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Interview with Ana Cristina on MUSICandMODELING.com
charlesm3 | November 6, 2008 at 06:27 pmby
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Q. For the people who aren't familiar with you as of yet, who is Ana Cristina?
A. I am a recording artist based out of Miami, Florida. I am 23, write my own songs, and have been performing publicly since the age of 6 years old on national television shows. At the age of 15, I started in the music business by releasing music in Spanish through the Sony Discos label, and then gained popularity in the Latin music scene. I am currently writing and recording material for an English language debut record in the Pop/R&B genre.
Q. Describe a normal day for you.
A. A normal day would consist of waking up early in the morning, eating breakfast, then heading off to FIU for a class, since I am in the final stages of graduating with a degree in Journalism. Then I'll go to the office, book studio time, write music or record, and then plan for future shows with my team and upcoming projects. Our work involves seizing positive opportunities for the expansion of my brand as an artist in the entertainment and media industries. I am the CEO and owner of my own music publishing company, "True Gift Music Publishing LLC”, as well as an independent record label, “True Gift Records.”
Q. What's in your CD player right now?
A. Right now I created a mix CD of everything including Kanye West, Sean Kingston, Amy Winehouse, Sara Bareilles, Bjork's "Vespertine" album, Rihanna, The Killer's "Hot Fuss" album, Jay-Z, and songs from Celia Cruz' greatest hits.
Q. How do you get in the mood to write and perform?
A. I take inspiration from my own emotions and the circumstances of the people that I see around me. I jokingly tell my closest friends to be careful with what they say and do, because it could just end up immortalized in one of my songs! This is why I try to live a balanced life and go out to have fun with my friends when I have the chance. They don’t know it, but the people around me are my muses. I study them in a closer way than they think. I can choose to lock myself in a studio for all eternity to pump out more tracks if I wanted to, but I can’t write about losing the one I love, being betrayed, friendship, or about being in love if I haven’t experienced it for myself. Being a survivor of life has made me a better writer.
When I write music, the ideas come to my mind a million miles per second. It is like a running train of inspiration that can’t be stopped. I keep a small digital tape recorder in my purse. I come up with a theme, a melody, or pieces of lyrics just about anywhere. Once I have it, I record it, then bring out my notebook and structure it into something that makes sense. I’ve never thought of songwriting as work of any sort, or something that could be learned in a book. Creating a great song for me is like solving a mystery or cracking a fun mind puzzle. I am an eternal student of the human condition.
Q. Describe your most memorable performance.
A. My most memorable performance to date was singing in the East room of the White House for Hispanic Heritage week in 2006.I was invited to sing there by Emilio Estefan Jr. I was accompanied by guitarist Marco Linares and I sang two songs in English and one in Spanish. Being the only singer performing that day, and I sang before a room of high ranking ambassadors, President George W. bush, and Prince Felipe of Spain. The room was so quiet while I was singing that you could hear a pin drop. All eyes were on the stage and I felt a strong energy from the people that were there. Sometimes the most intimate settings are the ones that have the most impactful energy.
Q. What do you want your listeners to take from your music?
A. I want my listeners to go on an empowering emotional ride by listening to my music. I want them to reflect and learn more about themselves as well as the people they love. With the faster songs, I want them to dance, be happy, forget their troubles, and live life to its fullest potential. I want them to learn, laugh, cry, appreciate beauty, listen to their heart, and embrace their flaws and imperfections all the while becoming stronger people. After all, I am not perfect either. I speak to women, men, and children of all ages, colors, and sizes as well as for everyone who is willing to listen. Music does not discriminate. To me, music is the utmost perfect form of art and expression.
Q. In your opinion, how has the music scene changed throughout the years?
A. The music industry keeps evolving throughout the years and it is largely due to the change in technology. The way that we receive and listen to our music is always changing. From records, to tapes, to CD's, and now, with the digital revolution. Instead of tape and CD players, we now have iPods and phones that play our music for us. Digital online sales and music internet buying have boomed has we have watched music retail and distribution stores slowly disappear. Artists can now market themselves and sell music online and do not need to depend on a record label for online distribution. What the record labels do have as an advantage, is a respected name, industry relationships that have been built over years, and large radio and marketing budgets. Any artist can put their music for sale online, but it is wasted effort unless it is promoted heavily. Nobody will buy something without hearing about it, so this is where a good marketing and promotion plan is imperative. The budgets of these large record labels are shrinking and they are signing fewer artists every day. This is also why record labels choose to spend more money on the marketing of the artist versus the cost of producing the actual record. The days of lavish spending in the golden age of the music industry is fading, therefore, label managers have to be more efficient, budget wisely, and cross market their artists with other media vehicles such as television and internet. The future of the music of the industry lies in keeping up with the changing wave of music technology and in the actual talent. Unfortunately, limited budgets do not allow room for the cultivation of new artists since less of them are being signed to major music labels out of fear of overspending. There are a lot of very talented and qualified people that will not be heard since they are being silenced by corporate bureaucracy.
Q. If you could change one thing about the music scene what would it be?
A. I would encourage major labels to take more risks by signing new artists and actually taking the time to cultivate them. A lot of new artists are shelved by their labels simply because they do not have a proper team in place or lack experience in the field of marketing themselves. Labels rarely feel like they have the time to nurture some of these people and spend wasteless money on the production of their records. Instead of letting loads of money go to waste, they could actually take the full time to cultivate them and bring them through the entire process in order to insure success for both the artist and the label. No label should sign an artist if they have no real intent on promoting their final product. If the band or artist does not yet have a hit, they need to have faith in the artist and encourage them to keep working.
Q. What advice would you give to up-and-coming vocal artists?
A. I would tell that they need to stay hungry. Drive is the key to unleash the power for their success. It is important to work hard and not get to comfortable or get caught up with the glitz and glam part of it.
Q. Do you have any upcoming projects that we can look out for?
A. Yes. I am currently working on my English debut record.
Q. Final thoughts?
A. I try to stay connected to all of my fans. I like to hear their opinions and I often receive messages of encouragement on www.anacristina.com, myspace or my facebook page. They thank me for writing a certain song, or express how much it has related to their lives. As an artist, encouragement and acknowledgement from my supporters is the most valuable reward. I am very grateful.
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