Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Talking to Famous People

My first interview in the world of journalism was with Tyrese Gibson, the famously buff artist/actor from movies like Transformers, Waist Deep, and 2 Fast 2 Furious. Normally I'm more the type that swoons over people in the indie world (like Ben Lee, Conor Oberst, Jenny Lewis, etc), but because everyone in my age group remembers Tyrese's radio hits I was terrified to think I would have to talk to him myself.

Fortunately the first time I was supposed to talk to Tyrese he canceled on me. It gave me some time to digest the situation and calm myself. When the interview happened for real, it didn't start that great. I had to earn his respect before he treated me well, but as soon as we were grooving I knew everything would be fine. At that moment I felt it for the first time: writing about music was what I was meant to do.

Now interviews are different. I still get excited when I receive invitations to private parties and free concert tickets or cds, but talking to an artist is no more awkward or nerve racking than calling the bank and asking if they will do money transfers without taking a commission. Artists are people, just like us. In some cases their voices might be all over the radio waves, but sometimes the writers they talk to have their words all over the printed press. We're all just people and that explains why even though I'm talking to Matt White later today, I'm not nervous. He was one of Rolling Stone's top ten artists to watch and a choice cut in Entertainment Weekly and the New York Post. He was featured in Billboard and Teen People, but he's just a guy, and I'm just a woman.

I think this is a breakthrough, the idea that artists are just people and that's that. Granted, I have yet to talk to Conor Oberst, Ben Lee, or Jenny Lewis. After that I'll tell you how I really feel, but for now all is well in the world of music. Well, other than the fact that album sales plunged in 2007. The music industry is at an amazing pivotal point and we'll get it all figured out.

And now, I'll introduce you to the most recent concert invite I received, The Whigs. They're a little harder than what I'm normally into but I can guarantee that they'll receive a healthy amount of press when their album comes out on January 22nd. You can mark my music prediction words on that.