Power of Pop Interview – essence.

Essence photographed in San Francisco, CA December 23, 2015©Jay Blakesberg
Essence photographed in San Francisco, CA December 23, 2015©Jay Blakesberg

Art is life. Certainly a truth that singer-songwriter essence (her real name) adheres to. On her new album – Black Wings – essence digs deep into her personal experience to create emotionally resonating material. Intriguing, no? We thought so and thus, via email, we endeavoured to find out more. 

What was the writing & recording process like for Black Wings?

I had more collaborations on Black Wings than previous records. I had three new co-producers, as well as my mainstay Daniel Berkman. These new collaborators brought an honesty and rawness to my music that I had been aspiring towards for a long time. Roger Rocha demanded that I sing my truth, from my gut. It was an introspective and soul searching process. I’ve never gone so deep in my writing. That said, these songs imitated life and there was no shortage of inspiration for this album. There was a very personal story to tell. The songwriting dictated the pacing. And I had spectacular co-writers. Let that not be understated.

Is there anything you would change if you had the chance?

I’ve never been more proud of a record I’ve made. Would I change anything? Haha. The perfectionist in me says little tweaks perhaps. Maybe one or 2. But the title track of the record is about celebrating the perfection of imperfection, flaws and all. So, in that spirit of honesty, no, I wouldn’t change a thing.

According to your press release, the songs on Black Wings were inspired by a dark time in your life – why do you need to put these stories into your music?

I believe it’s important to express all of your feelings, including the unpleasant ones, because once they’re out, they lose their power over you and you free yourself to move forward. If I put an experience or story into a song then it has a place to live outside of my heart and that is very liberating.

Most of the songs are very emotional – did you find the experience carthatic? 

Writing and recording this record was very healing. It helped me find myself again. I felt very lost. I felt very alone. But music is powerful medicine. I was not the same person when I started this record as I am now. It was a transformational experience. 

What do you hope to achieve with Black Wings?

My dream is to be able to keep making records full time. Keep doing the thing I love most, keep playing music live, and be able to sustain and support myself and my children doing so 🙂 I guess if you really get down to it, when I grow up I want to be like Willie Nelson and have a bus and tour around making music for the rest of my life– play shows, write songs, see the world, and make records until the lights go out. Nothing would please me more than if this record contributes in some way to that dream coming true.

What do you hope listeners will take away from Black Wings? 

This record is about trusting in your intuition, listening to that whisper of your inner voice, and believing in your own worth. There is something to be gained from dark times. There are amazing opportunities around the corner even when it seems like big doors might be closing. It really is true: all new beginnings come from the end of something else. In other words: give your all but don’t take shit from anyone. Life is short. Be strong. Move on and make the most of today. I hope listeners get that when they listen to Black Wings.

Buy now from iTunes.

Thanks to Spencer Foster, Good Cop PR/Gramophone Media for making this interview possible.

… still there’s more … 

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