When did you realize you wanted to play music?
I’ve always been musical! Since being a kid and singing on stage as part of Children’s Young People’s Theater, through junior high and high school drama classes and theater productions. I didn’t try my hand at being a “singer-songwriter,” though, until I was an adult: I was “finding myself” after a separation and was a lead singer in a cover band in 2002! After I started taking voice lessons and writing my first song, my muse started flowing and hasn’t stopped…
What is some of the music/artists that influenced you?
Over the years there have been many pop, top 40 and British bands, from 80s and 90s bands like The Church, Chameleons, Pixies, Nick Cave, New Model Army to blues such as Billie Holiday to many modern women singer-songwriters such as Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spektor, Feist, Lily Allen, Sam Phillips, Adele, and even bands such as Keane and Muse.
The name, Aoede, is that a middle name or something you came up with?
“Aoede” was the first muse of song in Greek Mythology, and the name means “song.” I wanted affiliation with the muse and a reminder to continually inspire and be inspired. Aoede is quirky, child-like, folky-pop and musical stories for kids of all ages. Ingrid Michaelson meets Regina Spektor or Feist. Aoede is compelling pop for your heart by an Award-Winning San Francisco-based Singer-Songwriter with an enchantingly quirky soprano voice…
Tell us about your songwriting process. Do you write lyrics first or music?
I usually write music first, but it goes hand in hand with lyrical ideas. I might have some ideas for a song lyrically, but I don’t often realize them until I hear the music. I most often compose on guitar. My musical ideas can suggest the lyrics too.
What is the best experience, as a musician or being on stage, that you’ve had so far?
There have been a few! As a musician, I have been so privileged to receive multiple awards over the past few years and industry recognition from being a Winner for Children’s Music in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition, Finalist for John Lennon Songwriting Competition, to receiving multiple awards for Artists in Music Awards (2012) and Indie Music Channel (2013, 2012), as well as LA Music Awards and my albums being considered for the Grammys. They have all been amazing experiences for me as a musician and very empowering and affirming of my life path and dreams. In terms of being on stage, the highlight was playing a festival for CureJM in Oregon in 2012 , for children afflicted with a skin and muscle disease, the same condition that I have as an adult. It was so empowering to show them that despite what life throws at them, they can still dream and live their dreams, and I was living proof of that! I also really enjoyed a CD release/music video premiere multi-media show I put on in June 2012. It was so much fun to combine live music, readings and video!
What is the worst? (We all have our moments!)
I was about to go on stage back in 2006 for a benefit show at 12 Galaxies in San Francisco. There was a riser that I didn’t see and I hit my head on it hard. I knew I had hit it but just continued onto the stage, started playing and singing, and the audience started gasping and pointing. Apparently, I had blood dripping down my face! My boyfriend and bass player Dave (now my husband) scooped me up and brought me upstairs to stop the bleeding, and I actually played a set about an hour later (with minimal bleeding)!
What do you hope to achieve with your music? Any specific goals?
Yes! My big dreams are Grammy Awards for Children’s Music and placements in film, tv and advertising.
My ongoing dream? I want to continue to write and record music for my albums, musical stories, a web series, and singles and for advertising, film and tv. I am in production on my next musical story: “What Are Dreams Made Of?” I hope to complete it and have it considered for the Grammy Awards in 2013.
Tell us three artists that you have been listening to lately.
Greg Laswell, Erin McCarley, Lisa Mitchell
As we can all hear, you are a very talented musician. What else does Aoede do well? What are your other trades?
Writing! I wrote my first script and musical story “Is Love A Fairy Tale?” last year and enjoyed the process so much I am writing my next story: “What Are Dreams Made Of?” now as a follow up. I have started a few books as well. Also, I was an Environmental Scientist for 10 years focused on coastal water quality protection. I have always had a passion for water!
Finally, tell us about your upcoming show/shows and why everyone should be there!
I am mainly focused on production of my new album this month, but I do have a show coming up: a momentous multi-day RipStar Productions Red Cross benefit at Live Worms Gallery for their 10th Anniversary. It is on SAT JUNE 22nd in San Francisco in North Beach. Aoede is on early for FOLK Night. I will be playing some acoustic songs and also doing some fun multi-media stuff. I always like to mix it up, so you never know what I might do next! If you are in the SF Bay Area, come on out and say hello!!