theaussieword.com goes one on one with the lovely Masquerade for a special blog interview!
Give us an introduction. How did it all begin? What had you first interested in music? INTRODUCING…. THE AMAZING, FAN-TABULOUS, DIVALICIOUS, and let’s not forget EXTREMELY MODEST…. (How’s that so far?)
No seriously… A long, long, time ago (in about January) I presented a song to Inaya Day. It was called “Higher”, and I had written it especially for her. She told me she loved the song, and would record it, but it would more than likely be released the following year because she had an extremely loaded release schedule for the gazillion amazing songs that would have preceded it! She then persuaded me to record it myself. That’s the beginning of Masquerade’s story… But the little girl behind the mask has loved singing ever since she heard Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All”in her apartment in Brooklyn NY! There was just nothing I’d rather do than run around the house performing.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
I don’t know how notto make music! Now how “great” it is, is relative. Writing songs is natural for me, no major thought process involved. It’s really just storytelling to a melody. I usually pull from life experiences, or everyday scenarios. If I had a quest, it would be just to have someone play my songs to successfully convey a message, or thought, without actually having to say it. I think that would be mission. “HIGHER” was produced by Jeriko, an amazingly talented producer that I’m lucky to have worked with. He’s probably the only person that I’ve worked with that understands my vision before I could even explain it.
Tell us a bit about your latest album and/or single
My latest and first single “Higher” is an upbeat, inspirational number that pretty much just says “Thank You” to all of the people in my life that have supported me unconditionally- even (and especially) to this point in my career, when things are finally starting to move. It’s fun, and catchy, and for a brand new Indie artist- it’s doing really well!
Man! If I knew the answer to that question I think I’d be sitting next to you sipping a cocktail somewhere in Melbourne giving a live interview! (-Which, might I add, is one of my favourite cities in the world!) In short- I have no idea! But I am sure it involves passion, dedication, determination, and a plan.
What has been your biggest career highlight?
Well, Masquerade was only birthed a few months ago- so I would say my biggest career highlight thus far, was performing at Chicago Pridefest in June. It was amazing… People as far as the eyes could see. And even though most of them had never heard my song before that day, they were dancing and singing along like they just finished singing it in their car! Just awesome!
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
In today’s industry? I find Lady Gaga to be a complete and utter ball of inspiration. Let me tell you why. She has managed to create songs that are undoubtedly commercial, yet artistic and brilliant! In addition, she is a character separate from Stefani Germanotta- in fact; most people don’t even know who that is! I’m totally down for that! She’s my mainstream super star pick… Now for my brown nosing! You know I’m an artist on Inaya Day’s label right? Well, that in it of itself is inspiring to me! Inaya has been a successful International Dance Artist for decades(She’s gonna kill me for emphasizing DECADES-but it’s true!), you know the hits! Stand By Me– and I Am Tha One produced by your own Mr. Timothy! She has managed to continue to create, be in demand, run her own label, and give new artists, like me- an opportunity to make the music we want to make on our own terms. Definitely an inspiration!
I actually just completed my second single… It’s called “Fabulous”, and that’s exactly what it is! I’m excited to see how that one is received! I think it’s super fun and light. I’m proud of it!
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
Well I’m a Natalie Imbruglia fan… (Torn), and of course there’s her Highness, Queen Kylie… but I’ll tell you, I was in OZ in the earlier part of the 2000’s, and there was one year in particular that I fell in love with Rogue Trader… (Inaya actually headlined a show that they were on.)The song that did it for me was Voodoo Child! It was infectious! I bought the album for that one song!
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
Social media is a blessing and a curse. It has made it so that any Joe Schmoe can deliver a product to obscene amounts of people, without necessarily having the power of a major label to back them. Sounds like a good thing right? Well, to me it is and it isn’t. Being that it is now a consumer’s market, the industry is saturated with good, better and awful content making it a chore to be taken seriously as an artist. You have to be present on social media, sharing your pictures, your whereabouts, what you ate for dinner, who pi$$ed you off, and everything in between to keep your audience’s attention! Everything has changed. For instance, I’ve only just entered the dance music scene, and it seems to me as if the DJ is now the artist, and the singer is almost secondary… Weird if you ask me, but I’m the crazy one who wants nothing more than to be a part of it all! ::Shrugs shoulder::
Thanks for the interview! Any final message?
I’m in LOVE with Australia, and hope you guys will give a listen and request “Higher” and (coming soon) “Fabulous” on your radio stations as well as when you head out to the disco! That way I can come perform for you and secretly use it as my vacation! (Laughs) I’m in need of some baybugs!!! Love you all! (“Got me Higher”) Thank You!