Tinsel Korey Talks "Seize the Day"
Wed, 20 Feb 2013 14:32:52
On Seize the Day, Tinsel Korey examines a myriad of emotions with a poetic lyrical sensibility and some truly shimmering hooks. She draws upon elements of folk, pop, and rock to tug on heart strings and make listeners sing along. It shows another side of the Twilight star and breaks open the door for even more impactful, impassioned, and irresistible music to come.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Tinsel Korey talks Seize the Day, songwriting, and so much more.
Did you approach Seize the Day with one vision or vibe in mind? Is there something that ties everything together?
My producer Brian Blake really helped give it that polished sound. I had an idea, and I gave him notes on where I wanted to go. We wanted to keep it very organic. We didn't want to overproduce it and make it too poppy but have a really good blend of all those songs together. He was instrumental in creating this indie folk sound I have. I'd written a lot of the songs previously. There was one day I had all of my songs literally laid out on the studio floor. I went through each one of them thinking about where I was and what was going to work. I'd done "Letter" before so I knew that was going to be on the EP. Then, it was about matching to what place I was in. Everything fell into place naturally. We didn't try to force anything. It came all together. One day, I was trying to write a happy song. A lot of my songs are a bit melancholy. Trying to write a happy song made me a bit angry though [Laughs]. I ended up doing an angry song. When you try to force songs, it doesn't happen.
What's the story behind "Letter"?
A friend of mine was going through an abusive relationship. It was hard for me to understand where she was in that place and what she was going through. I wrote it thinking about that whole situation. When is the time to call it quits on a relationship? That's what the song is more about. How far do you go with pain in a relationship before you let it go? It's that moment in the song. The character in the song gave it everything. It wasn't working anymore, and it was time to move on.
There's a dichotomy between the heavy lyrics and your melodic delivery.
Well, when you listen to the lyrics of a lot of my songs, they're sad. I balance that off by coming up with prettier melodies. At the end of the day, I want to leave people uplifted.
What's your favorite song on the EP right now?
I think "I Surrender" is my favorite. There's something about that song I really connect with and feel free with. It came from being in a relationship. Everybody gets to this point where you're fighting it whether it's because you've been hurt in the past or for whatever reason. It's about surrendering to that relationship or moment. You're like, "Alright, whatever my baggage is, I'm going to let it go and I'm going to surrender in this moment and let it happen. It might be good or bad, but if I don't open that door and walk through it, I'm always going to be left wondering. I might as well take a chance".
Is storytelling an important aspect of songwriting for you?
Yeah, I definitely approach music visually. I usually have a music video in my head as I'm writing it. That's so instrumental to me. Maybe it's because my background is acting, and that's all a part of storytelling. Being between those two worlds, people will ask, "Which one do you choose?" I don't think I have to. It's all just storytelling. There's a different venue for it. It's certainly visual. I always have two characters. A lot of times one of them is me. Those two go through this journey together. I have a short film or music video going through my head as I'm writing things out.
What artists shaped you?
I have three influences, and I still love all of them. Shania Twain is a huge influence of mine. Sade is a vocal inspiration. Portishead is also an inspiration. I think you can hear all three of those artists through music. I want to collaborate with Eminem [Laughs]. He's so inspirational to me. I have such eclectic tastes. I can go through my iPod from Metallica to Tim McGraw to Dan Gibson's Solidtude within a 15-minute span. Lately, I've been listening to like that new age bird music and rain sounds! I think it's because I'm in the city and also Bruno Mars. I'm in love with his new album.
If you were to compare your EP to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
I definitely think it's one of those coming-of-age tales. The whole album is just about a journey. It's maybe a road adventure where the characters are on the road towards some unknown destination. In the process, they discover something about themselves. It's like a road trip movie on a self-discovery path.
Are acting and making music completely different? There's still a rhythm to acting…
There is, but it's different though. For one, I'm taking somebody else's work and I'm trying to understand that, relate to the character, and find the truth in that character. Music is very much my own work and my own story. There are some balance between the two. Acting is very real. I'm just taking a certain part of myself and pushing it forward, but there's that outside element of someone else writing those words. That's where it differentiates. There's definitely a similarity and preparation between the two worlds.
What's next musically?
I'd love to do a full-length album!
Have you heard Tinsel Korey?
If you're in L.A. catch Tinsel Korey at the Viper Room on February 21, 2013!