Given the recent exchange with Perez Hilton and Carrie Prejean the Miss California contestant for Miss America (marriage should be between one man and one woman argument), I thought re-phrasing the question in light of Kristine W’s past association with the pageant would be appropriate.
Since this interview was conducted in written communication and took a long time for response, I did not submit any follow-up questions for clarification. Nevertheless, to be on the wrong side of an issue when your entire career is based on the loyal devotion from the LGBTQ community, I think it would have been entirely appropriate to pursue this line of questioning. Sadly, I didn’t have the guts nor was I wanting to put her in a position of having to defend something she likely wasn’t well informed on. Aside from that, I’m not a journalist.
Subsequently, her position evolved as she became more aware of the issue and it’s importance to gay families and even joined the NOH8 campaign. Could it be that it was because she recognized her faux pas or was it just a way to deflect her recent comments in the interview? We’ll never know but I don’t doubt her sincerity.
Hello Kristine, my name is Keith W. from the Party Favorz blog. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule for this interview. I have compiled a list of questions that I would like to ask you and several more from your fans. So, let’s get this started.
PF: First, I’d like to know how it is that a former Miss Washington goes on to become the toast of Las Vegas and now the ultimate diva of dance and the darling of the gay community. In other words, at what point in your life did you decide this is really what you wanted to do?
KW: Hi Keith: I worked my tail off doing thousands of shows 6 nights a week on various stages in Vegas and around the globe to pay my rent. Opportunities came my way while I out there grinding it out show by show. It is very hard work. I have always known I wanted to be a working musician, songwriter performer. I am the fourth generation of performers in my family.
PF: In 1996, my ex and I were about to go on a much-needed vacation to the Bahamas. Prior to leaving, I had just received my latest issue of OUT magazine. In it was a review of “Land of the Living” which praised your work but stopped short of calling you “the second coming”. With that kind of send-up, I was definitely intrigued and decided to pursue it once we got back from the trip. Fortunately, when we arrived in Ft. Lauderdale a week later, we decided at the last minute to rent a car and drive down to Key West. It was there that I saw the video of “One More Try” in a local bar and about wet myself. The next morning, I woke up and found the nearest record store (remember those) and bought the last CD they had in stock of “Land of the Living”. Once we got back home, I played your album over and over and for every friend that came to visit. I think I must have converted about 20 or 30 people in six months. To this day, “Land of the Living” is my favorite dance album and in fact, is in my top ten favorite albums of all time. After listening to it in the car the other day, I have to say it still holds up very well. I guess my question to you is, were you disappointed by the fact that it wasn’t as big a hit as your fans feel it should have been? Clearly, “One More Try” is an achingly beautiful song perfectly tailored for pop radio, so what gives? Frankly, I’m hoping that some American Idol diva wannabe performs it live one day. I really do believe there’s a hit there waiting to make you millions in royalties. Just think of Whitney doing Dolly.
KW: ” The Land Of the Living “is a wonderful work and “One More Try” opened the door for emotionally revealing songs like” I Miss U’. Sometimes you release music that is way ahead of its time. People were not being exposed to songs with such personal content. I am not bummed out because music has many lives.
PF: Before I move on to the “Power of Music”, I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t bring this question up. With the whole Miss California debacle and her response to the question of Marriage Equality, what are your personal feelings about this issue and equal rights for gays and lesbians?
KW: Why should only the straight people suffer!, LOL. I am not a big fan of marriage. I have 2 divorced older siblings. It’s a sore subject.
PF: It’s been thirteen years since the release of “Land of the Living” and you are now about to release your fourth album “The Power of Music”. You have been with a major recording label (RCA Records) for your first two albums and one of the largest independent record labels (Tommy Boy) for your third. Now, you are releasing your latest album on your own label ‘Fly Again Music’. Clearly, you have taken full control of your name, identity, music, and career. What necessitated your change in direction and what kind of advice would you give anyone trying to make it on their own in this business?
KW: My advice would be: To do an independent project You have to be ready to work your butt off and surround yourself with smart people that are fearless. This is going to be the wave of the future and so many artists are jumping ship because they see a sinking business model.
PF: You have already racked up four #1 club hits (’Walk Away’, ‘The Boss’, ‘Never’ & Love Is the Look) from an album that hasn’t been released yet. Personally, I think this is a testimony to your resilience and tenacity. I also think you’ve struck the very same chord that popularized disco in the mid to late 70s. Certainly, it was a time of unrest, high inflation, high unemployment, and things looked pretty bleak. Just as disco did in its heyday, your music provides people with much-needed escapism. Was that intentional and can we expect more of the same once the album is finally released in mid-June?
KW: Yes, You can always expect music from myself that is uplifting but hopefully connects with you emotionally. My fan’s letters and conversations are very woven into my songs. ” See My Eyes, They Carry Your Reflection”. That was my first line from my first album” Land Of the Living”. That statement is still how I feel about my fans. I am no good without their feedback.
PF: You originally announced the release of “The Power of Music” in late 2007 along with another album “Straight Up with a Twist”. What has taken so long to get these out to your fans and when can we expect the latter to drop? Also, how do you plan on touring behind both albums? Will your shows be a combination of the two or will they be separated based on the venue?
KW: They were both very expensive albums and since my shows and appearances have financed them both It has taken four years and many shows to get to this point. This is something I have never done so we are charting new territory together. I hope it works so other artists are encouraged to try it.
PF: Last year, you had the opportunity to tour with Barry Manilow. Did he have any influence or provide any help in the making of “Straight Up with a Twist”? Also, since he’s good friends with the fabulous Bette Midler, have you ever thought about doing a duet with her? I think you two together would be absolutely fierce and a guaranteed hit. If anything, you could approach her with the idea and donate the proceeds to your favorite charities. It’s just a thought.
KW: Barry Manilow is an amazing talent and a great human being. I just saw Bette’s show at Ceasars a week ago and it was great. I hope she organizes a concert to benefit her passions one of them is the adopt a highway clean up campaign and she is also into restoring parks. I would be 1st in line to perform, boy do we need to support those 2 causes.
PF: I know these questions are long, but if you’ve ever read my blog or even met me, you’d know I type the way I talk…way too much, LOL. If you don’t mind, I have a few more questions submitted by your fans that I would like to ask.
Phillip wants to know if you will ever work with Rollo again and whether or not “Heaven Knows” will be released as a single?
KW: I love Rollo and we wrote” Into U” for the new album.
PF: Glenn from the U.K. wants to know if you’re ever going to perform there. He says you have an underground fan base that starts with him. He also wants to know if you’d consider recording the other half of ‘The Boss’, ‘No One Gets the Prize’ and what kind of music you listen to when you’re just hanging out. Since he asked the question about touring the U.K., I’ll go ahead and add Canada, Australia, Germany, France, and Brazil to the list, since I have a lot of
followers from those countries as well.
KW: I am working with an agent Kevin Moss in the UK to make some dates over the pond happen. I am always open to recording cool covers and will check that song out.
PF: Christopher sent this from his iPhone: Love KW; I still regard ‘Land of the Living’ as the most amazing album of my time and I listen to it on a regular basis; even after ten years!! So while I don’t have a question I would like her to know that her talent is most welcomed and appreciated and that we look forward to hearing that amazing voice for years to come.
KW: To Christopher ” Thanks for the Love and I will see you at the summer shows. Go to my website kristinew.com for all the tour schedules.
PF: Well that’s all I got for you. Kristine, it is my greatest pleasure being able to ask these questions. I just want you to know that I am a HUGE fan and am looking forward to seeing you in Atlanta where I can hopefully meet you in person and get “The Power of Music” autographed. Thank you for the love, hope, and inspiration. I am in the ‘Land of the Living’ and loving it!
KW: Keith, I’m sending you a big hug and ” The Power Of Music,” KW
Follow Up: Phillip, Unfortunately, “Heaven Knows” did not make the cut for the new album, however, there are other updated classics like “I’m Coming Out” and “Feel What You Want” that are included. You can view the complete track listing at Amazon.com and preview samples of the songs as well.