Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Interview with Angela Correa by Petracovich

Correatown (Angela Correa) of Los Angeles – I was melted and inspired by her velvet voice, her heart-filled old-fashioned songs, her craft with making songs and making the room silent the first time I saw her sing at the Mercury Lounge in Santa Barbara, CA. Over the years we played some shows together, I slept on her couch a couple times, and walked to breakfast together afterwards in Echo Park. She’s a great person who makes you laugh and a wonderful songwriter. Her latest album, Spark. Burn. Fade, will be coming out in June. Get her  albums at, and listen at MYSPACE
(A=Angela J=Jessica (Petracovich)

J What happens if you're NOT writing music?

A well, i feel really pent up inside almost like i have some sort of whirlwind and need to find a release valve but lately, words have been hard to find and melodies and music have been easier to connect with

J ya, that happens to me too, and it's nice to let the words stay away if they're not there, and just be with the tunes. Can you go into the music more then?

A yeah, exactly... i feel like when one aspect of songwriting feels a little stifled the other compensates so i've started trying to capture the melodies/// and then go back and work lyrics and song ideas

J I think my songs come out best that way. Are you ever able to have an idea for the subject of a song and then tell the story? I have a hard time with that, almost like my subconscious has to do all the words

A me too... forcing it doesn't bring about songs that are meaningful in the long term (to me at least) almost as if i am giving myself a creative writing assignment

J your storytelling is so great

A thanks... i think i like to try and recreate a place or a feeling and give all the details

J Do you have a storytelling type song you wrote that is particularly close to your heart?

A well... i think saint dinan is one of the more poignant story songs, i think THAT whole album for me (the Correatown) was my most storytelling album

J That's the one I was thinking of too! I LOOOVEE that song

A i always remember how fun it was to sing it together at the church in SB

THAT was such a lovely show... one of my favorites ever i think

J That was so beautiful. You made it sparkle! So glad to be in one of your favorite shows!

When did you start singing?

A i've always sang... since i was little. My mom always sang in the car and she taught me how to harmonize because she always sang the harmony to songs so i picked it up really naturally from her. I used to sing in youth groups and in church as a kid too...

J You have a remarkable mixture of sounding open and raw and yet always right on key, and your harmonies are tear-pulling too.

A well, i've really been learning in the past 6 years how to use my voice
in different ways, but using my voice I've learned how to express different things,
how to sing quietly or to use my vibrato and I've actually in the past two years really opened up my voice a lot more

J has it grown from you pretty naturally or did you think about it while listening to recordings of yoruself and say, I think I'd like to change ____?

A I think its grown from experiences. I used to sing in the lower register a lot and hardly ever hit it or belt it out/// but now I like to play with the dynamics of my voice within a song. I think some of your songwriting was an influence on me as well. When i first heard your blue cotton skin album, i loved the way you elongated words in your phrases

J wow, that's so cool! a huge compliment

A and i think very unconsciously i wrote that into some songs/// or "tried it on for size" and then tailored it to suit my writing. I think that's such a fun way to write. Because we like certain aspects of someone's song for a reason, and it can help us find new paths with our own creations...

J yeah i think that's true, it's good to find inspiration from others and then make it feel natural and true for yourself in your own writing

 There are some amazing cord progressions in chopin, i'm gonna figure them out and see why I love them, if I can use them

A lately i've been trying to write songs that are more obscure in form, that sort of thing/// like a song that i feel really connected to, i try to figure out WHAT about that song is speaking to me or what is special

or find a way to integrate it into your writing. i'm hoping to write more songs that have fewer lyrics. a bit more instrumental and dreamy. And less structured in a typical way... i feel like that's a good place for me to reach to

J yah, simmer it down, that would be fun, you're good at dreamy.
You have a great presence to you, when you're singing, you bring a texture to the room, velvety and flowing

A yeah, i feel like i have come full circle the past couple being at ease with being the singer-songwriter in the room

J when was it hardest for you to be that person?

A i think for so long it was just me and my guitar and it was a really intense performance, really personal and i felt very much inside the music as i was singing it and then i started to feel exposed. ( i think i was dealing with some personal issues... depression, weight, confidence... you name it) and it became really hard to BE that person playing, so exposed so i gravitated towards having a band to be sort of inside a big sound and not the only one onstage, not have it be about me... but truthfully... it's always gonna be my songs and my voice singing and my something to share

J what are you doing now onstage?

A well, i have a band now that i play with... and changed to performing as Correatown rather than Angela Correa

J I love that name, a place we can all come home to --- that's so perfect

A yeah// i liked it too... sort of a pun and sort of personal. A BUT in the past few months, i've really figured out that i want to discover a middle ground

J so do you play some tunes alone, some with the band?

yeah, thats exactly how i do it now.. play some solo shows, and some full band shows... and i;ve started playing a couple solo songs duringthe set

and NOW i'm going to start towards arranging songs in such a way that they serve the song

J for both recording and performing?

A yep for both...

J what have you been changing or noticing?

A well, dynamics. When i play solo i always really messw ith the dynamics of a song//// big here and quiet there and building or just stopping. it was not something i knew how to articulate and develop with a band

and so now i am putting more thought into ensuring that every song arrangement has very subtle or specific dynamics that are more reflective of those subtleties and nuances that i put into the songwriting

J you're good at weaving the audience in with your playing that way, with you and your guitar, it does take a lot of deliberate planning with a band.

A yeah, i was in a place initially where i was like "let's just rock" and full steam ahead

but not anymore... i moved to the term "soft rock" and now i'm where i should be at "let's arrange these damn songs for my folk storytelling" haha

J - Who's in your band?

well, there's Rob Poynter on drums (also my boyfriend- very handy)

and Raymond Richards on guitar (he co-produced my latest album with me)

and Mike Corwin on bass (a very talented musician in many bands)

J Where are your favorite places to play?
my favorite places to play...

i love spaceland and the echo

i also love the art spaces on the Eastside... like Pehrspace and Echo Curio

i like places where you can do what you like with a set and not freak out about draw

J what do you love about LA?

A I love the diversity. i love how varied everything is and how small my little community is here on the Eastside. i ride my bike a lot and see familiar faces a lot and it's nice because for the past couple years, working for myself, i stay inside by myself a lot- and it's nice to make connections like you would if you had a job somewhere

J It's great for people to know that there's more to LA than the big fakeyness and traffic, I've loved visiting your neighborhood and seeing goats and chickens!

A it's almost too easy to spend the whole day "inside your head" - so my neighborhood keeps me connected/grounded/happy

J What's your happiest vision of yourself in 5 years?

hmmmm... i would like to be songwriting furiously and performing out on the road... and also have a great support team to manage the small stuff- so i could focus on the creative stuff

J I think it will happen.

A i would also like to be more grounded and at peace with my life... i spend too much time worrying about "what if..." and "when will..." i hope to change those aspects of myself and be more present, daily

J yah, that's a good goal. So I'll help you, Right now, you're a musician who writes wonderful songs, a singer, and you give beauty to people, something we need more and more of , and right now, you're doing your job, right where you should be, it's all coming together perfectly!

A thanks Jess... i'll make that my mantra that i say each morning, i've been seeing a hypno therapist actually. it's easier to help each other with that stuff than to do it all on our own.. to help me actualize my goals and work towards that!

J hypno therapy works! I got through my labor with that.

A i've gone a bout four times and i feel like it has made a positive difference
Those subconscious beliefs are nice to direct into positive ways.

J anything else you want to leave with?

A thank you

J Thank you!

Angela Correa

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