Q and A with Beth Marie AndersonMarch 3, 2013
Beth Marie Anderson is a talented Canadian country artist that has been building a strong following of fans that have fallen in love with both her original songs and her covers. Take a look at this interview that offers some insight into her music.
BS: How long have you been making your own music?
BMA: Well I started writing my own poems and lyrics from a young age, and played the piano from a young age as well, but started putting my words and music together in 2007, so six years now! In 2010 I decided to take my love for writing and creating music to a more commercial level.
BS: What is it that you love about country music?
BMA: There are so many different reasons that I love country music! Where to start…. hmmm… Firstly, I love how the music tells a story and gives you images, characters and almost every song you can create a movie inside your head with the lyrics. Country music is so easy to relate to because you can talk about real life situations, sometimes cheeky – sometimes sad, and it really resonates with you.
I love the instruments – the banjo, mandolin, fiddle, organ, harmonica, steel guitar etc. The instruments bring everything to life and are just as important to the story as the lyrics are. Lastly, I love the fans and people involved with Country music! They are so loyal and kind, everyone roots for each other and we all get that each artist is talented and has different things they bring to the table. That’s why there is such a family feel to country music – we all have each other’s backs 🙂
BS: What moment can you pinpoint as the one that made you want to make music or country music more specifically?
BMA: There was this one moment when I was writing a song on the piano and I played it for my friend and she almost started crying and said that she could relate to exactly what I wrote, like I wrote the song for her. At that time my lyrics were simple and unrefined and I thought to myself, ‘if I work at this really hard, maybe one day I can make thousands of people feel that way’, and I started my musical journey.
When I thought how can I pair my big voice and rich lyrics and fit inside a genre … well I got my answer listening to Lee Ann Rimes, Martina McBride, Dolly Parton etc. Real story telling, a raw emotional voice and the power to let the lyrics speak for themselves are exactly what country music is all about.
BS: Now from what I understand you have a long history already with music. Can you walk us through what all-different paths you have taken in music up to this point?
BMA: Wow, this will be a long answer!! Well, when I was about 6 years old I took piano lessons because my big sister took piano lessons and I wanted to be just like her. The only problem was that I wanted to make my own melodies and re-write the ‘classic’ pieces I was supposed to be learning, so I quit piano after a few years on recommendation from my teacher that my parents were ‘waisting their money and her time’. Rightfully so, all I wanted to do was learn disney songs and make up my own music!
In grade 6 I joined our school band and played the flute until grade 11 while still playing the piano and learning songs by ear. In my grade 11 year I decided to quit flute lessons and decided that I wanted to learn how to sing! I got a vocal coach and took vocal lessons for 4 years from an amazing teacher named Sharon Wishart (who taught Diana Krall in her early days) and piano lessons from her daughter Laura Wishart. During those 4 years studying voice I had a lead role in a broadway musical called ‘Honk Jr’, performed in many musical theatre shows and sung with the Vancouver Island Opera in Die Federmaus & Le Boheme and started to write my own material and teach myself how to play the guitar.
In 2008-2009 I attended the Victoria Conservatory of Music for Classical voice and received a certificate in Music Foundations and was on the Deans Honor Roll. After school in 2009 I left for Nashville after feeling I had written enough material for an album. I secured investors, booked a recording studio, booked a few co-writes and off I went!
After releasing my first album in 2010, the last few years have been such a blessing! I had the opportunity to open for major Canadian country music acts such as Johnny Reid, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Jessie Ferrell, Michelle Wright (etc.), I released two singles and a Christmas single in 2011/2012 and have been working on an extensive catalogue of songs that I’ve been writing/ co-writing for the past 3 years with my co-writers all over the world!
BS: What musicians have inspired you musically?
BMA: I’ve been inspired by so many amazing talents over the years such as Whitney Houston, Le Ann Rimes, Martina McBride, Dolly Parton, Allison Krause, The Backstreet Boys, and Josh Groben to name a few. Each person I just mentioned helped shape me in different ways. Whitney Houston taught me soul, the Backstreet Boys taught me how to sing harmony and Martina McBride taught me how to sing with conviction. Seeing the artists I grew up listening to evolve and explore their own talents – that’s what inspires me.
BS: What do you think is the biggest challenge musicians face today?
BMA: I think that everyone wants to have music for free, and that’s a near impossible feat to achieve. You want to make your fans happy and you want to give back, but as much as it’s all about the music – you also want to be able to pay the bills at the end of the day. Speaking as an Independent Artist, my biggest challenge is making in an income with music alone and still being able to put out new material in a timely manner.
BS: What do you feel was your biggest obstacle to get to where you are today?
BMA: I think the hardest thing was to develop a thick skin and trust my instincts. If you believe in yourself and you decide nothing is going to come between you and your dream – then you will achieve what you set out to achieve. The minute you start believing what the naysayers say and you second-guess yourself, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.
BS: In 2010, you released an album “Open Road” what was creating that album like for you?
BMA: When I was a little girl, I dreamed about what I would write on my thank-you section every time I bought a new CD. Creating my first album made me feel like I was on the right path to something bigger than myself, bigger than what I had ever done before. ‘Open Road’ was really special, I wrote/co-wrote 8 of the 10 tracks on the album and was able to have a say in every aspect of the recording process. It was like putting everything I’ve ever worked towards all in one little package.
BS: Do you have a favorite song off of the album, and why?
BMA: Oh No, I hate this question! I can’t pick, they are all my babies! This album is so personal and each song means something special to me, but my favourites would have to be ‘No Yellow Brick Road’, ‘Right Here With Me’, ‘Fallen Angel’ & ‘Open Road’.
BS: You released a music video for the title track Open Road, What is the story behind the song?
BMA: When I started writing for this album it had a lot of love songs, and songs about growing up and leaving where you were raised, coming home and seeing things through a different set of eyes – so when we started writing Open Road it was kind of me saying ‘ it’s taken me a really long time to get here and to figure out where I belong, but now that I’ve found it there’s nothing standing in my way and there is no slowing me down because I’ve got endless opportunities ahead of me’. Once we realized we were writing almost an anthem/empowerment song it just created itself and Open Road was born!
BS: When can fans get a chance to see you play live?
BMA: I have a few shows being scheduled in BC for the summer, but hoping to be doing a North American tour in the fall/winter of this year, and hopefully a full touring schedule for 2014! If you keep an eye on my website www.bethmarieanderson.com I will keep everyone up to date.
BS: Any plans you can share with us for 2013?
BMA: There are so many exciting things happening for 2013!!
Firstly, I have been signed to a booking agency called ‘Firebones’ which I’m very excited about! We are planning tour dates for 2013 and 2014 at this time and I’m excited to get out on the road 🙂
Secondly, I’ll be releasing a brand new single in the summer, and Instead of releasing just one album, I am releasing a 7 song EP in September of 2013 – followed by a tour.
In 2014 I will release another 6/7 song EP – followed by another tour! The idea is that I’m always releasing new music so my fans have something new to look forward to!
Another cool project I’m working on is my online store through my website so folks who can’t make a tour date can purchase everything we will be selling at my live show – right online!
There’s a lot more brewing and exciting bits of news that I’ll be announcing anytime, so make sure to check my website and stay in touch 🙂
BS: Anything else you would like to say to your fans?
BMA: THANK YOU. Thanks for listening to my music & for sharing my songs, without you guys this wouldn’t be worth doing. Thanks for believing in me & having my back 🙂 I created my new website with YOU in mind because I want to stay connected with you! Look inside my world through pictures, video, twitter, Facebook, pinterest and all those awesome sites all from one place! www.bethmarieanderson.com Be sure to always check in and say hi! <3 Beth