Saturday, May 1, 2010

Kristine W. is still flying strong despite the hardships


Kristine W. has a lot to be happy about these days: she has just released her latest successful LP, a DVD music video collection, and a holiday disc. She is also currently making her rounds on a world tour, and one of her latest singles, “Walk Away,” a collaboration with DJ Tony Moran, broke a record set by Madonna on the Billboard Dance charts.With everything going on, Kristine W. has not forgotten why she loves her work.

Ever since her debut in 1996 with “Land of the Living,” Kristine W. has put out dance records for the clubs to gush up, all the while expressing her voice, which would impress Aretha Franklin. Even after tragedy struck in 2000, when Kristine W. was diagnosed with Leukemia, she still remained strong.

Strength seems to come easy for the diva, who, no matter what, is her own “Boss.” Kristine is currently in promotion mode for her newly released studio album The Power of Music, which Kristine W. says on the record, “this time it’s going to have a much more world flavor [than my previous records]. There’s, you know, maybe five different producers on the fourteen tracks from all over the world. London, LA, Frankfort,” says the artist. “We covered a lot of sounds, and there’s a chilled-out song on there, like Sade on steroids. On this album, there are so many different sounds. There’s funky-house on “The Boss,” then I have this really epic drama ballad, there’s this Mary J. Blige kinda vibe track I did with Brenda Russell, then there’s this straight up 133 BPM track, almost like a trance track. I think that is why it’s called The Power of Music.”W. is also working on a compilation album entitled Straight Up With a Twist, which she describes as “a CD of acoustic versions of jazz arrangements of my #1 hits.”

Surprisingly, Kristine W. has broken the record set by Madonna for most consecutive #1 Billboard Dance/Club Play tracks. Kristine says, “It’s pretty amazing. You know it’s exciting! I’m just blessed that people like what I do. I always say that music is medicine for the soul, so I’m mixing it up as best as I can.”

Remixes are usually the tracks that get Kristine W. to the top, and unlike many other dance-oriented artists, she takes great care to choose different types for different audiences. “Oh yeah, yes I do! I pick ‘em! Now, especially “The Boss.” I picked them, that is why there are so many different styles. I think people like to hear different things. A lot of times, the record companies want New York remixers to mix it so it will get radio play in New York. But now since nothing gets played on the radio except what’s paid for, it’s like satellite is the only creative radio with people adding new music,” says the diva.

Before the last couple of years, U.S. radio didn’t have much of a warm spot for dance music, aside from Cher’s “Believe,” Madonna’s “Hung Up” and Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head.” Kristine W., an American-based artist, has seen the recent worldwide trends in dance music. “It’s only in America though [that dance music isn’t popular], and you know why? Because dance music is too happy,” the artist says.“Everybody [in the U.S.] is so into being depressed. Code Red and fear. But I’ve been to places where people don’t have two nickels to rub together and are freakin’ happier than hell....Yes, 9/11 happened, but you gotta keep going. I’ve done a show fifteen miles down the road from where there was a bombing, and I don’t know how many hundreds of people got blown sky high, right on the border of Israel, and they were saying I had to quit the show. I was like ‘I ain’t going no where!’” remembers the singer.

As much music as she’s putting out, Kristine W. admits it’s not as easy as it sounds. “It takes about three months. Plus there’s the artwork and production. The record companies aren’t taking care of the smaller stuff like artwork and credits anymore. It’s a lot of work. It’s not as glamorous as the fans think…the only time it’s really glamorous is the time you’re on stage. And meeting with the fans,” says Kristine.

It is her fans that she credits as inspirations, both emotionally and even material wise. “I’m really blessed. I have great fans”, she says. “They’ve really inspired this new album. I’m just the messenger. I basically wrote songs that talk about all the topics they have shared with me,” she continues. To her fans, Kristine W. offers the advice to stay positive and not worry about what the media portrays. “When you’re positive you can make anything happen, it’s when you get negative everything goes to shit. It’s the media, they prey on the sensationalism, and people are afraid to do anything,” says Kristine.

No doubt Kristine W. will continue to support her fans and bring them happiness in this world. “In music we just have to do what we do. And you have to think of the world and what it needs, what do my fans want to hear. What can I do to make things better with my music, since it’s the only thing I do to make a difference.”

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