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Muse of the week: Singer/Songwriter #Calliope

12 April 2011
Today is a beautiful Tuesday here in Italy and I am bringing you a beautiful and talented muse, my dear partner in crime Brianna Baptiste, aka Calliope. Calliope and I met in 2006 because of our shared love for all things European and Gerard Butler on Myspace and we have been buddies ever since. After her move with her family from Seattle to Dallas, she and I finally met and I was able to participate in her creative process as a musician. Her confidence in her talents and herself was refreshing and it open my eyes to how truly talented she was--the girl is a musical genius.  I was blown away and have been a fan ever since.  But, instead of me telling you about her, I'll allow her to give you a preview into her soul in her own words. [Transcript below]

How long have you been singing?I've been singing since the age of two-according to my parents- so about 26 years!

What is you musical history? 
I started harmonizing at the age of 2, started playing the flute in 4th grade (so I was 9), played the flute all through HS & some college, took harp lessons for 2.5 yrs during college & now I am taking voice & piano lessons at HCC.

Where have you studied and who have you studied or sang under?
I sang back up for jazz legend Ernestine Anderson and later I became the trainer for her backup singers. I also studied the harp at Oral Roberts University under harp extraordinaire, Lorelei Barton & am currently taking voice under Kathleen Knight-who used to do Broadway & Hollywood in the 60s- & piano lessons under So Yun Lee.

Who are your musical muses?
So many! Prince; Sade; Simply Red; Chaka Khan; Earth, Wind & Fire; Incubus; Coldplay; MUSE!!!; Nirvana; Bach; Chopin; the Baroque period; Mint Condition; Jodeci; Michelle Ferrell; SWV; Patra; Les Nubians; Nora Jones; Leanne Rhymes; Nickel Creek; Roy Davis Jr; Vikter Duplaix; Busta Rhymes; Harry Connick Jr; Michael Buble; Sarah Vaughen, Duke Ellington, Michael Jackson--just to name a few. I am all over the place, musically. ;)

How do you feel about the music industry at the moment and which are your favorite eras and genres of music?
Omg, the music-or entertainment industry-in its current form completely depresses me. Everythings autotuned, everything's plastic. It's no longer about organic creativity & sound, no longer about a "movement" & I hate it. People give the 80s a hard time, saying this time period, too, was all about fun, but I disagree. 80s music-one of my favorite time periods, musically-was about fun AND freedom, recreationally & politically. The music now lacks no, I take that back; today's music does have a purpose, and that is MONEY. Ask many of todays "artists" to write their own song, pick up an instrument, or to be themselves & they'll struggle.

My favorite time periods, musically & artistically, are: the Baroque period, the Impressionist period, the 20s, the 60s, 70s, 80s; the 90s were VERY decent, although not a favorite.

What project(s) are you working on at the moment?
Right now, I'm working on a CD that'll cover a few different genres: world, rock, neo jazz, r&b, pop, new age, world. I write everything b/c everything is in me. Most record labels prefer an artist to pick a genre. I'd rather do my own writing, composing/arranging & production & not choose a genre, but do what I feel--which is everything. I even have a song that fuses hip hop & Middle Eastern (think belly dancing) styles!

What is your musical process?
My musical process is weird. I write through heartbreak, joy, my libido, my political unrest. These things inspire all of my music. It's the human experience. I usually sing into my phone b/c I usually hear a complete song from start to finish w/ all the parts. Sometimes I hear a full band. I try to sing all the parts into my phone as a voice memo, then record it on my computer later.

Do you write, compose and sing all of your music?
Yes, I do. I also do my own production-via garageband for now-and am taking music engineering classes in order to improve my skills.

What is your dream concerning your music?
I want to remind people of what music really is, what it used to be, which is CREATIVE, ORGANIC, & MAGICAL! I want people to know that if I can do it all on my own, they can to; I want to inspire people to demand the presence of true artistic expression again. I want a musical revolution. Lastly, I want integrity to make a comeback again.

Longterm, I'd love to just travel the globe & do music on the go. I'd love for people to heal from hearing my music, too! I believe in healing.

What other creative outlets are you involved in?
Omg, I was taking tap lessons. I enjoy dancing. Twitter is a creative & inspirational outlet for me. MOVIES! I love movies & books! I also journal & plan to write a few poetry books (erotic & otherwise), fiction & screenplays.
Where can we find and buy your music and how can we stalk you?

Here's a sample of her work..

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Thanks chiclets for your chic comments. I look forward to hearing more from you.

Forever chic,