Posted Dec 6, 2009 in Music | 0 Comments

Finding Music with Kristen Bussandri…

Kristen Bussandri

Now living in New York, Montreal native Kristen Bussandri’s voice not only resonates in song and in the innate truth of her words.

How did you find music or did music you find you?

KB: Music definitely found me. I believe that you don’t choose music – music chooses you! There has never been a time in my life when it didn’t figure prominently. It’s as much a part of me as breathing, as being alive. However, I do make the conscious effort to be constantly discovering new songs and sounds. I’m always searching for inspiration.

With songs like: “My own Enemy”, “I don’t know me without you”, and “You only want what you can’t have,” are your songs a musical anthology of stories, or chapters to a novel in the making?

KB: The songs I write come from my search to express myself and understand the world around me , so they are more like chapters to a novel in the making. I hope to look back on them one day and see a storyline running through the body of my work as I grow as a person.

Kristen Bussandri by Roy Cox

Who are your music influences and inspirations and why?

KB: Quincy Jones inspires me because he overcame tremendous hardship to become one of the world’s top producers through sheer discipline and an incredible commitment to refining his craft. He’s also touched my life because he encouraged my mentor, Ann Ruckert, to study with famed teacher Nadia Boulanger in Paris. As a vocalist, Julie London has influenced me because she sings in a very sensual way without ever belting, and I love Eva Cassidy for pouring her heart and soul into every song.

Though you’ve been touring and performing, are you plotting about your next move?

KB: Definitely. Writing songs is a constant part of my life and I’m always creating new material to try to push myself musically. Developing as a musician is a never-ending process.

“Fiel” seems to be a bit of a departure, yet resonates, nonetheless. How did this particular production come about?

KB: This past spring in New York City, I recorded a collection of songs written by my dear friend, Mike Kissel, who recently passed away. Mike was a great songwriter and founder of KMA Music, a world-class recording studio in the Brill Building, Times Square. Seeing Mike struggle with brain cancer, I wanted to record a selection of his songs to help him cope with his illness and pay tribute to him. At the recording session, I met one of Mike’s friends and former band mates, producer Ivica Simatovic, who has done remixes for Pink among others. Ivica and I clicked musically and soon after we co-wrote “Fiel A Ti”. He presented the music and some rough lyrics, and I instinctively reworked the melody and words. I’m happy to say that the song was recently selected to represent the GEM Hotel brand in New York, so I have to thank Mike for bringing Ivica and me together.

Kristen Bussandri by Roy Cox

You’ve worked with a number of award winning collaborators. Who surprised you the most?

KB: My mentor, Ann Ruckert, who co-founded the Jazz Foundation of America and worked as a NARAS Governor/Trustee for over 30 years, is constantly surprising me. She is both incredibly inspiring and yet brutally real – she’ll say things like “nobody wants you in the music business but you!” which makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time. As well, she’s equally brilliant as a businesswoman and as a musician, which is rare. She’s taught me to not compare myself to other artists, because we all have to define our own version of success, and to always put the music first.

For more music and info visit Kristen Bussandri mySpace

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