Sacrifice, Sweat & Tears: The Making of a Dream…
By Vallene Henderson
Located in the heart of Greenwich Village NYC, gritty and cozy is what is used to describe the Bitter End in NYC. This was the selected venue for one of many, Erin Christine performances throughout NYC. With an inspirational collage of Wall of Famers that turned out great, such as Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Etta James and even Lady Gaga, this was definitely a good place for the small girl that commands the attention of the room with her big voice.
Like many artists starting out, the hunger and drive is there for independent recording artist and producer Erin Christine. Raised in a small town in Connecticut with her parents and siblings, she discovered her voice singing along to Disney movies & teaching herself how to play her mom’s piano at a young age. Growing up in a supportive musical family, Erin’s mom knew her daughter would go farther than her siblings musically. She encouraged Erin to study her craft at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Erin states, “My mother knew college wasn’t for me. She also knew the passion I had for music; so one day she handed me an information book about Berklee and told me to look into it. Since this was a musical college I decided to give it a try.”
After college, Erin knew she wanted to make it big & be a singer but did not know how to make things happen. After speaking with college friends in the music scene in Miami, she decided to move down there to see where things will lead. Her Not really wanting her daughter to move so far away but still supporting her, her mother drove her down to Florida two days later.
With the help of her friends, Erin was doing shows, going to the studio, and networking. She was also meeting with producers, writers, and other artists. While hanging out with a friend at Circle House Studios, she met the one person that would help take her career to the next level. Tiffany “Tiff Star” Kumar, a songwriter signed to Universal, was in town working with Diddy on the Making The Band project. At the time, she needed a singer to do vocal referencing for songs for Danity Kane and Cassie. When Tiffany saw Erin and asked for her help, she quickly said, “yes, I will take the opportunity”.
What made you decide to leave Miami and come to NY?
Well me and Tiff were going back and forth for some time, she lived in NYC and she would fly me to NY to do recording sessions with her. Then it it got to the point that we needed to move to the next level. She invited me to come stay with her. Since she had a recording studio in her home she said I could sleep there.
Wow you are literally living in the studio.
*nodding* That’s where I am at now. Sleeping on the couch and waking up to a full recording studio every morning.
What is a typical studio session like?
It can happen at any moment. I would be chillin’ in the studio and Tiff would come in and yell, “lets write.” Its starts as an organic process; I’ll get on the piano and I’ll come up with a melody. Once Tiff starts dancing, then I know something good is about to happen and then it spins from there. She will bring in the lyrics and I’ll record the vocals and then go back and add more production.
Do you write your own music?
I am not great with words, so that’s where Tiffany comes in. I am signed to Tiffany Star at Star Studded Sounds. Shes a writer under Universal Music so she writes all the songs. I produce, love melodies, I just sit down at my piano and create melodies and chord progressions. I produced the majority of this album.
Playing the piano while performing is such a great touch overall as a performer, did you learn to play in college or did your mom teach you?
No, I actually taught myself how to play. My mom had my grandmother’s piano and since I was like 5years old I would play with it and act like I knew what I was doing. After awhile I guess my musical ear grew and as I sat at the piano, I kind of knew what to do. As I got older, I got better.
What direction are you taking with your career now?
Ive been in NY for 2 years grinding and getting myself out there that is has gotten to the point where I have been able to have a residency like here at The Bitter End. One night John Legend came to one of my shows and I ended up working with him in the studio. I am also getting opportunities to travel to other states and Canada to perform.
Tell me about the upcoming Album.
The Album is called Greenlights and it will be released next month in June. Now we are releasing songs off the album to get people ready for it and the response has been great.
You relocated to Miami and now to NY, will you be relocating to other cities for your music?
Yes definitely, and I am also looking forward to touring this summer. I’ve jumped on Travie McCoy’s tour.
Ideally, who do you want to work with?
Ryan Tedder from One Rebuplic is an amazing song writer and producer and I feel his style would work great with me. Ever since I was a child I have dreamed of being on stage with Stevie Wonder. I can imagine myself crying on stage because he has inspired me so much, so I cant wait for that opportunity.
What are your friends from home saying about your new found celebrity?
They are really excited for me. Every time I go home they are like, “oh, you’re big time now working in the studio with John Legend right,” I’m like, “God, calm down.” *lol*
What is your family doing to help you with your career?
They are doing everything to support me and keep me grounded.
Have you had to overcome any adversity getting to this point, beside sleeping in a studio?
Since I’ve moved to NY, it has made me so much stronger and given me so much knowledge. It has made me fight for music.
How will it be released? Itunes, downloads thru a specific site or in stores??
I feel very blessed to be able to give my fans new music from me for FREE!! I will be releasing it online and if you follow me on twitter or facebook you will know!
What was your inspiration for your album?
Since I moved to New York, I have transformed so much as a person and I have become so much stronger than I ever was! I really wanted to show the strength in my album, through the melodies I compose on the keys or through the lyrics, everything about the music exudes strength
Is there anything that you want to address?
Album coming soon look out for GREEN LIGHTS. I’m being inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame for my single “Running All The Green Lights” which I just wrapped the video for with Quddus. So look out for that as well
Team Blackberry, Team Android or Team iPhone? Come on #TEAMBLACKBERRY
Item you cant live without? Burt’s Bees chapstick, Pad Thai, and My Keys
Saying, phrase or word you use the most? “Thats ridic” ….lol
Person (alive) you would want to meet? OPRAH
Favorite quote? “Where there is a will, there is a way. I live by that quote”
First thing you would buy when you get signed? A grand piano…. too much?? I don’t think so!!!
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Images courtesy of Travis Curry
To find out more about Erin Christine, hit her up on Facebook & Twitter and tell her AUDRA sent you!