Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Marcie Webisode 2: Your Trance Show

I'd like to present the second in my series of Webisodes. This time, I collected questions from fans and answered them onscreen. Thanks to everyone for writing in! If I didn't get to your question in the video, then please read below. I am posting some more questions and answers here in my blog.

Questions in webisode from:

Zahira Kharsany from South Africa
Katerina Tsambis from Canada
Fabian Sunset from France
Little Timmy

More Questions and Answers:

Ariel-Fors Klein, Detroit, USA:
"How long does it typically take her to write lyrics - & can I stay with you the next time I'm in Boston?"

Some of my lyrics have been written in just a few moments. They appear almost like a flash in my mind. But a full song never really works that way. I usually spend awhile trying to figure out what I'm trying to say, and the truest way to say it. Then I have to spend time making sure the lyrics and melody marry each other. Some of my lyrics come from writing as stream of conscious or journalling. This is a way I can figure out my emotions. It can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few months to write a lyric I feel is complete.

Let me know next time you're in Boston. We can at least meet up for coffee. Maybe you can do a guest appearance on a future webisode! :)

Wally Ragaey - Egypt
Favorite producer to have worked with and why?

I've worked with a lot of different producers, and each experience has been unique. Some of the work relationships are very serious, and our only communication is solely music related, and sometimes there's a lot more casual conversation involved. Timothy Allan and Damien S are always fun to work with because they both make me laugh so much. Steve Birch is very kind and reliable, David Akermanis is creative and also quite funny.....I could go on and on. Sometimes producers and I don't have that much fun writing a song, but that's just because the work is hard and we're really pushing each other. That is still a great experience. Songwriting can be very hard work. I don't have a favorite, I'm just grateful that I've had so many nice and fun experiences with my collaborators.

Eleni Tramas - Australia
What is your greatest achievement to date and what determines great success?

I think my greatest achievements occur when I feel I am fully living in the moment. This pertains to both day to day life and in my musical life. Any activity or relationship I approach from a distracted mindset is one that is short changed. I don't want to participate in life half heartedly, but it can be quite difficult to live and participate in life without falling prey to soul harming distraction. There's not enough time to do everything, and thus if I don't believe what I'm currently doing is significant, I will feel I'm living a wasted life. I feel successful those times when I find the balance between doing what I want to do, and wanting to do what I have to do.

Ilana Harkavy - Usa
What qualities do you feel make a strong singer/song writer ?

Honesty, a willingness to take risks, loyalty to oneself, openness to experience, the work of others, and to the ideas of collaborators. It's important to keep one's ego in check, and to have a willingness to make mistakes even if they are in public.

Sandy Viola from Alabama:
How did you know you wanted to sing trance music?

Well, a lot of you probably don't know this, but i was born on a little fluffy cloud. After I fell 'out of the sky', i was Lost for awhile. Fortunately I kept going in Forward Motion, and made my way to a city, and I said so, 'this is miami'. There I spent many nights with a man on the run. Somehow these days live on In My memory. No one can Take it All Away.

Naeem Shaboddin - South Africa
If you were to give me a DJ alias , what would it be ?

I have a DJ alias. It's 'Clay DJ Guy'. hehe. He's my clay alter ego. He actually just got back from his victory party. He was awarded the #1 Clay DJ spot this year.

Thanks again to everyone who has been sending questions! Please keep them coming, as I'm happy to keep chatting with you!

You too, Birdman!! ;)

All my best,


Friday, December 4, 2009

Want History of House? Talk to MsDD!

I recently had the honor of meeting DJ MsDD, a long time music journalist with a resume that blows my mind. MsDD has been covering House music since its beginnings, and is a walking encyclopedia of the how and why house music is what it is today. Talking to MsDD is a lot of fun! Experts like MsDD are an incredible resource of house music history. I feel up and coming Artists can benefit greatly from a fuller understanding of what has come before us in the dance music scene.

Some points in her resume that stand out most to me:

-MsDD has interviewed many music icons, including Donna Summer, Parliament Funkadelic, and Maurice White of Earth Wind & Fire. Her writings have appeared in Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, and The Boston Phoenix.
-In 1991, MsDD wrote a GUIDE TO THE 800 BEST DISCO TRACKS, which was published as part of the ALL MUSIC GUIDE...

-MsDD invented the term, "Turntable Jazz". I LOVE this idea! She says she invented it because,

"...turntable improvisation was no different from jazz improvisation on any instrument; nor was the music produced from these improvisations anything but jazz: the real thing. I still think so. I was brought up on jazz when it was every note a dance music, and a jazz-head I still am".

Nowadays you can get MsDD's musings a few different ways. She has a Music & Discussion Webcast, titled "THE TRANNY-SPHERE," hosted at www.thephoenix.com. She also has a "Gods of House" series where she is posting classic clips of historically important House DJ performances:

For example, check what she says about this video:

"Anybody who doubts that house has deep jazz roots should find enlightenment in this excellent 6 minute vid of legendary North Jersey DJ TONY HUMPHRIES spinnin' the swing, the changes, the rhythm, the quick-cuts, and the pizzazz at a club in Italy."

Find MsDD online at