I recently had the chance to interview singer/songwriter Audra Mae about her music. Check out the interview below.
1) When did you begin playing and writing music?
I grew up onstage and started writing music twelve years ago when I picked up guitar and piano; I wanted to learn my favorite songs and, suddenly, my own songs started to come out.
2) Do you remember the first time you ever performed in front of a crowd? What was that like?
I remember it very well; I was four years old and the little girl who was supposed to lose her dolly in my mom's Christmas play didn't show up. Guess who got the role? I loved it. Never looked back. (laughs)
3) When did you have that moment where you decided, "This is what I want to do with my life, this is something I really want to pursue?"
I never had that moment. It would be like deciding to breath or telling my own heart to beat; it's involuntary.
4) Where do you take inspiration from musically? I hear quite a few influences in your songs.
I draw inspiration from everywhere I can. Lately I've been very interested in Electronic Music and the new wave of R&B. Beautiful.
5) Where do you take inspiration from lyrically? Both in terms of style and content?
Lyrically, I've noticed that I've unconsciously drawn from my Oklahoma roots, both in subject matter and the slang and rhythm of the word. I'm also a junky for stories. I'll ask complete strangers to elaborate on small talk like you wouldn't believe. Other people's stories dazzle me.
6) Regarding the band that plays with you, where did the name "The Almighty Sound" come from?
The Almighty Sound is the name I gave the group of friends who wrote and recorded the record with me. We don't actually play together but I felt like it was important to give them a more elevated position because they all deserved the recognition for the beautiful work we did together and because I wanted to show my gratitude for all their love and support. We thought about calling them The Great Almighty, but I was listening to Florence & The Machine, and the lyric "it makes such an almighty sound" kept ringing in my head.
7) How would you say that the material on "Audra Mae and the Almighty Sound" record differs in comparison to any of your previous work?
It's different in that there is a lot more focused energy on Audra Mae & The Almighty Sound. Also, we recorded the entire album live in one week. It was a gauntlet. And it was wonderful. I'm so proud of that record.
8) I heard that your cover of Bob Dylan's "Forever Young" was featured on an episode of Sons of Anarchy. What was that whole process like, from recording the song to hearing it for the first time on the show?
I recorded the song specifically for the show. Bob Theile set the whole thing up, I just showed up and sang it. It's funny how many people think I wrote it. Sometimes fans will send me messages asking for the lyrics. Haha
9) What kind of message would you like fans to walk away with after listening to your music?
I'd like for my music to help people forget their troubles and know that they'll have the energy and grace to face those troubles after they've taken a little breather and let their mind wander somewhere else. Music is medicine for me. Alchemy, really.
10) What are your future plans?
My plans are to spend the summer writing and getting ready to record a new album. I'm so excited to shake things up a bit and stretch out my creativity in ways I've never shared with my fans. Hopefully, they still like me!