Interview with Vickie Lee
Vicki Lee is a National and International recording artist. She has been singing professionally for about 9 years. Her mother, Laura Smith, and she co-write her music. She really enjoys that side of the music field, especially the bonding with her mom. They released her first album, Touch Of Life, in March 2001, and just released her second album, Crossin' On Over, this past June of 2004.
CL: How was the last year for you? Where there any highlights?
VL: This pass year was great! I released my second album and had a lot of fun and memorable times with my mom (Laura) doing it. I performed out as much as I wanted to, as I have four boys and I do like to spend time enjoying them while I can, as time goes by quickly. Later I will be able to put more time into my music as my first and most important job will be done with no regrets.
CL: Country Music has many new fans in Europe who may be learning about you for the first time. How would you describe the music you play to someone who's never seen or heard you before?
VL: I'm country, rock and blues with a twist of pop
CL: What is your current CD and how is it doing?
VL: Crossin‘ On Over This album is very different than my first, and I wasn't sure how folks would react to it, but the feedback is just wonderful! I have a style all of my own, and I like to bounce around a lot vocally. Crossin' On Over was created to fit all of my vocal sways. The public has reacted positive to this, and the album is played a lot and sales are going great. I am very happy for that, as I can express myself and know my fans are behind me.
CL: How did you find the title for the CD and what inspired you?
VL: My mother, Laura, and I were working on another song for the album, as we normally do, on a Tuesday afternoon, and we just started to chit chat about life - how we tried to always do the right thing, but how sometimes we thought about crossin' over for a day or two and doing something that was out of the norm. Anyway we wrote the song "Crossin' On Over" that day, and had a ball doing it; if you listen to the lyrics you'll know why. We realized that "Crossin' On Over" was also a play on words for who I was vocally, I cross from traditional country to country rock to blues and a little bit of pop. We knew the album had a little bit of everything, and we knew that it was different, as it was not all one style, so we named it after that song. I think it fits me and the album well.
CL: Do you write the songs yourself and if not, how do you go about finding songs for your albums?
VL: My mom, Laura, is the main writer. I do write some songs, as well, however, she pops out the ideas and lyrics quite quickly, and she knows her daughter well, so we work great together. We are a team and always work together on Tuesday afternoons with our coffee.
CL: What's your favorite song among all the songs you've recorded and what's the story behind it?
VL: I love a lot of the songs, but my favorite would have to be "Let Me Not Weep" on my first album Touch Of Life. My mom wrote the lyrics, and we both came up with the melody. This song was written in memory of my dad, Charles E Smith Jr., who passed away ten years ago to lung cancer. This song will always have my heart. It is also the the very first song my mother and I wrote.
CL: How much creative control do you have over your music?
VL: A lot, as my mother and I work on everything together. She writes for my personality; she says I am at my best when I am true to myself.
CL: There's a lot of work that goes into a Number One hit ... what does it take to make it?
VL: We continue to write songs that fit me well so that I can continue to sing straight from my heart. We do our best with great friends and fans by promoting, and then the rest is in God's hands. We do believe that if it is meant for us to have a number one hit someday, the Good Lord will allow that to happen. I think for now we'll just keep writing and I'll keep on singing and maybe someday we will have a number one hit. If not, we sure will have had a lot of fun trying!
CL: How much do your songs influence your audience?
VL: I believe they have a lot of impact. When I perform live, there is no better feeling than to look out into my audience and see people wiping tears from their eyes as I sing one of our sad ballads, or couples holding each other closer and closer when I sing one of our love ballads, and, of course, hootin' and hollering when I'm getting them rowdy with one of our up beat sassy tunes. I know they are feeling our music and they are getting that right from my heart to theirs.
CL: Please tell us about the songs on your album.
VL: My Recent album: Crossin On Over Crossin On Over- Is upbeat rockin country and is about a good girl who is thinking about crossin on over to the wild side. Prowl- Is also upbeat and about a woman who is tired of her husband spending too much time on the computer. In Your Arms- is a medium tempo love song about a couple who has been married a long time. Let Me In- Is a upbeat Rockin Country song about a troubled relationship where the man won't let his spouse back into his soul. No More- A Bluesy song about a woman has been caused enough pain by her loved one and is not gonna take it any more. Don't Get Me Started- This song is upbeat and a lot of fun; it's about a woman who has a bad day, and the husband comes home and asks how she's doing and the response is: Don't Get Me Started. Later he's had enough and tells her the same. Dealt A Losin' Hand- This song is a slow, sad song about a strong woman who died after a long battle. My Heart Will Go On - Is a cover tune done by Celine Dion about the Titanic. Damien- Is a slinky blues country song about a nice guy who got burned one too many times and is out to even the score. Think Before I act- Very upbeat traditional sounding song about a woman to doesn't think before she acts. Momma Was always There- Medium Tempo- Traditional Country song about raising kids in the olden days and how momma was always there. Angels On Golden Wings- Slow tempo- Patriotic song in memory of September 11th. This song was written for the loved one of those we lost. My first album, Touch Of Life, is filled with many heartfelt songs. This album is more on the softer side.
CL: What is the different between your last and your current album?
VL: My first album is more traditional sounding and has a softer sound to it. Very soothing and heartfelt. My second album is definitely more New Country with a touch of traditional to it. It has more blues and rock sound to the country and is more upbeat, definitely a foot tapper.
CL: The internet is playing a bigger and bigger part in the world of music. Has the internet hurt or helped you and how would you like to see it evolve?
VL: I believe that the internet is a great tool and has helped me tremendously! I would love to come and tour Europe, Austrailia, and many other parts of the world, but am unable to for financial reasons. However, artists like myself are able to use the internet to get ourselves known in other countries, without having to be there. I sure hope and do believe the internet will play a big part in my success. Maybe someday enough so that I will be able to tour such countries as yours!
CL: Who do you look up to musically and where do your musical roots come from?
VL: I look up to Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, Wynonna Judd, Gretchen Wilson, Allana Miles, Bonnie Rait. My mother never sang out professionally but always sang to me as a child. My grandmother also would sing to me when I was young. Both my Mother and Grandmother are very creative with poetry, drawing, and writing.
CL: What do you think about today's Country Music versus its roots and where do you see it going in the future?
VL: I personally love Gretchen Wilson, Dixie Chicks, Trick Pony and the new artists of today. I enjoy the country rock style. However, I do believe we need to keep that traditional sound strong on the radio, as well, so we don't forget our roots. I am a fan of all kinds of music and love a variety. I believe new country music styles should be welcomed. The young artist of today should be able to bring their flavor to the roots of country.
CL: In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between "traditional" and "new" country music?
VL: The sound! New Country has definitely got a twist of rock and blues to it.
CL: If you had the chance to change something about the music industry, what would it be?
VL: Independent artist shouldn't have to work so hard to get their music heard on the USA radio circuit! The public should be able to hear all major label artists as well as independents and make their own judgments and request their favorite songs, whether it be from an independent or major label.
CL: As an artist you have to do so many different things such as recording, touring, doing interviews etc. What do you like best, what's your favorite activity?
VL: Being on stage! There is no other feeling like it. I personally describe it as a big hug from the audience.
CL: What can your fans expect to see when they see you in concert?
VL: Well this is hard because I don't usually like to talk about myself. To be honest I sing and perform straight from my heart, I feel when I step on stage my fans deserve 110%, and that is what I try to give at every show. I usually look out into my audience and through the course of my show I have seen tears, love, happiness and a lot of excitement and that leaves me with a good feeling. I like to take my audiences through all the emotions - this way I know they have felt what I was feeling. I believe that is a true performance.
CL: What drives you? What inspired you to become an artist?
VL: The music within me, drives me. I love to be on stage, it is a great feeling to move the emotions in the people around me. I have been inspired by my mom and God. Since I was a little girl, my mom would sing to me, and that gave me the desire as I got older and started to
sing myself. My mom gently pushed me to the stage and would always tell me God gave me a gift and that I should share it with the world.
CL: What's unique about you that differentiates you from other artists?
VL: I think what may separate me is that I have been told I have many voices. I have different styles in my voice when I sing different styles of music. For example, on my album Crossin' On Over, you will notice the difference in my voice depending on what style I'm singing.
CL: What moments in your career stand out in your memory as highlights and achievements which you're proud of?
VL: The release of my two albums, when I won Country Female Entertainer Of The Year, Gospel Entertainer of the Year, Patriotic Song of the Year with my mom, and a three generation song called "Don't Let Us Fall", which also won Patriotic Song of the Year.
CL: When you get time off, how do you like to relax?
VL: Spending time with my husband and my four boys is the highlight of my life.
CL: Is there anything in your life that you would change if you could?
No, I have a good life and I am content.
CL: What private hopes and desires do you have?
VL: Someday, I would love to have a number one hit with my mother and my songs.
CL: What has been the biggest disappointment in your life?
VL: Losing my Dad - he was a wonderful man.
CL: Can your European fans look forward to seeing you in concert in the future?
VL: Finances won't allow that at this time, but hopefully in the future.
CL: Many music fans today get their information about artists via the internet. Do you have your own website and what information can the fans find about you on the internet?
VL: www.vickileeonline.com They will find my bio, schedule, photos, how to join my fan club, where to hear my songs, reviews, radio stations playing my music, awards ect.
CL: What's your favorite song that you didn't record and why?
VL: "Remember When" by Alan Jackson. This song hits home to both my husband and I; it reflects back upon our lives. This song was written well.
CL: What message would you like to send your European fans?
VL: I would like to thank them all for believing in me and supporting me. May God Bless and watch over all of them and their families, and I hope to visit and perform live for them someday.
CL: Tell us about the starting of your fan club and how people can join it.
VL: I just started a fan club recently and people can join by visiting my site. All you have to do is follow the information on my front page.
Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de )
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