If you haven’t heard Susan Galbraith, let us get your stars in alignment right this minute. Susan is a Seattle based singer/songwriter with a voice that will give you those illusive goosebumps. Her soulful vocals combine R&B, Pop, and Retro-Soul creating a delicious genre-bending blend of heartfelt and honest music. Metiza caught up with this real life rock star and asked her a few must know questions.
Writing music seems like such a complex process. How do you sit down and write a song?
SG: It varies really. I usually get my best song ideas on a run or in the shower which I think are some of the only times when I’m free from distraction. What I’ve found is that if I’m personally going through something or have something to say, the song spills out of me.
I used to journal a lot when I was a teenager so writing is how I process most of my emotions. There’s still that fear that every time I write a new song, I think…am I going to be able to do that again? But somehow, I end up doing it. 🙂
We all have musical idols, our #goals. What female musicians do you love? Why?
SG: My all-time favorite singer is Whitney Houston. I learned to sing by listening to her albums and “The Greatest Love of All” was my first ever public solo when I was 7 years old. So that’ll always be a given. But I love Tori Kelly, Brandy, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys…the list goes on and on. On a personal level, I feel blessed to have amazing and strong female musicians on my side in the Seattle music scene.
It can be tough being a woman in this industry, or any industry for that matter. So the fact that the women in the Seattle scene encourage and promote each other, and collaborate together is truly rare and special. I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of such a community.
I tend to be inspired by diva-esque musicians or women that have a strong voice and command on stage. Music can be such a great platform as well allowing artists to use their position to raise awareness for important causes, or speak out on something their passionate about. It’s a benefit that is so cool to me.
What is it like being a woman in the music industry?
SG: Honestly, it can be tough. Sometimes it can work in your favor but more times than not, I’ve found it’s very difficult to have your vision go from your head, to completion without people trying to change it. There are a lot of men (not all) that will want to put their own spin and take control and it’s hard to stick up for yourself sometimes because I think we’re conditioned to be agreeable.
We tend to be afraid to make waves, or upset people because we’re afraid of how we will come across. I’ve found in my experience, men in most industries (again, not all) very rarely have those same thoughts. Over time, I’ve learned to stand up for my projects and visions in a way that’s respectful but unapologetic.
My last project, I was frustrated with the direction and ended up grabbing one of my dear friends, Sarah Gerritsen, (who’s also an incredible musician herself) and asked her to produce it. We had a female drummer, (Heather Thomas) a female handling the release show (Jess McMahon), and a female-founded concert production company (Seattle Living Room Shows) sponsoring the show. It was incredible to be a part of such a successful event that included women doing what they love and woking together.
Music can define times in our lives for sure. Can you reflect on your teenage music experience?
SG: Absolutely. I knew that music was all I wanted to do, I just didn’t know how to do it. I was in all the choirs that public school had to offer, but it didn’t satisfy my love for pop music and the music that I felt connected to at that age. I learned a lot of valuable skills, but always wanted to explore as many genres as possible.
It took awhile until I found a teacher to really help me excel in that area, which is why I have a passion for working with youth in my own music studio now. I teach voice, piano, and songwriting to give students the option to work on what they’re passionate about. Hopefully it will help them on their journey to get there.
Unfortunately, all age’s shows are limited, but when I did get the chance to see my favorite artists in concert, it only fueled my desire to be up there doing what they’re doing.
Concerts are the best, or at least we think so. In your opinion, why is live music really everything?
SG: Seeing a show live can change the way you listen to music completely, especially if it’s an artist you’ve been listening to often. Attending the live performance is a chance to be a part of that specific moment in history. For you and the artist.
That specific song may not be played that same way again or there could be a special vibe that connects everyone at the same time and it can be life changing. And if nothing else, an experience and memory that you’ll never forget. That connection between the artist and the audience is something magical.
To find out more about Susan Galbraith, listen to her music or see a live show near you visit SusanGalbraith.com.