Todays article features a couple of New York City’s finest singer-songwriters. Lucky for us, they’re gearing up for their summer tour and our city is where the fun begins! Here’s a little background on our spotlighted artists, followed by an entertaining Q&A session you’ll love. For realzies.
Alexa Wilkinson is an NYC based singer/songwriter who has toured and shared the stage with Ingrid Michaelson, Josh Kelley, Natasha Beddingfield, Vanessa Carlton, Dar Williams, Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, Rosi Golan, Kate Voegele and many more. Her songs have been featured on MTV’s “The Hills”, CBS’s “CSI: NY” & “Make It or Break It”, and many others.
Maryanna Sokol is an NYC based singer/songwriter by way of Texas who’s making a name for herself with sarcastic lyrics and neurotic orchestral arrangements. She received honorable mention in the 2010 New York Songwriter’s Circle contest and has recently been featured on Consequence of Sound, Stereo Subversion, and the Houston Press. Before taking their message of peace, hope, and general summertime debauchery to the Eastern and Midwestern United States, Alexa and Maryanna are kicking off their “Don’t Tell Your Mom Tour” on June 1st at the Living Room. Just don’t tell your mom.
Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to talk with Alexa and Maryanna about their upcoming tour, the inspiration behind the great title, what their favorite city venue is and so much more. Now, I’m going to share our little Q&A with you dear readers and music aficionados extraordinaire.
Examiner: The title of the tour is so much fun, how did you girls come up with it?
Alexa: Maryanna and I consistently make our mothers proud, worried, disappointed, sad, happy… and I’m sure we speed up the graying process with our musical lifestyle choice. We didn’t want to become lawyers okay!? So this time around, we just decided to not tell our mothers we’re going on tour… to save them some stress, and save us the daily question of, “Did you get enough to eat?”
Maryanna: Thanks! And yeah… Alexa came up with it in a moment of brilliance. I could not, and did not, argue.
Examiner: Haha, so true. Mother’s are special lil’ things. (Love you Mom!) So what’s something about you your fans would be surprised to know?
Alexa: My fans would probably be surprised to know that I take most of my vitamins in Gummy Bear form.
Maryanna: I used to be a baby.
Examiner: Favorite inspirational song/artist/book?
Alexa: Favorite song- Sunny Came Home by Shawn Colvin. My dad used to play that song in the car all the time. I used to listen to it and say to myself, “I want to write a song like that someday.” Artist- Stefan Sagmeister. He’s (in my opinion) one of the greatest graphic designers of our time. If I ever have an album designed by him I’ll know I’ve made it. Book- Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.
Maryanna: Nothing inspires me more than music, and no music inspires me more than The Beatles, Leonard Bernstein, and Sufjan Stevens. I really love “Catcher in the Rye” but I’m not sure I can get away with calling that inspirational…
Examiner: Fantastic music and book choices! In your opinion what’s the best place to play in the City?
Alexa: It depends on the kind of music you play, but I’d have to say Carnegie Hall.
Maryanna: I’ve got a soft spot for Bar 4 in Park Slope. It’s like playing in a friend’s living room, and that’s where I played my first show ever in New York. But I mean, Carnegie Hall’s probably nice too.
Examiner: How did you both get into music? Was it something you always knew you wanted to do?
Alexa: I started playing music at a very young age. My dad taught me how to play Hotel California and the Everly Brothers when I was about 8, then I started playing trumpet at 9. Since then, music has pretty much been my life.
Maryanna: My parents met at music school. My mom is an outstanding classical/jazz guitarist and my dad is pianist/trumpet player. A guitar was practically shoved into my hands when I was a baby, I started piano at age 3, and I played around with the violin and took a lot of singing lessons as well. I always knew I’d end up doing something with music. I have a degree in Music Therapy, and while I love and respect that field so much, I could never shake the *need* to write and perform my own stuff. I eventually caved, started making my record, moved to New York, and now, I’m touring behind everyone’s mothers’ back. Dreams come true, kids.
Examiner: Maryanna I’m going to have to pick your brain about Music Therapy, at some point. I love it! Music definitely runs in both your blood, which your fans already knew, I’m sure. What’s the best piece of advice you can offer other creative types following their dreams?
Alexa: Don’t be too proud! It’s bad for your cholesterol.
Maryanna: Never let yourself be too satisfied with anything you’ve created. That drive to constantly create something new, better, or different is too essential to lose. Also, don’t compare your art and your career to other people’s unless you’re looking for ways to make your own new, better, or different.
There you have it! That concludes this Q&A but on behalf of icedjamb.com I would like to extend a warm thank you to both Alexa and Maryanna for their time. Their answers are definitely worth sticking in your memory box, especially if you’re an aspiring musician, artist, author, or anyone outside of the creative fields, really. Hope you enjoyed this as much as we did.
A Little Recap:
Their tour kicks off at The Living Room on June 1st. Make sure you round up some of your friends and head out to have your minds blown by a couple of fantastic acts. You seriously won’t be disappointed. Be sure to check out their links to see where they’re playing if you’re not in the NYC area. As always you might want to get your hands on their music…now! They are both artists to keep your eye on.
Alexa Wilkinson + Maryanna Sokol @ The Living Room
“Don’t Tell Your Mom Tour” NYC Kick-off show!
Doors @ 6:30
Maryanna Sokol (w/ full band) 7pm
Alexa Wilkinson (w/ full band) 8pm
For more information:
Alexa Wilkinson Website
Alexa Wilkinson Twitter
Maryanna Sokol Website
Maryanna Sokol Twitter
Maryanna Sokol Myspace
Maryanna Sokol Facebook
Maryanna Sokol Sonicbids
Yes! Kerri is on Twitter! You can click on the follow button up top, or simply click on the links here: @NYFolkExaminer @ScribeQuotes.
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