By Ryan Meehan
Indie queen Tinsel Korey is a Canadian actress/singer-songwriter who plays the beautifully scarred character in The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. Korey beat out 800 other actresses for the role of a lifetime – playing Sam Uley’s fiancée and soul mate from the neighboring Makah Tribe—a pivotal role in Stephanie Meyers’ worldwide franchise. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 will be in theatres in November 2012. Currently, Tinsel is focusing on music and working towards the release of her debut EP, Seize The Day. Tinsel has been developing her musical talent from a very young age and the release of this EP will be the result of several years of work. Recorded at the famous WAX studios in Washington, the Indie-Folk Rock EP will consist of five news songs, in addition to Tinsel’s previously recorded single, “Letter”, and will be available on iTunes and Amazon.com, as well as most major online outlets. A labor of love, each track was written by Tinsel herself, with the help of producer Brian Blake for the music composition. The EP is currently set to release on August 30th, and she’s my guest today in 5 Questions.
FOH: At what age did you write your first song? Did you always expect that your first experience working in the entertainment industry would be as a musician?
TK: I was like 16 or 17. I have the song still written down, and can remember the melody to it. 🙂 Even then I was writings songs to help me get a clearer picture of what was happening in my life. I don’t know if I thought music would be my first experience. I knew that I loved music, I knew that I was going to be an entertainer, but I don’t think I thought I would just be in one field though.
FOH: Your debut EP “Seize The Day” was recorded at WAX studios in LA, from which there is always a constant stream of good music available. Were there any artists in particular that had recorded there, that you drew inspiration from while recording this album?
TK: Gerry Cagle (a music manger) introduced me to a couple of different music producers in LA. I met with the owners Xandy Berry & Wally Gagel at WAX studios and really liked them. They have a beautiful studio, and there is really good energy in there. So many pop stars have passed through those halls. Even though my music isn’t completely pop, I think it was a sense of accomplishment. To record in a place where artists whose pictures I’ve had on my walls have created music; when I was still dreaming of being where they were.
FOH: The single off of the EP is called “Letter”…What is the story behind that song?
TK: One of my friends was going through an abusive relationship; and when I found out I was shocked. It was hard to see one of my close friends go through something so difficult. I wrote the song thinking about a relationship that had become toxic. How sometimes even though there is love, that sometimes the best thing for both people is to walk away.
FOH: What was it like working with Brian Blake? Does he have any special quirks or techniques that he uses in the studio to create a sense of differentiation between the artists that he works with?
TK: Brian Blake was the new producer at WAX studios. He had been engineering with Wally & Xandy for a while. They suggested that I work with him, as he was getting more into producing, and we just clicked. Brian is a great songwriter, and a fantastic producer. Because of my acting career taking up my mornings, we worked in the evenings.
Starting from 7pm to 2am some nights, we worked tirelessly at trying to bring each song to life. 2 of the songs were written at the beginning of the year (Love Me Let Me Go, Seize The Day). Then, out of the other 3 that I had previously written, 2 were workshopped & rearrganged (I Surrender, Break of Dawn). And with “Game of Hearts” we just kept working on trying to find the right sound. Game of Hearts really came to life when the studio musicians brought their own flavor to it. Shea Chambers (bg vocalist) did an amazing job with fattening up the vocals melodies, and breathing some good ol’ soul into it.
Brian definitely pushed me as a writer & musician. Sometimes when I didn’t want to be pushed. LOL But it was for the greater good of the project. I think we both looked at this project as a challenge and a chance to show what we were capable of.
FOH: I noticed from listening to the tracks on the EP that you seem to be a big fan of a really thick reverb guitar sound. Is that a style that you’ve always been a fan of or is it something new that you’re trying on this record?
TK: That was more of a Brian thing. I think I like reverb in general, and I always like it in my vocals because I’ve been told I have an ethereal tone to my voice. So I think Brian just played off of that with the guitar sound.
FOH: There are a lot of vocal layers on “Break of Dawn”. How many vocal tracks do you usually lay down for each song? Has there ever been a time where you’ve recorded several different vocal arrangements and then cut it down to just one or two tracks to keep everything simple so that you can duplicate the song during a live performance?
TK: I think that depended on the song, I don’t think there was a set amount. Some of the takes are just my vocals warming up. But once I’m warmed up, normally about 3-4 takes I think. We didn’t use all the tracks, just find the ones that really stood out and conveyed a story.
The main thing I told Brian is that I wanted it to sound organic. To not sound over produced, and leave in things like guitar strings and some breaths, that normally get cut out of pop music. I don’t think I was worried about it sounding exactly the same live, because you can’t duplicate the album; not unless you have a full band. I think live shows are always a chance to create a new experience for the listener.
FOH: What’s next for Tinsel Korey in the twelve months to come? Any big projects that you have in the works?
TK: I’m mainly focused on this album, unless I find a great acting project that is calling my name. I also have two movies coming out. “Fishing Naked” a coming of age “American Pie” with a supernatural twist type comedic movie, and “Avarice” a supernatural action/thriller. I can’t wait for those to come out; I’m really proud of them.
FOH: On August 20th you posted on Twitter that you were writing out some music video concepts. Which idea stuck out to you as something that would really match one of the songs on the EP? What were some other ideas that came out of that brainstorming session?
TK: Well in each of the songs is a story of a moving journey in it. A sense of change, growth, and empowerment. I’m not going to tell you the details of the ideas, cause I want you to see the final project. 😉 I will tell you this though, I have lately had aspirations to becoming a director, and I am looking at each one of these videos as a way to make that dream come to life. 🙂
“Seize The Day” is available this Thursday, August 30th.
Official Website: www.tinselkorey.com
Tinsel on Twitter: www.twitter.com/tinselkorey
Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content.