Leslie Cours Mather Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Leslie Cours Mather Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

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?

Answer:  I am a singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles CA.  I’d say my songs are pop-country.  I love to connect with my fans through my
music and my story.

Lamitschka:  How was the last year for you? What were
your highlights?

Answer:  It’s been a very busy year!  I’ve
had 4 songs in the top 20’s on the Billboard chart which has been amazing!  I’ve got two albums coming out this year…I’m
A Survivor (September 28th) followed by a Christmas album called Home For
Christmas.

Lamitschka:  What is your latest CD and how’s it
doing?

Answer:  I’m A Survivoris coming out exactly two years after my kidney transplant.  The short version of my story is that I had
no idea I had kidney failure and no health issues.  I was suddenly put on dialysis for 9 months
until brother was cleared to donate his kidney to me. This was two years
ago.  I’m hoping the album inspires
anyone going through something difficult.
It’s my answer to the hard things life hands us.

Lamitschka:  How did you choose the title for the
CD?  Is there a story behind the name?

Answer:  The title song on the album is also called I’m A Survivor.  It was the first single I released after my
recovery.  The feedback I got was really
moving…people sharing their stories of hardship.  There’s so much pain in this world, and not
enough pulling together to encourage each other.  I want people to know they’re not alone.

Lamitschka:  Do you write the songs yourself? If not,
how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?

Answer:  I wrote about half the songs on the album.  I’m a songwriter, but if I hear a song by
another writer that inspires me, I am not too proud to record it.  I’ve tried collaborating several times with other
writers, but I have so may internal thoughts and melodies, I guess I’m just
wired to write most of these songs by myself.

Lamitschka:  Please tell us about the songs on your
album (influences, etc).

Answer:  In addition to I’m A Survivor, I wrote Movin’ On, Just
Roll With It
, Loves’s Gonna Do That and We Should Try Again.  All of these songs have a clear message of
“life’s tough but I’m going to fight back”.
Not angry fighting…actually very positive.  The other songs are a mixture of songs that
have moved me and inspired me.  There are
two covers—Heartache Tonight and Blue Bayou, which is my nod to
my inspiration Linda Ronstadt. 

Lamitschka:  What is the difference between your last
CD and your current one?

Answer:  I used to be very concerned about making sure my songs fit the Country
market.  But I realized it was sort of
stifling my creativity.  These songs were
written and chosen because they spoke to me and for me.  I’m not worried about which market they land
it.  I’m interested in seeing them
connect with people emotionally.

Lamitschka:  Your current single is being played by
radio. What do you feel is special about this song that makes people want to
hear it?

Answer:  My Latest single is Loves Gonna Do That.  I wanted to release something fun and
lighthearted, especially for the summer.
The problem is still real—I’ve been burned by love.  But the message is, “I’ll live to love
another day”, and it’s a happy tune.

Lamitschka:  What will your next single be?

Answer:  Well…Christmas is coming!  It’s my
favorite time of year.  I love putting a
Christmas song out, even if it’s only for a few weeks.

Lamitschka:  What kind of songs do you like to record
the most?

Answer:  I have found that I connect most with the songs I have written myself
(not surprisingly).  And I have also
found that I really get into songs with a bit of gospel feel.  Music is designed to move us, so if I’m not
moved myself the song won’t translate to the listener.

Lamitschka:  You did a duet with  Steve
Dorff. How did that happen to come about?

Answer:  Steve is an award winning songwriter.
He is in the Hall Of Fame in Nashville for writing Through The Years by
Kenny Rogers.  I have recorded several of
his songs and he’s become a friend.  He
offered me a Christmas duet called Another Christmas Loving You and I
said, “Let’s do it!” 

Lamitschka:  What is your favorite song among all the
songs you have recorded and what’s the story behind it?

Answer:  That’s not fair!  I don’t even
know how to pick a favorite food!  I’m
A Survivor
means a lot to me.  It’s
my story, and I’m very vulnerable and open about my journey.  So many people are dealing with issues that
feel insurmountable.  I’m A Survivor
is my way of saying “You can do this, you will get through this, and you’re
stronger than you think”.

Lamitschka:  How much creative control do you have
over your music?

Answer:  Thankfully, all of it.  That’s the
beauty of being an independent artist, and that’s why I chose this route.  It’s a tremendous amount of work, but it’s
worth having complete control over all the choices, both creative and
business. 

Lamitschka:  There’s a lot of work that goes into a
number one hit. What did it take to make it in your case?

Answer: Ahh number 1…I haven’t seen that number yet.  But, as an independent artist (which means, I
am not with a major label), it’s almost unheard of to make it into the 20’s on the Billboard
Chart.  I’m very proud of the fact that
I’ve done that 4 times in a row.

Lamitschka:  Do you have any interesting stories
about how fans have been affected by your music?

Answer:  Thanks to social media, artists are much more reachable than they used
to be. People tend to share their stories with me after hearing my songs, and
they generally share I’m A Survivor with someone else, and then tell me
why they are sharing it.  Lots of people
tell me they have gone through similar things in their lives.  Like I said, it’s important that we all know
we’re not alone, because when hard times come it’s really easy to feel alone.

Lamitschka:  Who inspires you musically and how deep do
your musical roots run?

Answer:  When I was a little girl my dad played lots of Linda Ronstadt…and other
artists too.  He was very musical.  When I heard her voice, I was stunned.  The more I learned about her, the more I
related to her.  A strong but quiet woman
who would not be put in a box.  She sang
so many styles.  When I started in this
business I was always told to find a niche.
But I always remembered Linda, and thought, “Nope.  I’m just going to write and sing good
music.”  Blue Bayou is on my album for
her.

Lamitschka:  What do you think about today’s music
scene versus its past
and where do you see it going in the future?What do you think about today’s music industry?

Answer:  It’s been a tough transition for the music industry…streaming is taking
over radio and CD sales.  I think the key
is to go with it and look for the new way.
I think we have an opportunity—the world is a smaller place thanks to the
digital world.   If we get caught up in
fighting for the old model, we’ll miss the new one.

Lamitschka:  If you had the chance to change
something about the music industry, what would it be?

Answer:  I wish more people were more honest.

Lamitschka:  As an artist, you so many tasks such as
recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what’s your favorite
activity?

Answer:  I am a family person.  I aways
have been.  I am married and we have
three kids.  I try to balance home life
with work life, which is very hard.  My
most favorite things are writing, recording and interviewing.  The touring part takes its toll.  Life performances take a lot of time and
energy.  The best way for me to handle it
is to bring one of my kids along at a time.
That way we have special one-on-one time.

Lamitschka:  Are you doing anything to take music
beyond its current borders or are you happy where it is?

Answer:  I think I am.  I don’t worry any
more about how commercial my songs are.
I care about their reach and their connection.  But that comes with a price.  Pushing on borders requires risk.  But I am going to continue to stay true to
myself, even if only 12 people agree with me.

Lamitschka:  What was your big break that got you
into the music business?

Answer:  They say an overnight success takes 10 years.  I’ve been in this business my whole life and
I’m not sure I’ve seen my big break yet!
I’m not sure where that finish line is.
And if I reach it, then what?  I’d
rather focus on the privilege of being able to do what I love to do.

Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become an artist?

Answer:  If I wasn’t a singer, I’d be doing something else in the creative
arts.  I can’t help but be creative.  My parents knew I was destined for
music.  There was never a question.  Writing, singing, playing, acting—I wanted to
do these things non-stop.

Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become a
songwriter?

Answer:  I was a very quiet, shy kid.  But
I journaled.  I could think in writing
much better than talking to someone.  I
started writing songs at a young age.  It
was a great outlet for me to express what I wanted to say. 

Lamitschka:  What drives you?

Answer:  Justice.  Family.  Love.
The fact that I’ve been given a second chance at life.

Lamitschka:  What’s unique about you that will
differentiate you from other artists?

Answer:  I’m real.  You get what you get
with me.  I’m not sure I’m even capable
of putting on a fake persona. My songs have a depth and a maturity about them
that comes from lots of life experiences.
It’s hard for me to write about fluffy things.  But that’s ok, because it’s great to have
both out there.

Lamitschka:  What has been your greatest challenge in
music business?

Answer:  There’s a saying: “Fake it ’til you make
it”.  Never worked for me.  I’m real.
It’s both my strength and my weakness.

Lamitschka:  What moments in your career stand out in
your memory as highlights and achievements which you are proud of?

Answer:  The first time I charted on the radio was my first song, Countrified.  It went to top 40.  My publicist called to tell me.  I hadn’t seen the chart.

Lamitschka:  Any thoughts of retirement ahead?

Answer:  My two girls are coming up in this business and I want to be there for
them at every step.  Right now, we’re all
in there at different levels.  But I
definitely see passing the baton at some point and sitting in the front row of
their concerts.

Lamitschka:  Who is your biggest critic, yourself or
others?

Answer:  In the past it was me…but there must have been some magic in that kidney
my brother gave me, because since my surgery, I’ve lightened up. 

Lamitschka:  When you get time off, how do you like
to relax?

Answer:  It’s all about family time.  We
love the beach.  We live close to Malibu,
and I find it therapeutic.  My husband
and I will often talk about going out to dinner, but 9 times out of 10, we put
our sweats on and do dinner and a movie on the couch.  I’m a total homebody.

Lamitschka:  Is there anything in your life that you
would change if you could?

Answer:  Life certainly isn’t perfect.  But I’ve been so blessed, I think if I
changed anything I’d ruin the beauty of it.
Every hard thing I’ve been through has led to a good thing.

Lamitschka:  What hopes and desires do you have?

Answer:  I guess I just want to live happily ever after…like a Disney princess
movie.  That would be so nice.  But not very realistic is it?

Lamitschka:  What has been the biggest disappointment
in your life?

Answer:  I’ve had several setbacks in my career…the first was when my daughter
was diagnosed with Leukemia.  I put my
everything aside.  Once she was healthy
and stable, it felt like I was starting over.
I fought disappointment for a long time, even though I would do the same
thing again.  When I was diagnosed with
kidney failure, those feelings stirred up again.  I wish we didn’t have to go through any of
it, but it made me stronger, and my family is closer.

Lamitschka:  Many European fans travel to the United
States to attend the several of the music festivals for the opportunity to see
so many of their favorite artists, bands and celebrities. Will you be
participating and how will the fans be able to find you?

Answer:  My website and my social media pages are great places to find me and
keep up to date.

Lamitschka:  Is there any place you haven’t played
that you would like to?

Answer:  I’d love to do a European tour!

Lamitschka:  What can your fans expect to see when
they see you in concert?

Answer:  I’m actually in the process of creating a show that uses a lot of

Lamitschka:  When you’re on tour, do you have time to
play tourist?

Answer:  I try, but it really depends.  If
one of my kids is with me, I take an extra day.

Lamitschka:  Do fans mob you everywhere you go or do
they respect your privacy?

Answer:  My fans tend to be very respectful.
I appreciate that.

Lamitschka:  Many music fans today get their
information about artists online. Do you have your own website and what will
fans find there?

Answer:  Of course!  LeslieCoursMather.com

Lamitschka:  Tell us about the fan club and how
people can join it.

Answer: When you go to my website, there is
a link to join the mailing list.  You can
also follow me on social media so you always know what’s going on.

Lamitschka:  What’s the best compliment a fan has
ever given you?

Answer: For me, it’s when they relate to my
songs.

Lamitschka:  What’s your favorite song that you wish
you could have recorded?

Answer: It was Blue Bayou…and my dream came
true!

Lamitschka:  What message would you like to send your
European fans?

Answer: Invite me to Europe!  I’m really looking forward to meeting you!

Lamitschka:  Fans are always hungry for good road
stories. Do you have one you can share with us (come on don’t be shy)?

Answer: I have so many!  But on the kidney note…I was so busy on radio
tour and thought I was just exhausted.  I
kept going on with life.  My husband
finally forced me to go to the doctor.
We both thought I just needed an antibiotic, so I just went by
myself.  The doctor sent me to the ER, telling
me the hospital had the equipment for some testing he wanted to order.  I argued with him because I needed to get my
kids to a Christmas party.  I finally
went and kept telling them to hurry because I needed to get this party.  They nodded every time I told them I was in a
hurry.  I went from room to room.  Eventually someone came in with a clipboard
to admit me to the hospital.  I said,
“You’ve got the wrong patient and  I need
to get my kids to a Christmas party.”  I
argued with everyone, including the nurse who tried to give me an IV.  Finally the doctor came.  I said “Are we done?  I need to get my kids to a Christmas party”.   He said, “I’m afraid you have renal failure”
to which I replied,  “I’m not sure where
my renal is??”  He told me renal failure
is kidney failure and I would be in the hospital for awhile.  I remember sitting there alone texting my
family and friends.  It was the most
awkward text:  “So…I’m in the hospital
for kidney failure (crazy face emoji)” And…my kids did make it to the party—I
made sure someone got them there!!

Lamitschka:  Describe what a perfect day is like for
you.

Answer: My whole family, in Hawaii.

Christian Lamitschka (Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de) for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

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