MuzicNotez: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you Downie, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.
What motivated you to start creating music? What age did you begin?
Downie: Thanks so much for having me!
I started writing music about twenty years ago in country and some christian, although I did not release any of it. It was more of a learning curve for me then. It was eight years ago after I had been singing jazz in Tokyo, Japan that I finally started writing seriously in Jazz, pop and soul.
MuzicNotez: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
Downie: I have so many influences in my music. I love James Taylor, Carly Simon, Carol King, Joni Mitchell and John Mayer is also huge favorite of mine. I also studied classical music and was a classical soprano. So, Mozart, Handel, have also helped me understand how to write a great melody.
MuzicNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
Downie: Writing unique music that moves people, that helps others see things they did not think of before is something that I have a great passion for. Sometimes the only way to say it is in a song. AND, I hope to build enough of a listening audience and reputation to start touring.
MuzicNotez: Does music run in your family?
Downie: Music does run in my family. My siblings played some instruments and I sang in the choir with my sister. My mother was an amazing classical pianist and she played the clarinet and the guitar. My grandmother met my grandfather playing honky tonk piano with a bar band.
MuzicNotez: You put on quite the show, what’s your most memorable performance to date?
Downie: My favorite performance of all time was quite simple. I was singing in Tokyo; one of my friends asked me to perform at an international children’s charity fundraiser. Me and my pianist were doing a standard called ‘Never Let Me Go’. They were honoring one of their volunteers. I felt moved to sing to the volunteer and I had her come close with my friend. As I started singing to her she broke down in sobs. Later when I had lunch with my friend she told me what happened; the woman had lost two children, one to suicide and one to a car wreck. She had one remaining child. Previously she had not been able to grieve or cry, but the moment I started singing ‘Never let me go, love me much too much…’ she was finally able to let go and grieve openly. After that she felt she was able to finally move beyond her pain. I couldn’t even speak her language, yet the power of music and spirit somehow came together to help sooth a wounded mother.
MuzicNotez: What’s your songwriting process like? What inspires the music you write?
Downie: So many things inspire me. Often relationships with people I care about are my greatest inspiration. Sometimes the songs just write themselves, both the lyrics and music. Other times I write the lyrics and send them to partners to have them write the music because I am too close to the lyrics. Sometimes I will be talking with a friend and say something and next thing you know it I say “Wow, that will make a great song. I write the music mostly with the piano, since this is my second instrument, voice being my first. Sometimes the lyrics come to me with the melody already in place and other times the lyrics come first and the melody later.
MuzicNotez: Your latest album release is ‘I Would Lose Myself In You’, of which you’re giving away a free download of the title track. What inspired this album? How’s it differ from any of your previous releases?
Downie: The songs on this album were written over a four year period while other albums were also out. It is the first album which I arranged and produced many of the tracks. I was also heavily involved in all the mixing and mastering of this album. I am most proud of this album!!!!!
MuzicNotez: What else are you working on? What can we expect to see and hear from you in the future?
Downie: I already have several finished lyrics waiting for their music either to be written from me or co-writers and I have two finished songs in production stages. Most likely these songs will be released as a series of singles in the next year or two.
MuzicNotez: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music? Any message for your fans?
Downie: Music, more specifically singing, has always been my passion. I think I came out of the womb hitting a high “C”. My earliest report card says “shows an aptitude for music”. I feel so blessed to create something that has not existed before. I love adding to the world and to others through what has become for myself “the language of my soul”. From every emotion, love, sadness, frustration and anger, it is all part of the whole experience of being human on this planet. Connecting with others through a song is something very special. Many times I could only say what needed to be said in a song. I am most grateful for this gift!!!!!