Songwriter Christine Irizarry Has Stories To Tell

Christine Irizarry indie music

“When you’re a teacher, and a mother of four, you have a busy life so when people hear you’re “pursuing a music career” they automatically think, world tours and stadium shows and they’re quick to try and bring me back down to earth. I had my own doubts at first and my choice to give this a go has been met with mostly support spotted with a bit of skepticism… But I’m not doing it for the world tours and the stadium shows I just have stories to tell.” – @christineizzi


Live Interview April 28 6pm et

Episode #319 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/04/28/episode-319-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax

Jacqueline Jax logo photoGETTING TO KNOW CHRISTINE IRIZARRY
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio

Social media…
has been a great friend to me as a musician. I am able to network from home and reach out to venues and other artists while still doing my Mommying. I have worked on projects during naptime, before my kids wake up, and even occasionally while making dinner. It is a huge advantage that musicians just a decade or so ago were not privy to.

Challenges…
As I mentioned my primary obstacle is time. There have also been a few people along the way that have made me feel incapable and those words are always hard to hear. I try not to focus on them though. When you’re a teacher, and a mother of four, you have a busy life so when people hear you’re “pursuing a music career” they automatically think, world tours and stadium shows and they’re quick to try and bring me back down to earth. I had my own doubts at first and my choice to give this a go has been met with mostly support spotted with a bit of skepticism… But I’m not doing it for the world tours and the stadium shows I just have stories to tell. You’ll always ALWAYS encounter people who think you can’t or shouldn’t do something… But once I realized I could, believed I could… None of that really mattered anymore. I love my family, I love my music.. family comes first and it always will, but having both makes me happy… Isn’t that what matters?

Music business…
I feel like I haven’t been in it long enough to have a firm opinion. I know that there are pitfalls and that a lot of artists wind up incredibly jaded but, as I mentioned I just want my music to matter to the people who hear it. If that happens I will consider myself successful.

Pros and cons…
My pros list is huge and I feel like I’ve touched on them already. The only real con I can think of is the amount of time that it takes to get a finished product. I have so much fun getting there though that it almost becomes a pro.

Hurdles and pitfalls…
I never stay down for long. Every part of life comes with hurdles and pitfalls. The problem is when we choose to take them as roadblocks rather than detours. Sometimes the path looks a little different than you thought it would. Ultimately though you’ll still arrive at your destination. It might take a little longer but who knows what you’ll see and learn along the way.
Singles vs an album…
I’m choosing to wait and release a whole album since this is my first EP but I think it varies from artist to artist. I don’t think it’s out of the question that I would release a single sometime in the future just to generate interest.

I plan to do a record release party which will also kind of serve as an artist introduction. I haven’t been around for long and I want people to have something to listen to and associate my name with.

I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
Without question my biggest current musical influence is Sara Bareilles. I love the distinctiveness of her music in comparison to almost everything else out there. She is incredibly thoughtful about her lyrics and uses her voice wisely and intricately. I love how when she sings you can feel her emotion. Each song clearly means something to her. I did have the chance to meet her briefly this year which was awesome but I would love the chance to talk with her and ask her about her process and just garner some advice from her experience.
Do you find that there is to much emphasis on being current and trendy…
I haven’t made many decisions based on being current or trendy. I think this is a good time in music for the indie artist. Social media outlets and small music venues make it easier for your sound to find the right audience and there is literally an audience for everyone. I’m not searching for a spot on the top forty charts, although I would be lying if I said that wouldn’t be amazing.


I am most afraid of…

Spiders. But I suppose that’s not what this question means. Honestly I’m past the point of being afraid of failure or irrelevance. I’ve starting following through on a dream I never thought I would have a chance to follow through on. Even if this interview is the biggest amount of promotion I ever get I will be happy in that I had the experience.

My personal definition of success is..
Every step forward for me as a musician has felt like a success. I felt successful when I had my first song with instrumentation, I felt like a success the first time I recorded, when we put the mic down after recording the last song for the EP, even answering these questions reminds me that in an artist and that in itself is a success. We have this idea in our heads, especially those in the creative arts community, that in order to be considered successful you have to be well known and recognizable. One of the many reasons I had for not pursuing music was that it would never get me anywhere. I think the definition of getting there depends on where you are trying to go.
For the rest of my life now I have this beautiful thing that I put effort, emotion, and feeling into. This EP of my music that has been thought and rethought, and recorded and rerecorded. In the end I will hold in my hands a CD that of music that I want to listen to and share with others. If that is as far as any of this goes it will be far enough for me.

My over all goal for my life & career is…
To keep writing, and to inspire a love of music in those around me.

3 Ways that I challenge myself…
1) I am working on improving my piano abilities. I want to be able to work on at least basic melodies on my own.

2) I make myself write at least 3 times a week. Even if nothing wonderful comes out of it at least I’m putting pen to paper.

3) I go to open mics usually at least once a week to support other local artists and share my music. They are also a great networking opportunity.

It’s difficult to pin down something specific that inspires my music because…
really, all of life does. I have been writing music for as long as I can remember. When I was little I wanted my life to be a musical and did everything I could to make it so. Music moves me and every important moment in my life has a specific song tied to it. I have songs about my husband, my kids, my siblings and friends, even about the fact that I can’t dance. However, since I didn’t play an instrument the songs I wrote were just melodies and lyrics on paper. Then a few years ago Through a bunch of chance encounters I met my friend and talented musician Seth Aaron. I mentioned almost in passing that I wrote music. He read the first song and basically informed me that we were going to write together. That was about three years ago and it’s been nothing but awesome bucket list moments ever since.

Vital…
Everyone has something that moves them and when we lose that in the day to day mundanities of life we lose a little bit of ourselves in the process. Vital is about taking ownership of your “Maybe’s” and your “I wishes.” Its for anyone who has ever been passionate about a goal or ambition but feels like life is getting in the way. It is saying “Now is the time to stand up and do something about your dreams” You don’t want to look back on your life and have the primary reaction be “if Only”

When I wrote Vital I was feeling a bit stuck myself. I knew I wanted to be making music but it didn’t seem practical. I’m a Mom of four and I have a day job as well so really a better word than impractical is impossible. I went back and forth about the pros and cons and discussed my options with friends and in the midst I was always writing. After a lot of talking and encouragement I realized that it wasn’t really a choice anymore. Music has always been a part of me, I just spent a long time keeping it quiet and letting it fall by the wayside. I had notebooks full of songs that no one was ever going to hear. I was flipping through those books and I just had this “Ah­ha” moment. I remember thinking I’m not going to just let a piece of myself continue to collect dust. And that’s when vital happened.

I’m working with two incredibly Talented people on my Album…
one is Seth Aaron Jones, who I mentioned before. The other is Michael Birchard of Mikey B Media in New Jersey. Vital was the first song I had ever recorded and the whole experience was new and thrilling. I’m a little bit of spaz, especially when I’m excited. One of the kind of silly memories of working on Vital is that inability to contain my excitement. I think Mikey and Seth were in for a little bit of a rude awakening when we first started adding instrumentation to the song. There was a whole lot of jumping around and some definite squealing. I also tend to not be incredibly careful who my spastic movements impact. I know they were both “impacted” on several occasions by elbows and surprise hugs that resulted in bumped heads or chins.

Christine Irizarry indie artist ava live radio
My goal as an artist is for my music to be meaningful…
I put thought and feeling behind each lyric. I want my audience, no matter how large or small they may be, to know that the words they are hearing were chosen purposefully. I am among those who listen to a song and try to place what the artist was feeling at the time. The artists voice becomes mine as I create meaning in my own life from the music they used to share theirs. I use songs to get through hard days, to explain my emotions, to share a portion of my soul. Moving forward I hope to be that voice for the people who listen to my music.

I live right outside of Philadelphia…
but I grew up in North Philly. I was a theater girl all growing up so I was involved in community theater. I honestly didn’t know too much about the music scene outside of that until about 5 or 6 years ago. I remember going to open mics and coffee houses and wishing I had something to contribute. Now I do and I love it. I constantly find myself smiling while I watch the other performers and just feeling a creative bond. That’s what I think is so special about the Philadelphia music scene. People truly support one another. There is a genuine excitement in the success of your fellow performers. Networking leads to friendships more often than not and we all appreciate the hard work and effort that has brought us even to this point.

My current favorite place is…
a fairly new studio/venue in Germantown called Rittenhouse Soundworks. They refurbished an old warehouse building and host a musicians gathering there once a month. Just the space itself is welcoming, with it’s wood burning stove and eclectic furniture. Then you fill it will people who all care about sharing their craft simply for the sake of sharing it and it becomes overwhelmingly inspirational. I’m also working on a musical, which is a story for another time, but walking into Rittenhouse feels like walking onto the set as I see it in my head.

Aside from music I really love to bake…
I enjoy coming up with new recipes and trying them out on my friends and family. They seem to enjoy it. Its also something my kids really like to help with. They always want to “spin” (stir) the batter and they love to help me add ingredients. They are also always very willing taste testers.

 

Social Media:
Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/christineirizarry
Website: http://www.christineirizarrymusic.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/christineirizarrymusic
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/christineizzi
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/christine_izzi
Youtube: Christine Irizarry https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJn7q0CqbUS4ERX3dqRdK1Q