XXQs: Kasia Beesley
PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out over the others in your genre?
Kasia Beesley (KB): I’d actually say it’s modern classical but fused with all styles of music. Some of my songs are quite operatic also; again with a hint of other stylistic genres. I think that my music is definitely all me; so I suppose the difference is that I try not to be influenced too much by the mainstream when composing and use my voice in a way that is comfortable and expressive for me when recording. It’s difficult not to be stereotyped though into as a classical artist – I don’t really see myself as that; more like I add my experience as a classical artist to my music, and the study of it to generate my own style. Get a bearing on what I’m doing with it, rather than be steered by it.
PEV: Calling London, England home, what kind of music where you into growing up? Was anyone your main influence?
KB: There’s been lots of artists that I have admired when I was growing up. I liked all styles of music as a child and growing up I found music a fascinating creative thing, so I used to listen to all sorts of music, from Mario Lanza to Deep Purple, Pop, Motown and folk. I listened to worldwide music and not just British artists. Appreciating each artist as I discovered them. It is actually the inspiration of the expression of music in art that influenced me to write and perform rather than anyone being a main influence.
PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew you wanted music to be a large part of your life, if not the biggest part?
KB: Well…I’m always a creative person, so therefore arts have been my hobbies most of my life- takes the stress out, you could say! I continued with music as one of my ‘expressive entities’ as something personal for myself and got into it so much over the years that I hadn’t realized how much it had become part of me and my life. Over the past decade there has been more time for myself when I can concentrate on what I need to get into my own music world- and music is the major part of my own time these days. When I decided to put my songs out there for other people I didn’t expect the response I got – I thought it may be liked; but I didn’t expect a growing fanbase and a Wow reaction, I am so glad it has given a positive vibe and feel very endeared to my fans for liking it so much.
PEV: Tell us about your first ever live performance.
KB: Oh!….I can’t remember how old I was ;about 5 years old: at Infant School….singing Cliff Richards song ‘Summer Holiday’,that I remember totally freaked me out that people were an audience to me, but I managed to perform OK, and remember enjoying it nonetheless.
KB: It was one of those things, something to do as an interest, not knowing wether it would last or how far it would go. Also being unsure as to how far to go with it. Since, I’ve learnt that if it’s a part of you then it’s far better to let flow with you in your life. So I suppose I missed noticing any transition and just got on with it.
PEV: Do you remember the first time you thought to yourself – “I am really onto something!”?
KB: No-not really. I noticed other peoples comments, enthusiasm and admiration sometimes in what I’ve been doing; their encouraging comments over the years. I noticed that I am liked as an artist by some folk; but, because there is such an emphasis on the mainstream and media about musicians I didn’t ever think that I maybe onto something- more like, take me as I am, I’m giving out my inspiration to other folk, and am always grateful if they love what I do. I’m a very giving soul as a person, if my music gives someone something that they love, then I believe that is mainly what it’s about.
PEV: What can fans expect from a live Kasia Beesley show?
KB: If I put the show together myself instead of being given a request or repertoire I’d make it an artwork on stage, that is, I’d use every media I could to present it, depending on the songs of course.
PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?
KB: My presentation of what I’m performing; I’ve never had stage fright, because I really want to connect with an audience and make it their experience as much as mine. By the time I step on stage it’s all or nothing- so I just go for it!
PEV: What is the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for your songs?
KB: My main inspiration is love and beauty in life- I’m very moved by compassionate and understanding people in the world. I often think about how different people are everywhere, but one thing that draws us all together is giving love somewhere, and it’s a fascinating inspiration of how many kinds of love there are out there. Beauty in nature also inspires my songs, I love poetry, projecting emotions through metaphors is a favourite way I work, in that then I can think about what sound suits a melody or lyrics; although I must say it is how I feel at the time I’m composing a piece in to what comes out. Sometimes its based on an experience and sometimes I’m stretching my imagination creating an expression in audio of what I want to say.
PEV: Tell us more about your latest release and why you feel so passionate about this project. What can fans expect from this work?
KB: I’m continually working on projects; finishing my Album2 at the moment, and nurturing ideas for an opera project that fuses mainstream styles with classical sound. Album3 is on the way too; composing and writing up my sheet music and writing the lyrics to more songs The Album2 set of songs is about pent-up love emotions, last 3 songs of the album will be out soon. I think my fans can expect more of me and less of the mainstreaming as a classical musician.
PEV: Describe the kind of mindset you have to be in to record a song?
KB: To emotionally express the words and the content of the song; I concentrate on adding the vocal instrument to define what the song is about. I need to feel to connect to it, therefore I do a lot of preparatory work before I take the final vocals.
PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about Kasia Beesley?
KB: I’m 50 plus and still grooving!!
PEV: How is life on the road for you in the music world? Best and worst parts?
KB: I’ve never been on tour, always traveled to perform and then returned back home because of responsibilities at home. And these days I produce most of my music at home. I’d love to go on tour and be able to completely focus on myself as an artist and musician.It’s been one of those things that I haven’t had time to do before because of homelife and work.It would be great to wrap myself up completely in my art and music for some time.
PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet? Why?
KB: All over the world – everywhere and anywhere. But if I had to choose I’ve always thought of either the Big Apple or Milan. Because both places have a famous history of developing music and art.
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play in your hometown, and in front of your family/friends?
KB: Most people I’ve known for a longtime and my family tend to see it as one of those things I do! They know I’m a creative type and have seen the changes and developments to me as a performer and writer over the years. I haven’t performed any of my latest releases in front of them as a live audience yet- actually I’m working on venues for gigs at present and still putting together the whole show. So it’s like planning a surprise. I hope they like it.
PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
KB: Creating other artworks; like movie maker and video.Or i may redesign my garden! There’s always something i find to use artistry in and around me.
PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?
KB: I’m on Reverbnation – it’s a musicians network – I’ve found lots of amazing musicians on there, and very nice people. On my page I’ve recommended quite a few – i’m a great believer in that there’s room for everyone; so rather than mention anyone in particular I’d like to take this opportunity to say- please visit my page and please support the artists on my recommended list.They are quite wonderful.
PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think you would be doing as your career?
KB: Probably painting; I used to do a lot of painting and love architecture. So it would very likely have been as a designer or artist in some way. It would definitely be something creative.
PEV: So, what is next for Kasia Beesley?
KB: Continuing what I’m doing as a singer/songwriter producing my own music and artworks. Putting together some videos for my songs too. I’m never without inspiration and ideas when it comes to it. I can’t wait to get on with it all. I’m working on promoting my music too; at the moment I’m being guided by someone who is certainly one of the best I’ve ever come across – he’s a fantastic person, very professional and highly experienced. So, a lot of hard work ahead; I’m hoping it will all come together.