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Interview with Kalisa Ewing

Interview with
Lamitschka:  Music has many new
fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the first
time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to
someone who has never seen or heard you?
Kalisa Ewing: 
The truth be told, my music and lyrics
are honest. Everything I write comes from my own life experiences and
how I’ve found myself along the way. I grew up just 30 miles west of
Nashville, TN in Kingston Springs and that’s where I learned how to
deal with my first broken heart. Just listen to a song like ‘Bang’ at
kalisaewing.com and you’ll get a good idea of who I am and where my
music comes from.
Lamitschka:  How was the last year
for you? What were your highlights?
Kalisa Ewing: 
The last year for me has been amazing.
I’ve been busier than I’ve ever been thanks to God and the fate of
meeting my manager, Todd Wilkes. I met Todd two years ago and he
immediately took an interest in my songs and my goals as an artist.
In the music industry I think one of the most challenging obstacles
is finding that one person who believes in you as much as you believe
in yourself and who is willing and determined to work just as hard as
you do….for you. I’ve found that in Todd Wilkes. He not only
manages my career, he publishes me alongside Universal Music
Publishing Group, he’s my booking agent as well as my merch guy on
the road (laughs). He’s taught me that you really can’t do any of
this on your own and he’s my true champion. What we’ve accomplished
together as a team in the last year blows me away. We’ve been on the
road every weekend playing shows across the southeast. When Monday
rolls back around I’m back on Music Row in the office writing songs
until it’s time to hit the road again. I’ve had the priveledge of
opening up for artists like Loretta Lynn, Radney Foster, Jason
Boland & The Stragglers and Chris Knight, which are all a dream
come true for me. Kellie Pickler from American Idol and also just won
Dancing With The Stars recently recorded a song I wrote for her new
Black River Entertainment album release called, ‘Where Did Your Love
Go’. At about the same time we received the news from Kelly
Clarkson’s producer that she recorded another song of mine called ‘Go
On’, which is all so exciting. I made my debut performance at the
Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN a month ago and got invited back to
play two weeks later and share the bill with Loretta Lynn and Patty
Loveless. It’s been a whirlwind for a small time girl like me and I
don’t think just one of these accomplishments is greater than the
rest. They’re all a success story combined. I thank God for
Lamitschka:  What kind of songs do
you like to record the most?
Kalisa Ewing:  The songs I
typically lean towards recording are the ones that were written by
way of helping me get over something that I’ve been going through. I
feel like I’m just as human as my audience is so if there’s a song
that’s been therapeutic for me to write out on paper and record into
a melody, then hopefully that song will help someone else get through
a difficult time in their own lives as well. Those are the songs I
think make the biggest impact on people.
Lamitschka:  Who inspires you
musically and how deep do your musical roots run?
Kalisa Ewing:  My mom brought me up
on Loretta Lynn and Patty Loveless. Loretta Lynn has always been a
huge inspiration for me. I always loved the way she told the truth
the way she felt that it was and wasn’t scared to say it. And Patty
Loveless just has one of the best voices in the world. My dad always
listened to Steve Miller Band and Tom Petty and still today I listen
to Tom Petty all the time. I just love his lyrics and melodies.
Lamitschka:  As an artist, you so
many tasks such as recording, touring, interviews. What do you like
best, what’s your favorite activity?
Kalisa Ewing:  I would have to say
that my favorite part of the artist’s job is creating the sound.
There’s nothing I love more than writing songs and taking them into
the studio. I love collaborating with the musicians to create an
image within the music.
Lamitschka:  Are you doing anything
to take music beyond its current borders or are you happy where it
Kalisa Ewing:  I don’t worry about
what everyone else is doing all the time, or what “music”
is being classified as in the current industry. I’ve found that in
order for me to set myself apart and be the individual that God made
me to be, I’ve got one job requirement and that’s to stay true to who
I am at all times. I’m only best at being myself. I’ve watched people
I work around over the years trying to force their music into
something that sounds like what they’re playing on the radio, in some
attempt to stay “current”. I don’t ever want my music to be
considered the current anything. You’ve got to create your own trend
in this industry if you ever want longevity. My goal for making my
own music is to remain timeless.
Lamitschka:  What inspired you to
become an artist?
Kalisa Ewing:  I can’t really say
that I was inspired by anyone or any one specific thing to become an
artist. Growing up there was never anything else besides being a
musician that I truly wanted to be someday. I guess I was just born
with the vision of playing music and singing on stage for the rest of
my life. My mom’s parents and her five other siblings are all
originally from Witchita, KS. When she was ten years old, my
grandparents packed the kids up and made the move to Music City for
my grandfather, Owen McCarty, to make it in Nashville as an artist
and songwriter. He was a blind musician and he wrote songs and played
gigs in Nashville up until the last days leading up to his death. My
grandfather unfortunately passed away not too long after I was
brought into this world so I never got the chance to meet him myself.
I’ve always thought that it was kind of ironic that the only person
in my blood that shared the same dream as me passed away before I got
the opportunity to know him. I feel pretty strong in saying that I
believe that I just inherited my dream of making it in the music
business from him. I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe that
somehow his dream was reincarnated to me by him.
Lamitschka:  What inspired you to
become a songwriter?
Kalisa Ewing:  There’s no one in my
family that plays or does anything in the music business, so I didn’t
grow up knowing anything about writing songs or learning from anyone
around me. For some reason I always just loved writing out my
emotions onto paper. I had no methodical clue as to what I was doing
when I sat in my room as a kid with my diary and wrote down the way I
was feeling and tried to make all the lines rhyme. I was just feeding
my own adolescent boredom. I continued to write throughout my
childhood and when I was ten years old, I got my first guitar for
Christmas and began learning to play guitar. So, the short of the
long story is that my poetry naturally became songs and I started
Lamitschka:  What does it take to
be a music icon?
Kalisa Ewing:  If I had to pick one
thing that might separate every musician from beoming a “music
icon” I would have to say first and foremost it would be
continuing to believe in yourself, never taking ‘No’ for an answer
and learning from every mistake you make along the way and
strengthening your craft by knowing your weaknesses.
Lamitschka:  What moments in your
career stand out in your memory as highlights and achievements which
you are proud of?
Kalisa Ewing:  I’m probably mostly
proud of never giving in to giving up. You can achieve anything you
want in life if you continue to stay focused and try your best to
stay away from anyone or anything that may discourage you.
Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de

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