Artist Spotlight - Paige Stark
(Photo Credit: Julia Brokaw)
We had the opportunity to interview Paige Stark, a fantastic emerging artist from Los Angeles, California. Her music combines fantastic vocals and mellow tones, for a lo-fi, alt sound you're bound to love. Check out what she had to say below!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
I’ve always played music as long as I can remember. I started singing and playing piano I think very young.. I don’t even remember....and around age 8 or so I started taking lessons. In school band I played flute and saxophone and then around 13 I picked up the guitar. I didn’t see it as something I could do as a job until my early 20’s when people started asking me to play professional shows. Around 2009 or so was gigging at the Standard in West Hollywood -just playing covers in the lobby and a guy who was headlining the El Rey heard me and somehow tracked me down, and asked me to open for him. That was my first “official” show. After that, I figured I should get a little more serious and step up my game. I played in an all girl band for a while. That ended. Then I formed Tashaki Miyaki, which I’m still very much active in. I love Tashaki. I love my bandmates the music we make. This solo project came from having songs that felt too personal for the band, and I also wanted to try some things on my own, experiment, and see how that felt.
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
I usually write on acoustic guitar or piano. Melody and lyrics usually come all at once... sometimes the whole song all at once. I record it on voice memos or maybe a more elaborate demo on garage band, then I listen again in a day or two and refine. I try not to overthink anything. I like things to feel honest and natural.
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
Some things that inspire me in no order:
Neil Young, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Harry Belafonte, Harry Nilsson, Wu Tang Clan, Lou Reed, Dre & Snoop, Sparklehorse, David Lynch, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Agnes Martin, Sade, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Kate Bush, the city of Los Angeles, films- especially those by Hal Ashby, Bowie, Nick Cave, Billie Holiday, & old country like Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, etc.
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
My favorite guitar is my Gibson J-45. I write primarily on that guitar and piano. Gear on recordings changes from song to song. There are so many things I like and use. I have an old no name tape echo that was given to me as a gift and I use on almost everything. I guess that’s my favorite piece of gear. My favorite amp is an old National. It doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve ever found.
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
I’m not sure how everything feels to the audience. I like to create a visual experience for the audience as much as I can, though I’m limited at the level I’m currently performing at, but I do my best. I most enjoy a venue that sounds good and has a kind, knowledgeable staff.
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
I would just like them to hear it. I hope they like it.
7. Do you have any upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?
I am wrapping up my debut solo record as well as the sophomore record of my band Tashaki Miyaki. Both will be out Spring/Summer 2019. I just finished directing a music video for my next solo single- that will be out within the month. And I’m producing a couple other artists this year- that’s all I have planned thus far.