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Interview Article - Shirley Lynn

> Website: Exposed Vocals

Approached by Exposed Vocals to do an interview, I put together responses to their questions with an interview as follows.

Shirl is a North Queensland singer songwriter, female vocalist and guitarist. She’s a country girl and her songs reveal a contemplative folk, country, bluesy connection.  Her original tunes explore simple concepts, philosophical realms and insightful story lines. This wordsmith delivers meaning, dangles hooks and lures listeners into catchy refrains. Equipped with a strong vocal, acoustic guitar, occasional harmonica hues and ukulele expect an original vibe that is “Shirl”.

“My Kind of Paradise” written by Shirl is a multi-award winning song, awarded the Max T Barnes – Cairns to Nashville – Best Song 2015. It was awarded Song of Carnivale in 2013. In addition to this, it was awarded RADF funding for the creation of a music video. Prior to these achievements, Shirl released her debut CD – “It’s About Time” at the end of 2012. “Shirl” has become familiar in and around Cairns for originals and versatile covers performed solo as “Shirl”, in the duo – “Silktones” and in the band – “Blue Tonic”.

INTERVIEW:

Exposed Vocals: How did you hear about Exposed Vocals? What made you decide to sign up?
Shirl: I was contacted by Exposed Vocals via my Twitter account www.twitter.com/shirlmusic I decided to follow up and have the interview that they were asking of me to gain some exposure.
Exposed Vocals: So tell us your story. Where did you grow up? What made you decide to become an artist?
Shirl: I grew up in the North Queensland country town, Atherton on the Atherton Tablelands and as a teenager I began to pen a song or two in the confines of my own bedroom. I really had no idea, but there was something about the genuine connection I made that compelled me to want to explore the inner resources of myself – if nothing more than to just reveal what resided there – the thoughts, the feelings… I experienced the consciousness of a witness, an observer to self from that time forward, I never looked back from a place of working within, trying to understand life and the implication of actions and decisions made, to begin to reconcile and take ownership of what was mine to take responsibility for and that is what I continue to do listening to my own inner voice for guidance.
Exposed Vocals: How did you come up with that name? What was your inspiration behind it?
Shirl: My name is Shirley Lynn – I relate to my music under Shirley Lynn Music for which over the past few years, I have worked solo as “Shirl” in a duo called “Silktones” and in a band called “Blue Tonic.” In more recent times, I have opened to the opportunity to collaborate with other songwriters also.
Exposed Vocals: What do you think about online music sharing? Do you ever give your music away for free? Why?
Shirl: It’s an interesting conversation re: online music sharing and I’ve seen many varied responses to the consideration of that. Music sharing can be considered from various perspectives. For me a lot of my music sharing is giving away CDs to support requests for promotion through radio stations and in making application to various festivals etc. Online streaming provides some monetisation for those who are getting enough views from sites such as You Tube and Spotify etc..
Exposed Vocals: Since everyone was a start-up once, can you give any smaller or local bands or artists looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
Shirl: Begin to establish an online presence. Generally speaking venues will want to hear what you sound like before they engage you for gigs.
Exposed Vocals: Do you ever make mistakes during performances? How do you handle that?
Shirl: Yes, of course I have made mistakes during performances. In some situations I’d consider it best to not reinforce it by drawing attention any more than necessary to it, but then on the other hand sometimes it’s obvious and possibly best to make light of the situation.
Exposed Vocals: Do you tour? Anything interesting happen on tour that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?
Shirl: I now have a mobile home and the intention is to travel some more within our great country with the aim to get about to different places to experience the live music scene and to share joy through music.
Exposed Vocals: Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?
Shirl: Songwriting inspiration for me happens any place, any time, sometimes when I’m on my own, sometimes when I’m with others. Sometimes I’ll just spring up out of bed and have an idea that has been churning around in my head that I have to write down. I like to have a notebook handy and recording device to be able to capture ideas so that I can return to them for further development later. I write songs for different reasons – some to tell a story, some to develop a concept I want to work around and some merely a vehicle for self- expression as I look to express the authenticity of my own voice. Writing songs for me is an exercise in working the mental muscle with specific intention to draft and shape an outcome with the applied consideration of relevant techniques always looking to shape a song in readiness for performance and publication.
Exposed Vocals: Do you have a band website? What online platforms do you use to share your music?
Shirl: My music is available for purchase through iTunes and CD Baby. I have a website from where physical CDs can be purchased and that is www.shirleylynnmusic.com. I am on facebook www.facebook.com/shirl.music and I have a twitter account… www.twitter.com/shirlmusic Other online platforms where some performance examples of my music can be found is: You Tube, SoundCloud and Reverbnation..
Exposed Vocals: If you were given half a million dollars and a year off, what would you do? How would you spend it?
Shirl: Lots of money and a year off would provide me with the opportunity to consider broader options for the development of myself as a performer and the development of my songwriting. I would consider educational opportunities while also seeking to engage with people in the know who might be able to facilitate broader experiences and opportunities. One of these days I’d love to get to Nashville.
Exposed Vocals: Any planned studio upgrades? What are you working with now?
Shirl: I work from my own home, where I have equipment to experiment with for music performing and songwriting. I find I have songs constantly on the go. If I’m not writing a new song, practicing one that’s been written then I may well be revisiting an old song draft to reshape it. Working collaboratively with others is something that I am open to do more of these days also.
Exposed Vocals: How do you find ways to promote your music? What works best for you?
Shirl: I use my website and social media sites to promote my music mainly. I’m still very much a novice and intent on developing know how with regards to marketing along the way. Opportunities to promote present around launches and special announcements when other media outlets like the local newspaper and local radio stations can be contacted for some relative coverage also.
Exposed Vocals: If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?
Shirl: I would love to perform at the Bluebird Café – Nashville one day. How awesome would it be to play with the likes of Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Kasey Chambers or any hit songwriter for that matter.
Exposed Vocals: So, what’s next? Any new upcoming projects that you want to talk about?
Shirl: I perform in a duo called “Silktones” and we recently did a live video recording of our song, “Crocodile Wise” for the Balcony TV portal. I perform in a band called “Blue Tonic” and we have a CD project underway with songs from the multiple songwriters in the band. I’ve recently been allocated some funding through the RADF program to undertake some professional development at the Australian Songwriters Conference at Ettalong Beach near Sydney in 2016. The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Cairns Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.
Exposed Vocals: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Shirl: Another interest of mine at this time in my life would be to travel and visit other parts of the world.
Exposed Vocals: Do you remember buying your first album? Who was it? What was going through your head?
Shirl: I remember buying my first cassette player and cassette of Deep Purple – “Smoke on the Water” I was a teenager and it was music like I hadn’t heard before – there was a curiousity.
Exposed Vocals: How do you juggle the rest of your responsibilities while trying to stay ahead in your music life?
Shirl: I am retired and I find that my passion for music drives a lot of my general activities. Songwriting is something that I know I will be able to do right up until I’m of a ripe old age. Music has provided me with so many opportunities that I know I’d never have dreamed of or considered possible until I aspired along a path of continual self-improvement to make the way that I have.
Exposed Vocals: What should fans look forward to in 2016?
Shirl: In 2016 you can expect that I will still be performing and still writing lots of songs. I’m hopeful that Blue Tonic will release an album in 2016 and I will continue to work on material for future creative projects.

Offical Video

Casino Performance

Recent song Collaboration Rebeka Rain and Shirley Lynn



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