in the evenings. Next, I look forward to announcing a few new projects that are still in the works, including a music video and more collaborations with local songwriters.

Kate Phillips

Who or what inspires you?

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Feature: Whitney Killian

How’s it going y’all! Hope each and every one of you is doing well out there in the world. Thanks again for tuning into another feature here at the LIFESTYLE. Today, we have a super down to earth artist who has been so kind as to share a few words. There is something so charming about the simplicity of her swing. It’s as if she has invited us to dream with her, and that’s never a bad thing. Coming out of Seattle, operating through performance and staying connected through the likes of tumblr and pinterest(be sure and look her up), her writing is very expressive. The young lady is canary yellow against a clear blue sky. With that said, it’s our pleasure to present you Whitney Killian.

Whitney Killian Feature

 

I’ve discovered that reflection is the greatest means of self-preservation; it has helped me cope and find peace. I’m emerging from my reflection phase – ready to respond, to react.

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

WK: Born and raised in the small town of Sumner, Washington – but truly bred in the great city of Seattle, my current home. Over the years, I’ve had some pretty amazing chances to grow and express myself as a vocalist. From my high school choir room, to the jam room in Delta Upsilon at UW, to the basement of the house on 55th & Brooklyn Ave, to the stages of dive bars and the balcony at the KeyArena… with some pretty talented people to help me along the way. I currently have the pleasure of singing feature and backup vocals for Ayo Dot, a respected Seattle hip hop artist, and when I’m lucky enough, I get to jam with the amazing guys of Victory Lap, a great side project cover band we started back in September. Throw in a couple reality TV show auditions over the last few years, and there you have it. Music is important to me and my general happiness, so I always try to keep fun projects on the books.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you? How do your projects fit in with that definition?

WK: Reflection has been my best friend lately. Hardships happen, things won’t always go your way. When storms come and all seems to be lost in chaos, there also comes a unique opportunity to reflect about your response to everything that’s thrown your way. The response can’t happen without the reflection, and the reflection often doesn’t happen without the storm. The best part is that in reflection, some of the greatest and most raw work is produced. I’ve discovered that reflection is the greatest means of self-preservation; it has helped me cope and find peace. I’m emerging from my reflection phase – ready to respond, to react. I’m writing every day, humming new melodies, putting the products of my storms onto paper and into song. I’m crafting my response.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

WK: My biggest focus right now is developing my own catalogue of songs and writings. Piano has always been of interest to me, so I’m working to pick up that skill so that I can really start to stand on my own as an artist. Aside from my own writing, I’m loving the super fun and fresh work I get to do with Ayo Dot & crew. Since I joined the band in November, we’ve played a few shows and have been working on some new tracks as a band. Being a part of something new and exciting is completely refreshing, and as an artist who’s looking to establish myself and grow, working with Ayo and the guys has been a great opportunity.

Who or what inspires you?

WK: Lately, the lyrics of great female singers & songwriters have been my inspiration. Ellie Goulding, Stevie Nicks, Adele, Sara Bareilles, and more. These women are powerhouses, and I’ve found their strength to be contagious. I live for the moments when a song – or just one line – can stop me in my tracks and make me feel something, help me gain clarity, or resonate so loudly and so closely that the lyrics start to feel like they’re becoming my own. Those moments make me want to write and create things that will inspire others in similar ways. Oh, and Pinterest and Tumblr, where everyone else’s very public passions inspire me to be a better writer and better human being in general.

Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

WK: On the subject of the Collective… I respect the work you guys do. So much. You’ve taken the time to reflect and respond, and to cause others to do the same. It’s people like you who inspire people like me to keep working, to keep making pretty things and putting them out into the universe. Thank you for doing what you do.

Shout out to…?

WK: To my close friends and incredible family – you’ve held me together like glue, you’ve kept me laughing (mostly at myself), you are the reasons why I’m still standing, and you are the reasons why I will not just survive, but thrive. Especially my amazing life coach, Cortney – thanks for keeping your big sis in line.

“Make You Feel My Love,” by Adele, featuring Austin Silva on keyboard and Peter Muller on guitar

Untitled By Whitney Killian

you were my sunshine

my warm summer day

but it’s been coming down hard

since the night you walked away

the storm clouds in my heart

keep me crying over you

they darken my days

they’re not just passing through

you know what they say

when it rains, it pours

and it’s drowning my heart

since i’m no longer yours

Victory Lap Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/VictoryLapSEA    

Ayo Dot website: http://ayodot.com/

Whitney’s tumblr: http://whitneykaykillian.tumblr.com/

Whitney’s pintrist: http://pinterest.com/whitkay/boards/

Whitney’s youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/whitneykay2

-Reflection and Response

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