I have yet again, had an amazing opportunity to interview another wonderful songwriter-Kristin Fontaine! I have heard a lot of great things about her from other artists and songwriters. So I thought what the heck, why not see if she’ll give me the opportunity to interview her and hopefully get her recognized for the great work she does. And whataya know, she agreed. Her interview is as follows:
Q: Can you give us a short bio about yourself?
A: I grew up in Napa, CA and lived a pretty typical childhood. I have two sisters, one older and one younger. I was always a traveler and never minded living away from home, I moved to southern California when I was 17 and then to Philadelphia PA when I was 19. I lived in Philly for 3 years and then moved back to California for a short time before relocating to Boston, MA. I have been in MA since 2005 and have since met my husband who is from New England and we have now settled just south of Boston. My “day job” is as a veterinary technician and I have a huge passion for animals, dogs especially, we have two Japanese Shiba Inu that are the center of our whole world.
Q: At what age did you write your first song?
A: Believe it or not I wrote my first song about a year ago. I have been writing poetry my entire life, but it wasn’t until I hooked up with a co-writer, Terry Becks, and found out that my poems could be turned into some pretty cool songs. He really showed me how to write a song and since then I’ve written over 50 songs by myself and quite a few others with co-writers.
TCB: I actually write poetry too 🙂
Q: When did you realize you wanted to be a country music songwriter?
A: I grew up listening to Country Music. I love Garth, George, Travis Tritt. etc. It was just natural for me to write country because really it’s all I have ever known and loved.
TCB: I’m right there with ya sweetie. I was born a Country Girl and that’s all I’ll ever be. I now live in a fairly decent sized city, but let me tell ya, that saying is right. “You can take a girl out of the country, but you can never take the country out of the girl.”
Q: What was the title of your first song?
A: The first poem that was turned into a song with Terry Becks is called “Wounded Bird“. The first song that we wrote together that was demo’d is “I’m A Wild One” which is the song that I currently have a single song publishing agreement with The Dean Of Music Publishing. Hopefully it will make it on an artists album soon! You can hear a clip of it here: http://thedeanofmusicpublishing.com/index-1.html
Q: Did you have something or someone who inspired your lyrics to your first song?
A: My lyrics are very autobiographical. Most of the time I throw a lot of “me” into my songs. I’ve always had a very vivid imagination though so a lot of my lyrics just come from the amazing worlds I have come up with in my mind via my poetry.
Q: When writing a song, do you use a specific technique?
A: I write down words, phrases, possible lyrics ALL DAY long, so when I’m ready to write I usually just go through and find one that jumps out at me and try to expand on that. My brain works pretty quickly once I get going so if I have an idea that I like I can usually write the whole song pretty quickly.
Q: Do you co-write with quite a few others, or just a few?
A: I started out with co-writers and I am so thankful for all they have taught me. Without them I wouldn’t be able to write the way I do without them. I’ve been able to write quite a few songs on my own because of what they have taught me. I mostly write by myself now, but I do work with co-writers when I get the opportunity because every writer is different and every writer teaches me something new about writing and I love learning and expanding and growing. It makes my songwriting even better.
Q: How many times would you say you re-write a song before you say it’s finally the way you want it to be?
A: Almost never. When I write down a lyric it has usually run through my brain a hundred times and that is the way I wanted to write it. There are very few re-writes that I do on my own lyrics.
TCB: That’s amazing that you almost never have to re-write any of it. A lot of writers say, “I re-write over and over and over.” So, props to you! 🙂
Q: What technology have you found to be the best way to communicate and co-write with those who are in another state?
A: I use a lot of Email/Skype/FaceTime when I can. It’s hard that I am in MA and most of the people I write with or REALLY want to write with are in Nashville. I am planning a trip to Nashville so I can get to writing with some of the people I’ve been waiting to write with. For now though I thank modern technology because it’s really made it easy to write with people.
TCB: Honestly, I don’t think any of us would be able to make it without the technology that we have these days.
Q: You are asked to give a speech to a crowd of High School Students who are interested in songwriting. What exactly would you say to this crowd to help them become a successful songwriter?
A: Write down everything! Learn as much as you can from other people and apply that to your style. Don’t change who you are because someone says it’s not right, make them see how amazing your words are. It just takes a lot of time and dedication. A very successful songwriter said once “Write your first thousand songs, and in your second thousand, you might get a cut.” I live by that… I have absolutely no expectations, just hope and everyone should have that.
TCB: Wonderful words of advice!
Q: Do you ever sing or do you just write?
A: Sure, in the car…where no one can hear me! HA. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, and if people ever heard me sing, they’d probably tell me to stop. I sing the words I’m writing to myself just so I can hear the meter and the melody, but that’s it.
Q: How long have you been with The Dean of Music Publishing Company?
A: Since the very beginning. Rick Dean has been amazing and really opened my eyes to the world of song writing. He’s working very hard at making me an award-winning song writer and I am thankful everyday that I have been able to connect with him.
TCB: Rick Dean is a pretty amazing, helpful guy! I have to agree with you there.
Q: Have you ever had the opportunity to do an interview like this?
A: Nope, this is my first, and hopefully not my last, it’s been a pleasure!
TCB: Well, I’m glad that I had the opportunity to be your first. And I plan to keep in touch and hope you will too.
Q: Is there anything else that you would like to add that I didn’t cover here?
A: I think we covered it all. Everyone can follow me on Twitter: @KrisFont04. I’m pretty active on the social media.
TCB: To follow Kristin on Twitter, simply click her Twitter Handle above. I’ve linked it directly to her profile.
Thank You again Kristin, it’s been a great pleasure! I appreciate this opportunity more than I could express in words. I’m very honored to be the first to interview you and just to be able to interview you in general. You are such a sweet young lady.
Kristin gave such great inspiring advice above. If you don’t learn something from her experience and words, you might want to consider reading her advice over and over a few times until you get it.
Remember, she said NEVER GIVE UP! And I expect no one to give up! I’m fulfilling a dream myself and I refuse to give up or fail.
Again, thank you for this interview and I hope your fan base expands and maybe you’ll meet some new co-writers as well.