terça-feira, 25 de março de 2014

Exclusive interview with Marc Swersky, songwriter/producer/musician who won 2 Grammys. The man who discovered and mentored Jacquie Lee

Lovelees/Jacqattacks, it's a great pride to publish this interview with the amazing Marc Swersky, songwriter/producer/musician who won 2 Grammys. He is the man who discovered and mentored our mini-diva Jacquie Lee. Marc talks about how he discovered Jacquie, his program and work to develop her, how he convinced her to join The Voice and what we can expect about her career. We hope you all enjoy the interview, as we had a great pleasure to do it.

JLB: Hello! First of all, we thank you very much for the opportunity. It’s a great honor to interview you. You are a songwriter, producer and musician of great success. You won two Grammys as a songwriter, sold over 50 million copies and managed very success careers, among other great feats. What is your secret?
MSWell, thank you! To be honest, I have no idea. It all stems from hard work, paying attention to my craft, and always learning from others that I work with. I'm a team player and I always try to bring the best out of people as they bring the best out of me. Oh, and a little luck doesn't hurt either.

JLB: What exactly is the “Monocentric Music” Project? Can you tell us what the experience is like guiding a person on the musical environment, extracting the talent and teaching them how to produce and write songs?
MSMonocentric Music is a full service Record & Production Company that focuses on artist development in the good old fashioned way. It's run by myself and my business partner, Ted Stachtiaris. At Monocentric Music, we believe in good songs and authentic artistry. We don't just follow trends, instead we aim to bring the best out of each artist so we can set them up for long lasting careers in this ever changing industry.
I also run a program called The Music Mentoring Experience (MME), where I have focused mentoring sessions with young, aspiring singer-songwriters. This environment is where I first started working with Jacquie Lee. First and foremost, I consider myself a developer of artists. It takes a lot of patience and focus to get young artists to realize who they are. I believe they must learn their history. What that means is that they must understand where the artists that they know and love come from. To watch a young person find themselves artistically through our hard work is about all I need to continue in this business. For me it's not about the end result, it's about the learning along the way. 

JLB: In her last interview, at the “Living in Media” Magazine, Jacquie told us that you met her at an event called “Rockit”, where you were enchanted by her voice watching her sing. Tell us a little about that day. What impressed you about Jacquie’s performance? What are her striking features?
MSMy girlfriend, singer-songwriter Brielle Brown, and I were invited to an outdoor event by another one of my MME students, Michael Arrom. Standing there, we heard the start of "With a Little Help From My Friends" by The Beatles and this little girl opened up her mouth and started to sing. Brielle and I turned to each other and said "Who is that!?" I knew at that moment that Jacquie had serious talent. At the time she was only 14 years old and had such natural creative instincts. Not too much later, I spoke with Jacquie and her parents Denise and Rich Lee and we decided to start a working relationship together.
Jacquie whe she sang "With a Little Help From My Friends" at Rockit


JLB: In the same interview to the “Living in Media” Magazine, Jacquie talks about how she didn’t have any intention to participate in another reality show again because of her experience in X-Factor. From what she said, you were the one responsible for her participation in “The Voice”, because you convinced her. How do you feel about the result of all of this, with her performance during the show and all repercussion that she caused at the musical middle?
MS: Jacquie had auditioned for the X-Factor but they didn't choose her. After working with Jacquie, I suggested that I could send her to a special industry audition that I am afforded. I told her that she had nothing to lose and that we would do everything we could in preparation to make it the best audition possible. Jacquie, Brielle & I all worked together as a team to make sure of that. Obviously, she knocked the producers socks off (like we knew she would)! I'm very proud of what Jacquie did on the show!

JLB: When Jacquie was selected to join to The Voice, what advice did you give to her?
MSFrom day one working with Jacquie, I always told her you must understand yourself well enough to understand the song. If there are lyrics that you don't understand, do your research and try to find your place inside the song. Take "House of the Rising Sun" for example. Jacquie has never lived that life but by finding her place inside of it, she was able to knock it out of the park! Also, I told her to make sure she's always comfortable with the key of the song and that it's sitting in a good place in her voice. I also told Jacquie to not always believe in the hype, work hard, don't slouch and most importantly - have fun!

JLB: Did you expect Jacquie’s participation in The Voice would have this dimension? How much do you think that she grew up in the show?
MSJacquie grew immensely throughout the show. She was very focused and dedicated. She has a competitive nature which really showed and got her all the way to the finale.

JLB: At some moments, the show showed us the support that their families gave to the contestants and we could realize the unconditional support that Jacquie was receiving from her parents. When you talked the first time with Jacquie’s parents, about your interest in teach her, what reaction did Mr. Richard and Mrs. Denise have? What did they think about the idea?
MSJacquie comes from an extremely loving and supportive family who want the best for her. They were nothing less than supportive and excited to have Jacquie work with me.

JLB: We (fans) are enchanted by Jacquie, not only for the brilliant singer who she is, but for the person who demonstrates to be: kind, charismatic and, above of all, funny. You know about her day-to-day. How do you describe her?
MSWhat you see is what you get! Above all, she has a good heart and doesn't take herself too seriously.

JLB: At the first opportunity that you had to talk to Jacquie, after the show, what did you feel from her about the dimension that her participation was in the show?
MSI invited Jacquie to sing at a benefit concert at The Count Basie theater in Red Bank, NJ the day after she returned home from Los Angeles. I introduced her to the legendary Miss Darlene Love and invited her to sing with one of Monocentric Music's artists, Gedeon Luke & The People. Jacquie seemed understandably tired but very happy to be back in her hometown. The audience was thrilled to see her on stage!

JLB: We know that even people who born with talent need to be molded. How was the experience of being one of the molders of this precious stone called Jacquie?
MSWorking with Jacquie never seemed like work. We always had fun, the songs flowed, and we got to know each other very well. I'm sure this stone will turn into a diamond.

JLB: How is the life of a writer/producer /musician? How to deal with this troubled musical environment (exacerbated media criticism, charging for hit songs and more)?
MSGreat question! First off, I never worry about writing a "hit song". I worry about writing a GREAT SONG. No one writes a hit song all the time. If you chase writing a hit, you will undoubtedly fail. I work tirelessly, I'm very focused and I'm very excited to still be a part of this business for over 30 years. The state of music right now is very reactionary. It's dictated by technology instead of heart and soul. This makes me sad but also drives me to be a part of helping to bring real music back. When you hear some of the artists I'm working with like Gedeon Luke & The People and Boyd USA you'll understand what I'm talking about. It's time for us to take music back. It's time for a REVOLUTION.

JLB: You worked with great names, such as Hillary Duff and Natalie Cole. You are an entrepreneur with a great prestige in the market. During these years, what types of artists caught your attention? Which artists did you see the potential right away? Did you see this potential in Jacquie? What does she have that the musical industry is looking for?
MSI've been very fortunate to work with so many talented artists all over the world. What strikes me about an artist and what makes me want to work with someone is their honesty and integrity. I'm currently working with an Australian artist right now named, Brad Butcher. His earnest nature and ability to tell a great story is what first drew me to him. Here in America, I have been developing Gedeon Luke for close to 5 years. I started working with him right after he was on Season 5 of American Idol. Upon meeting him, his charismatic nature combined with this old soul just grabbed my attention. His enthusiasm to create was infectious. He truly is a force to be reckoned with. His debut record, "Live Free & Love" will be released in early May.
I absolutely saw the same untapped potential in Jacquie. She has no fear and if she stays true to her heart, she can have a long lasting career.


JLB: We know you wrote “I Want To Want” with Jacquie. We love that song. Do you know if maybe we’ll hear it in her first album? Would any label give her this chance? Record an own song?MSThank you. "I Want to Want" is actually one of the first songs Jacquie and I wrote together. We also wrote a handful of pretty incredible songs along with Brielle. If a label was smart, they would unleash Jacquie and the songs on the world.

JLB: In an interview Jacquie said she was analyzing some labels. Do you know if she made a decision?
MSYou'll have to stay tuned to see.

JLB: What can we (fans) expect from Jacquie’s future jobs?
MSYou can count on Jacquie to give her all every time.

JLB: What advice do you have for anyone that wants to have a musical career? Is there anything it must have or must do?
MSIt's real simple - work hard, don't take the easy way out, don't expect anybody to give you anything, know your craft, be humble, and don't be afraid. No one has all the answers.

JLB: Leave a message for Jacquie!
MSCall me ;)

JLB: To finish, do you know Brazilian music? If yes, do you have a favorite singer? We would like to invite you to meet our country. We would welcome you with open arms! We want to thank you again for giving us this unique chance! You’re one of the biggest names on music and having an interview with you was a pleasure! We hope you enjoyed it too. And, talking with you was especially important to us, Jacquie’s fans, because you also supported her on her journey. You motivated us to keep our job here. We root for her unconditionally.
MSI actually got to work with Antonio Villeroy, a wonderfully gifted Brazillian singer-songwriter. So, I guess he would be my favorite! I hope Brielle and I get the chance in the near future to come to Brazil to enjoy your culture and make some music! Thank you for chatting with me and for all your support for Jacquie along the way!


Jacquie at Monocentric Music studio

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