Tag Archives: tennessee

Artist Feature: Ebonie Smith

In November of 2013, I was lucky enough to be in the audience for a panel discussion at the Hip Hop Think Tank III that featured New York-based music producer and composer Ebonie Smith. She dropped important information about the relevance of remixing and technology in sound production, and we’ve connected since the event to have her share some of her inspiring work with the LIFESTYLE Collective. Ebonie brings us ideas on how the power of sound can be used to reflect on and respond to the past, evident in her sampling voicemail messages from her late grandmother on her track “Circles of Robbie.” This track and appears on the melodic and impressive production beat tape Carnelian, one of Ebonie’s many dope projects. Between producing for Atlantic Records, running her own boutique music production and publishing company Eudora House, and founding Gender Amplified, a movement that supports female music producers, Ebonie holds it down on multiple fronts.

Ebonie Smith

Reflection and Response refers to one’s ability to adapt aspects of the past to impact the present. As a music producer and engineer, my work attempts to translate the past through sound and music technology.

– Ebonie Smith

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

ES: I currently reside in New York City. I am originally from Memphis, Tennessee.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

ES: Reflection and Response refers to one’s ability to adapt aspects of the past to impact the present. As a music producer and engineer, my work attempts to translate the past through sound and music technology.
How does Carnelian fit in with that definition?
ES: Carnelian is a production beat tape that exemplifies this definition in many ways. For example, the track “Circles of Robbie” is an ode to my grandmother, who unexpectedly died late last year. The track features samples from her voicemails to me. It also features samples of the music that helped me through that time. The track is a means of preserving her voice and elements of our special relationship. I use music technology and production skills to reference the past in an attempt to move forward.

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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