New York based vocalist Betsie Larkin has just released her debut album entitled “All We Have is Now” with colabs with and abundance of spectacular producers including John O’Callaghan, Super8 & Tab, Rafaël Frost, Solarstone, Guiseppe Ottaviani, Sied van Riel, Bjorn Akesson, Bobina, and of course Ferry Corsten. Betsie has so many interesting comments to share with us.
Do you remember the turn point in your life when you decided that you wanted to be a vocalist?
I think I always secretly wanted to sing professionally. I’ve been singing since I was very young, but found it difficult to believe that I could count on it as a career. I’ve been very lucky to have people that believed in me at different stages of the game, and have with a mix of intention and accident stumbled to where I am now.
How many songs have you written since you began writing (whether they were released or not)?
I have no idea. I go through stages where I write several ideas in one day, and sometimes I have dry spells that last a month or more. I know I have 65 ideas on my tape-recorder right now and about ten more living on my iPhone. You have to be ready to catch an idea when it floats by – I’ve written some of my best material while driving, at live concerts, and walking around NY. I just pull out my phone and pretend like I’m talking to someone… but, I’m actually singing into my recorder app
Describe an average day in the life of Betsie Larkin…
If I’m just at home in NY (which is probably what you’re asking), I wake up, go for a little walk to Starbucks for my caffeine infusion and then I head back and start going through emails. I spend about 2 hours in the morning doing this. My voice isn’t really good until after noon, so it works out. Then I usually have a list of songs that I need to work on. Maybe I’ll write a bridge for a song that’s almost finished or record a demo of a strong idea that I’m working on. Right now I’m learning to work in Ableton, so that’s added a solid time commitment, but it’s exciting to think about creating higher-quality tracks from my home studio. I often work pretty late, but try to mix in going out to dinner, taking a yoga class, or doing something social.
Do you play any instruments? If so, which ones?
I’m better at the guitar, but really like writing on the keyboard. I feel like I’m able to find stronger vocal melodies on the piano, but the guitar can be great for inspiring rock ideas. I’m glad that I can manage on both instruments.
Which producers have been the most fun to work with?
I really like working in person and, for EDM, have only been able to work in person with Ferry Corsten and John O’Callaghan. I get along really well with both of them and completely admire their musical ability. The others have been really incredible too though – I wake up and there’s an mp3 in my inbox with some amazing development on a song we’ve started. I don’t get to watch or pipe in as much, but some of these guys come up with ideas that I would never think of. That’s a big part of the fun.
Before you started working with Ferry Corsten, were you involved in any other productions?
Oh yes I was in a band for years. We were in college in Boston and moved to Los Angeles together. I had more than one studio project in various genres and also did a solo alternative rock EP just before I met Ferry. He was interested in working with me after hearing that.
Have you ever dabbled in production yourself or had a desire to try?
I’ve been producing my own demos for about five years. As I mentioned before, I’ve made it a goal to get really proficient at Ableton. I’ve always worked in Garageband in the past, and it’s just so limited. It would be cool to produce a couple of tracks for my next album and also just be more active on the production side of my collaborations.
How much input did you have on the production side of things for the album?
I created demos for each song and the producers usually re-worked the music completely. I’ve been writing with a more rock approach for years and just recently started learning how to produce and create the structure for dance tracks. I really have to give the producers credit for the instrumental portion of the songs in the end product.
Your new album is entitled “All We Have Is Now”. Can you explain what that means to you?
It’s just a reminder to appreciate life while it’s happening and not get too hung up on tomorrow, next week, or next year. It’s a simple message, but when you really embrace the meaning, it brings a certain ease to life.. honoring the process over the end result.
What will be the next single to be released from the album?
The first track from the album – “The Dream” with John O’Callaghan
Do you still get butterflies in your stomach when you perform live?
Yes, right before I go on stage I get a little nervous, but it’s usually quickly replaced with the thrill of what I’m doing. Trance audiences are the absolute best – It’s hard to feel self-conscious when there’s love coming from the audience. I get pulled into that
Do you enjoy living in New York? What are some of your favorite things about it?
New York has a lot of upsides – I live fairly close to Central park and am able to bicycle there regularly… there’s something dreamy about the old trees, stone structures, carousels, and the smell of living plant-life (hard to find elsewhere in NY). I also appreciate the access that we have to amazing restaurants, live music, good shopping, etc. I think this city also has some of the hardest working people you will ever meet. I have a great team of musical people that I work with, and I always feel like their giving me their absolute best. That’s really nice.
Which borough are you from if you don’t mind us asking?
I live in the Upper West side of Manhattan. It’s a bit quieter than other parts of the city and has amazing food
What would be your ultimate dream job?
I’m doing it!
What are some of your long-term goals in the music industry?
I’d like to produce several more albums in the EDM genre. I’m also working on a project of what you could most closely describe as dance-rock. I really love what we’re doing, and would like for that to see the light of day. Producing full tracks on my own is up there also.
What advice would you give to an aspiring vocalist?
Work with people who are focused and talented. You can learn a lot from others. Do things right – try to make everything you put you name on very high-quality. Get a voice teacher to address anything that needs strengthening. I’ve had a few sessions with some great ones – Jeannie Deva, Mark Baxter, and Gordan Grody. No matter how good you are, these people can help you improve. Creatively – be honest and carry a tape recorder everywhere.
Are you involved in any other projects you would like to tell us about?
I mentioned my dance-rock band above. It’s not finished yet, so I won’t go into too much detail. The producer is an indie-rock guy out of South Africa. He’s one of my favorite rock producers. I also have an album project in the works with an amazing EDM producer. I can’t go into detail on that one just yet… sorry!
Do you have any other comments for our readers?
Thank you so much for supporting me! After the album came out, so many people wrote me on Facebook and Twitter saying that they had bought it. I had no idea what the response would be, so it was incredible to see that people value what I do enough to go out and spend their hard-earned money on the CD. I really hope you enjoy it because we made it for you! Lots of love, Betsie
Thanks for your time!
This post originally appeared on Electronic Nightlife, now a part of beatcue.