|CTG Has been without an Artist Of The Month for quite sometime now, so when I decided it was time that it be brought back, I set about making sure that it comes back with a bang! To help me achieve this, I needed to make sure I pick some of the finest artists and characters around! My choice for AoTM June 2007, doesnít need much of an introduction, as she is very active here in the CTG Community. She is also, a very highly regarded artist, with the voice of an angel! Just check out her wonderful music to see how many comments and downloads she has accumulated. So, without further ado, Iíd like to announce the extremely talented Mary Weldon!
slammy: To get us underway, I would like to congratulate you on being selected as Artist Of The Month! It's a great privilege to have such fine Artist's amongst us at CTG Music, and I feel it's equally important to find out just exactly who is behind the music. That leads me to my question for you... Who is Mary Weldon and what makes her tick?
Mary Weldon: Hmm, thatís a tricky question to answer.
Well, I'm 32, from the Yorkshire Dales in England, married for 8 years.
I enjoy many different interests, painting, reading and poetry amongst them, but I suppose what makes me 'tick' above all is music. A fairly obvious thing to say, I know, but it's every aspect of music that I'm passionate about and have been my entire life. Although singing is my first love, I've always enjoyed writing/arranging and performing, especially with great musicians, something I have been doing since I was 13, although I actually started my musical studies (vocal/piano/guitar) when I was 6.
slammy: Wow you've answered a few of the questions I was going to ask along the way!. The Dales certainly is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been too. You say you started studies aged 6, which is a very impressionable age to begin. You have quite the singing voice, would you attribute that to your musical education, or have you just been naturally blessed with such awesome pipes?
Mary Weldon: Ha! Ha! Ha! Awesome pipes.....you are a card, Slammy.
I started singing before anything else, and it's always felt very natural to me.
Along the way though, I've been lucky to have a couple of great vocal teachers, who actually knew what they were doing. So they helped me to more understand the technique and physical side to singing. This is something I've tried to pass on to my various students I've taught over the years, although, sadly, most of them have wanted to sound like pop-tarts who sing through their noses, and they werenít prepared to put the work in
slammy: Well I'm glad, and I'm sure a lot of people around here are glad you've put such a voice to real music!. Now, you only have a few songs here on CTG, yet you've managed to gain a huge following - you only have to look at how many people comment on your work to see that. How does it make you feel, when you see such a huge list of positive vibes coming from this community?
Mary Weldon: Itís very special to me, for sure. At the moment I first decided to put my music online, CTG was one of the first places I chose to share it. I've always been bowled over by the reception my stuff has received here, I think thatís as much to do with the great variety of styles and artists we have here as anything. From my point of view, being involved in this community has definitely expanded my musical outlook, and contributed to fresh perspectives. In any event, I very much appreciate all the comments and reviews from everybody.
slammy: I am very pleased to hear that. Moving away from music now, you mention reading as one of your interests, what are you reading right now?
Mary Weldon: As it happens, I've just read one of the most fabulous books I've ever laid eyes on. In fact, I'd say it was a privilege to read.
Itís called 'Journey Into Darkness' by Anthony Faramus, and itís a very difficult book to obtain, but kindly lent to me by my husbands cousin Tony from Jersey, the UK channel island, where the author was from.
I say a privilege to read, because itís the most extraordinary story of human suffering and endurance during World War Two, a period of history I am very much interested in.
And its a true story Ė itís his story.
In my opinion, it's a book that everybody should read - and I'm convinced the world would be a better place if they did.
slammy: I just did a google search, and yes it seems to be very difficult to find . If you could change anything at all with the world right now, what would it be?
Mary Weldon: I'd wish the lesson's we should have learned from the past had truly sunk in. Sadly, they havenít.
slammy: I hate to be pessimistic, but I donít believe we ever will. Moving back to music now. Who/What are your musical influences?
Mary Weldon: Might sound like an unusual thing to say, but it was seeing Elvis Presley performing on TV when I was 3 that kick started my interest in music, definitely. It was actually on the day he died, so they were showing lots of his stuff. His voice really grabbed my attention, and its something I clearly remember. As well as Elvis, Joni Mitchell has been my other big influence, not just as a vocalist, but as a songwriter too. Of course, I listen to lots of great artists, but those two have had the biggest impact on my musicality above all.
slammy: I wouldn't call it unusual to be influenced by Elvis, he really was something else. Where do you see your own music heading in the future?
Mary Weldon: My music had always been very much acoustic based, but I've steadily become more interested in the electronic side of things. However, I have no intention of limiting my output to a specific genre. Hearing some of the remixes of my stuff has certainly been an eye opener, and I'm looking forward to some more that are in the pipeline. Recently signing with Artificial Bliss Recordings has also opened up some exciting opportunities, and I'll be releasing my first single fairly soon.
slammy: Exciting is probably just the surface too I imagine. A lot of artists that have been here at CTG, have removed their music once they were handed a recording deal. Will this be the case for you?
Mary Weldon: I will be removing 'Broken', as it is going to be completely reworked for single release, but not for a while yet. And when it is, I wouldnít like the 'old' version to still be available at that point, as there are lots of things that will be done differently this time around.
However, AmBeam's excellent version of 'Goodbye' will definitely stay, and there are still a few remixes kicking about anyway.
slammy: That's just made your download count go up no doubt! hehehe. Any hints on when there will be a single for release commercially?
Mary Weldon: I'm not sure exactly when it will be, except that its going to be fairly soon.
But I'll update my page here on the latest happenings as and when.
Naturally, I'll be heading over to the Spam forum when the time comes.
slammy: Well I'm sure all CTGíers, myself included, wish you a very successful recording career. A question I've been dying to ask, when you and you husband, Lord Wallace are composing together, how often do you fight over artistic ideas?
Mary Weldon: All the time.
We donít 'write' together, as such, as I like to write songs alone, although I have co-written on some of the LW tracks with vocals.
No, the arguments start during the production and arranging - and usually because he tries to turn it into a funk fest. Ha! Ha!
I prefer simplicity, and most often, he doesnít. Depends what mood he is in. But we usually manage to meet in the middle somewhere, and a 'compromise' is reached.
I donít exclusively work with LW though, and I've got some nice projects on the go with a variety of different artists.
slammy: Any of those projects going to make their way to CTG? or are they for your label?
Mary Weldon: A bit of both, I think.
slammy: Good to know that your fans beyond the reach of your label wont be starved and of course, great to know you'll still be an active CTG'er for the time to come at least. To wrap up the interview, I'd like to ask one last question, a favourite clichť and sometimes difficult, question of mine. What advice can you give for up and coming musicians/song writers?
Mary Weldon: I'd say listening to a huge variety of different styles is extremely important, and perhaps, most important of all, try to gain an understanding of musical theory, particularly via learning to play an instrument properly - and be prepared to put the time and effort into it.
In order to be innovative, it's essential to be bold in your approach in the pursuit of creating your own style. Sure, be inspired by the work of others, but never try to copy them.
I, by no means, consider myself an authority on this, but these are the principles I've based my own musicality on, and I'm still learning/developing all the time.
Thatís what music is all about, to me.
slammy: Some sound advice from our resident professional!. I'd like to thank you very, very much from myself, and on behalf of everyone here at CTG for taking the time to give us a fascinating insight into the person behind the music. It's been a real pleasure doing this interview with you, and I'd like to wish you the very best of luck with all that lies on your path in the future. Any final comments/thoughts that you'd like to share?
Mary Weldon: Obviously, I'd like to thank everyone at CTG for showing an interest in my music from day 1, in no small way has it brought me to where I am now.
But most of all, I'd like to thank my Husband for all the help, support and love he has given me since we've been together.
And thank you, Slammy, for a great interview!
Click here to goto Mary Weldon's artist page!