Interview – All That Jazz with Lindsay Kupser

Lindsay KupserI met Lindsay Kupser on the nicest day Calgary's had to offer so far at Phil and Sebastian, a coffee joint 
known for its gluten free and vegan selections. Having met through a mutual friend, I was surprised our 
conversation went as easily as it did, but then 
again, Ms. Kupser is full of the unexpected.

Interview By Darian Magee
From Junes Vandala Magazine – READ MORE INTERVIEWS HERE

You’ve got an EP coming out today, right?

Lindsay: Just this morning, actually!

I checked your website and couldn’t find it, is it on itunes or bandcamp?

Lindsay: I honestly don’t know, my website is terrible. I’m super bad with technology-, actually I’m bad at most things, except music. {links available at www.lindsaykupser.com/music}

That sounds like a tough niche to get into.

Lindsay:  It is! It’s incredibly hard. But yeah, you can find it on facebook and twitter. I released it this morning – my first album ever.

That sounds awfully nerve wracking!

Lindsay:  It’s very scary to put your work out there for the world to see, it’s like showing off my child or something. But I’m excited!

Did you record it yourself?

Lindsay:  I recorded it in Boston, where I go to Berklee College of Music. I’ve got a band there, all my dear friends. Some go to school with me, some go to New England Conservatory. We’ve got an upright bass player, piano, drummer, and I sing and play guitar. We also had a few special guests, a banjo player came in to record my single, which was fun,  I’ve never performed with one before.  My friend Jay produced the record. So yeah! Putting it out there. It’s on bandcamp for free, I don’t need money. I just want people to listen to it, have it on their ipods. I burned a few hard copies for my friends and family and a couple of fans bought one. I’m not expecting it to blow up.

You never know.

Lindsay: That’s true! But I just wanted something to share with friends, release my music to the world. I felt like it was time.

You live in Boston right now?

Lindsay: For school, yeah. I’m actually from Calgary. Boston’s great, really cool, and I do miss Calgary. I just felt like I had to leave to develop as an artist. But every time I come back to visit, it seems like the art scene is growing bigger. Another gallery, another venue, another emerging band. I love the way it’s progressing.

What were you studying in Massachusetts?

Lindsay: Most recently, performance. For a while it was jazz composition, I was very into it and still am, but I started to deviate from it when I took the singer/songwriter route. You’ll still find it in my music though.

I was wondering about that! Forgive me for being rude, but jazz is a super unusual genre for someone your age to get into. What brought that on?

Lindsay:  I was actually at Western High School, I had a teacher there, very talented piano player and singer, she was in the jazz association of Calgary and taught my choir class. After I auditioned, she sort of forced jazz on me, but it really worked and I felt an incredible connection to it. Jazz felt right, like something I needed. I think that was in the 11th grade and for around 3 year, jazz was my life. I still love jazz, but after studying it intensely at school for so long, I’m ready to try something new. If you asked me this question last year, I would have said I don’t want to be near it, play it, or hear it. So many of my friends played and it was all I did during school, but after I took a break I started to appreciate it again. I don’t think I want to be a jazz musician right now.

What do you want? Where do you see this taking you?

Lindsay:  Honestly? I just want to be a performer. I just want to spread my music to as many people I can, I want people to hear it. I love performing, it’s my true passion, what I love to do. The recording process was a bit brutal. So I just want to sing. Like I said, I really suck at everything but music. Which is why I’ve created this concert to promote up and coming musicians. I’m hoping it becomes an annual thing. I started off playing solo, but once people started getting into it I started getting sponsorships and now I can afford to fly in my band from Boston. I’m really excited! We’ve got a few visual artists as well and this great stand up poet. I decided to take on the project myself, but then I realized ‘Holy Sh*t! This is so much more work than I thought it’d be!’. But it’s great.

What have you been doing since graduation?

Lindsay:  I focused on school at Berklee, never tried to balance academics and the career thing, though I know a lot of people did. I just wanted to get really good at music, writing songs – I didn’t want to miss anything. I played a lot of gigs but I never recorded anything. So since I’ve graduated, I’ve just been getting out there and into the world thinking I’m ready for this, let’s do this! My band and I actually went to this studio in the middle of nowhere. It’s pretty cool, somewhere in the woods, with amazing equipment and it was really fun. We were there for a weekend, recorded for 48 hours straight, made the album, and since then I’ve just been working on that. I did not understand the amount of work it takes to release a few songs, mixing takes forever. It took around 3 months and I was playing gigs too, along with a part time job.

What were you working as?

Lindsay: I was a nanny, it’s a great way to make a lot of money without doing anything. I’d be taking care of kids during the day and playing at night.

Forgive me if this sounds stalker-ish, because it totally is, but I was checking out your biography and you mentioned being on stage an escape from shyness. Why do you think that is?

Lindsay: I was a ridiculously shy kid, the only music exposure I got was Youth Singers (local choir). It was a really valuable experience, it taught me how to be on stage and perform, but I had just, zero friends in that thing! I was so awkward and people and everyone thought I was a complete weirdo. I’ve been working on it now and I’m a lot better, trying to be a bit more sure of myself, but I’m incredibly introverted. High school sucked.

*both cackle at the memories flooding back, our manic laughter suddenly turning into tears of rage and confusion*

Lindsay: I was kind of invisible, but when I get on stage, I feel like myself. Who I actually am. When I’m performing I’m at my happiest. It’s always been a part of my life. It’s an escape and my favorite place to hang out.

How do you find teaching?

Lindsay:  I really like teaching, I do, but only students who are serious about music. It’s tough when you get the kid who’s between four and twelve and their parents are kind of forcing them to do it, very tricky to make them care. I can’t make them better if they don’t love what they’re doing. When you finally get the odd one with a passion for singing, who wants to improve and find their style, it’s the greatest.

“The boston EP”You can catch Lindsay Kupser  online at:
www.lindsaykupser.com
www.facebook.com/lindsaykupsermusic
www.twitter.com/lindsaykupser
Buy and Preview 
www.lindsaykupser.bandcamp.com
Available on Itunes also
Music Videos  at www.youtube.comLindsayKupser

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