Wendy Starland discovered and developed Lady Gaga, which resulted in her signing the major label record and publishing deals that led Gaga to becoming the Multi-Grammy winning icon we know today. Wendy and Lady Gaga have written songs together over the years while also helping to develop Gaga’s creative and marketing strategy. Starland herself made her mark as an artist being named VH1’s “Best Emerging Artist” and was honored by the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. Kings of A&R sat down with Starland and discussed her current and future projects.
When did you first discover that you wanted a career in music?
I was pulled up on stage by James Brown’s saxophone player, Maceo Parker, during one of his concerts and scatted on his stage for 20 minutes. After I was done, Maceo’s bass player got down on one knee as if he were proposing, took a string off of his bass guitar and coiled it up around my ring finger. He hushed the crowd and said into the microphone, “Wendy you have a gift from God. You must devote your life to using this gift or else you will deprive the world of something so special.” I got the chills. It was written up in the newspapers the next day. I made the decision in that moment to switch my focus from painting to music forever.
You’re involved in all aspects of music including songwriting, producing, composing, and as a solo artist. Do you have a particular strength?
I’d say my greatest strength is in my ability to be versatile. Authentically. I’ve collaborated with artists that truly run the gammut: from members of the Wu Tang Clan and Capone, to Moby, Lady Gaga, and opening for artists such as Sheryl Crow, Jack White, and Chris Shiflett of the Foo Fighters, etc. I was also released on a Universal compilation that included Norah Jones and Feist, so I’ve written and produced several songs in that genre as well. I’ve been exposed to most musical genres and have learned how to tackle them effectively. CONTINUE READING
We’ve been posting Kingsfoil for the last 2 years because I’ve enjoyed your music, it’s different yet melodic and catchy. Your new
record is finally breaking through, it debuted #42 on the iTunes Rock Charts.
How long have you been a band for?
(Jordan) Tristan and I grew up together playing in different bands and writing music together. We played acoustic for awhile and put a lot of time into getting better at writing songs, around 5 years ago we added Tim and went full band. Since then we have worked hard and put in the time to really build out band from the ground up.
You’ve had some line-up changes, correct?
(Jordan) yes, Tim is the second bass player and frankie is the second drummer. otherwise.. that’s the only lineup changes we’ve had.
Who generally writes the songs? Is it a collective effort?
(Jordan) Most of the time I will write a song on guitar or piano, or Tristan and I will write something and bring it to the band, at that point, everybody adds their two cents. Sometimes ideas happen as we are all jamming or working together.
Tells us about the record making process.
(Jordan) after we get a song down and everybody has their parts written we will demo the song and send it to our producer Dustin Burnett, he will give us feedback on it… we often will re-demo the tune a couple times. We like to get the song feeling good well before the studio. Then when we go in to make a record we have a strong base of a song, we can then spend some time and try and couple more things in the studio… recording is a blast for me.
You recently signed a recording deal with Lava Records/Universal Republic home of Jessie J. How did that come about?
I have been working for a long time but the final pieces of the puzzle came together quickly. Arjan writes did a review of one of my tracks called fire fire. That was on sunday, Harinder Rana called me on Monday. By friday night I was downing shots celebrating my first record deal!
When did you start singing and at what moment did you realize that you wanted to become a full time artist?
I was a late starter, I didn’t sing a note until I was 17 and I didn’t start full writing until I was 21.
I knew as soon as I stepped on stage for the first time that this is what I wanted to do.
It’s the only thing that comes naturally to me! I’m rubbish at everything else (my spelling should prove this)
Do you write lyrics? Co-write?
I write lyrics constantly, Im the girl who look like she’s on Facebook when I’m in a date but i’m actually writing lyrics. When you have as much to say as I do, it’s always on my mind.
I started by writing with my bro’s George and Rick, they crafted me and I learned by watching them. I like to co-write to bounce off other people! I believe some of my best songs have been written when there’s two points of view in a room.
Explain the record making process. Easy or Brutal?
I love it! Nothing in life is straight forward. Who wants to hear a entire record about how easy life is or how in love you are? Thats bull*%#. I want people to relate to every lyric I write!
You have a strong voice. Do you credit vocal lessons? Or did your voice develop naturally?
Thanks! *blushing* I think its a mix of both. Vocals lessons are an essential part of being an artist. Your voice is a muscle so you need to keep it strong so vocal lessons are about knowing how to achieve that. They are also about building your confidence.
Confidence is a big part of how you sing.
Who are some of your artist influences?
I love, Alicia Keys, Laryn Hill, India Arie. Those are the artists I will always go back to, they are the reason I fell in love with music.
Please describe you music...
Pop with a lick or urban and a lick or reggae. Boom!
Are you a fan of singing competitions like American Idol? The ‘X’ Factor?
I think they make great TV! Personally I wouldn’t do one myself, firstly because my language is fuc%&! terrible so nothing I do could be aired and secondly, I answer back to much! I admire the people that have the patience and self control to do the show. I have neither of these things.
Is an upcoming tour in the works?
I’ve been in the studio finishing the record for the past few months, but now we are at the end – It’s all starting to take shape now and the next step is to start touring.
Who would you love to tour with?
ooooo…right now, Rihanna
Describe your live show….
I’m not describing it to you! then you wont have to come to one! Come and see for yourself…
Most musicians think the time to hire an attorney is not one minute before you
absolutely have to. All too often, the artist finds out that they needed a lawyer much
sooner than they thought—and sometimes that lesson is very expensive. We spent the day for an exclusive interview with Martin F. Frascogna, a lawyer who’s workingto change how—and when in their careers—musicians and lawyers come together.
5:30 am Mornings in the Frascogna house are a finely orchestrated kind of chaos.
It would be easy to mistake this scene for just plain chaos, but turn up the volume,
and you find that the routine is quite by design. As an entertainment lawyer
who specializes in International Music, Marty Frascogna’s work hours have to
accommodate half a dozen time zones on any given day.
On this particular morning, he has a 6 am call from Ireland with artist Senekah.
They are discussing the previous night’s performance, progress on a music video
concept, and Marty is briefing his artist on the strategy he’s using for the negotiation
of a label deal. Frascogna usually takes his first call and gets through his first round
of email at home, allowing him to be part of the family’s early morning routine of
feeding dogs and changing diapers, and also be accessible to his growing family of
Monte Pittman is an acclaimed rock musician, guitarist and songwriter, who just released his second album, “Pain, Love & Destiny”. Monte has also been the live guitarist and a co-writer of Madonna’s since 2001, the live guitarist and music director for Adam Lambert, and former member of Prong . He is also the #1 top-funded rock musician in the history of Kickstarter, having raised a staggering $65,500 from fans to finance the new album.
You started out teaching guitar to Guy Ritchie and consequently Madonna as well. Soon after, you appeared with her on Letterman and joined her band. This was only about 10 years ago and things have been flying for you since then. Have you taken the opportunity to reflect on the wild twists and turns in your journey to this point, or are you a ‘head down and keep pushing forward’ kind of person?
I just keep looking forward. The 11 year mark of the Letterman performance just passed and its hard to believe how fast the time has gone by.
You have been Madonna’s live guitarist and a co-writer since 2001. Please elaborate on your experience touring and writing with a breakthrough artist like Madonna.
It’s the best job in the world. There can be as many as 200 people on tour with you. You usually don’t get to meet them all. We all become a close family on the road and have a great time in each others company. You can see that in the performances. Read more…..