How'd you get started in music?
My mother was a singer with a touring choir for over 25 years; they performed at many famous venues in NYC including Carnegie Hall and St. Patrick’s Cathedral as well as throughout Europe and North America. The Dumka Choir recorded several albums which she helped produce as well. I used to sit and listen in on her rehearsals on Friday nights in the East Village in Manhattan. It was an exciting time to be hanging out in such a creative place. My father was a jazz and ska fanatic, and he constantly played records. Growing up, music was always present in our home. I ended up singing in several bands throughout high school and college while studying voice and playing NYC clubs and other East Coast venues. I also toured a bit nationally in earlier bands, which solidified it for me. You can say it’s in my blood.
Who are your main inspirations or influences?
This is a very hard response to give—Queen, KISS, David Bowie, The Wailers, Thin Lizzy, The Beatles, Nina Simone, Sly + the Family Stone, Cheap Trick, Led Zeppelin, the Bad Brains, King’s X, Marillion, Aretha Franklin, Peter Gabriel, Anthrax, Aerosmith, Kate Bush, Living Colour, UFO, Soundgarden, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Third World, Faith No More, Glenn Hughes, Steel Pulse and Prince as well as a host of others.
How would you say music has impacted your life?
Music is life. Without it, I am nothing.
What advice would you offer aspiring performers?
Work on your craft--rehearse, rehearse, and then rehearse some more. Play with and learn from the best. Learn your favorite songs but make sure to write your own music and lyrics. Go see bands live and develop your own unique live show. Be bold and brave and play from the heart. And prepare to be rejected, misunderstood and ignored---it doesn't mean what you do isn't good or important.
Any new gigs or works in the future?
FTA is currently working on new material for our next release--we are super excited as the songs are shaping up to be some of the most dramatic and powerful music we've written together. The next move to return to the studio to begin tracking in the coming months--FTA is hoping to do a special crowdfunded release. We should be playing in the next two to three months during the summer. We just debuted a live in-studio video for "December" from our Spin Recording Studios session with AXS which was great. Check it out here--
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