It’s all about the Oscars today in Los Angles and at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hill’s Polo Lounge people are walking about the courtyard cafe with the ease of a sun drunk cat.
My friend, singer, songwriter, dynamic performer the lady with charisma exquisitely unhurried sat down to talk to me about how she started, who inspired her musically and her savvy business skills. Miss Wendy Starland has it going on, she has that savoir-faire that is beauty and romance with a voice.
Wendy Starland, also has been in the middle of music business biggest discoveries, as she discovered Lady Gaga and landed her a production deal with producer Rob Fusari that resulted in Gaga signing major label record and publishing deals. Wendy and Lady Gaga have written songs together that were later produced by Fusari, for whom Starland was writing with over a nearly three-year period.
Here is the interview with the amazing Wendy Starland who is one very cool person to hang out with and a lot of fun.
1. Was it always in your blood to be a singer songwriter musician how did it all start for you.
I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. Growing up I had a babysitter who was almost like a 2nd mother to me, named Rosetta Atkins. She was a church gospel singer from the south who taught me different techniques of how to use my voice. We would imitate the voices on the radio – both men’s and women’s voices. By the time I was 9 I had a wide array of ways in which I could sing, and chose the aspects of my voice I wanted to feature in a particular song. I started writing songs on the piano at the age of 7 and have built up a big catalog with hundreds of songs.
Around 14 or 15 I was pulled out of the crowd onto Maceo Parker’s stage. Maceo is the legendary sax player from James Brown’s band who plays incredibly soulful funk. I ended up scatting on his stage for 20 minutes while Maceo got behind the drum kit and let me wail. Afterwards, the bass player wrapped a string from his bass into a small coil and got down on one knee, as if he were proposing. He hushed the crowd and placed the coiled string around my finger like an engagement ring. He then said into the microphone “Wendy, you have a gift from God. If you don’t spend the rest of your life using that gift, you will deprive the rest of us from receiving it. From this day forward you are married to music.” And ever since that day I have been married to music.
2. Who in music biz inspired you solo artist’s or bands?
I’ve gone through various different stages musically and have explored writing in many genres. I am currently in a rock phase and have been listening to the Foo Fighters nonstop. I’ve been lucky enough to open up for Chris Shifflett, guitarist of the Foo Fighters. I love their grittiness that they mix with such beautiful melodies. You can feel their authenticity, which is something that’s very important to me. Other current influences include U2, 30 Seconds To Mars, Kings Of Leon, Coldplay and The Police.
Previously I had been writing music that was more etherial, and was inspired by Sting, Peter Gabriel, Seal, Sade, Norah Jones, and Stevie Nicks.
3. You are very business savvy, where did you pick up all your business skill.
I was lucky enough to be born and raised in New York City, the city of ambition. My family is incredibly business savvy and have rubbed off on me in many ways. I have also always gravitated towards friends who are very sharp and who lead by example. I am grateful to have been surrounded by people I admire.
Its been incredible working with brands like Pink Pump and P2 who have worked with me on a different model for distributing my music to new fans. It has been a successful venture where a percentage of sales will be donated to charity at the end of the campaign. We will be donating to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
4. As a songwriter where does your inspiration come from, dreams, life experiences, or imagination.
All of the above. I integrate as many aspects of myself and my experience into my music as possible. Whether that experience constitutes my real life or my dreams.
5. Are you currently working on a project?
I am working on a new rock album. It is very different from what my fans are used to hearing from me. It is a rebirth of sorts. I’m really excited about this new direction and feel that it reflects my experience since moving to Los Angeles. I have performed some of the new material live while opening up for Sheryl Crow and Jack White, and had a great response. I’m excited to unveil it to the rest of the world soon. My first single, “All The Way,” will be featured in a new ad campaign for MoboVivo.
Listen to this song “Dancing With The Sea”.