Her personal philosophy is: “There are no strangers, only potential best friends.” I found this philosophy put into action as I had the pleasure to interview Staci Marie Carriere, singer/songwriter from Kentucky. I not only found Staci’s fun-loving, outgoing, and optimistic personality shining through, I also found her music to shine as well! Her sound is unique and it can’t be put into one specific genre. People have labeled it everything from country to alternative. Her sound isn’t the only thing that is unique; Staci grew up in Eastern Kentucky where members of the church are few and far between. Titling herself the “Lone Ranger,” she not only talks about how growing up as a religious minority influenced her music, she also talks about life, being authentic, and her outlook for the future.
According to your website, you grew up performing on the stage; both acting and performing musically. Was it a tough decision to pursue music over acting or are you wanting to pursue both in the future?
A: Before I started writing music, I wanted to go into musical theatre. However, when I discovered songwriting, it was like a light went on inside and I was like “This is what I need to be doing.” My passion lies in songwriting; however, I still love and appreciate the theatre. If an opportunity ever arose to do acting, I would definitely jump at the chance… as long as I still had time to write my own stuff.
What do you want people to feel when they listen to your music?
A: I want them to feel what I felt when I was writing it. If it’s a sad song, I want them to feel that sadness. If it’s happy, I want them to burst with joy. However, there’s always an optimistic side to my songs, so I want them to always have that hope as well.
Does being LDS have an impact on your music? Why or why not?
A: Definitely! The morals that the church has helped instill in me have given me the viewpoint I have today. Without that viewpoint, there would be no songs.
Do you feel that your music portrays you personally or does your music portray an “alter-ego?”
A: I will respond “absolutely not.” My music is 100% me. If I were to sing anything otherwise, I would feel so guilty! I’m a firm believer in being yourself and sticking with it. Nothing is cooler than authenticity.
Your CD photo shoot pictures that are on your website are so fun! They really seem to let your fun-loving personality show through! What do you do in your spare time? (That is, if you have any!)
A: Why thank you! Haha. Yeah, spare time is few and far between nowadays. However, I love to read (if anyone has any good book suggestions, hit me up! I’m lacking in literature at the moment), and hike—hiking is my favorite. I love to explore. Also, anything that involves just being around people. People are my favorite.
Songwriting usually dictates most of my free time, however. And I’m cool with that.
I’ve seen a lot of photos with you and your instruments (yes plural)! How many instruments can you play? Do you have a favorite to play? What about to compose with?
A: I play four – fiddle, piano, guitar, and ukulele. I hope to learn the mandolin soon. Or the accordion—that would be so cool! I think my favorite instrument is the piano. There’s something about it… you can capture emotion with it so easily.
Your song “Life’s not a Fairytale” is about empowerment and making your own plans; your website mentions that “if you want life to be a “fairytale”, go out and make it one… it won’t just happen on its own.” Is this coming from personal experiences?
A: Yes, ma’am. All throughout high school, I saw these girls in abusive relationships—one of them happened to be one of my best friends. We tried to convince her to break the relationship off, but she insisted he was her “Prince Charming.” Now she’s pregnant, and he’s abandoned her. It breaks my heart to see these things happen because of the mentality of “I’m in love, so everything is going to work out, because that’s what the media has been telling me.” I love music, because it can get a message like this across without being preachy.
Growing up in Kentucky, members of the church are often considered a religious minority. How did this play a part not only in your life, but in your music?
A: Haha, yep! I was the Lone Ranger. It has influenced me so much, it’s unreal. In fact, my song “I’m Not Giving Up” is about just that. I think if I’d grown up with a lot of LDS members to back me up, I wouldn’t be as strong a person as I am today. I went through a tough time being all alone, but looking back, I wouldn’t change it.
Most of your tour dates are set in the southern part of the United States. Do you plan to take your music north, east, and west for all our listeners?
A: Yeah, I’m just starting out. Most of my gigs are at home in Kentucky, or in Nashville. I would absolutely love an opportunity to head West and perform. If anybody out there would like to book me, they can give me a call 😉 😉 haha.
I can only imagine the experience that would come with making a CD! Tell us about your experience. Is this your first CD?
A: That it is! It actually started out as being a demo to shop around to record producers and whatnot. And then people kept bombarding us, wanting to purchase it. So we said “Why not?”
I’m still excited to make a true-blue, full-out album. This demo was more of an exploration of my early songwriting endeavors. Now, I’ve gotten the hang of it, and have really been able to discover myself as an artist. My full album is going to be 1000% more me and I’m pumped! It’s going to be more along the lines of piano-alternative-pop. I’m excited!
What are your future plans? Where do you see yourself personally and professionally in the next 5 years?
A: I’m going to college this Fall. I just want to write and collaborate with all sorts of different people. I want to put together a band and just travel and perform all over. It’s hard to see what’s in the future, because it’s so circumstantial and unpredictable! However, I hope to be able to establish myself enough to make songwriting a career. It’s what I love to do.
Tell your fans how they can get more! Where can they get access to your tour dates, merchandise, and all things Staci?
A: Haha! Well, I have my EP on iTunes. You can go to my website and order the actual CD. As of right now, I don’t really have any merchandise (it would be so weird seeing my face on a t-shirt or something. Egads). Everything you need to know is on my website!
I also have a blog! You can access it from my website or go to http://www.stacimariecarriere.blogspot.com.
I’m getting ready to set up a youtube account, as well. I’ll keep everyone updated on my website and blog.