Interview with Singer/Songwriter Suzy Wilson

By Mick Michaels

COSMICK VIEW: Hello Suzy! Welcome to The Cosmick View.Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it is greatly appreciated.
Suzy Wilson: Thanks for taking time to chat me with as well. Really appreciate it.

CV: What was the catalyst that finally drove you to take the charge and pursue your lifelong musical dreams 10 years ago?
SW: Mainly I think that it was just time. I had been getting more involved with music for a while. I had a lot of friends who were musicians. I had spent a lot of years as a writer in the public relations field. Someone I knew asked me since I had been a singer and also a writer, why didn’t I write songs. Up until then, I really hadn’t thought about it. Decided why not? And here we are. 

CV: Your sound and style has been described as "Baez meets Priest" or "Mitchell meets Metallica". However, from what I hear, there is definitely some Southern rock roots nestled at the core of your music. No doubt from your Mississippi upbringing. But how would you describe your music?
SW: Well I have lived my entire life in the South and loved Southern Rock. I’ve never really thought about it, but it’s entirely possible a bit of a lot of my influences is in there. As far as how I would describe it, I call it melodic metal. Not sure if that is a thing but it should be.

CV: What would be the one thing you would tell others who have hesitated or have been toying with the idea of taking the leap of faith and going after their dreams?
SW: What I would tell them, first is that life is way too short. Second, I say listen to yourself, don’t let others’ fears or insecurities keep you from doing what you know you want to do. Something that I have learned in my life that I wish I had realized much earlier is that if you don’t ask the question, the answer is always no. If you ask and the answer is no, then you are no worse off than you were before. At that point, you just need to either ask the same question to someone else or change the question. And a lot of the time, the answer is yes. And sometimes it’s no, but hey instead let’s do this. You don’t know until you ask.

CV: Your latest single "Lies" has a strong rhythm and a ballsy back beat. The song seems to come across autobiographical in some regards. Is this the case for the song's inspiration or does it have other sources of origin?
SW: Yes, it is based on things that have happened in my life. Lying is probably the one thing that I will not tolerate. And even though I’m pretty open about that, people will still lie to me frequently. And they are usually really bad at it, so it doesn’t take much for me to figure it out.

CV: "Lies" also has a video that accompanied its release.  Tell us a bit about the making of it. What was it like working with director Paul Gervasi? Was the video's storyline a collaborative effort?
SW: It was a lot of fun making it. Spent a couple of nights in West Hollywood with a number of my friends and a lot of walking... The storyline was entirely his idea. We had known each other for several years so I was very familiar with his other videos. I knew it would be great. And he is so much fun to work. And since then we have done another music video as well as different video project that we will releasing soon. And I see doing more videos with Paul in the future. As it didn’t work out for the video for Lies, I hope that it will work out in some of the upcoming ones that the people actually playing on the songs are able to be in the video.

CV: The music industry has changed drastically in the last 25 years to say the least. Videos, once record sales juggernauts, almost seem to be a thing of the past, but artists still venture to make them. Do you feel music videos are still an important component in an artist's public portfolio? If so, why?
SW: Yes, I do think that they are still important but not necessarily to push sales but to introduce you and your music to new audiences. Audiences today, I think expect music videos and won’t take an artist seriously if they don’t have music videos. Also I think it was helps an artist or band to stay connected with your current audience too. People want to see a band perform and if they can’t, being able to watch a music video is the next best thing. It lets me be everywhere all at once.

CV: New music is currently in the works for you with an upcoming album on the horizon.  I understand the album is now in the final mixing stages. How are things coming along? When can we expect the album to release?
SW: Yes, I was just up in Dallas working with my collaborator, partner in crime and dear friend Norman Matthew to finish recording the vocals on the last song. Still have some tweaking to do and then the mixing and mastering of the last songs. The plan is to release it in the next few months. Being an independent artist means that there is a lot that we have to do ourselves. My focus is now on more of the business side of things, the marketing and promotions. Currently we don’t have a release date set but it will be in the next few months.

CV: Where have you found your inspiration coming from for the new material?
SW: The inspiration for my songs are either things that have happened in my life or things that are going on around me. As I said Lies is based on things in my life. There’s another song on the EP titled “Road to Nowhere,” that I started writing during the many hours over the years that I have spent driving between Houston and Dallas. All the songs are about other things I’ve experienced or people I’ve known and that I think that other people will relate to.

CV: You have done a lot of work with Cruefest in Hollywood. What prompted your involvement with the organization?
SW: For those who aren’t familiar with Cruefest Hollywood, it started in 2001 as a get together for a group of Motley Crue fans and as a charity event. It still raises money for cancer charities in memory of Skylar Neil.  Originally it was conceived as a onetime event, but it proved to be a very popular and successful event so it continues with this being our 18th year. While I was a part of the original group I wasn’t able to attend the first several years. Once I finally was able to go, I fell in love with it. My work experience was in public relations and event planning. Also I had managed a musical theatre company. So I offered my experience and expertise and became a part of the organizing team. We are just getting geared up now for this year’s event.

CV: Has the cause become a personal mission for you?
SW: Yes, it has and it was even before I became a part of the team. And not only the cause, but also the event itself... It’s hard to explain but it is like a big family reunion. People come from all over the world to attend this event every year. In some cases, it’s the only time we all get to see each other.

CV: 2019 will mark Stevie Nicks’ solo induction into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame… and it's about time in my opinion. Why do you feel so many women in Rock are often overlooked each year for induction? What's the hurdle?
SW: In my opinion, it has its roots in the way that women are viewed in rock and metal. While women singers and musicians seem to be more accepted in other genres of music, that doesn’t seem to be the case in rock and metal. It seems like that in the beginnings of rock and metal that most of the pioneers were men. Also with the whole “sex, drugs & rock & roll” theme of rock in the beginning, those were not things that society at that time considered “ladylike”. You mentioned in describing one of my songs the word “ballsy”, again not something that even today that society thinks that women can be.  

CV: What have you found to be the biggest challenge you face in your musical endeavors?
SW: The biggest challenge for me and I think every artist, is finding the right people to work with. You have to have the right chemistry. And there also has to be some respect and as we talked about before, there are men in this business who don’t take female artists seriously. During the making of the first EP, I worked with a lot of people who just didn’t work out for a number of different reasons. Having my dear friend, Norman Matthew offer to work with me was the best thing that could have happened. Writing and producing this EP has been a much better experience working with him. Hope to continue to work with him for a long time to come.

CV: Where do you see your career five years from now?
SW: While I know that I should be thinking about the future, right now a few months are about as future as I am planning. I do think that I will still be writing and recording. There are a number of things that we are trying to decide before this EP is released and those decisions will play a big part in where some things go.

CV: What's next for you?
SW: To get this EP released and do what we need to do to promote and support it. And then to get to work on the next one… I have bits of several songs already started and we may go back and revisit a couple of the songs from the first EP.

CV: Thank you again Suzy for spending some time talking and sharing with
our readers. I wish you all the best and continued success with the new album and all your future projects.

SW: Thank you.

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