CEV's Q & A Index Page


Renée Blanche



Cutting Edge Voices Q & A With
Renée Blanche

CEV:  People who run long term websites or radio shows about ambient music must really love what they do to keep something like that running for many years. When did you discover the joys of ambient/new age music and who were some of the artists that facilitated that discovery?

RB:  Ambient/new age music entered my life when I decided I wanted to give radio announcing a shot. It was a community radio station in El Paso and the format was Jazz Pop with some new age music mixed in. David Arkenstone and Yanni are my first loves in the genre. Hearts of Space was part of the programming but I’d never really listened to it until I heard it while jogging which was never really my thing, but listening to HOS helped me feel calm and pace my breathing. I was intrigued. And so began my unexpected love affair with the genre. I’ve said many times over the years that had someone in my youth told me radio was in my future, I would have rolled my eyes at them in total disbelief. Had I been told it would be ambient/new age music, I would have doubled over in hysterical laughter.

CEV:  Were you looking for something new or a new genre to listen to at the time that you discovered ambient?

RB:  I wasn’t looking for new music to listen to but I wasn’t opposed to new musical offerings.  There’s music I’m not particularly fond of, but it’s been a part of my life for as long as I can remember because of my love of the dance.

CEV:  What is it about ambient/new age music that draws you to it?

RB:  The energy, vibration, the twists and turns that strike my curiosity, the way it moves my spirit and moves me emotionally when I sit with it and am mindful. It’s fun too, especially the electronic side of the house because the notes are manipulated in extraordinary ways which always peaks my interest.

CEV:  So how did you and radio become acquainted in terms of you being a radio show host?

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Lily Holbrook




Cutting Edge Voices Q & A With
Lily Holbrook

CEV:  Tell me about your music, why you started and where you want to go with it.

LH:  I developed an interest in music at a very young. I still have tapes of myself starting at around  4 or 5 years old, singing all kinds of silly songs. One of my favorites is of me making up a commercial jingle for Tom McCanns shoes, hahaha.  My first real inspiration for singing was Whitney Houston. I remember seeing the video for "Greatest Love of All" and I was smitten. My older brother took me to see her for my 8th birthday and while my musical tastes have changed quite a bit, I still consider it a life changing event. By the time I was in junior high I became very involved in musical theater but that waned as I got older. I experienced some traumas as a teenager that drew me more towards the unbridled honesty of rock and roll. Once I started playing guitar and writing my own songs, at around 16, I knew that was it for me.  For me, music is all about expressing pure, raw emotion and hopefully finding listeners that connect with what I am putting out there.

CEV:  Most singer/songwriters are happy to be working on a single album at a time. You are working on two albums at this point. Are they two separately themed projects or do they musically intersect in some ways?

LH:  They are different in that one is going to be a full production project, somewhat akin to my previous albums and the other is going to be very stripped down, focusing on just me and my guitar.

CEV:  Why so ambitious working on two albums instead of just one?

LH:  I was inspired to do two albums rather than one for a few different reasons. One, it's been so long since I've put out an album (almost a decade!) that I figured I'm probably due for two. I've also had many people over the years tell me that they would love to hear some acoustic recordings. I tend to prefer more production but I also think there's a real beauty in hearing just someone's voice and an instrument.  This way, hopefully I can satisfy the tastes of all my listeners while still being true to my own vision.

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Madalyn Sklar



Cutting Edge Voices Q & A With
Madalyn Sklar

CEV:  You started GoGirlsMusic back in 1996, what was it that you had in mind that you wanted to accomplish for women in music with this new organization? 

MS:  In the mid-90's I the saw the Internet as a means to connect with others across the country and even the globe. At the time there we no online communities that supported women in music so I set out to combine the two.

My goal was to start a forum for female musicians. I sat down on my laptop computer and created the entire site in one day then launched it the very next morning. That was in January, 1996. And here we are almost ten years later!

CEV:  Why weren't these goals being met by any of the existing organizations out there and how was it that you were going to approach it differently?

MS:  At the time the Internet was new and there were no online organizations such as this. I saw the potential of using this new medium to connect fellow musicians that shared common goals. I wanted to provide resources and information.

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Daylle Deanna Schwartz



Cutting Edge Voices Q & A With
Author, Daylle Deanna Schwartz


CEV:  Tell me about your background in the music industry and what it is that you bring to the table as far as experiences and industry knowledge is concerned.

DDS:  I was teaching school in the late eighties when my students dared me to make a rap record. They said a white woman couldn't rap. Davy DMX (Run-D.M.C., Kurtis Blow, etc.), who lived in the neighborhood where I taught, heard about me and invited me over when I was trying to learn how to rap. Through him I met other industry pros. My students gave me the most feedback about how to do my raps well. I recorded three different rap tracks and released two of them on Revenge Records. The media nicknamed me the "rappin' teach".

I operated my label successfully for 5 years.

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